A principled limit to assisted reproduction and parental age

“Does older parental age leave a child unconscionably exposed to the cruel plough of mortality?” writes Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Susan G. Drummond in the Toronto Star May 6. “The Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine recently revised its policy upward to a cutoff of 55 years. Evidence of maternal risk that set the earlier limit of age 50 proved to have been overstated. Canada’s equivalent professional body still sets 52 as a maternal age cutoff. Maternal risk aside, the upper cutoff remains arbitrary. A less discriminatory test would focus on the thoughtfulness and care of parental plans for sheltering a child within a capricious world.” Read full story.

Calgary video lifts the curtain on campaign funding
A video of developers in Calgary discussing the city’s upcoming municipal election illustrates how lobby groups try to influence elections, said York University political science Professor Robert MacDermid in the Toronto Star May 3. “It absolutely happens in the GTA,” he said. What’s seen on the video is no different than what many lobby groups do when trying to find support for their causes, “but just because it happens, doesn’t make it any less appalling,” said MacDermid. “We expect our elected officials to represent us, not corporations or industries.” Read full story.

Immigrant underclass in GTA fuels simmering frustrations
Many highly educated immigrants in the GTA are working in low-paying, low-level jobs and increasingly feel frustrated. Others, who represent a burgeoning undocumented class, are forced to work in precarious jobs due to their lack of status. On the surface, all seems calm. There have been no race riots here as in France, no formation of anti-immigration parties as in Britain and the Netherlands….“What we’ve seen in Europe is tension that gets expressed in terms of race and religion – very racialized tension. That’s under the surface here already,” said York University sociology Professor Luin Goldring in the Toronto Star May 8. Read full story.

Why you shouldn’t be a perfectionist at work
Many psychologists recognize this form of self-torture as a modern-day epidemic – part obsessive-compulsive disorder, part overbearing superego, part digital-age narcissistic nightmare, a plateau that nearly always leads to the edge of misery, reported Next Avenue May 3….At its worst, perfection is the ultimate weapon wielded by procrastination. York University Professor Gordon Flett, who has spent his career studying perfectionism, says the trait is just an excuse to put things off. Read full story.

News1130 Riding Profile Series next week
Recent polls suggest the race between the New Democrats and the Liberals is tightening up, leading some observers to believe this election will be a battle for every single vote. “Suddenly this becomes much more of a ground war and so it’s going to depend on who wins what ridings and how many ridings,” explains York University political science Professor Dennis Pilon in News1130 May 3. Read full story.

Six young women receive scholarships
The Mississauga branch of the Canadian Federation of University Women presented scholarships to six female students during the organization’s annual dinner last night at the Mississaugua Golf and Country Club, reported Mississauga News May 7….The event also included a keynote address by York University Professor Peter Love, entitled: “Climate Change, Conservation: Its benefits and its challenges.” Read full story.

Scarborough women in the running to become Miss World Canada 2013
Women from across Canada, including two Scarborough residents, are putting their best foot forward in Vancouver, in the hopes of becoming Miss World Canada 2013. Among those vying for the title is Scarborough resident and York University student Antara Das. “I have been watching Miss World since I was six years old,” said Das in the Scarborough Mirror May 7. At eight years old, Das moved from her native Bangladesh to Toronto, where she is now in her final year at York University, majoring in English. Read full story.