Ottawa could spark trade war, says Monahan

The federal government is setting itself up for a constitutional fight with the provinces over the power to tear down internal trade barriers that is expected to reach a boil over securities regulation, according to legal experts, wrote the National Post Oct. 18. "This is potentially quite significant," said Patrick Monahan, dean of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School and one of Canada’s top constitutional experts. "They would not put it in [the Throne Speech] unless they have some specific measures in mind."

That measure, Monahan said, could be legislation implementing a single securities regulator, replacing the checkerboard scheme in which all provinces have their own stock watchdog. Should the Conservative government move in this direction, the provinces would likely issue a legal challenge to Ottawa’s authority and that would likely reach the Supreme Court of Canada, Monahan said.

And it is a battle Ottawa could win. "I do believe the trade and commerce power would support the enactment of legislation providing for a national securities regulator – without the provinces’ agreement at all," Monahan said.

Exploring the many angles of motherhood

There’s no question that mothers need each other for support, perspective and community, says Andrea O’Reilly, a professor in York’s Atkinson School of Arts & Letters and School of Women’s studies, and founder of York University’s Association for Research on Mothering (ARM). But she says the undertone of competitive parenting and endless self-sacrifice that permeates much of the discourse is unhealthy, wrote the Toronto Star Oct. 18. "Where is the woman in all this?"

It’s an issue that’s bound to be explored at ARM’s 11th annual conference, which focuses on maternal health and well-being and runs today through Saturday in Toronto.

To O’Reilly, the phenomenon of "intensive mothering," in which a woman’s needs and identity always take a back seat to the kids, isn’t much of a step forward from the Betty Friedan years, when women quietly went crazy waxing their suburban kitchen floors…. O’Reilly says that, athough there’s a lot of merit in recognizing the bad days, isolation, exhaustion and other hard parts of motherhood, it won’t change things until mothers move beyond sharing for therapeutic reasons and proceed into activism. "Mothering is not validated and supported, so what are we going to do about it?," she said.

UN special envoy’s visit can have an impact says Osgoode professor

Miloon Kothari, the UN’s special rapporteur on adequate housing, arrives in Toronto tonight as part of a two-week investigation in Canada that focuses on housing for women and aboriginals, homelessness and the impact the 2010 Olympic Winter Games will have on housing in Vancouver, wrote the Toronto Star Oct. 18.

While what Kothari tells his UN colleagues in Geneva has no real teeth in international law, his findings can still have a political impact, said Aaron Dhir, a professor in York’s Osgoode Hall Law School. If past visits to other countries are any indication, the international spotlight that Kothari brings with him will stir up debate on what Canadian housing activists believe is a growing crisis, wrote the Star.

Team Schulich makes its investment picks

The Financial Post‘s third annual MBA Portfolio Management Competition is off and running for another year, wrote the Post Oct. 18. As we learned from the past two editions, anything goes when it comes to first-year MBA students charged with the task of building a winning portfolio.

Team members from York’s Schulich School of Business include Stuart Browne, Andrée St-Germain, Ankit Malik, Ashish Ghangrekar, Bradley Walman, I Hsiao, Kirill Kopytin, Rav Patel, Sanjay Patel, Sudatta Karve and Aniket Choudhary.

Their strategy: A little here, a little there. Team Schulich spread it all around the blue chip universe buying up shares in industrials, biotech, high-tech, energy, mining and income trusts.

A healthier life isn’t hard or expensive

I grew up in what might be an "abnormal" household, wrote York graduate student Laurie Sadowski, in the St. Catharines Standard Oct. 18. We never had pre-made dinners (it was all from scratch)…. And when our friends at school unpacked their Lunchables? We had a "homemade" version – a Tupperware with whole grain crackers, unprocessed cheeses and thin slices of meat. I’m not saying there weren’t other families like us out there – but surely, we were in the minority.

It’s estimated there are 11 million Canadians considered overweight, and about 500,000 of them are morbidly obese and in need of treatment. Those stats, combined with St. Catharines’ lovely recognition in 2001 as the fattest city in Canada, does, indeed, worry me. But what disconcerts me the most about these statistics is that it isn’t restricted to adults. Children, especially, should not be exposed to such a horrible, life threatening disease.

Sadowski, a member of The Standard’s community editorial board, is a St. Catharines volunteer, and author of Mission in the Kitchen. She is working towards her master’s degree in musicology at York University, the paper noted.

‘Declaration of innocence’ debate lingers

How come an accused person is considered innocent until proven guilty, and yet an acquittal doesn’t necessarily result in a declaration of innocence?, asked the Canadian Press Oct. 17. Alan Young, criminal law professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, said he supports the idea of multiple verdicts, given the myriad reasons for which a person might be acquitted, such as a lack of evidence, a technical error or true innocence. But it’s unlikely to happen, said Young, who also noted that ambiguous verdicts often put less pressure on a government to provide financial compensation in cases of wrongful conviction.

“This is just a very strange, asymmetrical component of the justice system,” Young said. “We don’t seem to have any reluctance to declare people guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and we do it every day,” Young said, “but never ask a jury or a court to declare someone innocent beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Mayor dismisses columnist’s savings plan that would raid subway funds

When asked in a press scrum yesterday what he thought of the $440.9-million in cost savings and revenue fixes set out in my column this past Sunday, Mayor David Miller was completely dismissive, wrote columnist Sue-Ann Levy in The Toronto Sun Oct. 18. Miller also claimed we proposed raiding a reserve fund allocated to building the York University subway line. "That’s how they want to balance the operating budget…that’s really not very good economics," he said.

High-school soccer star wants to come to York

Reece Hall wants to be a champion – and not just in sports, wrote the Toronto Star Oct. 18. A student at Sir Sandford Fleming Academy in Toronto, Hall thinks the only way to make an impact is to lead by example – and the 16-year-old has made his mark in many ways. Hall is involved in a citywide project with the Toronto Police Service to promote crime prevention, anti-bullying and nabbing trespassers. After he graduates, he hopes to attend York University before eventually becoming a firefighter.

Repressed anger harms young women

The Hamilton Spectator published a story Oct. 18 about research by York Professor Cheryl van Daalen-Smith of York’s Faculty of Health and School of Women’s Studies, into how young girls are socially coerced into suppressing their anger. The story, which originally appeared in the October 2007 edition of YorkU magazine, suggests that such repression often, forces many girls to “live like chameleons.”