Why Canada needs the Senate

“The reason we need the Senate today is not to further amplify provincial views in Ottawa, but rather to compensate for the increasing marginalization of the House of Commons in the legislative and policy process, and the fact that the vast majority of MPs are unwilling to develop and voice expertise on key issues facing the country,” wrote Eugene Lang, a BMO Visiting Fellow in Glendon College’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, in the Toronto Star Aug. 22. “Many senators and their committees, by contrast, have proven over the years to be quite capable of achieving fairly deep policy knowledge – and even technical legislative expertise – that can be important in shaping better public policy and improving legislation.” Read full story.

York University
Tucked into the heart of Canada’s most dynamic and cosmopolitan city, York University has its eyes to the future. A recent influx of investment has produced a spate of innovation along with a new school of engineering and life sciences building. For up and coming students of science, this is a university to watch, reported Asian Correspondent Aug. 22….York University’s Faculty of Science covers the gamut of pure and applied sciences. It also belongs to Canada’s third-largest university, and the more than 150 full-time faculty members receive a combined total of more than C$18.5 million in annual research funding. Factors like these, combined with cutting-edge facilities, ensure students enjoy a world-class university experience. Read full story.

Humans can rectify environmental mistakes
Human activity has impacted our planet in a lot of negative ways, but according to York University biology Professor Norman Yan, people have made positive changes to fix past mistakes. “We have had enormous problems in the past that we’ve repaired,” he said in his lecture on environmental good news stories last Thursday evening in Port Carling, Ont. He said good news stories have to be told because they give people hope about some of the problems we still face, reported the Gravenhurst Banner Aug. 22. Read full story.

Toronto universities host football season openers Aug. 25
Both Toronto universities that sport football teams – the University of Toronto and York University – open their respective seasons at home this Sunday, Aug. 25, both games kicking off at 1pm, reported the City Centre Mirror Aug. 21. The York Lions will be offering a twist with their home opener against Queen’s University, moved from their regular stadium on their North York campus to Etobicoke’s Centennial Park Stadium. Read full story.

Four York University cafeteria workers infected with tuberculosis
Four cafeteria workers at York University’s Glendon College campus have tested positive for tuberculosis infections, reported the Toronto Star and others Aug. 21. Toronto Public Health began testing food court staff this week after learning July 30 that one worker had fallen ill with the disease. As of Wednesday, three others had been found to be infected. Read full story.

Inflammatory language detracts from the right to die debate
It is a sad truth that a terminally ill person’s death is already imminent, said York University PhD candidate and Dying With Dignity volunteer Elizabeth Doyle in the Huffington Post Aug. 21. The question we therefore have to ask ourselves is whether that imminent death should be replete with pain and suffering to maintain a belief system that relies on thinking doctors and nurses cannot be trusted, or whether that death should be pain-free when the individual is competent to decide that a life of continued suffering robs life of its personal meaning. Read full story.

When a small journal makes big headlines
When historian Ian Mosby submitted an article to the editors of the journal Histoire sociale/Social History, none of them suspected that it would create a media frenzy, reported University Affairs Aug. 21….Being unaccustomed to dealing with the requests generated by such a media storm, Samy Khalid, the magazine’s managing editor, began by issuing the magazine’s first-ever press release, and then decided to offer free online access to the article for a limited time. “The open-access publishing of scientific articles is gaining momentum in Europe and the US,” said Khalid. “However, this poses a problem for us when it comes to the magazine’s viability, which relies on subscription revenues to top up its very limited funding from York University and the University of Ottawa.” Read full story.