York University project combats the ‘violence of low expectation’ plaguing youth

Gangs and guns make the headlines, but the “violence of low expectations” is taking the real toll on young people in communities like Jane and Finch, said York University researcher Uzo Anucha in the Toronto Star May 5. So Anucha and her team at York’s School of Social Work are linking 40 university students with 40 youth in a Jane-Finch high school to raise expectations….Anucha hopes that through these social action projects, the Jane-Finch youth will discover their strengths and begin to see themselves as future college and university students with futures beyond the community stereotypes. Read full story.

Canada ranks poorly in survey of the state of parent/teen bonds
Changing family structures, workplace demands and social networking are driving a wedge between parents and children. In a World Health Organization (WHO) ranking of developed countries, Canada ranks near the bottom – about 31 out of 38 – in the quality of the bond between teenagers and their parents….“Children and youth desperately need their parents for developing emotional and behavioural regulation, but also for finding a moral compass, for solving day-to-day problems,” said York University Distinguished Research Professor and bullying expert Debra Pepler, in The Globe and Mail May 5. Read full story.

Critics fear replacement for long-form census will hurt immigrants
A change to the collection of national data on immigration will seriously hinder future policies and programs for newcomers across the GTA….Researchers also worry it will be difficult to compare the newly collected data to past information collected, and to establish trends. “We have changing dynamics in terms of immigration policy, and now we don’t have the opportunity to see what impact those changing policies are having, because we don’t have the same methodology to count people,” said York sociology Professor Luin Goldring in the Toronto Star May 6. Read full story.

Bangladesh factory collapse: disaster spurs concern for worker’s safety, rights
Governments of struggling states, as well as corporations that outsource their manufacturing to them, fear the price tag of improved working conditions, said York University political science Professor Ananya Mukherjee in the Toronto Star May 4. “The logic is that if we make it a bit more expensive, the company will become uncompetitive,” she said. “But the way prices break down, wages are a very small percentage. Corporations spend huge sums on celebrities to promote their products, when the best way to do that is to treat workers decently.” Read full story.

Porter fighting turbulence in push to expand Toronto island airport
This week, city council will consider Porter’s latest expansion proposal – adding longer range jets to its routes – and the airline has offered to pick up the roughly $200,000 cost for the city’s staff study. And once again, opponents are lining up and threatening to ground Porter’s plans….The new jets would create 1,000 additional jobs and double economic benefits to Toronto to $4 billion, including significant and growing tourism revenue….“The more connectivity, the more travel options there are to go between Toronto and another part of the world, the better off Toronto and the province will be,” said York University economics Professor Fred Lazar in the Toronto Sun May 4. “It provides more competition for the main carriers. It saves time, it makes business travel more attractive and that will in turn lead to productivity gains for the region.” Read full story.

An austerity agenda hidden in an ‘NDP budget’
“The Ontario government tries to satisfy everyone. How does a minority government mired in a big deficit and in the grips of weak economic growth craft a budget that satisfies the NDP opposition and keeps the financial markets content?” wrote Eugene Lang, adjunct member of the York’s Glendon College Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, in the Ottawa Citizen May 3. “The inaugural budget of Premier Kathleen Wynne and novice Finance Minister Charles Sousa has likely succeeded where these and previous attempts at placating left and right have failed. The NDP will undoubtedly support the budget because it meets most of their demands. And Bay Street should be quite satisfied with a fiscal plan that is consistent with their agenda.” Read full story.