Budget 2014: Economy Lab’s wish list

The Globe and Mail asked its Economy Lab contributors to give their best idea on what Ottawa could, or should, address in the federal budget unveiled Feb. 11. Andrew Jackson, Packer Professor of Social Justice, York University, said the budget could and should announce specific actions to assist the transition of young people from the education system into the work force, such as more apprenticeships, co-op placements and paid internships. We know that the education and skills of youth will eventually be in high demand due to an aging work force; we can’t run the risk of wasting talent in the period of transition. Read full story.

Alberta’s eye-popping sunshine list
The province of Alberta’s Sunshine list went live a little over a week ago and already the storm clouds have started to roll in, reported Sun News Feb. 10. Sunshine lists are supposed to put downward pressure on government employee salaries, but in Ontario wages in the public sector are up 20 percent in the last five years. Richard Leblanc, professor of law and ethics at York University, says sunshine lists are the single greatest driver of executive compensation. Now the Government of Ontario is looking at capping salaries of senior executives in the public sector and the City of Calgary is hoping they can introduce their own sunshine. Read full story.

Toronto bees are using plastic to build nests: study
Turns out Toronto’s bees are better adapted for city living than we thought – and that could be good news for our plants and vegetables, reported the Toronto Star Feb. 11. A new study led by a York University doctoral student shows that wild bees have been incorporating the detritus of urban life – plastic from shopping bags and building materials – into their nests. “I didn’t really believe it at first,” said Scott MacIvor, whose report was published in the journal Ecosphere at the end of December. Read full story.

Aurora resident brings new dance production to stage
Michael Greyeyes has done his fair share of travelling, but since 2004, he has settled down in Aurora, reported the Aurora Banner Feb. 10. After falling in love with dance at age six, his passion to take things to the next level became a reality at 10, when he and his family moved from Saskatchewan to Scarborough so he could attend Canada’s National Ballet School.… Now, Greyeyes has his focus set on his upcoming dance production, A Soldier’s Tale, through his own non-profit company Signal Theatre, based in Aurora. Read full story.