$21-million health funding announcement made at York

The Ontario government will announce $21 million in funds to fuel health research in the province, wrote the Toronto Star Sept. 18. The money, to come from the Ontario Research Fund, will ensure the province’s leading health scientists have the tools they need to stay at the head of their fields, said research and innovation minister John Wilkinson, who will make the announcement at York University’s Keele campus.

Dorota Crawford, a professor in York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science in the Faculty of Health and one of the lead researchers to receive funds, said the money will help build an integrated lab space for her team to look for the roots of autism.

“There are various labs across the world that focus specifically on genetics or on clinical studies," she said. “But because of this infrastructure funding, I can look at all of these approaches – the genetics, the neurological component, the clinical side. There is no lab like this in the world currently.” This combined approach will likely help the team more quickly reach their goal of developing an accurate medical test to diagnose autism, she said.

  • The money, to be announced at York University, will support more than 100 researchers across the province, wrote The Globe and Mail Sept. 18 quoting sources familiar with the plan. The grants, a roll-out of money contained in this year’s budget, are being framed as part of the provincial effort to promote economic development.

New plots for interfaith couple

Interfaith burial sites have emerged as a place where mixed-marriage families could be buried together without breaking the rules of the liberal Jewish faith, wrote The Globe and Mail Sept. 18. It’s a solution driven by the shift toward intermarriage in Judaism, said Martin Lockshin, a professor of Jewish studies in York University’s Faculty of Arts and an ordained Orthodox rabbi. “There’s an interesting new phenomenon of people marrying out, but still considering themselves Jewish and proud of their Jewish identity and staying involved in the Jewish community,” he said. “This cohort hasn’t existed before.”

York student eyes career in city politics

Toronto City Councillor Pam McConnell is leading a charge to attract young women to municipal politics, wrote the Toronto Star Sept. 18. And yesterday she presented 26 stunningly capable and diverse candidates for a training program aimed at bolstering the roster of women who can challenge for a city council seat.

Take protégée Danielle Masanto, for example. When both her parents died, she used the experience to volunteer with the Carly Centre for Grieving Children, then as a board director. The York University student started a business that tutors children, and now employs 20 people.

Former Cobourg MP earns master’s degree at Osgoode

Paul Harold Macklin (LLM ’08) is proud of his accomplishments as Northumberland Liberal MP between 2000 and 2006, wrote the Cobourg Daily Star Sept. 18. But along with the war stories any political career yields, the 64-year-old enjoys sharing lore from a family history whose roots in this area go back more than two centuries. The Macklin family settled in the Roseneath, Ont. area in the late 1700s, which is why there was once a Macklin Church nearby. Many ancestors lie in Macklin Cemetery.

Macklin, a former farmer, teacher and lawyer, recently earned his master’s in law from York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, noted the Daily Star.

Students win awards in CHRY Report Card contest

With the end of summer fast approaching and the new school year about to start, nine students are more equipped for school after winning awards in a Report Card contest organized by a Toronto business, wrote The Weekly Gleaner (Jamaica) in its North American edition Aug. 21.

The Report Card contest is the brainchild of Carlene Mullings and Wade Walters (aka Natty B), host of "Zion Train", a radio program on York’s CHRY Community Radio Inc. (105.5 FM), and owner of Treajah Isle Records.

Former York teacher spotted Nortel problems early

Anthony Scilipoti didn’t exactly dream of becoming an accountant, wrote The Globe and Mail Sept. 18. His plan was to practise law, until he figured out what a lawyer actually does. He went to work for his dad’s furniture and shmatte businesses, while teaching accounting part time in York University’s Schulich School of Business. Five months later, in 1998, Al Rosen, founder of Rosen & Associates, hired him to do investigative accounting work.

Within a year, Scilipoti, Rosen and Michael Palmer, then the head of research at First Associates, had started Veritas (under a much less catchy name), focusing on “bottom-up” research – poring over the notes other analysts were ignoring. Scilipoti went on to cover Royal Group and “the game of deception” that Nortel was playing, calling its implosion long before the rest of the crowd. Today, Veritas has 42 institutional clients, including the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions and the Canadian Public Accountability Board – what Scilipoti calls “the auditors of the auditors.” “That, to me, proves what we’re doing,” he says.

Former York Lions player feels he’s ready

Brent Johnson knew what it was like to be stuck behind an immovable force playing defensive end for the BC Lions, wrote The Vancouver Province Sept. 18. He waited three seasons for Herman Smith to slow down. Now he’s watching former York Lions star Ricky Foley having to wait his turn as an every-down lineman while Cam Wake is steamrolling through the CFL.

On air

  • James Laxer, political science professor in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, spoke about an idea to turn petroleum companies into public utilities, on CBC Radio’s “As it Happens” Sept. 17.
  • Carl James, professor in York’s Faculty of Education, spoke about the difference between soft and hard diversity, the subject of a conference being held in Calgary in October, on that city’s CHQR Radio Sept. 17.