Why no rate hike means variable mortgages are safe again

York University Professor Moshe Milevsky said historically there is usually a much larger gap between long-term rates and short-term rates, which were almost the same earlier this year. He’s not sure people will flock to variable immediately. “It’s not as much demand side with the consumer deciding. The banks can push aggressively on variable. Sometimes it’s about how the mortgage broker is compensated. There are two sides to the transaction. The consumer is educated when they make the decision,” he said in the Financial Post Oct. 23. “I continue to marvel at why people go all fixed or all variable,” said Milevsky, adding while banks don’t promote the option, you can ask that half your mortgage be long-term and half be short-term. Read full story.

The fitness tax credit is a subsidy for the rich
“The Child Fitness Tax Credit introduced by the federal government in 2007 was designed to promote physical activity among children and youth in order to address escalating rates of childhood obesity and the associated obesity-related health-care costs. Illness prevention is usually more economical than treatment,” wrote Amin Mawani, a professor of taxation at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in the Ottawa Citizen Oct. 23. “However, an article my co-authors and I published recently in the Canadian Tax Journal shows that an investment of around $100 million annually (in foregone federal tax revenues) may not be cost-effective or equitable in its reach across different income groups.” Read full story.

For disruption, MOOCs beat open-access journals, scholar says
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are more disruptive to higher education than open-access megajournals are, in part because of structural protections in the scholarly publishing world and because some policy makers are pushing MOOCs as a means to increase productivity, a professor argues in a new article on open-access alternatives in higher education, reported the Chronicle of Higher Education Oct. 24. The privatization of the delivery of educational services via MOOC platforms and other models is seen by some politicians as a solution to “the perceived higher-education crisis of cost, access, completion and productivity,” writes Richard Wellen, a professor in the Faculty of Education at York University, and the author of the article. It is titled “Open Access, Megajournals, and MOOCs: On the Political Economy of Academic Unbundling.” Read full story.

Michael Murray: Popular, world music and art services organizations officer at the Ontario Arts Council
“My current job entails managing granting programs and some work in policy creation, as well as contributing to the overall policy direction of the OAC,” said Schulich School of Business alumnus Michael Murray in Now Magazine’s Oct. 24 to 31 issue. “I have a bachelor of music from McGill and I did an MBA at York University’s Schulich School of Business with a specialization in arts and media. . . . At York, the whole non-profit thing took me by storm. I thought I was going to learn about the music business, but when I got there every other type of business was so dominant: finance, consulting, real estate. So it was in the non-profit stream that I found people and ways of doing things that were in line with my values. In essence, it pushed me out of working in traditional industry.” Read full story.

TTC orders stalled subway station construction drained of water after seeing pictures in the National Post
The Toronto Transit Commission says it has directed the contractor building a subway station at York University to pump out a giant pool of water that has collected at the dormant site, reported the National Post Oct. 23. Sameh Ghaly, the transit agency’s chief capital officer, told a commission meeting Wednesday that he called TTC staff Wednesday morning after reading about so-called Lake York in the National Post. Staff had already told EllisDon to get rid of the groundwater, to which Mr. Ghaly responded, “Make sure they pump it right away.” Read full story.