Landmark Ontario court ruling confirms power of the construction lien

A landmark Ontario court ruling opens the door for sub-contractors to make legal claims against massive public transportation and infrastructure projects if they don’t get paid on time, reported the Financial Post Jan. 22. On Dec. 31, 2013, Donald Short, a judicial officer or “Master” with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, ruled that a sub-contractor working on land intended for Toronto’s York University subway extension was allowed to place a $4-million lien on the property. Read full story.

Auto-enrollment, low fees and effective oversight would strengthen PRPP model: Ed Waitzer
With some revisions that could be enacted by the provinces, the PRPP model can become more effective at generating retirement income, said Ed Waitzer, chair of the Jarislowsky Dimma Mooney in Corporate Governance, and director of the Hennick Centre for Business and Law at Osgoode Hall and the Schulich School of Business at York University. Along with Keith Ambachtshher, Waitzer authored Saving Pooled Registered Pension Plans: It’s Up To The Provinces for the CD Howe Institute. The report’s premise is that the federal model is flawed and as currently constituted won’t meet the retirement needs of the more than 60 per cent of Canadians without an occupational pension, reported Aria Jan. 21. Read full story.

DanceWorks Presents A Soldier’s Tale, Choreographed by Michael Greyeyes, 2/20-22
DanceWorks, Toronto’s longest-running contemporary dance series now in its 37th season, proudly presents the world premiere of A Soldier’s Tale, a powerful dance theatre work, choreographed and directed by Signal Theatre Artistic Director and York University Professor Michael Greyeyes, that probes the lives of soldiers over the span of fifty years. This exceptional full-length work runs Thursday, Feb. 20 to Saturday, Feb. 22 at Harbourfront Centre’s Fleck Dance Theatre, reported Jan. 21. Read full story.

U of T’s response to Gildan revelations contradicts ethical principles
In a recent report, Worker Rights Consortium reprimanded Gildan Activewear, a supplier for the University of Toronto’s name-branded apparel. According to the report, major garment factories in Haiti – including those subcontracted by Gildan – are systemically paying their workers 32 per cent less, on average, than the minimum wages of $7.22 U.S. per day. . . . To do its part for the plight of the Haitian people, U of T could consider switching to fair trade apparel. After all, it isn’t without precedent; York University made the switch in 2011, reported The Varsity Jan. 20. Read full story.

New American funding model based on outcomes not enrollment
As enrollment for postsecondary education rapidly increases, so does the struggle to efficiently distribute funding, reported The Varsity Jan. 20. This year, Ontario will explore moving to a differentiated system. This would require postsecondary institutions to identify a certain area to specialize in – such as a specific subject area, research intensity or vocation – as funding will be allocated based on these specialties. . . . U of T, which has the highest enrollment rate in the province, receives up to $616,772,000 – more than double that of York University, which receives the second-highest amount of funding from the province. Read full story.

Question! What is really happening at the DFO libraries?
“Apparently, this careful process to keep irreplaceable material was not, at all, what happened at the DFO libraries that are being closed,” wrote John Dupuis, a science librarian at York University’s Steacie Science and Engineering Library, in Jan. 16. “Instead, chaos and confusion seemed to reign. In the government’s mad rush to save only about $400,000 – a drop in the bucket at the scale of the federal government – they are turning a process that needs to be deliberate and carefully thought through into a careless exercise which threatens a valuable part of Canada’s documentary and scientific heritage.” Read full story.