Strip clubs experience ‘displacement’ of sexual labour, says York prof

It may be a sign of things to come, wrote The Globe and Mail Dec. 1. Strip clubs in Toronto are in a dire situation. Not only are clubs facing a crippling worker shortage, competition from illegal body-rub parlours has seen many clubs go out of business and left many others struggling to survive.

As for a rise in prostitution – or simply more women finding work at massage parlours – Deborah Brock, a sociology professor at York University, Faculty of Arts, and the author of Making Work, Making Trouble: Prostitution as a Social Problem, says strip-club closings may indeed have unwanted consequences.

"A shutting down of some sexual labour in one location generally causes a displacement into other areas because it is a form of work that women are doing because they need to earn a living and they’re going to have to earn that living somewhere," she says.

There’s no logic to buying insurance twice, says business prof

Moshe Milevsky, professor of finance at the Schulich School of Business at York University, says accidental life is an easy target for him, wrote the National Post Dec. 1. "Usually academics look at two sides and can’t come down conclusively on one side. With accidental life insurance, I can say how ridiculous it is," says Milevsky. "You are either managing a risk or not managing a risk. Why would it be any more expensive for your family to survive without you if you got hit by a car as opposed to you dying from cancer?"

He says people need to view life insurance as a risk-management strategy and not as a gamble. "If you decide you need $2-million of life insurance to get your family through the life cycle, then you get $2-million of life insurance no matter what kills you."

Milevsky says psychological fear drives people to consider accidental-death insurance. "They focus on the event rather than the cost of the event. If somebody tried to sell you a policy that insured you against being abducted by a Martian, no one would go for it."

Insurance policy purchases are no different than most purchases made by consumers. "There’s no logic to it. It’s not driven by economics. It’s driven by emotion. It’s driven by fear. It’s driven by greed. These things work," says Milevsky.

Pension fund leader supports York report on securities enforcement

Claude Lamoureux (LLD Glendon ’06), the retired chief executive of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, has been stalwart in the fight for better corporate governance, as well as a vocal critic of Canada’s track record on investigating, prosecuting and convicting white-collar crooks, wrote the Toronto Star Dec. 3.

In a frank interview with the Toronto Star, Lamoureux holds no punches. His recommendation? Heed the advice of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Marilyn Pilkington and former Supreme Court of Canada justice Peter Cory, York’s chancellor, whose report for the recent task force to modernize securities legislation has fallen on deaf ears.

"The problem is that our legislative process is caught in the 19th century," Lamoureux said. "What is being done of the serious work that needs to be done? There’s a lot of time being wasted. To me, you go to Cory and Pilkington, and you start with their report. Implementing this will go a long way to getting us on the map."

Ontario‘s former top doc comes to the last round of her chemo

A year into her battle with a rare and potentially deadly cancer, Sheela Basrur the doctor is coming to terms with Sheela Basrur the patient, wrote The Record (Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo) Dec. 1. The 51-year-old single mom and former chief medical officer of health for Ontario is girding for her "eighth and hopefully final” weeklong chemotherapy treatments in mid-month and daring to think about what’s next. Still, she thinks about the future only in "very tentative steps,” noting her type of cancer has a reputation for resisting treatment, wrote The Record.

In October, York University presented her with an honorary doctor of laws degree and the Registered Nurses Federation of Ontario last month announced a nursing oncology scholarship in her name. “It’s remarkable and very humbling,” she says of the honours, noting the York ceremony was difficult. “I showed up with bells on even though I felt quite ill.’”

Stutchbury on Globe 100

Bridget Stutchbury, a biology professor in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering who has been studying songbird migration for more than 20 years, charts their decline, pinpoints its various causes and suggests ways we can slow down the rate of the birds’ disappearance in her book Silence of the Songbirds – a thoroughly researched and elegantly written call to arms, wrote The Globe and Mail Dec. 1 in its annual "Globe 100" list of the best books of the year.

Canadian Catholic novelist earns international acclaim

York alumna Steven Hayward (MA ’95, PhD ‘01), a graduate of the York Catholic District School Board, is receiving wide acclaim as a novelist, wrote the online newsletter Tomorrow’s Trust: A Review of Catholic Education, Dec. 1. Steve’s mother Phyllis Hayward was a speech and language consultant for the board, and a faculty member of York’s Faculty of Education. Steve is now a professor of English at John Carroll University, a Catholic college in Cleveland, Ohio.

Steve is a prize-winning novelist who is achieving international fame, wrote the newsletter. He won Italy’s Grinzane Cavour Award in 2006 for The Secret Mitzvah of Lucio Burke, a story about Jewish/Italian/Irish culture on the mean streets of downtown Toronto in the 1930s. His novel was translated into Italian, and earned the award for Best Debut Novel. His latest novel, In a Fallen World, is now on the "Hotlist" of the 2007 Frankfurt Book Fair.

Facing HIV head-on

Sarah Flicker, a professor in York’s’ Faculty of Environmental Studies, says aboriginal people contract HIV 10 years before the average Canadian does, wrote The Toronto Sun Dec. 1. "This is deeply concerning. We have the capacity to combat this illness while other countries don’t, and it’s a shame we don’t leverage our resources," Flicker said.

Why the Ontario Securities Commission so rarely gets its man

Many high-profile cases of stock market meltdown or corporate fraud in recent years have left investors fuming that authorities have either failed to hold people accountable or taken way too long to apply justice, wrote the Toronto Star Dec. 1. "I think delay is a big source of frustration for investors," said Poonam Puri, a law professor who teaches about white-collar crime at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School.

Entrepreneur gives birth to her creative side

An art therapist is showing new mothers a baby doesn’t have to be the only new creation they welcome into the world, wrote Dec. 3. York alumna Susanne Watson-Bongard (BFA ‘98) offers art and wellness programs for all ages with her company, Art and Soul Express. The studio is home-based with a focus on new and expectant mothers they can also give birth to their own creative abilities. In addition to the art, the workshops offer a variety of honest perspectives and experiences in pregnancy.

York student judges business case study competition

He’s only 17, but Suraj Gupta‘s accomplishments are already being noticed, wrote The Toronto Sun Dec. 1. As a student leader and debater, he represented Bayview Glen High School at regional, national and even international competitions.

Now in his first year at York University’s Schulich School of Business, Gupta was chosen Nov. 10 to be a judge for a business case studies competition of Ontario schools. It was organized by DECA (Distributive Educational Clubs of America), a 40-year-old association of marketing students.

Musician also a writer

In a Nov.. 27 profile of  Symphony Nova Scotia musician Binnie Brennan, The Chronicle Herald (Halifax) noted that two of Brennan’s short stories have been published: one in the spring of 2006 in the Adirondack Review, and another in the current issue of York University’s ExistereJournal of Arts and Literature.

 On air

  • Patrick Monahan, dean of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, spoke about German businessman Karlheinz Schreiber’s appeal of an extradition order, on CBC Radio Nov. 30.