Canada’s universal health-care system makes us live democratically

“Several years ago I was diagnosed with that ordinary male disease – I had prostate cancer. The cure – and cure it came to be – was to get a series of radiation treatments, five days a week over a period of eight weeks,” wrote Arthur Haberman, University Professor Emeritus at York University, in the Toronto Star May 2. “Status meant nothing in this waiting room. Colour, age, gender, they were hardly noticed. We all believed that we were getting excellent, compassionate care. We responded to one another in humane and even tender relationships, thrown together arbitrarily by our universal health-care system.” Read full story.

Tims ripe for the picking
Tim Hortons is the latest in a growing list of companies targeted by U.S. shareholder activists busting through this country’s culture of collegiality and shaking up corporate Canada….“Sloppy boards of directors have to awaken from their stupor because they are now on an international radar screen for hedge funds and activists. No company is immune,” said York University Professor Richard LeBlanc in the Financial Post May 1. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing, he said. “Shareholder activism can do more for corporate governance than regulators can.” Read full story.

Sustainable product design hands-on learning
While formal programs may be scarce, sustainability is garnering more attention these days, said Annette Dubreuil, coordinator at the Institute for Research & Innovation in Sustainability at York’s Schulich School of Business, in Postmedia News April 22. “Sustainability is all about doing minimal harm and creating a more resilient planet. If you can do something using five per cent less water, that’s good. Maybe you can find a way to produce it with no water or through the use of renewable energy.” Read full story.

Interest groups outspend NDP in byelections
Third-party interest groups spent nearly $1 million on advertising during the September 2012 Ontario byelections, almost four times more than the NDP which emerged victorious in Kitchener-Waterloo. “This advantages deep-pocketed groups with political opinions,” said York University Professor Robert MacDermid in the Waterloo Region Record May 2. “I think even here it is really alarming. They’re outspending the provincial parties. It’s already gotten to the point where the Liberals should do something about it.” Read full story.

Political panel examines issues lost in the glare of provincial election
Would-be politicians are rarely bold and brave during an election campaign, and many of the tougher issues are rarely touched, members of a political panel, organized by the University of Victoria’s political science department, agreed Tuesday….For York University political science Professor Dennis Pilon, a discussion missing in the election campaign is the economic decline faced by working-class British Columbians. “People have to talk about how the status quo isn’t working for the poor and working class of this province, who are struggling to get by. The middle class is slipping as well,” Pilon said in the Times Colonist May 1. Read full story.

May is Jewish Heritage Month in Ontario
The history of Ontario Jews provides insight into all immigrant groups in Canada, according to York University Professor Irving Abella, reported the Canadian Jewish News May 2. Abella shared his thoughts on Ontario and Canadian Jewry as keynote speaker for the launch of the province’s second annual Jewish Heritage Month at Toronto’s Lipa Green Centre April 30. Read full story.