President says dialogue needed between politicians and researchers

“We need a real dialogue between politicians and researchers,” explained Mamdouh Shoukri, president & vice-chancellor of York University, about the launch of the Centre for Global Challenges at Glendon, in remarks reported in the French-language newspaper L’Express March 30. Speaking at the centre’s inaugural conference, After the Meltdown: The Limits and Possibilities of Economics, Shoukri also suggested there weren’t enough public debates on Canada’s fiscal policies, said the newspaper.

Let’s get the ethics clear here: adviser or sales agent?

The idea of dividing the financial world into advisers and salespeople comes from Cary List, president and CEO of the Financial Planning Standards Council, which administers the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation in Canada, wrote The Globe and Mail April 1.

List participated in a conference last week on fiduciary duty for advisers that was staged by the Canadian Foundation for Advancement of Investor Rights (FAIR) and York University’s Hennick Centre for Business & Law. His take on the views presented was that there’s no agreement about what fiduciary duty truly means in a legal sense. As a result, he thinks the right approach is to require a fiduciary duty of advisers in all but name.

Program is good medicine

Why do we rush out to Shoppers Drug Mart on their Optimum Card 20x Points Days, while other rewards cards sit unused in our wallets? asked the Toronto Star April 1.

Well, for starters, the Optimum card is astonishingly simple to use. That’s the key to its success, says Eileen Fischer, a professor of marketing at the Schulich School of Business at York University. There are easily hundreds of rewards programs out there – just try and think of a major retailer that doesn’t have one – but most eschew popularity by being too complicated and having lots of rules or restrictions. Even that behemoth of rewards programs, Air Miles, which is aligned with competitor Rexall Pharma Plus, can seem tricky if you’re browsing through Web page after Web page on their site, trying to find the most value for your points. With the Shoppers Optimum program, “you pay, you get points, you spend them in the store,” says Fischer – “instant gratification for consumers.”

Destroying Gardiner ‘would be a mistake’

Adam Zendel is a master’s student studying urban planning at York University, wrote the Toronto Star April 1. Born and raised in Toronto, he has a passion for the city and the built environment. His areas of interest include urban intensification, mixed-use development and redevelopment, retail spaces and transportation.

He writes: “The Gardiner Expressway is one of the main transportation arteries that connect our city. While I would like everyone to arrive at each of their destinations by public transit, that is a completely unrealistic desire as cars are such an intrinsic part of our transportation network.

“I have heard of many plans for dealing with the deliberately unkempt elevated section of the Gardiner Expressway and I think that any plan that involves demolishing it and putting traffic at grade would be a huge mistake.

“We have already seen increases in travel time for those who must use the east section of the Gardiner that was demolished and incorporated into Lake Shore Boulevard a number of years ago, and I don’t think we want to repeat this mistake.”

Trauma counselling training responds to group’s lobbying effort

York University has included trauma counselling in its doctoral program, and will host the first International Conference on Trauma Counselling, wrote the Barrie Examiner April 1 in a story about the efforts of the Canadian Crime Victim Foundation to promote better access to trauma counselling for victims and their families.

Artist returns with his campy but always moving visuals

Two years ago, Daniel Barrow arrived at the Images Festival harbouring feelings of dread, wrote the Toronto Star April 1. His piece, the self-consciously titled Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry, was set to premiere at Toronto’s annual festival of the art of moving images, amid high expectations; it had taken him three years to make, and was darker, more complex, than anything he had attempted previously.

Not long after Barrow first presented it, his worst fears vaporized: it won him the Images Prize for best piece that year, and helped kick his rising career into overdrive. So two years later, back at Images, which opens Thursday and runs to April 10, Barrow is calm, cool and collected. Right?

Wrong. “I’m very, very nervous,” Barrow said earlier this week, in the midst of a setup at the Art Gallery of York University that’s likely the most complicated of his career. His show, called Emotional Feelings – Barrow has a flair for campy melancholy; a book he’s launching here Saturday is called No One Helped Me – opened Wednesday night.

Club to welcome York grad as a speaker

Orillia’s Canadian Club appreciates York grad Kim Fedderson’s agreeing to return as our guest speaker at the club’s next meeting on Wednesday, April 14, wrote a correspondent in the Orillia Packet & Times April 1. He was a highlight speaker in our program a couple of years ago.

Fedderson was appointed as the founding dean of Lakehead University’s Orillia Campus in December 2007 and will of course be bringing us updated news of the new campus plans and development. He holds a PhD (1985) from York University. He has taught at York, Seneca College, Yunnan University in China and Gifu University for Languages and Education in Japan. His field is rhetorical studies, with particular emphasis on Renaissance rhetoric and classical and contemporary rhetorical theory.

On air

  • Theo Peridis, a professor in the Schulich School of Business at York University, spoke about the failure of the charter airline Skyservice, on Global Television March 31.