How Toronto Mayor Rob Ford could win again

Drunken stupors, ill-advised TV interviews and lewd public statements notwithstanding, Rob Ford is no political nitwit, reported April 18. Anyone doubting the mayor’s political savvy need only consider how he has successfully cast himself as a blue-collar everyman despite his millionaire family’s roots, said Robert Drummond, a political science professor at York University. “There’s a myth about what he stands for, as somebody who portrays himself as one of the regular folks,” he said. Read full story.

Wynne’s libel claims filled with political and legal risks, experts say
For politicians with sophisticated communications staff, libel cases can often look like the wrong choice, said Dennis Pilon, associate professor of political science at York University, in the National Post April 17. “Do you run for the courts to take care of it, or do we have it out? The idea, I think, behind libel is have you damaged the reputation of someone and they don’t have an ability to really defend themselves, or you’ve created a problem for them for which now they need an extraordinary measure to correct,” Pilon said. But for politicians, this rarely seems to apply. Read full story.

Second City’s Stacey brings real-life to NBC pilot
She sparkled in three Second City comedy revues over the past couple of years, but I had no idea what to expect when the time came to interview the comedic actor Stacey McGunnigle, wrote The Globe and Mail April 19. Last month, the 28-year-old McGunnigle, the pride of Alliston, Ont., landed the title role on the NBC pilot Ellen More Or Less, one more stage in her heady ascent through the comedic ranks. She studied at York University’s theatre conservatory – “a pretty serious bunch” – and quickly made her way through the Second City pipeline, from touring troupe, to understudy status, to mainstage ensemble. Read full story.

‘Private interests’ in the Senate: How business conflicts are everywhere in Canada’s top legislative body
While ministers in the House of Commons must put their business assets in a blind trust, senators, who can stall, alter or even quash proposed laws, are under no such obligation, reported the National Post April 19. “It’s shocking” senators are allowed to join corporate boards, says Richard Leblanc, associate professor of law, governance and ethics at York University. “I think a reasonable person would conclude that this doesn’t make sense. That a politician [who] makes laws can sit on the board of a company that is affected by laws. I think this has fallen through the cracks.” Read full story.

Jim Flaherty, a friend and accomplished politician
Jim Flaherty left us at 64 years of age, ending a splendid public service career and happy life that should have continued for a few more decades, wrote the National Post April 19. He was a real stand-up guy and every inch the scrappy hockey player that catapulted him from being the diminutive center on a team at his Jesuit high school in Lachine, Que. to a full hockey scholarship at one of North America’s greatest institutions, Princeton University. His scholarship required him to maintain good grades and work part-time to defray some expenses. And he got the hat trick: playing well, waiting on tables and graduating cum laude. He then headed to Osgoode Hall Law School at York University in Toronto where he drove a cab to make ends meet. Read full story.

TVO announces winner of 2014 Doc Studio contest
TVO is proud to announce that Woodbridge, Ontario filmmaker Luca Tarantini is the winner of the third annual TVO Doc Studio Short Doc Contest, for his short film, The Middle Way, reported Broadcaster April 17. As the winner, Luca will see his film air on TVO on April 30. In The Middle Way, Luca follows a young man’s struggle to find the balance between his two passions: religion and rock ‘n’ roll. A fan of movies and documentaries and keenly interested in social issues, Luca holds a bachelor of fine arts in film studies from York University. Read full story.

Aurora and Newmarket make joint bid for university campus
As the only site at the heart of York Region, Aurora-Newmarket is the logical location for York University/Seneca College to attract students from all areas of York Region, Simcoe County and Durham Region, say the mayors of both municipalities, reported The Auroran, Aurora Banner and CTV Barrie April 17. Read full story.

In the eye of the Hurricane: From the ring to redemption
Oct. 14, 2005 – Rubin “Hurricane” Carter receives honorary degrees from York University and Griffin University in Brisbane, Australia, reported the Toronto Star April 21. Read full story.

Premise of ‘creating shared value’ risks misleading MBA students
Anyone with even a passing interest in corporate social responsibility cannot have failed to notice the buzz that has built up around the idea of creating shared value (CSV), writes Andrew Crane, professor of business ethics and director, Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business, Schulich School of Business, in the Financial Times online April 20. There is good reason for this. CSV offers the seductive promise that company success can be aligned with social progress – and that business can be re-legitimized in the process. Unfortunately however, despite all its attractions, CSV risks misleading today’s business students about the reality of the societal challenges facing business. Read full story.

MBAs recognize value of tapping into water management
Business school graduates heading to jobs in sectors such as energy, telecoms, drinks or apparel may find the subject of water appears on their agenda. Some may even find themselves wishing that their MBA had given them a better understanding of water management, reported Financial Times online April 20. MBA curriculum changes often reflect the demands of recruiters, explains Andrew Crane, director of the Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business at Schulich School of Business. “We could easily go far deeper with sustainability teaching but we have to be mindful of our recruiters,” says Prof Crane. “And they’re still not coming on to campus and demanding that graduates know about resource conservation.” Read full story.

Toronto runners return to reclaim Boston marathon
Last year 2,032 Canadians qualified for the race, reported the Toronto Star April 20. This is the story of five Toronto runners who were there. Despite the trauma, these runners have chosen to return to the event Monday, joining 36,000 athletes from across the world. As Lindsay LaMorre began the race she knew something was wrong. She was having trouble breathing the week before but decided against visiting her doctor. Unbeknownst to her, she had bronchitis. “I didn’t get diagnosed until after because I was stubborn,” says LaMorre, who teaches in York University’s health and education departments. “That’s where the competitive juices come in.” Read full story.

Foundation of American power
The relative power and influence of the United States is in decline, writes Thomas Klassen, professor of political science at York University in Seoul as visiting professor at Yonsei University, in The Korea Herald April 20. Yet the United States will continue to dominate the global arena for decades, if not centuries, because it has one feature that its competitors lack: incomparable internal cohesion. Read full story.

Almost half of Canada’s navy vessels are under repair or being upgraded
With more than half its ships and submarines being repaired, modernized or in a reduced state of readiness, the Royal Canadian Navy is acknowledging that it has hit the low point in availability of its vessels, reported the Ottawa Citizen April 19. Defence analyst Martin Shadwick said the situation is a result of having a “compact” maritime force and a large number of aging vessels that had to be modernized. “The Navy has known this period was approaching but in the short term they don’t have much choice but to live with it,” said Shadwick, a strategic studies professor at York University. Read full story.

Transforming Tamara; Province pays for sex change operation for woman who felt trapped in man’s body
For three decades, Tamara Loyer wrestled with the regular demons that haunt so many in the Downtown Eastside: Sex work, drugs, violence, poor health, poverty and homelessness, reported the Vancouver Sun April 19. All the while, an even bigger battle waged inside her; she was a woman trapped in a man’s body. Loyer’s 30-year slide into homelessness is not uncommon for people grappling with their sexual or gender identities, according to national studies. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and transsexual young people make up 25 to 40 per cent of the national youth homeless population, even though they comprise only five to 10 per cent of the general population, says a report by York University professor Stephen Gaetz and other homelessness researchers. Read full story.