Garigue revitalized bilingualism at York University

Playing a prominent role in the intellectual, artistic and academic life of Montreal for almost three decades, Philippe Garigue knew everyone who counted during an era in Quebec history that transformed a province, wrote The Globe and Mail June 24 in an obituary of the former professor at York’s Glendon College. He died Maerch 25.

Building a worldwide reputation as a professor, philosopher, poet, bibliophile and author, Garigue moved with complete ease between Canada’s two major linguistic groups and was on a first-name basis with such men as René Lévesque, Marc Lalonde and Pierre Trudeau before they became national figures.

Over the years, Garigue, a member of the Royal Society of Canada, was awarded many academic honours. His poetry won him literary prizes, including the Prix du Concours littéraires du Quebec.

In 1980, Garigue moved to Glendon College, York University’s bilingual liberal arts college. Enrolment had fallen to 900 students and, as the new principal, he knew he had a big job in front of him. “My idea was to promote Glendon as the best institution to get a bilingual education,” he said years later. “I started to promote the idea of attracting the francophonie – this was the key word for the future.”

By 1987, enrolment had climbed to more than 2,000 and he retired as professor emeritus 10 years later.

He was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 1987.

York hires Myers

Jennifer Myers (BA ‘91) formerly director of athletics at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, NB, has accepted York University’s position of director of sport & recreation, wrote CanWest News Service June 23.

“Jennifer has extensive experience in creating, implementing and monitoring innovative programming for interuniversity and intramural student-athletes,” said Rob Tiffin, vice-president, students at York. “Her experience and enthusiasm will be a tremendous asset to developing programs and facilities that will enhance the experience and physical health of our students.”

Myers will be in charge of 23 interuniversity teams, more than 400 interuniversity athletes as well as the fitness & recreation program at York.

  • The Toronto Star also reported Myers’ hiring, June 24.

How Canada can win the fight to keep auto jobs

The struggle of workers at General Motors to maintain jobs in Oshawa is a matter of direct concern to every Canadian who doesn’t want this country to be pushed back into its historic role as a hewer of wood and a drawer of water, wrote James Laxer, political science professor in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, in an article for the Toronto Star June 24.

Many people appear to have concluded wrongly that General Motors had no real choice in announcing it will shut down its plant in Oshawa because it produces pickup trucks whose sales are plunging as gasoline prices skyrocket.

It’s obvious that we are living through a period in which a vast shift in the kinds of vehicles we will use is underway. The question is where will these vehicles be manufactured – what new vehicles could be built in the Oshawa plant, among others – and will Canadian workers get a decent share of the jobs to manufacture them?

Ontario NDP leadership race promises to be gruelling for candidates

School may be out for most Ontario politicians, but the provincial NDP are girding for what promises to be a long and gruelling leadership race that could pit several members of its 10-person caucus against each other in a bid for the top job, wrote The Canadian Press June 23.

Prominent names have been dropped from the list, including York alumna Cheri DiNovo (BA ’94), a United Church minister, who doesn’t intend to run despite being named as an early favourite.

It will be difficult to draw votes away from the governing Liberals, who have benefited from strategic voting by traditional NDP supporters in an effort to keep the Conservatives at bay, said Bob Drummond, a political science professor and dean of York University’s Faculty of Arts.

“I wouldn’t put it all on the leader’s shoulders, but obviously they need to find a leadership candidate who would stand out to voters as someone they could recognize as being an exciting and interesting personality, (that) would be invaluable,” he said. “It’s hard to find someone like that, frankly.”

She’s a puppet person

Her first puppets were souped-up socks. Pete and Sally. They were monkeys. Two-year-old Carrie Costello would hide behind the living room sofa with her sister and put on puppet shows to an audience that consisted of mom, dad and some imaginary friends, wrote the St. Catharines Standard June 24.

By university, Costello (BFA ’00) had moved on to bigger puppets. She was in her first year at the University of Victoria when a friend was directing the children’s play by Sergei Prokofiev, Peter and the Wolf. He needed a bird. Costello volunteered, operating the marionette avian from a catwalk above the stage. She moved to York University completed her bachelor of fine arts in theatre. And somewhere along the way, puppets became her life.

Law firm started by Osgoode alumnus gets chamber honour

As the oldest law firm in Brantford, Waterous Holden Amey Hitchon is deeply intertwined with the region’s history, wrote the Brantford Expositor June 24.

The firm was founded in 1921 by Osgoode alumnus Reginald Waterous, a veteran of the First World War. He interrupted his studies at Osgoode Hall Law School to enlist in the Canadian Army. When he returned from France, he finished his studies and established a practice in his hometown of Brantford.

From that modest beginning, the firm has grown to the largest in Brant County, with 20 lawyers [including his son, York alumnus Richard Waterous (BARR ’55, LLM ’97] and more than 50 support staff. In April, Waterous Holden was honoured by the Brantford Chamber of Commerce as company of the year. The award recognized the company’s growth, employee relations, and corporate citizenship.

On air

  • Jamie Burr, a doctoral candidate in kinesiology & health studies in York’s Faculty of Health, spoke about a study of off-road vehicle riding he is conducting, on CBC Radio (Halifax) June 23.
  • John Saul, professor emeritus of political science in York’s Faculty of Arts, spoke about the political situation in Zimbabwe, on AM640 Radio (Toronto) June 23.