NDP job creation tax plan would be a disincentive, says Schulich prof

Eileen Fischer at York University’s Schulich School of Business warns of the unforeseen negative effects of [the NDP’s $2.3-billion job-creation plan that would lower taxes for small businesses and offer tax credits for companies taking on new hires], wrote Global News.ca March 30.

“If you do something that creates disincentives for large corporations to do business in Canada, such as increasing the tax rate, you can indirectly harm SMEs (small and medium enterprises)…. While lower taxes for small businesses are appealing in that it may mean those companies can invest more in (for example) new product development or the pursuit of new markets, the fact is that many small businesses won’t spend their tax savings that way.”

Ford campaign sold meeting with mayor

In an act that some say amounts to selling access to the city’s highest office, Mayor Rob Ford’s campaign auctioned off a meeting with him to a businessman once found by a civil court to have misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars, wrote The Globe and Mail March 31.

Robert MacDermid, a political scientist at York University [Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies] and a campaign finance expert, said fundraising techniques that involve paying to socialize with politicians are fairly commonplace. "I think if you put it to most citizens, this appears to be selling access," he said. "You shouldn’t be paying a charge to see the leader."

Grad student runs for NDP in Oakville

A former activist, family man and PhD student, James Ede is hoping to represent Oakville as an NDP member in the upcoming federal election, wrote the InsideHalton.com March 30.

Shortly after Ede and his family moved to Oakville, he contacted the local party and asked to volunteer. With his ongoing education in Canadian politics and experience as a research assistant, Ede thought he’d be best used behind the scenes.

"It was my wife who suggested I run," he said. "I got involved in the organization of the protest against propagation in 2010, and it sparked that activist in me again. I thought, ‘I can’t just study, read or write about this. I have to get out there and change as much as possible for a better world.’"

York student likes Liberals’ $1B education plan

Federal Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff chose North Oakville’s Sheridan College as the backdrop for a “historic announcement,” which he delivered Tuesday morning in the school’s library, wrote InsideHalton.com March 30.

Ignatieff unveiled the Liberal Party’s plan to invest $1 billion into students vying for a postsecondary education. [The] plan met with a thunderous applause from the large group of students who attended.

“I’m an immigrant and I come from a working family, so if it weren’t for certain programs that are available right now, it would have been impossible for me to go to university,” said Nokha Dakroub, a social work student at York University. “This will make it easier.”

Unaccompanied airport children carry tragic secrets

An unaccompanied child from a Third World nation arrives at a Western airport seeking refuge in a new land, wrote NOW magazine March 30. Sound like an isolated tale? As writer/director Ed Roy has learned, it’s a worldwide phenomenon that involves thousands of children every year.

His response has been to write Lost Voices, in which two young teens – Wakeed from Afghanistan and Nabeela from India – land at Pearson Airport and are subjected to questions by immigration officials.

The material has struck a chord with Owais Lightwala, the 20-year-old actor and York University student who played Wakeed in last year’s workshop. “I had high school friends who were refugees, so I feel I know that world even though it wasn’t mine,” offers the passionate Lightwala, who immigrated to Canada in 2004.

“My immigrant experience is so safe compared to Wakeed’s, but as an artist and citizen, it’s my responsibility to tell this story and validate the experience of others. One of the best things about this play is that it’s not a documentary. It humanizes people we see in the news and doesn’t make them ‘other’.

“In North American culture, what’s not talked about is often deemed unimportant, and unfortunately it’s the media that define the topics. So these days, Charlie Sheen is important but Wakeed isn’t. Yet every two days, a Wakeed shows up at Pearson.”

On air

  • Obiora Okafor, professor in York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, took part in a panel discussion about Libya, on TVO’s “The Agenda” March 30.
  • Bob Drummond, political science professor in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, spoke about the Ontario budget, on Rogers TV’s “Goldhawk” March 30.