The Throne Speech: An Economy Lab wish list

“The Throne Speech is an opportunity to reset the Harper government’s economic plan, which boils down to balancing the budget and facilitating growth led by energy exports,” said Andrew Jackson, York University Packer Professor of Social Justice, in The Globe and Mail Oct. 15. “What Canada needs is a long-term strategy to build a much more innovative and productive economy. This will involve greatly increased public investment in research and development and in technology diffusion, above all in clean energy and in energy conservation, as well as investment in public transit and other major infrastructure projects, and in higher education and skills training….What stands in the way are narrow public sector accounting rules and a narrow vision of our true economic potential.” Read full story.

Tarek and John back home after two months
After two months of detainment in an Egyptian prison, a hunger strike, a secret letter and a surprise midnight release, two wayward Canadians finally touched town on home soil this Thanksgiving weekend, reported the Gazette Oct. 16. Tarek Loubani, an emergency room doctor and Western professor, and filmmaker and York University Professor John Greyson waded through a sea of family, friends and a media circus at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on Friday night. Everyone there had more than one thing to be thankful for. Read full story.

Niche markets? Context on ‘differentiation’ in Ontario
“The current Ontario government has been formulating ideas for systemic change in higher education since at least 2005, when the Rae Review was released. Some of the issues raised in that review are still with us now – and one of those issues is university differentiation, which has come up yet again via a data set from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario and most recently in the provincial government’s draft of a framework for differentiation,” wrote York University PhD candidate Melonie Fullick in University Affairs Oct. 15. “Differentiation refers to the idea that universities should each take on a distinct ‘mission’, one that sets them apart from other institutions, and that their activities and priorities should flow from the mission so chosen.” Read full story.

Dance conference aims to open lines of communications
Marianne Birch wants her DansÉmotion conference to open lines of communication within the Quebec dance industry, reported the Montreal Gazette Oct. 15. The St-Lazare resident presents the second edition of the dance event at Place Bonaventure, Friday and Saturday. There are workshops, performances, lectures, a dance competition and 60 kiosks exhibiting the latest in dance merchandise and information about local dance training….Birch has invited representatives from Cirque du Soleil casting, the School of Alberta Ballet, York University and Collège Ste-Anne-de-Lachine, among others, to talk about training and opportunities. Read full story.

Youth in care lend their voices and shatter myths about themselves
Three youths who received help and support from the Peel Children’s Aid Society to pursue postsecondary education share their stories in a brief film that hopes to shed awareness about the workings of the organization, reported the Brampton Guardian Oct. 15….“With this video, I was hoping to share a little bit of myself and my experiences,” said My Van Loc, 19, a first-year student at York University who’s featured in the film. “I wanted to break the barrier and stereotype about children in care. A lot of people don’t understand where we come from and who we are. We also wanted to say child abuse can happen to anybody.” Read full story.