New immigrants are the ‘hidden homeless’

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A new study on immigrant housing warns that thousands of newcomers continue to live in “hidden homelessness” – in shared, overcrowded housing – an issue that has grown more acute, especially in Toronto, where affordable rental units are in short supply, reported the Toronto Star April 2. “With rising rents, the loss of inexpensive rental units and disproportionate growth in condominiums, the supply of affordable accommodation for newcomers, particularly those with children, is limited,” said the study, whose Toronto section was led by York geography professor and immigration settlement expert Valerie Preston. Read full story.

Q&A: John Greyson, Filmmaker
Local queer artist, activist and York film professor John Greyson has been provoking audiences for over 25 years with his videos, experimental shorts and feature films dealing with, among other things, AIDS, sexual liberation and Israel/Palestine, reported NOW magazine in its March 29 issue. With a major week-long retrospective beginning at the AGO and the TIFF Bell Lightbox March 30 and a DVD box set for release, the articulate and charmingly self-deprecating Greyson talked to NOW. Read full story.

BlackBerry-maker Jim Balsillie’s legacy
There are cautionary tales in the story of Jim Balsillie, but his resume still reads: has changed the world, reported the Toronto Star March 31, following his resignation from Research in Motion. Balsillie was instrumental in the RIM fairy tale, which put Canada back on the map in the global tech industry. But his latest efforts to give back to Canada, in the form of $30 million to create 10 research chairs and 20 graduate scholarships over the next 10 years at York University through CIGI, has been mired in controversy. Read full story.

Chief Justice Winkler vs. the Nortel quagmire
When Warren Winkler (LLD ’62, LLM ’64), a young law student from Pincher Creek, Alta., arrived in Toronto on a torrid Labour Day in 1959, he was sweating under a wool suit, knew no one and had nowhere to stay. “I got a place to sleep at the Central Y,” he told an Osgoode Hall Law School group last October. Today Winkler is the chief justice of Ontario and an outspoken critic of the cost and delays the justice system puts on ordinary citizens who have seen more YMCAs than private schools. Perhaps the biggest challenge of his illustrious career – and a glaring example of everything that is wrong with the justice system – is finding a solution to the Nortel Networks bankruptcy quagmire. Read full story.

Air Canada disruptions were predictable outcome of Tory intervention: experts
Wildcat strikes by Air Canada employees were the predictable outcome of the Harper government’s continual efforts to disrupt the normal collective bargaining process, say labour experts, reported Canadian Press March 30. David Doorey, professor of labour and employment law in York’s School of Human Resource Management, said the government made the situation worse by forcing pilots and mechanics into winner-take-all arbitration. He said worker resentment may have been more muted if the matter was instead referred to an independent and neutral arbitration process. Read full story.

Earth Hour anthem sends strong environmental message to the world
The lyrics for the Earth Hour anthem, titled “When the Lights Go Down”, were inspired by about 900 Canadians who care about the planet and submitted lyrics as part of a World Wildlife Fund Canada Earth Hour project, reported the Toronto Star March 30. Toronto composer Andrew Huang (BFA Spec. Hons. ’06) pored over every one as he brought the work to life, then performed the catchy tune during celebrations at the Distillery. Read full story.

Restorative justice should be paramount objective for aboriginal offenders
The socio-cultural, physical and psychological ills with which so many aboriginal people must cope on daily and long-term bases may lead to repeat or long-term interactions with the criminal system. Restorative principles of justice are arguably necessary in nearly every case, writes York political science Professor Jennifer Dalton in The Hill Times April 2. Read full story.

Law prof prescribes government revenue sharing for Nigerian peace
Obiora Okafor, a professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, has called on the Nigerian government to look into revenue generation and sharing as a way to bring an end to incessant conflicts and violence around the country, reported The Guardian in Nigeria April 2. Read full story.

The upside of higher rates
For three years, the word on the street has been that interest rates have nowhere to go but up, wrote the National Post March 31. But few Canadian commentators got the call on rates right. Long-term rates, like fixed mortgage rates, have gone up and come back down during that time. Moshe Milevsky, a finance professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, did a study in 2001, which he revised in 2007, and determined that borrowers are better off going with a variable-rate mortgage instead of a fixed-rate mortgage approximately nine times out of 10. That said, we have to be close to if not already in that 10 per cent sweet spot where fixed beats variable. Read full story.

Passion, vision fuel niche lawyers
Establishing a niche practice can be rewarding, professionally and personally, reported The Lawyers Weekly in its April 6 issue. When Toronto lawyer Sara Cohen (LLB ’06) was studying at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, she gobbled up any courses that had to do with reproductive technology law. It took the birth of her son in 2010 for Cohen to launch one of Canada’s few practices devoted exclusively to fertility law. Read full story.

Chantal Esdelle connecting through jazz
Chantal Esdelle (MA ’10) has been the leader of a Caribbean jazz group called Chantal Esdelle and Moyenne since its inception in 1998, reported the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian March 31. Her love affair with music began at age four when she began studying piano and voice. Later, she received a scholarship to study jazz composition in Boston, and then completed a master’s in ethnomusicology at York. Read full story.

York U flying high as host of Ultimate Frisbee Championships in 2013
York University will be the site of the World Flying Disc Federation’s World Under-23 Ultimate Championships in 2013, reported April 2. The championships, hosted by the Toronto Ultimate Club, will take place July 22 to 28 next year. The event will see more than 40 teams from over 20 nations in three divisions of competition. Read full story.