Hidden in plain sight: Slavery on a high street near you

“Forced labour is often described as a hidden crime. But it is not as difficult to unearth as many in the U.K., including businesses and government, seem to believe,” wrote Andrew Crane, business professor and director of the Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business at the Schulich School of Business, in the Guardian Nov. 20. “The problem is not so much that we cannot find forced labour; it is that either we choose not to look where it is most likely to occur or we simply misclassify those being exploited as criminals rather than victims. A new approach to detecting and enforcing forced labour is necessary. To pinpoint its occurrence we need to start by examining the forces of supply and demand.” Read full story.

Toronto city hall’s transition to new leadership depends on Rob Ford’s behaviour
Council has put the mayoralty’s power in the hands of Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly for safekeeping until the next election. Mayor Rob Ford has vowed “war”. Much depends on how the two former allies navigate the unprecedented political landscape, as Kelly assumes the bulk of Ford’s mayoral trappings, including budget, authority, staff and office space. . . . Much of the additional clout accorded a Toronto mayor stem from changes under former mayor David Miller’s administration that allowed mayors more authority to push their agendas – but gave council the power to revoke it. Council’s move is “not really that revolutionary,” said York University political science Professor Dennis Pilon in the Toronto Star Nov. 20. “It’s just returning the mayor to a glorified member of council-at-large.” Read full story.

Constellations: Searching for the Global Suburb
Suburbanization is the crucial aspect of 21st-century urban development, as now most global urban growth is in the form of peripheral or suburban development. This is the central claim made by the organizers of A Suburban Revolution? An International Conference on Bringing the Fringe to the Centre of Global Urban Research and Practice, held on Sept. 26 to 28 at York University’s City Institute. The Suburban Revolution? conference is part of a Canadian-funded Major Collaborative Research Initiative entitled “Global suburbanisms: governance, land, and infrastructure in the twenty-first century (2010-2017),” which includes fifty scholars and many more students working worldwide. The project seeks to contribute to foundational thinking on suburbanization, reported Jadaliyya Nov. 20. Read full story.

Seven great fall art reads
As critic and curator of the Art Gallery of York University, Philip Monk has had a close and at times contentious relationship with the work of General Idea (GI), a.k.a. Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal and AA Bronson. His book, Glamour is Theft: A User’s Guide to General Idea, which follows a reprisal of two key 1970s GI exhibitions at the Art Gallery of York University in 2009, cements his position as the collective’s leading interpreter and chief mythologizer, reported Canadian Art Nov. 15. Indeed, as Monk explains, any attempt to disentangle fact from fiction in GI’s work offers yet another instance of the group’s core conceptual stratagem: a perpetual return to myth itself. Read full story.

Study finds teens who date early are more prone to risks
Researchers from York University in Toronto found that teens who entered into intimate relationships earlier in life are more susceptible to risks such as unsafe sex, alcohol and drug use, and delinquent behavior, reported the Northwest Herald Nov. 19. Read full story.

Music dreams take local singer east to study at York University
When Christina Wynans lived in Port Alberni, B.C., she was a familiar face in the Alberni District Secondary School band room and at community performances. Realizing from a young age that she wanted to make a career out of her love of music, Wynans was accepted at York University in 2011 and is on her way to making her dream a reality, reported the Alberni Valley Times Nov. 20. She is currently living in Toronto, and she is excelling in both academics and her roles as music director and co-manager of the university’s collegiate a cappella ensemble, Wibi. . . . Wynans said her acceptance to York University and the move to Toronto has been a dream come true. Read full story.

BIM collaboration seen as natural IPD driver
The collaborative nature of Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a natural catalyst for Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), creating a top notch building, said Patrick Saavedra, the manager of planning and architectural design at York University. “There’s something to be said about working together. We basically extract the best of each of us in working together,” said Saavedra while speaking about IPD at the Canadian Construction Association’s recent Construction Industry Leaders Forum in early November. The new school of engineering at York, which will be shaped like a cloud, is being delivered through BIM and IPD, reported Daily Commercial News Nov. 20. Read full story.

Internationally renowned harpist to accompany choir in Uxbridge
Sharlene Wallace is one of Canada’s top harp virtuosos, and she will be in Uxbridge, Ont., on Dec. 1, accompanying the Monday Morning Singers in a performance of the Ceremony of Carols by British composer Benjamin Britten, reported the Uxbridge Times Journal Nov. 19. . . . She has performed in numerous festivals and concert series across North America and in Europe and is part of the music faculties of Wilfred Laurier University and York University, teaching both classical and lever harps. Read full story.