Evicting rioters is no solution to UK’s woes, says City Institute head

Should parents be held responsible for their kid’s actions? In England, the answer is yes, wrote the Hamilton Spectator Aug. 25, in a story about the repercussions of recent riots.

The penalty creating the most controversy is a provision that allows the government to evict any tenant (and their family) from public housing if he or she is involved in criminal activity. An 18-year-old and his mother could be the first to go. He was charged last week with violent disorder and attempting to steal electronics from a store.

But is taking away the family home the answer, or just adding to the problem by shoving more out on the street?

Roger Keil, director of the City Institute at York University, says it is "absolutely not" an answer. Of all the suggestions being made, he said, "that’s the least useful response."

Keil suggests people have to ask themselves why this is happening; why the state of the UK economy and cutbacks by the state have left a lot of people poor and without any resources or future.

Is this a reason to riot? The York professor points to a quotation from Martin Luther King Jr.: "Riot is the language of the unheard." He says the real question should be: "Why are people driven to a point where they feel it’s necessary to bring their hardship to everyone’s attention?" Deal with the real reason people are poor, he says: the economy and lack of support.

He adds: "In the 20th century, we had increased compassion and empathy in society towards creating institutions that help people when you’re unemployed, you’re sick, or old. Over the last 20 to 25 years we’ve been going the other way."

Fergus in the movies

Parts of Fergus were transformed into the quiet New England village of Salem Falls last week, wrote the Fergus News Express Aug. 24, in a story about Salem Falls, an American production filmed with a Toronto-based crew who are in Fergus for close to two weeks.

It’s directed by Bradley Walsh, a former York University student who directed award-winning music videos (for Sum41, Not by Choice, Treble Charger) and commercials before turning to short films (Frog Pond was a TIFF selection) and TV episodes.

International ideas forum gets Salt Spring venue

A wildly popular presentation event that’s been sweeping the globe since 2003 returns to Salt Spring this Saturday, Aug. 27, with help from two graphic designers, wrote BC’s Gulf Islands Driftwood Aug. 24.

Yves Rousselle [BFA Spec. Hons. ’86] and Daniela Wood [BFA Spec. Hons. ’88], who moved their family to the island four years ago, are the principals of the Bau Wow Design Group. They have shared a passion for culture and communication since they first met studying art at York University [Faculty of Fine Arts]. Now they are ready to get the community involved by hosting PechaKucha, an evening where people present their creative work and other passions in a unique format.

As a non-profit event, any proceeds are sent back to the foundation, which supports projects such as the Inspire Japan Fund and Architects for Humanity. (A global PechaKucha night held on April 16 raised $50,000 for Japan rebuilding and relief.)

On air

  • Jennifer Mills, psychology professor in York’s Faculty of Health, spoke about the food offerings at this year’s CNE, on CBC Radio’s “Metro Morning” Aug. 24.