The wealth of Canadians: How much, in the hands of how few?

“When we consider the economic resources of households, wealth – mainly consisting of housing, equity in businesses and financial assets – clearly matters a lot in terms of security and the ability to spend,” wrote Andrew Jackson, Packer Professor of Social Justice at York University, in The Globe and Mail Jan. 20. “National wealth is an important yardstick for comparing ourselves with other countries (it was why Adam Smith wrote about the Wealth of Nations), and we can only judge the real extent of economic inequality when we look at the distribution of wealth among households, and not just annual income flows.” Read full story.

22 days to Sochi: Dan Church opens up
Little more than a month ago, Hockey Canada dropped a bombshell: The head coach of the women’s team was resigning due to “personal reasons”. It was 57 days before the opening ceremony in Sochi. After all this time, there are still questions as to why Dan Church, who is on leave until May from his post as head coach of York University’s women’s varsity team, left the women’s Olympic team. Asked if his players know the story behind his resignation, Church told Sportsnet Jan. 16, “I don’t believe they do.” . . . Church won’t say why Hockey Canada lost confidence in him, or how he received that message, only that “it came out of left field.” He won’t say he was forced out, only that his resignation was “the only choice that I had in this situation.” Read full story.

Internationally celebrated dancer applauds Shen Yun
Lata Pada, adjunct professor in the master’s dance program at York University, is the kind of Canadian who enriches the cultural fabric of the country, a lifetime mission she’s been celebrated for with awards and accolades too long to list in their entirety. The artistic director and principal choreographer of Sampradaya Dance Creations, as well as the principal teacher of Sampradaya Dance Academy, she is among Canada’s foremost experts in South Asian dance. But on Friday night she saw something she said was like nothing she’d seen before and it left her deeply impressed. It was her first time to see Shen Yun Performing Arts, the world’s premier classical Chinese dance company. “It was really magnificent, it was such an incredibly rich and vibrant performance,” she said in the Epoch Times Jan. 18. Read full story.

How extra payments could boost our CPP pensions: Mayers
It would be nice if we could voluntarily pay more into the Canada Pension Plan in return for a bigger pension when we retire. If we have the money, why not? . . . York University political science Professor Thomas Klassen says we would have to set up a banking mechanism to allow direct contributions to a CPP account in the same way we make RRSP and Tax-Free Savings Account deposits, reported the Toronto Star Jan. 19. Currently employers collect the money and pass it to Ottawa. . . . Klassen says the first step is for the provinces, along with federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, to agree to make the changes and allow direct banking transfers. He suggests that an easy way is through our online Canada Revenue Agency accounts. Read full story.

B-schools dive into Big Data
As the economy transforms itself, business schools develop new offerings to meet demand from employers and students, reported The Globe and Mail Jan. 17. . . . This month, a 40-member team of students from McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business defeated competitors from 22 other universities in the 26th annual MBA Games, staged by the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto. As overall winner of the three-day event, DeGroote in Hamilton will play host to the Games in 2015. Read full story.

Karen Stintz gearing up for campaign in speech at women’s conference
Would-be Toronto mayoralty candidate Karen Stintz is calling out her rival, Mayor Rob Ford, for his offensive “conduct towards women” and suggesting sexism on the campaign trail will be unavoidable, reported the Toronto Star Jan. 18. Regrettably, there are many examples of news commentators and bloggers judging and describing women in politics not by what they say or do but by how they look and sound, Stintz says. “Society remains mired in contradictions about what we expect from female politicians,” according to an advance copy of a keynote speech Stintz is set to deliver Saturday at a women’s empowerment conference at York University. Read full story.