Rob Ford’s ‘return every phone call’ claims aren’t proof of strong record — it’s just bad management

As the scandal surrounding Rob Ford deepens and makes global headlines, Toronto’s mayor refuses to resign, touting his fiscal wins and his ability to “return every phone call” personally as proof of his strong record. But management consultants and academics say Mayor Ford’s penchant for handling the fine details – such as visiting constituents’ houses to tend to problems with trees, licensing issues – often is the opposite of what an effective leader of a major enterprise, whether a city or a business, should be doing. . . . “On the list of challenges and priorities facing the city, it’s not up there,” said Mitchell Osak, managing director of Quanta Consulting Inc. and an instructor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in the Financial Post Nov. 21. “It’s not an effective use of his time, it’s not an effective way of managing a team.” Read full story.

Schulich looks to inspire SMEs to explore international commerce through new global enterprise hub
On Nov. 21, York University’s Schulich School of Business announced it would be opening up its Centre for Global Enterprise, a hub designed to provide students with learning resources, faculty and industry with research tools and entrepreneurs with consulting support, reported the Financial Post Nov. 21. The new initiative is being launched in response to dire warnings from Canadian and international economic observers who believe Canada’s lack of momentum on the trade front is likely to reduce its ability to be a key global player over time. Read full story.

All you ever wanted to know about ITOs (but were afraid to ask)
Why didn’t I hear more about police “information to obtain” (ITO) documents in the past? For a lot of reasons. Though legally, they’re public documents, they were often sealed on the request of police. That has become less common since a Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2005 admonished public officials that the law did not require ITOs to be automatically sealed. As well, in the pre-Charter era, ITOs were often “threadbare”, containing little information, said Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Alan Young in the Ottawa Citizen Nov. 21. Thanks to decades of Charter jurisprudence, that has changed. Police are now obliged to make “full, frank and forthright disclosure” of their case when applying for warrants. Read full story.

Can tai chi improve the fitness and health of older adults?
ElderBranch interviewed James Manson, a PhD candidate in epidemiology at York University, to discuss his paper, “Effect of Tai Chi on musculoskeletal health-related fitness and self-reported physical health changes in low income, multiple ethnicity mid to older adults,” which he wrote along with Michael Rotondi, Veronica Jamnick, Chris Ardern and Hala Tamim, all of York University. . . . “We did find significant improvement in health related fitness but not significant improvement around psychological health, however the higher attenders did show improvement in psychological health when we looked deeper,” said Manson on Nov. 14. “This study also showed that, for the population sample that I looked at, there were no cultural barriers to tai chi.” Read full story.

Orthodox, separate – and almost equal
“I’ve been around the partnership minyan idea before it even started,” said Rabbi Marty Lockshin in the Times of Israel Nov. 22. The York University Jewish Studies professor explained he was on sabbatical in Israel in 1999-2000 when he was asked to read a defense of women reading Torah by rabbi/lawyer Mendel Shapiro. “I have to admit I was totally skeptical when I started to read it, but I thought he made convincing arguments and told him to publish,” said Lockshin. That essay, along with Rabbi Daniel Sperber’s treatise on public dignity, has since become the cornerstone of the halachic defense of partnership minyanim. Read full story.

Too young to die: part two
Experts agree, the teenage years can present a whole host of pressures – most of which can easily be managed with the right support from parents and caregivers. There are particular pressures, however, that if unrecognized and allowed to fester, can compel youth to take their own drastic measures to cope. With proper awareness and exposure to positive stories of inspiration, teens can change their outlook, said York University Professor Gordon Flett of the LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research, in the Independent Free Press Nov. 22. He points to all-star pitcher and Toronto Blue Jay R.A. Dickey as someone who overcame the odds. Read full story.

Nov. 22: Who knew what in the expense scandal – and other letters to the editor
Re Very Clear And Clearly Wrong (editorial, Nov. 20): “The Supreme Court did not say a clear majority on a clear question is required for Quebec to secede,” wrote York University political science Professor Barbara Cameron in The Globe and Mail Nov. 22. “What it did say is that a vote in a referendum ‘by however strong a majority, would have no legal effect on its own.’ . . . According to the court, the only constitutional route to the secession of Quebec is through an amendment to the Constitution.” Read full story.