Voters skeptical about all parties

Ian Greene, a political science professor at York University, said a 1996 survey by his department found between 70 and 80 per cent of Canadians did not believe promises made by politicians, reported in a June 10 story about dwindling voter support for the federal Liberals. “They wanted their politicians to be ethical, but they thought they would not or could not be ethical,” he said. While researchers debate the causes, the result is lower voter turnout at the polls and a higher rate of cynicism about the political system – two factors that may or may not work in the Liberals’ favour. “It’s really hard to predict,” Greene said. “Clearly, I think the Liberals are going to lose seats, but voters are skeptical about all parties. They really don’t see a knight on a white horse out there that will lead them out of the wilderness.”

Canadian brands lack global prestige

You know you’ve got a monster brand when your name becomes synonymous with the product. Kleenex, Q-Tips and Band-Aid leap to mind. Laying claim to a monster brand usually translates into monster profits and prestige. But for some reason, Canada has yet to spawn a single brand behemoth, reported Canadian Business in its June 7 issue. “We have a problem,” said Alan Middleton, a marketing professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business. “Canada naturally as a brand doesn’t mean strength in any area,” he said. “It is a key strategic weakness for us as a business culture.”

Student hunger linked to tuition increases

Eighteen per cent of universities and colleges across the country have food banks, according to a report released yesterday by the Canadian Association of Food Banks and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, reported the Toronto Star and Regina’s Leader-Post June 10. The rising cost of tuition is the main reason that 3,121 students relied on charity to eat in the month of March alone, said the report. Ontario has the highest number of campus food banks at 18. In Toronto, there are food banks at the University of Toronto, York University, Ryerson University and George Brown College.

York announces new chancellor

Peter Cory has been appointed 11th chancellor of York University, announced the University in The Globe and Mail June 10. A pilot in the RCAF who served overseas with Sixth Bomber Group, he received his BA from the University of Western Ontario (Assumption) and his LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School. He practised law with Holden, Murdoch, was elected a bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1971, then rose through the ranks of the judiciary in Ontario and was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada in 1989, retiring in 1999. Cory mentors at the Federal Department of Justice and conducts arbitration and mediation work at the Osler ADR Centre. In 2002 he was appointed commissioner by the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland to investigate and report on six murder cases significant to the parties involved in the peace process in Northern Ireland. He was appointed as a Companion to the Order of Canada in 2002.

York helps research medical-mistakes report

A new report about medical mistakes released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information shows one in 1,100 elderly patients breaks a hip during a tumble while hospitalized, reported the Halifax Herald June 10. The new patient-safety information came from a survey the institute commissioned last year. It hired researchers at York University, who in the fall canvassed 1,000 Canadians aged 15 and older.

Eavesdropping and stranger relations

On June 9, New Winnipeg highlighted York sociology grad Jamie Paquin’s presentation at the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, held this year at the University of Manitoba. Paquin, who earned a BA in 1998 and an MA in 2000 in sociology at York, gave a talk called “Don’t Talk to Strangers, Just Listen: Eavesdropping as a Mode of Stranger Relations.” The reporter said “it was a unique and creative approach to academic research, and illustrated the possibilities, variety and relevance of research in Canada. Nationally relevant because it considered the sociology of stranger relationships in urban environments and how we create our complex understanding of society and life in the city; personally relevant because when it comes to listening to people on the bus, or including strangers in my conversations in public space, I’m guilty, guilty, guilty.”

Glendon pub dressed as Tuscan caffe

Burlington native Theresa Zadravec, interior decorator extraordinaire and member of INTERIORS by Decorating Den, is responsible for the stunning transformation of a student pub at York University into a picturesque Tuscan-inspired caffe, reported the Burlington Post June 9. The transformation occurred during the Junior League of Toronto’s 2004 Show House at Glendon Hall, located on York University’s Glendon campus.

On air

  • Sergei Plekhanov, post-Communist studies program coordinator with the York Centre for International & Security Studies, analyzed Ronald Reagan’s legacy, on TVO’s Studio 2 June 9.
  • Ananya Mukherjee Reed, a political science professor with York’s Faculty of Arts, said the United Nations resolution approving the plan to establish an elected government in Iraq is a sham and really a plan to continue the US occupation, on CBC Radio’s “Commentary” June 9.
  • A profile of Colin Ninvalle, who credits martial arts with changing him from an at-risk kid to a York University graduate with a BA (1987) and MA (1993) in sociology, aired on City-tv’s “CityPulse” and sister station CP24-TV’s “Evening Newsflow” June 9. Ninvalle, who works with at-risk children in the Jane-Finch area, said is founder of LEAD, the Learning Environment Alternative Development Program.