Harper could help universities on India trip

Remember that there are 100,000 Indian students in the US, 80,000 in Australia, 30,000 in the UK but only 4,000 in Canada, wrote Haroon Siddiqui in the Toronto Star Nov. 12, in a column about his suggestions for Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s trip to India.

This even though our universities are top-notch, cost less and provide a welcoming environment (unlike Australia, where Indian students have faced racist incidents). Plus Ottawa is offering foreign students the opportunity to eventually apply for immigrant status (eminently sensible, given that they’re likely to integrate more easily).

Some Ontario universities – York, McMaster, Toronto, Waterloo and Windsor, in particular – have been working hard to forge links in India. They could use a prime ministerial push, wrote Siddiqui.

A modest proposal to cool the TV war

This summer and fall, Canadians have heard the thump-thump of heavy artillery as Canada’s most important media corporations engage in battle, wrote Douglas Barrett, CTV Chair in Broadcast Management at the Schulich School of Business and former chair of the Canadian Television Fund, with lawyer/producer Stephen Stohn in the Toronto Star Nov. 13. At issue is the claim by broadcasters that cable and satellite companies should be ordered to pay for over-the-air signals like CTV, Global and CBC. Needless to say, this demand is fiercely resisted.

The stakes are incredibly high. A win or loss will have serious economic consequences for both sides. The CRTC will take this up for the third time at a hearing next week, and the troops on both sides are in feverish preparation.

From our perspective, what is missing from the debate before the Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is a policy idea that might partially address the issue, benefit Canadians and temper the looming corporate bloodshed. We think it is time to explore other concepts and, in particular, to revisit an old idea: nonsimultaneous substitution.

Essentially, it would remove the restriction that [US] shows have to be aired at same time and date [in Canada] and replace it with a requirement that they (including their commercials) must be broadcast on the same day or even in the same week. So, for example, if "Glee" aired on Global at 8pm and on FOX at 10pm, the 8pm Global version would be substituted for the FOX 10pm version.

This would introduce enormous scheduling flexibility for broadcasters, a shot-in-the-arm for audiences to Canadian programs and a new source of revenues for the system.

Sobeys confident of festive sales

Sobeys Inc. says it’s confident about sales over the festive season as more people shun restaurants in favour of home cooking during tough economic times, wrote Sun Media Nov. 13, in a story about the company’s new state-of-the-art distribution centre for Ontario to service its 343 stores across the province, including the IGA, Price Chopper and Foodland chains.

“The facility represents a giant leap forward in terms of technology and I am happy to see Sobeys taking a leadership role in this very important area,” said Markus Biehl, professor in the Schulich School of Business at York University. “This will have significant benefits for customer service.”

The Weeping Salsa merges dance and drama

Taking the directorial reins on a project that took four years to bring to fruition was no small task for Taylor Graham (BA Spec. Hons. ’08), wrote the Bloor West Villager Nov. 12.

Several months ago, the theatre graduate from York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, a Junction resident, came on board Vladimir Jon Cubrt’s lyrical tragedy The Weeping Salsa, which fuses traditional drama with contemporary and Latin styles of dancing.

“Vlad saw a play and he really liked the image of crying while salsa dancing,” Graham said. “The Weeping Salsa is about a complex and violent relationship between two people and their relationship with dance.”

Award-winning Brampton teacher worked with York student teachers

Brampton teacher Stephen Hurley was selected as the city’s inaugural recipient of the Rose Theatre’s Arts Educator of the Year Award, wrote the Brampton Guardian Nov. 12, in a story about an innovative art program he helped create.

Three years ago when the program launched, Hurley said he wanted it to be an inclusive program open to any students who might be interested. He worked closely with education students from York University’s Faculty of Education, student teachers and artists to develop the curriculum. He’s hoping it’s something that will catch on across the district.

On air

  • Amin Mawani, accounting professor in the Schulich School of Business at York University, spoke about the cost of lost productivity due to the H1N1 virus, on CBC Radio’s “The Current” Nov. 12.
  • Nelson Ferguson, doctoral candidate in York’s Faculty of Graduate Studies, spoke about his study of why people from Cape Breton, NS, travel to work in the Alberta tar sands, on CBC Radio (Sydney, NS) Nov. 12. 
  • Paul Delaney, astronomy & physics professor in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, spoke about the near miss of an asteroid colliding with Earth, on CTV News Nov. 12.
  • Mazen Masri, instructor and doctoral candidate in York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, spoke about the effect on peace of settlements between Israel and Palestine, on CTS-TV’s the “Michael Coren Show” Nov. 12.
  • Deszö Horváth, dean of the Schulich School of Business at York University, was among the Canadians presented with the Order of Canada in a ceremony broadcast by CPAC-TV Nov. 12.
  • Wesley Cragg, professor emeritus in the Schulich School of Business at York University, was mentioned on Victoria, BC’s CFAX-AM Radio Nov. 12, in a story about the Canadian Business Ethics Research Network, which he directs.