New immigrants taking longer to settle in

"Research for recent immigrants shows it is taking longer for immigrants to settle in and economically integrate," says York sociologist Paul Anisef, director of the Joint Centre of Excellence for Research in Immigration & Settlement at York. He was quoted by the London Free Press April 28 in a story about how Canada depends on immigration for population growth and is offering new programs to help them adjust. "But you need to compare the situation of immigrants arriving recently with those that arrived two or three decades ago," Anisef said.

Perhaps new communities are going through what others did before them. But perhaps it is more difficult, says Anisef. "The traditional source countries have changed and an increasing number of immigrants to Canada are non-white. So is it that these people are not used to the culture and values of Canadian society, or is it that there is outright discrimination taking place?" Anisef asks.

Stelco boss rose from the boiler room to become ‘a true steel man’

Peter Gordon forged his career in the crucible of Stelco Inc.’s steel plant in Hamilton, said an obituary April 30 in The Globe & Mail about the 1980 York honorary-degree recipient who died April 18 at the age of 87. Beginning in 1946 as a utility man in the boiler room of the Steel Company of Canada Ltd. (later Stelco), Gordon worked his way up to become first the president and then the company’s chairman. "To get from the bottom of the tree to the top in 25 years was quite an achievement," noted his long-time friend and colleague, George Layt, a former senior vice-president with Stelco.

People in 70s, 80s may increase spending

Last October, York University Professor Moshe Milevsky released results of a study which showed that what happens to your investments in the first few years of retirement has a huge impact on how long your savings will last, reported CanWest News Service in a story published April 30 in the Leader-Post (Regina) and the Vancouver Province. The study promoted what Milevsky called "finsurance," which Manulife was unveiling with a product called Income Plus. It offers a guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit and was perceived as a hybrid of annuities and segregated mutual funds, preserving your capital while charging a fee for the insurance.

Higher taxes don’t hurt economic productivity: York study

As millions of Canadians prepare to file their income tax forms before the end-of-April deadline, The Vancouver Sun examined the pros and cons of Canada’s tax system. The April 28 column cited what it called a fascinating study that found high-tax Nordic countries are doing better in most ways than low-tax Anglo-American countries, such as Canada, the US, Britain and Australia. The report, by York’s Osgoode Hall Law School tax law Prof. Neil Brooks and York University tax specialist Thaddeus Hwong, found high-tax countries such as Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark have lower rates of poverty, a higher gross domestic product per capita, higher rates of education, less drug use and more leisure time compared to low-tax Anglo-American countries.

The real kicker, though, is high-tax Nordic countries have also been ranked by the World Economic Forum as doing far better than most low-tax countries on their "growth competitiveness" – which measures a country’s economic performance, said the columnist. While the low-tax US ranked as the sixth most competitive economy in the world in 2005, high-tax Finland was the second most competitive. Sweden was third and Denmark fourth. Canada ranked only 16th. The message is higher taxes don’t necessarily hurt economic productivity.

Province funds York pilot program

The Ontario government has announced it is spending around $600,000 this year on programs to help artists improve business skills, reported The Globe & Mail April 30. Among the programs: film-industry training labs at the Hot Docs festival, and a pilot postgraduate program for film and TV business people developed by York University’s Schulich School of Business and the professional organization Women in Film and Television – Toronto.

Participants praise project management program

The first class of the masters certificate in project management at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College has graduated, reported The Western Star (Corner Brook, Nfld.) April 28. Since October, the participants of the four-month program have learned the principles and methodology of the science of project management. The program was launched at Grenfell by the division of community education and college relations in partnership with the Centre for Management Development, Memorial University and York University’s Schulich Executive Education Centre.

Dancer performs work about rice

When Alvin Erasga Tolentino was in the process of creating Field 1, eyebrows were raised in the Philippines. Even the Filipino choreographer who commissioned Tolentino was concerned about an outsider, who had lived in North America for years, creating a dance work about rice, a food staple utterly central to the way of life in the Philippines, reported the Vancouver Sun April 28 in a feature about the York-trained dancer. Tolentino is performing Field: Land is the Belly of Man, in Vancouver then taking it to Toronto, Quebec City, Montreal and Winnipeg. In August, Tolentino will be performing it in the Philippines as well as in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Tolentino studied dance at York from1988-1990 and in 1991-92.)

On air

  • Commenting on news that a new planet has been discovered that could be like Earth, York astronomer Paul Delaney told CTV News April 28: "It’s in what we refer to as the habitable zone. Sometimes people refer to that as the Goldilocks zone. It’s not too hot, it’s not too cold, it’s just right."