Talk of ‘no deal’ pre-election is just ‘hot air’: York prof

A massive poll of more than 23,000 people in 27 key ridings confirms that Ontario appears headed for a hung government after Thursday’s election, wrote the Toronto Star Oct. 4.

While [NDP leader Andrea] Horwath castigated [Liberal leader Dalton] McGuinty and [Conservative leader Tim] Hudak for ruling out working with another party in a minority government, one expert cautioned against reading too much into pre-election bravado.

"People will decide on Thursday and the parties will negotiate," said Robert MacDermid, a professor of political science at York University [Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies]. "Anything said before that is a bunch of hot air."

  • Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals are the beneficiaries of "loose" campaign finance rules that allow unlimited anti-Tory ads by third party groups like the Working Families coalition, making a "mockery" of spending limits for political parties, says the author of a new study, wrote the Toronto Star Oct. 4.

While federal rules on third-party ads limit spending to $188,000 per group, there is no such cap under provincial law, Robert MacDermid, a professor of political science at York University [Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies], said Monday.

"The rule is too loose. We need the teeth of the federal rules if we’re to keep elections from being swayed," added MacDermid, whose study looking at political party financing since 2004 also called for an end to corporate contributions in Ontario, as has been done federally and in Toronto municipal elections. "The possibility of corruption is so much less," he said.

Thornhill candidates agree atmosphere at York improving

They may have agreed on little else Tuesday night, but Thornhill’s two top contenders in the provincial election share one thing in common: both agree anti-Semitism at York University is on the decline, wrote Oct. 3.

Progressive Conservative Peter Shurman and Liberal Bernie Farber, two high-profile hopefuls in a neck-and-neck race for Thornhill, squared off over many issues at the recent all-candidates meeting but they came to terms when it came to Jews on campus.

Both agreed there have been problems at York; both agreed it’s getting better. Both candidates are Jewish. "We have made some progress. Is it all fixed? No. Will it ever be fixed? No. That’s a city of 50,000 people," Shurman said. "It’s not perfect; it’s nowhere near perfect. But it’s also not as bad as many inflate it to be," added Farber.

The comments followed a question from the audience concerning "the abysmal record of the [York] administration to ensure the safety of our Jewish students". The question for Farber – "given the current Liberal disinterest in addressing the matter, why should any Jew in good conscience vote for you?" – was greeted with cheers and applause from the audience of about 400 at Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto Congregation.

"Some people are just so uninformed on these things," Farber responded. "Yes, there are issues at York University but there are many parents here who’ve sent their kids to York and you know that some of that sometimes gets a little bit exaggerated," he said, and was greeted with boos and calls of "shame!" from the audience.

"You know guys, you can yell and scream me down, but you know my record. You know what I stood for for 25 years and, more than anybody in this room, I have stood at the forefront of [the fight against] anti-Semitism." He warned the crowd to be cautious in their reactions. "People are quick to boo and hiss and holler and I just ask you this one thing: think before you do that. The best way to deal with these issues is to put them on a balance. Understand that there are Jews and people of colour, and all kinds of people suffering all kinds of discrimination. It’s not just about us, it’s about everybody." These remarks were greeted with polite applause.

Canadian women’s hockey team taking young defence to Four Nations Cup

The Canadian women’s hockey team has overhauled the defence for the Four Nations Cup in November, wrote The Canadian Press Oct. 3.

Now the plan has altered to incorporating young defenders and ensuring they have the defensive skills to play at the world level, according to current head coach Dan Church.

“With the three retirements after Vancouver, it really showed we needed to have greater depth in terms of our defensive defencemen and so that’s an area we have to invest in and spend some time coaching and teaching and developing,” Church explained Monday from Toronto.

Church, who also coaches York University’s women’s team, says Canada hasn’t sacrificed its competitive edge to develop players.

New curator for Rodman Hall

Brock University has officially appointed a new director and curator of Rodman Hall Art Centre, wrote Niagara This Week Oct. 3. Stuart Reid [BFA Spec. Hons. ’86], an internationally recognized art curator and writer with extensive experience in arts administration in Canada, will fill the position next January, after two and a half years as an executive director of the MacKenzie Art Gallery, in Regina, Sask.

Born in Dundee, Scotland, Reid immigrated to Canada in 1967 and studied art, and art history at York University. Since living in Canada, Reid has served as an associate curator at The Craft Gallery of the Ontario Crafts Council, a curator at the Art Gallery of Mississauga and the Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery in Owen Sound, and as a former president of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries.

Canadian determined to make ‘psychodermatology’ a household word

It’s not all in your head. There really is a connection between your emotional state and your skin, says psychologist Linda Papadopoulos [BA Spec. Hons. ’93], wrote Postmedia News Oct. 4.

The Canadian-born-and-raised Papadopoulos has called Britain home for the past 14 years. She is known there as both a leading academic and as "Dr. Linda," a popular media commentator and adviser to the British government. She has her own skin-care line, LP Skin Therapy, which retails, among other places, in the luxury British department store Harrods.

Papadopoulos…did her undergraduate degree at Toronto’s York University before moving to Britain to do graduate work. She is a correspondent to the BBC and CNN, and a contributing editor to Cosmopolitan magazine’s British edition.

One of the best ways to be resilient is to have a self-esteem that goes far beyond how you look, says Papadopoulos, who was commissioned by the British Home Office to write a series of recommendations for the government on the sexualization of children and teens. (Among her recommendations: put warning symbols on magazine spreads that feature Photoshopped models, which help convince impressionable girls that praying mantis-skinny is normal.)

On Air

  • Bernie Wolf, professor in the Schulich School of Business at York University, spoke about the current buyer’s market for cars, on CTV News Oct. 3.