Olivia Chow’s proposed fix for the Gardiner and TTC

She’s being touted as the politician who could topple Rob Ford in a mayor’s race next year. So when NDP MP Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina) announces she’s coming to York University on Thursday to talk about her “new” plan to tackle the city’s hot transit file, there’s intense interest, reported the Toronto Star and others Jan. 30. Read full story.

Ugly but functional? Why ignoring design is a bad idea
“There’s a lag in commercialization results in Canada, and the lack of strategic design involvement is one of the reasons,” said Arlene Gould, York professor and strategic director of the Design Industry Advisory Committee (DIAC), in The Globe and Mail Jan. 30. To address that lag, Gould, together with Tim Poupore, president of Toronto’s Ove Industrial Design Ltd. created a Design Advisory Service program with input from the DIAC board. Their goal is to broaden the adoption of design at every stage of product development by introducing producers to designers. Read full story.

How more tax on the super-rich will help ease income inequality
“As noted by Statscan in their release, the top 1 per cent, who earn at least $201,400, paid 21.2 per cent of all federal and provincial income taxes in 2010,” wrote York University Professor Andrew Jackson in The Globe and Mail Jan. 30. “While this indicates that our income tax system is still fairly progressive, some among the affluent will be quick to argue that they are paying well above their fair share. But the figures show that the effective tax rate on the very high income earners has been falling rapidly, especially for the super-rich.” Read full story.

First nation myths remain woven into the Canadian fabric
“We’ve come a long way in the last 40 years. If we can just go twice as far in the next 40 years we will have really gone somewhere,” wrote Michael Posluns, currently completing a master of laws thesis at Osgoode Hall Law School, in The Globe and Mail Jan. 15. “Still, the rafts of misrepresentations of first nations policies, goals and objectives has not shrunk, even though the number of non-aboriginal people who have become more supportive and sometimes even better informed has grown.” Read full story.

Troublemakers: Rural Chileans fight to keep dams out of Patagonia
“In February 2012 a newborn social movement dubbed ‘Your Problem is My Problem’ rose up against the Chilean government in the Patagonian region of Aysén. For three weeks, protesters blocked the importations of food and gas on which many of Aysén’s people depend. The government responded by sending heavily armed special forces who fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protestors,” wrote York anthropology Professor Carlota McAllister in the Boston Review’s January/February 2013 issue. Read full story.

FIPPA faces opposition
If it is ratified, the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPPA) will become Canada’s biggest foreign trade treaty since the North American Free Trade Agreement….“It’s a done deal between the two countries – by signing a treaty, the Harper government can bind future governments and bind the Canadian electorate for 31 years,” said York’s Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Gus Van Harten in the Brock Press Jan. 30. Read full story.