Himelfarb joins call to safeguard StatsCan’s credibility

Over the course of the summer issues have arisen that put the well-earned credibility and respected international standing of Statistics Canada at risk, wrote Alex Himelfarb, director of York’s Glendon School of Public & International Affairs and a former clerk of the Privy Council, in an open letter to the prime minister signed by several senior former government officials that appeared in Sherbrooke, Que.’s The Record Sept. 16.

Minister [Tony] Clement is correct, of course, in noting that Parliament has established the agency not as absolutely independent, but reporting to a minister with the governor in council determining the questions of the census, the letter said.

However, the responsibility of the chief statistician for methodological and technical issues, implicit to date, has been called into question. Thus public confidence in the agency and the reliability of its statistics are likely to be reduced in the months and years ahead. The surest way to mitigate that risk is through a reaffirmation of the United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics.

We call on the government to reconfirm Canada’s commitment to the UN Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics and to amend the Statistics Act to make clear that the Chief Statistician is responsible for issues of methodology and technique.

The letter was also signed by Mel Cappe, president, Institute for Research on Public Policy and former clerk of the Privy Council; David Dodge, senior adviser, Bennett Jones LLP and former governor of the Bank of Canada; and former Deputy Minister of Finance Ivan Fellegi, chief statistician of Canada (emeritus).

York/Schulich ethics professor will moderate candidates’ debate

Candidates for the municipal election in Aurora will discuss the issues facing the municipality at Aurora Town Hall Oct. 3 at 2pm, wrote the Aurora Banner Sept. 15.

This meeting will be hosted by the Aurora Public Library in partnership with Rogers TV and moderated by Wesley Cragg, an Aurora resident and professor emeritus of business ethics in the Schulich School of Business at York University and of philosophy in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.

Former York Lion Foley decides on the Argonauts

Ricky Foley had packed his bags, kissed his mom goodbye and set off to the airport for a flight to Vancouver and the resumption of his Canadian Football League career with the BC Lions, wrote the Toronto Star Sept. 16.

But before his departure Tuesday, Foley, a native of Courtice, stopped by the Mississauga offices of the Toronto Argonauts. It was a courtesy call by the 2009 CFL most outstanding Canadian, a chance to thank his hometown team for its interest but to explain he was heading back out west.

“It was a last-minute thing,” Foley, a 28-year-old defensive end, said Wednesday. “Obviously I felt bad about the way things had turned out, so at the very least I owed the organization and (head coach) Jim (Barker) and everybody to come out and talk to them.”

“I feel good,” Foley told reporters after practising with his new teammates for the first time at a Scarborough high school. “In the end, I know I made the right decision.”

Clearly, it was a tortured one. Foley, a six-foot-two, 256-pounder, was drafted by the BC Lions out of York University, winning a Grey Cup with them as a rookie in 2006 and having a breakout season in 2009.

The addition of Foley should bolster an Argos defensive line that has generated the fewest sacks in the CFL. Foley’s status as a Canadian will also give Toronto flexibility in terms of the import-to-non-import ratio.

  • After being released by the New York Jets earlier this month, former York Lions player Ricky Foley said he wanted to return to the Canadian Football League with either BC or Toronto, wrote the National Post Sept. 16 in a story about his sudden decision to sign with Toronto after agreeing to sign with BC.

But, Foley also wanted to play close to home. He grew up in Courtice, which is an hour east of Toronto. He also attended Toronto’s York University.

  • When Ricky Foley showed up for practice Wednesday as a Toronto Argonaut there might have been nobody more surprised than Foley himself, wrote The Sudbury Star and the Winnipeg Sun Sept. 16 in its story about his last-minute decision to sign with the Canadian Football League team.

In the end it was family that landed him in Toronto. As well, Andre Durie, with whom he played for two years at York University, lobbied hard to convince Foley to join the Argos in a free agency that has been anything but smooth.

“The NFL was a pretty frustrating experience so just to get on the field…it was a feeling of relief. To be honest, coming out here, putting the pads on and running around with the guys, this is the first time in a long time I’ve felt really, really good,” he said.

Argos turn to former York Lion Durie

You can forgive the Toronto Argonauts if they are feeling just a little bit discombobulated these days, wrote The Globe and Mail Sept. 16. The Canadian Football League club has lost three in a row, is struggling offensively, and will be without its leading rusher for Sunday’s upcoming home game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as Cory Boyd recovers from a concussion.

Look for former York University Lion Andre Durie, who has only carried the ball seven times on the year for 50 yards, to pick up much of the slack.