Art student wins $25,000

Jennifer Lefort, a 29-year-old at York, won the second annual $25,000 Joseph Plaskett award, reported the Toronto Star Dec. 6. The award is open to Canadians studying for a master’s in fine arts and is meant to promote a year’s residency in Europe. Joseph Plaskett, 87, is a British Columbian artist who has lived for 40 years in England and France.

Michael Ignatieff – not knowing the party line

“It’s terribly embarrassing – I don’t always know the party line,” Liberal candidate Michael Ignatieff told Maclean’s in a Dec. 12 profile. “But I’m a team player. You don’t get ice time if you’re not a team player. As I get a bit more polished, I’ll be more careful. There’s no strategy of provocation.” Maybe not, but much of what he has had to say is provocative anyway, noted Maclean’s. In a speech at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School last spring, he didn’t cut the Liberals any slack when he took aim at all the federal parties as increasingly impotent in Quebec. And he traces that weakening to long before the sponsorship scandal tarnished the Liberal brand in the province. “The raison d’etre of our parties is to create national coalitions,” he said. “The current capacity of all of our federal parties to do this has been weakened for 20 years. The reasons why are complex: failures of leadership, indifference to ideas, a hollowing out of the parties themselves, their slow decline from vehicles of policy and coalition-forming to professional election machines. But whatever the reasons, each of our national parties is now at risk of becoming merely a regional or sectional interest group, rather than a national coalition.”

On air

  • Bernie Wolf, economics professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, was interviewed on CBC Newsworld Dec. 1 about Conservative leader Stephen Harper’s GST reduction plan.
  • Heather Lotherington, professor in York’s Faculty of Education, was interviewed about using gaming systems such as Xbox as educational tools, on CHRQ-AM’s “Calgary Today” Dec. 6.