Metis, non-status Indian ruling could cost ‘billions’

The recent federal court decision recognizing that Métis and non-status Indians in Canada are “Indians” under the Constitution Act could put a financial squeeze on the government, some experts say….”The federal government fought this[…]with a vehemence because the stakes are really, really high,” said David McNab, a York University professor and Métis historian who has worked for almost 40 years on aboriginal land and treaty rights issues. ” The cost – that’s the primary motivation for the federal and provincial government. They don’t want to be hung up with the responsibility of costs that have been built up,” McNab said in CBC News Jan. 10. Read full story.

New Year’s resolutions: Apps to keep you on track
For anyone hoping to kick off 2013 with a new commitment to exercise, sleep and diet, using a smartphone as a personal health tool can be an effective way to track – and consequently keep – resolutions, reported the Toronto Star Dec. 31. Apps help users better understand their health, said Bill Tatham, CEO of NexJ Systems Inc., a company affiliated with York University that is developing an app to help diabetics improve their health. Read full story.

Kids on autism spectrum appearing more on TV, but is media getting it right?
Television can often be painstakingly slow to adapt to shifts in demographics. But it’s clear that some of the challenges faced by the autistic population have captured the imagination of TV writers, who are increasingly penning eccentric characters whose quirks would seem to align with typical characteristics of ASD on shows including “The Big Bang Theory,” “Bones” and “Community”, reported the Ottawa Citizen and others Dec. 27. “One of the things that’s part of society now is that it doesn’t seem OK anymore just to be eccentric – it has to be pathologized in some way,” said York University Professor and autism researcher Dr. James Bebko. Read full story.

Kreature Klips collect kudos from connoisseurs
A nifty idea called Kreature Klips outpaced competition from Korea and Ireland to earn Richelle Rogers the top prize in an international design competition, reported Hamilton Community News Jan. 9. Rogers, 21, who is currently pursuing her bachelor of design honors degree at York University, received accolades in the packaging category of the Adobe Design Achievement Awards that recognize students who produce work using Adobe software and advance creativity through digital technology. Read full story.

Boeing backs Dreamliner despite safety glitches
After three separate incidents in as many days with 787 Dreamliner jets, Boeing officials are seeking to reassure the public, saying they have “extreme confidence” in the new aircraft….York University Professor Fred Lazar said when new airplanes are brought into service, there are often glitches that need to be worked out. “The good news is there haven’t been any crashes,” said Lazar in the Toronto Star Jan 9. “Every new plane has technical problems. They really are sophisticated pieces of technology.” Read full story.

Creating shared prosperity will benefit everyone
“Concern over the disparity between rich and poor has traditionally been concentrated on the left side of the political spectrum. Who cares about poverty and inequality? Social advocates, charities and others with a ‘caring, sharing’ view of the world. They want us to show more compassion and solidarity for those suffering from poverty. In recent years, however, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that inequality is a major, costly problem for everyone – not just for poor people,” wrote Jordan Brennan, a PhD candidate at York University, in the Toronto Star Dec. 27. Read full story.