Does stalled Metrolinx need a boost?

Metrolinx has always insisted the region needs a public debate on financing transit. But there is no public discussion of the investment strategy at the agency itself and no mechanism for the public to address its board, reported the Toronto Star Oct. 18. That creates a serious accountability problem, says Roger Keil, director of the City Institute at York University, in a recent interview with the Toronto Star. He understands why the government booted out the previous politician-heavy board, which included former Toronto mayor David Miller and Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, even though they were sufficiently expert to make good decisions. “They represented institutional jurisdictional units that themselves would have been too powerful to overcome if any contradictions arose in the decision-making process,” he said. Read full story.

Canada-China investment deal just like others, trade committee hears
Though critics have suggested otherwise, the recently tabled Canada-China investment protection agreement (FIPA) is no different than Canada’s other investment protection agreements, government officials told the international trade committee Thursday. Earlier this week, York University law Professor Gus Vas Harten attracted a great deal of attention for publishing an open letter to the Prime Minister that detailed the professor’s many concerns about the deal, reported iPolitics Oct. 18. “The Canada-China treaty effectively concedes legislative and judicial elements of our sovereignty in a way that other FIPAs do not,” he warns in that letter. Read full story.

Fogarty awards honour Ontario Catholic students of the year
In March of 2011, Toronto student Isabel Ng-Lai took part in a service trip to India, where she volunteered at two schools run by the Loreto Sisters. It was an eye-opening trip that also helped her to be named Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School’s Catholic student of the year. Ng-Lai was one of the 100 Ontario students who was to be recognized Oct. 20 at the 29th Annual Patrick Fogarty Awards Dinner. When Ng-Lai, now a first-year student at York’s Schulich School of Business, returned home, she and a friend founded the non-profit organization 1Focus that chooses a specific cause each year, alternating between international and local, reported the Catholic Register Oct. 19. Read full story.

Raptors Dance Pak brings it to Montreal
It’s the fourth quarter, the score’s tied, and twenty thousand fans at the Air Canada Centre are screaming for the Toronto Raptors to pull out a win — time for Ashley and Nina to go to work. The two are among 14 young women of the Toronto Raptors Dance Pak, the NBA’s sole cheerleading team in Canada. Like several other Dance Pak members, Ashley and Nina juggle their Raptors job with university studies. Nina is in York University’s dance program, reported the Montreal Gazette Oct. 18. Read full story.

If this is the new normal, count me out
The new crop of fall television series is upon us, and at first glance there is much to celebrate for LGBT viewers, (okay, mostly just for “G” viewers — more on that in a moment)…However, after watching the first few episodes, I’m not so thrilled. In fact, I’m downright depressed. Why? Well, for starters, these gay men are depressingly two-dimensional and stereotypical, wrote David Murray, a professor of anthropology and sexuality studies at York University, in FAB Oct. 18. Read full story.