New files confirm Rob Ford’s drug use opened him up to every imaginable form of extortion and blackmail

Well just look at this unholy criminal mess orbiting around the Mayor of Toronto, reaching right into his office. This is why it matters, reported the National Post Dec. 4. “He’s keeping company with criminal elements and that could put the whole city in danger, not only himself,” said Ian Greene, professor emeritus of public policy at York University, to the National Post last month, when the first round of redactions was lifted. “Criminal elements could think, ‘I’ve got a friend in public office, maybe I can take advantage of that for my personal gain.’” He added: “There’s a danger that if you’re hanging out with people who are involved in criminal activities, then you do risk being drawn into those activities and possibly blackmailed.” Read full story.

Liberals’ energy plan is dead in the long run
Ratepayers who recoil at the arrival of their hydro bill will pay little heed to the government’s new 20-year planning horizon, reported the Hamilton Spectator Dec. 4. The last plan, issued in 2010, lasted barely three years before it was ripped up this week. The 2007 long-term plan had a similarly short shelf life. Perhaps this is planned obsolescence: The three-year life cycles of Liberal energy plans just happen to coincide with election cycles, which is perhaps why this one has the feel of a campaign document that puts the best possible spin on wind turbines and rising rates. . . . “The new [nuclear] build project had been a lost cause since 2009, so no big surprise there,” wrote York University Professor Mark Winfield, who blogs on energy and the environment. Winfield argues the nuclear industry is a net winner in this plan because refurbishments of aging reactors are on an accelerated timeline. Read full story.

Richmond Hill to decide new councillor today
Richmond Hill councillors are preparing for a marathon meeting today as they hear from 43 candidates vying for a spot on town council. . . . The high number of candidates shocked many – 45 citizens put their names in the hat (two pulled out at the last minute); that’s a jump from three applicants the last time a vacancy was filled by appointment. York University political science Professor Robert MacDermid suggested the surge in interest could be related to political scandals being reported recently in the media, reported the Richmond Hill Liberal Dec. 4. Read full story.

SFL challenge bound for Supreme Court
A legal action that could reshape Canadian government and organized labour for decades is heading from Saskatchewan to the Supreme Court, reported the Leader-Post Dec. 4. The court said Thursday that it will hear the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour’s appeal of a court decision upholding the Saskatchewan Party government’s Public Service Essential Services Act. York University labour law Professor Paul Doorey noted several other cases pending in Canadian courts raise the issue of a constitutional right to strike, including a dispute involving back-to-work legislation at Air Canada, one affecting teachers in Ontario and one seeking to define the right of RCMP members to bargain collectively. Read full story.

Ontario doesn’t need another French university
The University of Ottawa’s English newspaper thinks French-speaking Ontarians deserve “a university to call their own,” because, they argue, “Franco-Ontarians are plenty in number but hugely underrepresented at universities,” reported Maclean’s Nov. 29. . . . Francophone Ontarians are neither “large in numbers” nor “underrepresented.” . . . There’s already a French-only university, Hearst, with three northern campuses and 800 students. There are also French-only colleges like Collège Boréal, with several campuses and La Cité collégiale in Ottawa, and Glendon College, the bilingual Faculty of York University in Toronto. Read full story.

Gunjan Sondhi researches the dialectical relationship between gender and international student mobility
Gunjan Sondhi recently completed her PhD in migration studies from the Sussex Centre for Migration Research at the University of Sussex, U.K. She is currently a resident affiliate at CERIS, York University, Canada, and an associate researcher at the University of Sussex. Her research focuses on highly skilled migration/mobility, gender, class and education, especially in Canada. I caught up with her as she was about to present her thesis at a mini conference at York University, reported South Asian Generation Next Dec. 4.Read full story.