Introducing Ontario’s ‘head nurse’

Ontario has a head nurse. More formally, it has a “provincial chief nursing officer,” a job created in 1998 to advise the government on health issues from a nursing perspective, reported the Toronto Star May 8. “Sometimes I give them advice, sometimes I just give them information,” says York grad Sue Matthews, who has held the position for the past year. At times, different nursing sectors might have different needs and viewpoints, she says. “Nurses in home health, or public health, or long-term care, or in hospitals might have different perspectives and they all need to be understood. It’s not a matter of right or wrong. It’s a matter of needing to be aware [of all views] when designing policy.” Throughout her career, Matthews has seen nursing from widely varied perspectives herself. She holds a 1996 BA, concentrating in health studies, from York University, a master’s degree in nursing from Charles Sturt University in Australia, and is studying part- time for a PhD by correspondence there.

Prevent another African genocide

Wenona Giles, Chair of York’s Atkinson School of Social Sciences, signed an open letter to Prime Minister Paul Martin printed May 11 in The Globe and Mail urging Canada to work with African leaders to prevent a genocide in Sudan. She and representatives from church, education and aid groups wrote: “Atrocities committed by Sudanese government forces and armed militia in both the south and west of the country have led many to speak of another genocide if nothing is done. We urge Canada to work with African and international partners to do as much as possible to halt another tragedy in the region.”

Funding for port security unfair for airlines

The airline industry is outraged at a federal government decision to spend $115-million to improve security at the country’s ports while air travelers are left to foot the bill to ensure the skies are safe, reported the National Post May 11. “This further tilted the competitive playing field against this industry,” Fred Lazar, an economics professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, said in a recent paper for the Canadian Institute of International Affairs on the airline sector.

More leeway to take time off

One Toronto human resource expert says employers recognize that longer hours and more technology mean work increasingly is cutting into their employees’ personal lives, and so they are allowing workers more leeway to take time off, reported the Toronto Star May 8 in a story about creative excuses for taking time off. “I think there’s more latitude for people to give what would have been seen as unreasonable reasons for asking for time off,” said Monica Belcourt, a professor of human resources management at York University.

It’s easy to fork out $20,000 changing addresses

Every seven years, the average Canadian family will spend $20,000 to get a new postal code, reported the National Post May 8. That’s a conservative estimate of what it costs to move your residence, according to Clayton Research Associates Ltd. “You could live with your parents for the rest of your life, that would be the optimal strategy,” joked Moshe Milevsky, a professor with York University’s Schulich School of Business. “The point is there are costs and there is no way of avoiding them.”

On air

  • Glendon Hall mansion at York University’s Lawrence and Bayview campus reopened Saturday, May 8, after being totally transformed into a showhouse for design, reported CBC Radio’s “Metro Morning” May 10. The item featured an interview and tour with Jane Clark, showhouse project co-chair for the Junior League of Toronto.