Conservative governments are steadily weakening unions, says York prof

A key part of the conservative revolution has been undermining unions, wrote Linda McQuaig in the Toronto Star July 4.

David Doorey, a labour and employment professor at York University [School of Human Resource Management, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies], notes that in the past 15 years, right-of-centre provincial governments have changed legislation in ways that make it more difficult to unionize.

Another key part of the conservative narrative is that the public hates unions. While people clearly don’t like labour disruptions, the surprising truth is that most Canadians actually want to belong to a union.

Doorey points to survey results showing that, while only about 30 per cent of Canadian workers are unionized, fully 52 per cent would like to be.

Internationalization of tennis points out value of learning other languages

With clarity, this polyglot game [tennis] reflects the world’s understanding of the importance of language: that speaking more than one language helps us not only to communicate but to understand other cultures in a multi-national world, wrote Gene Budig in and Alan Heaps in South Carolina’s Charleston Gazette July 4.

There are even more benefits to learning language. In a recent essay in the New York Times, a researcher at York University in Toronto [Prof. Ellen Bialystok, Faculty of Health] said bilingualism sharpens our thought patterns and makes our mental processes faster and more efficient. It makes multi-tasking easier. It even forestalls the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. On average, bilinguals showed Alzheimer’s symptoms five or six years later than those who spoke only one language.

Unfortunately, residents of the United States do not appreciate foreign languages as much as other countries do.