Canada failing homeless youth, report charges

Canada falls short of meeting the needs of homeless youth by treating them as adults and expecting shelter care to solve the problem, according to a new report. Many youth find themselves “languishing in a shelter for four or five years when they should be in school learning to be an adult with the supports they need . . . instead of rushing them to be adults, living in poverty and becoming chronically homeless adults,” said report author Stephen Gaetz, a professor in York University’s Faculty of Education and director of the Homeless Hub, in the Toronto Star March 3. Read full story.

Lee Lorch, desegregation activist who led Stuyvesant Town effort, dies at 98
Lee Lorch, a soft-spoken mathematician whose leadership in the campaign to desegregate Stuyvesant Town, the gargantuan housing development on the east side of Manhattan, helped make housing discrimination illegal nationwide, died on Friday at a hospital in Toronto. . . . No American college would have him. So in 1959, he moved his family to Canada – first to the University of Alberta and then, in 1968, to York University, until he retired in 1985, reported the New York Times March 1. Read full story.

Homelessness exists in Northumberland
The definition of homelessness can be as narrow or as broad as one wishes to make it. David Sheffield, community outreach worker with Green Wood Coalition in Port Hope, Ont., tends to subscribe to the Canadian Homelessness Research Network’s definition that is in use at the York University Homeless Hub, reported Northumberland Today March 2. It has four main categories and 12 sub-categories. Read full story.

Canada’s under-35s are also-rans in the wealth race
“The big story in the release of data from this week’s Survey of Financial Security from Statistics Canada was that the median net worth of Canadian households has been increasing very significantly,” wrote Andrew Jackson, Packer Professor of Social Justice at York University, in The Globe and Mail Feb. 28. “The recent housing boom may have boosted wealth and modestly reduced wealth inequality from a very high level. But younger Canadian families are being left behind.” Read full story.

Closer reading of StatsCan report troubling for middle class
“Do the data show that the Canadian middle class is in existential crisis? No, at least not yet. But are most Canadians doing swimmingly well economically in absolute terms or relative to the past? Absolutely not, and the StatsCan survey proves that point,” co-wrote Eugene Lang, BMO Visiting Fellow in York University’s Glendon College School of Public and International Affairs, in the Toronto Star March 2. “If we are going to have an intelligent policy discussion on these middle-class issues, let’s make sure we consider carefully the complete evidence picture, not selective parts thereof.” Read full story.

Post-Sochi countdown to Pan Am Games, political games: Cohn
The organizational challenges are massive: more than 7,500 athletes are coming to Toronto next summer, double the turnout at the Winter Games in Sochi (and Vancouver four years ago), reported the Toronto Star March 1. Another challenge is generating buzz with an already weak brand that is further diluted by a sprawling footprint: the Games have been parcelled out to 32 venues spread across 13 municipalities beyond Toronto – spanning Hamilton, Caledon, St. Catharines and Oshawa – making it harder to build a critical mass. For example, all soccer matches have been restricted to Hamilton. Track and field will take place at York University, but without a promised subway extension (undermining the claim that the games would galvanize politicians to deliver infrastructure in time).Read full story.

In search of a stable electronic currency
If we go back to the electronic-money drawing board, we may conclude that Bitcoin has been focused on the wrong classical functions of money, reported the New York Times March 1. . . . A third improvement would be to move beyond just one new unit of account to a whole system of them, so that we could have baskets for different purposes. . . . There could be a “trills” unit – a concept that Mark Kamstra of York University and I have been advocating – that represents one trillionth of a country’s most recently estimated annual G.D.P. Read full story.

Vaughan recognized for business mission to Israel
The Economic Developers Council of Ontario recently presented the City of Vaughan with an award of excellence for its business mission to Israel last year. The award recognized Vaughan’s collaboration and strategic partnership with educational institutions, including Centennial College and York University, reported the Canadian Jewish News March 3. Read full story.

Toronto city manager speaks bluntly about need for new taxes
In a Friday morning speech, city manager Joe Pennachetti spoke bluntly about Toronto’s revenue problem and the city’s housing crisis, and even made a veiled swipe at Mayor Rob Ford, reported the Toronto Star March 1. . . . Pennachetti was one of three speakers invited by the Osgoode-Schulich law and business students association. First was Miller himself, then mayoral candidate Councillor Karen Stintz. Read full story.

What John Tory learned from his radio show, and what we learned about him
John Tory graduated from Trinity College at U of T and Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, reported the Toronto Star March 1. At law school, he needed to work with the TV on “just so I didn’t go completely nuts.” Read full story.

PQ raises stakes in battle for Verdun Liberal stronghold
The Parti Quebecois feels that it might be on the verge of a historic victory in the longtime Liberal fortress of Verdun and spent Friday wooing voters with $5 million in new sports facilities for the area, including an aquatic centre. . . . And some pundits aren’t entirely sure that the PQ’s optimism isn’t well-founded. “The government seems much more in control than it was when it first took office and isn’t making blunders,” said York University political science Professor Bruce Hicks in CTV Montreal Feb. 28. Read full story.