Justin Trudeau keeps the promise of John A. Macdonald

“Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau surprised everyone, especially longtime Liberal senators, by announcing his idea for Senate reform: From this point forward, the Senate would be non-partisan and, effective immediately, Trudeau was expelling all Liberal senators from his caucus, and thus freeing them to serve as independents,” wrote Bruce Hicks, BMO Visiting Fellow at York University’s Glendon School of Public & International Affairs, in the Ottawa Citizen Jan. 29. “If Trudeau becomes prime minister, he will only appoint the best calibre of people to this body and they, too, would all be independents.” Read full story.

Executive coaches to impel Schulich students to think critically about post graduation
Earlier this month, York University’s Schulich School of Business announced the appointment of four executive coaches from diverse backgrounds to mentor and provide career advice to all students enrolled in the Executive MBA, MBA and International MBA programs. “We are a big believer in career planning,” said Rob Hines, executive director of Schulich’s Career Development Centre, in the Financial Post Jan. 29. “An executive coach will ask you the tough questions about your plans for the future. They won’t let you off the hook.” Read full story.

Behind the quakes – ‘Give seismic hazards climate priority’
With memories of the magnitude-7.0 earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010 still fresh in people’s minds, there is a call for seismic hazards to share in the priority currently given to climate change in Jamaica. “We need to be aware of the fact that climate change is not the only problem we need to solve,” said Franklin McDonald, visiting scholar at York University, in the Gleaner Jan. 30. . . . “There is really no conflict between addressing climate change and the seismic hazards because in the case of tsunamis and storm surges, you are going to be dealing with inundation of coastal areas. The only difference is that the tsunami is going to come fairly quickly,” he told the Gleaner via Skype from Canada. Read full story.

Hudak and his key policy losing support
A recent Forum Research poll found support for both the right-to-work policy and Conservative Leader Tim Hudak’s leadership are falling. . . . Neither Hudak nor his labour critic have defined how they would implement the policy, including how he proposes to deal with legal challenges that would come with dismantling the Rand Formula, which has been in place since a Supreme Court ruling in 1938 – and how they’d deal with a possible right to freedom of association Charter challenge. But this would depend on how the laws were written, said York University Professor David Doorey, who specializes in labour and employment law. “Hudak isn’t telling us what his law will do, so we can only speculate,” he said in View Magazine’s Jan. 30 to Feb. 5 issue. “[But] the Charter raises a twist in the debate that does not exist in the US.” Read full story.

Why, at 76, this great-grandmother’s still running
“Last summer, I was soundly beaten in a 60-metre sprint by a 76-year-old great-grandmother. I expected the trouncing; after all, I was up against the world’s fastest 75-plus female sprinter, Christa Bortignon. The Canadian was named World Masters Athletics Female Athlete of the Year for 2013, after breaking 14 world records over the past two years,” wrote Margaret Webb in The Globe and Mail Jan. 28. . . . “While I was competing in the half marathon at the World Masters Games in Italy this past summer, York University Professor Joseph Baker and a team of researchers were fanning out to interview athletes about motivation. Baker says masters athletes are far from homogeneous. Some are extremely competitive, driven to win medals or measure their fitness against those in their age group. Social factors keep others in sports, like a women’s softball team, all over 60, who planned to tour Italy together.” Read full story.

Health and sustainability in the Canadian food system: Advocacy and opportunity for civil society
Traditional approaches to food and agriculture policy making in Canada are in question, with the realization that government policy goals, institutional arrangements and instruments are insufficient. York University Professor Rod MacRae, Elisabeth Abergel and Mustafa Koc consider the evolution of sustainable food systems, and argue for changes in the policymaking process in the World Financial Review Jan. 29. Read full story.