Adviser to Miller gets police board seat

Toronto City Council has endorsed a controversial recommendation to appoint Alok Mukherjee, a left-leaning adviser of Mayor David Miller and a York instructor and alumnus, to the troubled Toronto Police Services Board, reported The Globe and Mail Sept. 29. “It’s time for some new blood and [Mukherjee’s] credentials are incredibly impressive and I think he also fills a need for people who understand the diversity of Toronto,” Miller told reporters after council voted 29 to 12 to appoint Mukherjee to immediately replace departing board chair Alan Heisey as the city’s designate. Mukherjee, a 57-year-old human-rights consultant has served as acting chief commissioner and vice-chair of the Ontario Human Rights Commission and is a past member of the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Service, the provincial police oversight body.

Several councillors who were opposed to his appointment are angry that Mukherjee, an immigrant who arrived in Canada from India in 1971, has close ties to the mayor and recently served on his transition team, said the Globe.

The Toronto Sun reported Sept. 29 that Mukherjee is excited about the opportunity. “I know there are some issues here, that there are some problems within the board, but I feel I have some skills and some expertise that will be helpful in making it an effective body,” he said.

Mukherjee finished his PhD in English last year at York and teaches courses on India in York’s Faculty of Arts.

New technology to diagnose, treat deadly diseases

By developing a new technology to analyze proteins in single human cells, Sergey Krylov, a chemistry professor in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, hopes to create a diagnostic “Swiss army knife” that can eventually help to diagnose and treat a variety of currently incurable diseases like cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, reported the Australia-based News-Medical.Net Web site for medical research news on Sept. 29. “Cell proteins regulate everything that goes on in cells, and if we can find out how they control cell division, we will have a key to treating many deadly diseases,” said Krylov, who is Canada Research Chair in bioanalytical chemistry at York.

Mentors share valuable knowledge

As baby boomers prepare to retire – taking with them years of experience – mentoring is more important than ever, believes Monica Belcourt, director of York University’s graduate program in human resources management, reported the Toronto Sun Sept. 29. “The bulk of the baby boomers will soon be retiring,” she said. “Over the next 10 years, many will look back at their careers and want to help those who’ll be taking their place – to pass on their knowledge and lessons learned.” A mentor can increase their protege’s exposure by encouraging them to do things like make presentations. “Being a mentor is also about just being a friend who listens and counsels and is a role model for success,” Belcourt said.

On air

  • Shadi Mokhtari, who is doing graduate studies at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, discussed the implementation and effect of sharia law as it is allowed in Canada, on “Michael Coren Live,” CTS-TV in Toronto, Sept. 28.