Experts say new Quebec health policy not two-tier

Quebec’s response to the Supreme Court decision in the Chaoulli case appears unlikely to result in a private, parallel health care system despite the near panic the ruling sparked in some circles last year, reported Canadian Press Feb. 16. The policy outlined by Quebec on Thursday allows only a carefully limited expansion of private care in the province, and maintains a ban on doctors working in both the public and private systems. Allan Hutchinson, associate dean of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, called the new policy a “compromise position. It’s trying to pay respect at some level to the court but also hold on very much to a public care system.” He added, “It shows in a way that how we should think of Supreme Court decisions is: it’s just an opening shot in a much longer-term constitutional battle.” Hutchinson said the lasting impact of the Chaoulli decision will probably be to legitimize the debate about private health care.

Harper confounds critics with cabinet appointments

Floor-crosser David Emerson and the unelected Michael Fortier weren’t the only counter-intuitive appointments when Stephen Harper set about building his first Conservative cabinet, reported Canadian Press Feb. 16. “If Stephen Harper is trying to create a group of high-performing individuals with long-term potential, then putting them into portfolios where they don’t have direct experience and then rotating them every two or three years would not be a bad strategy,” said David Wheeler, a professor at York’s Schulich School of Business. “Of course, that implies that they’re going to be around that long.”

Tainted or not, Kobe’s hot on or off the court

Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant, whose reputation with advertisers was thought to be sullied forever after a high-profile rape charge two years ago, is slowly rebuilding his image, reported the National Post Feb. 17. Nike Inc., which dropped the 6-foot-6 guard from company ads after the charges were laid, unveiled his signature Zoom Kobe 1 shoe last week. Kobe’s No. 8 jersey is again one of the league’s best-selling items. Alan Middleton, a marketing professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, said it’s still hard for most companies to use an alleged rapist as a spokesman because they want athletes who endorse products to have a squeaky clean image.

Storms exhibit reveals ‘studied oddness’

However homely and understated York grad Richard Storms’ paintings may at first appear – a view of a bleak parking lot at York University (where Storms earned an MFA in 1983 and taught), for example, or a soft, delicately wrought depiction of a normally banal wall-mounted motion detector (Sensor) – the paintings reveal, upon closer inspection, a studied oddness, a warmly wry, engagingly oblique sensibility at work, stated The Globe and Mail’s Gary Michael Dault in a Feb. 17 review of Storms’ exhibit at Birch Libralato. Technically speaking, Storms is an enormously gifted painter, wrote Dault. Nobody I can think of wields a brush more surely, more lusciously, more tenderly. His York U parking lot (the painting is called Steacie) may look grey and cold, but the grey coldness is the result of a remarkably authoritative, persuasive handling of his soft, drizzly pigment, stated the reviewer.

Canadian MBA schools deliver

Last week, Concordia University’s Alan Hochstein made the startling argument that Canadian business education is in decline (“Save Our MBAs”, Feb. 8). While this makes a good headline and allows Hochstein to take a few jabs at Canada’s top business schools, the facts suggest precisely the opposite, commented David M. Saunders in the National Post Feb. 17. A decade ago, few if any Canadian schools were regularly mentioned among the world’s best. Now, business schools at Queen’s, University of Western Ontario, York University, University of Toronto, McGill University and University of British Columbia regularly finish among the best in the world.

On air

  • Moshe Milevsky, a finance professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, was interviewed about RRSP saving and spending, on CBC Newsworld’s “CBC News: Business” Feb. 16.