US desegregation activist Lee Lorch was exiled to Canada

Lee Lorch, a soft-spoken mathematician whose leadership in the campaign to desegregate Stuyvesant Town, the gargantuan housing development on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, helped make housing discrimination illegal nationwide, died Feb. 28 at a hospital in Toronto. He was 98, reported The Globe and Mail March 4. . . . But Lorch’s lifelong agitation for racial equality, not just in New York but later in Tennessee and Arkansas, led him into a life of professional turmoil and, ultimately, exile to Canada. The mathematician headed north to work at the University of Alberta when no US university would hire him, and later joined the faculty at York University, where he remained until his retirement. Read full story.

Ontario NDP losing its voice on minimum wage
“Last week, Ontario’s New Democrats urged Premier Kathleen Wynne to raise the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour by June 1, 2015 and $12 an hour one year later. At the same time, the NDP wants small business tax rates cut from 4.5 per cent to 4 per cent this June, 3.5 per cent in 2015, and 3 per cent in 2016,” wrote Simon Black, a researcher at the City Institute at York University, in the Toronto Star March 4. “The NDP’s minimum wage and small business tax plan fails on two counts, one economic and the other political.” Read full story.

Pretty Little Liars accused of violating Canadian law with ADHD drug use
According to Adrienne Shnier, a PhD candidate at York University, a group of doctors, lawyers and researchers have filed a complaint with the CRTC against the ABC family show “Pretty Little Liars”, saying it violates Canadian law by portraying the misuse of the prescription drug Adderall in several episodes, reported the Toronto Sun March 4. Read full story.

Gamified PR
“I’ve noticed an interesting trend in Ontario postsecondary education marketing and branding . . . to involve inviting/soliciting students to participate in a contest. There is a prize offered, and the winners receive attention through the media campaign, which is seen as a reward in itself,” wrote York University PhD candidate Melonie Fullick in University Affairs March 4. “York’s ‘My time’ provides a striking example. The focus is on a series of smoothly attractive black-and-white photographs overlaid with text that reveals students’ ‘visions’ of what they will be doing in 15 or 20 years. In this case, students not only provide the content: they are the content, and possibility is the product being sold.” Read full story.

This chart pretty much says it all about Canada’s income inequality
Employment Minister Jason Kenney has been boasting about data showing that Canadians’ net worth boomed in recent years, arguing, in essence, that Canada isn’t facing the sorts of income inequality problems that others are facing, reported the Huffington Post Canada March 4. . . . Net worth is a measure of a household’s assets, minus its debt, so many observers argue this data likely reflects growing house prices rather than actual increases in the standard of living of Canadians. Andrew Jackson, a social justice professor at York University, said the real change is that houses form a much larger part of Canadians’ wealth than they used to. Read full story.

Toronto’s Slyce raises $11 million from Beacon Securities and others
Earlier this year, Slyce acquired computer vision technology developed at York University that analyzes and aggregates similar images and also hired former York PhD student Ehsan Fazl-Ersi to lead the integration of the intellectual property into Slyce’s Visual Search Platform, reported Techvibes March 4. Read full story.