Vaughan mayor’s audit woes echo York study

A judge has ordered a compliance audit of Vaughan Mayor Linda Jackson’s election finances in response to allegations that she violated legal contribution limits in her 2006 campaign, wrote the Toronto Star Feb. 20. The ruling is the latest setback for Jackson, who has come under attack on several issues since her narrow win over incumbent Michael Di Biase, who won a court-ordered recount that only verified his loss.

In court, [Jackson’s opponents] highlighted what they described as over-contributions by companies such as Vaughan-based B. Gottardo Construction. The Star noted that a 2006 study by Robert MacDermid, political science professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, found that Vaughan councillors led the GTA in the proportion of contributions donated by companies.

Former York field hockey player aims for another Olympic appearance

Fredericton’s Sarah Forbes (BA ‘98) has spent the past 14 months living in Vancouver as part of the Canadian women’s field hockey team’s preparations for the final Olympic qualifying tournament in April in Victoria, wrote the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal Feb. 20.

A former assistant coach of the York Lions, Forbes, 35, has played 133 international games for the women’s field hockey program, more than any other goalie and the second highest total in Canadian history. She’s attended three Commonwealth games, three Pan American Games, including 1999 where she won a bronze medal. Regardless of how Canada fares in its Olympic pursuit, this will be her last season of competitive field hockey.

Among career highlights for Forbes, who works as a paramedic in Toronto when she is not on the pitch, is being a member of the York University field hockey team from 1991 to 1997, where she was named the Canadian Interuniversity Sport player of the year (1997) and earned a silver medal at the nationals in Calgary (1994).

Osgoode grad vies for plum Liberal nomination in Willowdale

Four candidates are vying to become the federal representative of Willowdale, wrote the North York Mirror Feb. 19, including York alumna Martha Hall Findlay (LLB ‘87) who is well aware the historically Liberal stronghold riding will likely increase her chance of becoming elected. "Jim Peterson and his office have worked very hard for the riding," Findlay said. "It’s an interesting time for the country and for Willowdale as part of the Canadian fabric."

Findlay, a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School, is no stranger to politics. She lost by a slim margin to Conservative Belinda Stronach in the riding of Newmarket-Aurora in the 2004 federal election and also ran for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada in 2006 but lost to Stephane Dion.

Life truly imitates art

Scarborough playwright and York alumnus Joseph Jomo Pierre (BFA ‘99) is using his art to reach youth vulnerable to violence, wrote the Scarborough Mirror Feb. 19. His critically acclaimed one-act play exploring gun violence, Born Ready, is currently being presented at Theatre Passe Muraille in a double bill with David S. Craig’s drug use play, Smokescreen.

The shows are being geared toward school classes complete with talk-back sessions, late-night concerts and dance parties following the show for ticket holders.

"I definitely want to talk to people where the choice depicted in the play is a reality for them," Pierre said. "If I can keep one or two kids from taking someone’s life and from taking their own by being incarcerated that’s the main thing."

Pierre also stars in the production, playing Blackman. "I love acting," he said. "Acting keeps me alive and gives me a deep connection to the art." For Pierre, he needs both writing and acting to be complete as an artist. "Writing is a passion and I feel it gives me a voice," he said.

Local story on college grades cites York study

About one-third of first-year Sault College students failed, or just barely passed, their math classes last fall, wrote the Sault Star (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) Feb. 20. The numbers are similar to a recently released Seneca College-York University study that saw one in three students at six Toronto-area community colleges struggle with first-semester math courses.

Schulich instructor helps readers beat the taxman

Who doesn’t want to beat the taxman? With RRSP season in full swing and filing deadlines around the corner, the Tax Expert will answer your questions to help you boost those returns, wrote the National Post Feb. 16 in the introduction to a question and answer column on charitable donations, splitting pension income, tax credits and deductions by Jamie Golombek, vice-president of tax and estate planning with AIM Trimark Investments and an instructor in the MBA course in personal financial management at the Schulich School of Business at York University.

On air

  • Sergei Plekanov, political science professor and coordinator of York’s Post-Communist Studies Program in the Faculty of Arts, spoke about Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia, on CBC Newsworld Feb. 17.