French rejection of European constitution not so bad, says prof

York University political scientist Edelgard Mahant, a specialist on the European Union and the politics of Western Europe, says the French repudiation of the EU constitution is less of a disaster for the continued growth and integration of Europe than some commentators have suggested, reported The Globe and Mail June 1. “Canada didn’t have a constitution for so long and we still had a system, we still had a government,” said the Chair of Political Science at York’s Glendon campus. “The same with the European Union, the single market, the free movement of people, the competition policy, the court system – all these features are going to stay.”

Mahant said the rejection of the constitution, which is an attempt to rationalize and further harmonize the union, is merely a temporary impediment in the same way that some countries initially turned down the euro currency and the Maastricht Treaty, which brought the European Union into its current form. “The bigger issue is whether the European social model can survive Chinese and Indian competition,” she said.

YWCA honours Dianne Martin

The Toronto Star printed a photo June 1 of the winners honoured Tuesday night at the YWCA’s Women of Distinction awards. They included Marlys Edwardh, a 1974 graduate of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, on behalf of her friend, the late Dianne Martin, an Osgoode professor who co-founded the law school’s Innocence Project.

High school dropout now top student, doing PhD

Lynda Mannik will receive a gold medal as the top graduate student at Trent University’s convocation Friday – even though she never finished high school, reported the Peterborough Examiner June 1. Yet Mannik, 48, has finished her master’s degree with the highest academic standing among anyone graduating with an MA or a PhD this year. She finished her MA last August and now commutes to York University, where she began her PhD studies in social anthropology last fall.

Former Belinda rival considering her options

Local Liberal party organizers have not formally approached the candidate displaced by Belinda Stronach in Newmarket-Aurora about running in Simcoe-Grey in the next election, reported Collingwood’s Enterprise-Bulletin May 31. Martha Hall Findlay ran against the then-Conservative Stronach in the Newmarket-Aurora riding last year, losing by 689 votes. She had recently confirmed her intention to run again, when Stronach pulled her pre-budget-vote defection two weeks ago. Hall Findlay was asked to step down in favour of Stronach by the Prime Minister, and she said it was a decision that came easily. Now, she’s considering her options.

The 45-year-old Hall Findlay studied at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School from 1983 to 1987. She is the owner of The General Counsel Group, a management and legal consultancy firm she founded in Collingwood in 1997. The company is now based in Newmarket.

On air

  • May 31 newscasts on CTV and affiliates across Canada aired comments made by Norm Gledhill, a professor in York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science, about a recently published McMaster University study that showed six minutes of intense exercise a week were just as beneficial as long workouts several times a week.
  • Thabit Abdullah, professor of Middle East history in York’s Faculty of Arts, discussed the current situation in Iraq, on CTS-TV’s “Michael Coren Live” May 31.