Toronto’s building on up

York University environmental studies Professor Ute Lehrer, who has studied condo development in the GTA for 15 years, said there needs to be an overall vision for the city when it comes to condo planning. “It’s not the question of numbers, it’s the question of quality,” she said in the Toronto Sun June 15. “We talk too much about overbuilding in Toronto, but we don’t talk about the form of the building. It’s lacking interest from the builders’ side to build for the long-run. They are thought through for 20 or 30 years, but 10 years in they already start to leak. They need to think about quality over a cheap deal.” Read full story.

Private corporations helping widen inequality gulf: study
A study by three leading academics says Canada’s top 1 per cent of income earners took home an average of $500,200 in 2011 – including income from private corporations they control directly or indirectly through holding companies. That is 39 per cent more than the $359,000 figure calculated when traditional individual income tax data are used, reported The Globe and Mail June 16. . . . The study, entitled Piercing the Veil, was completed by three of Canada’s leading researchers on income and inequality issues: Michael Wolfson of the University of Ottawa, and Professors Mike Veall of McMaster University and Neil Brooks of York University. Read full story.

Father’s Day sparks emotions at U.S. Open
A year ago on Father’s Day, Justin Rose holed a putt to win the U.S. Open. He kissed the golf ball, pointed skyward and cried. . . . When golfers cry, it provides a positive example that academics who study male emotions wish more men would follow, said York University Professor Gordon Flett. “Some of it is the cultural rules of men being tough, that men are more inexpressive overall,” said Flett in the Toronto Star June 14. “This is what makes the expression of emotion so rare. Everybody has that strong bond to people that matter to them. Father’s Day is a tough day for some people if they’ve lost somebody. It triggers memories.” Read full story.

Dellen Millard case: Laura Babcock’s body not recovered in Ontario
Prosecuting murders without a body is not an uncommon occurrence, according to legal experts. But Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Alan Young says it is unusual to keep the victim’s family in the dark. “Normally what you think would happen would be that they would have a private and confidential meeting with the family and give them the information they require for closure on an undertaking that the family keep this quiet because there’s some investigative need to not disclose this,” said Young in the Toronto Star June 14. Read full story.

Canada’s new prostitution law is a tough sell
Alan Young, a professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, argues prostitutes are unlikely to sell sex out of their homes – or wouldn’t succeed if they tried – because johns will fear being caught there. “Purchasers simply won’t want to go to locations where they will be sitting targets for law enforcement,” said Young in Maclean’s June 13. “They will prefer to be moving targets, which is weird, because that encourages street prostitution, which is the only thing we know Canadians don’t want. There’s some consensus on that.” Read full story.

How did Kathleen Wynne turn a minority into a majority?
York University political science Professor Dennis Pilon points out that the Liberals did not increase their share of the popular vote by much, even though they earned four more seats than needed to form a majority. The Liberals moved from 37 to 38 per cent of the popular vote, while the Tories grabbed 31 per cent of the vote and the NDP 24 per cent. “It isn’t really that amazing a victory when we start to drill down into the numbers,” Pilon told CTV News Channel June 13. “They improved their popular vote by only about one per cent. So we’re still talking about a distinct minority of Ontarians endorsing the Liberals. That’s hardly a mandate.” Read full story.

The glide path less travelled
A recent article by academic Wade Pfau and financial planner Michael Kitces in The Journal of Financial Planning suggests you can increase the odds of sustaining your nest egg by starting with an unusually high fixed-income allocation when you retire, and then gradually lowering it as you get through the danger zone, reported MoneySense June 16. . . . Moshe Milevsky, professor of finance at York University’s Schulich School of Business, says this research is provocative, though it shouldn’t be considered conclusive. Read full story.

Voter turnout increases in York Region, province
For a campaign that was oft-described as unwanted, unnecessary and uninteresting by many, it sure defied much of the naysaying in the end, reported the Aurora Banner June 13. . . . “I’m a little surprised to see how well the Liberals did,” said York University political science Professor Robert Drummond, adding many pundits predicted much tighter races across the province. Read full story.

Report on human trafficking ‘just tip of the iceberg’
New research on human trafficking has found more than double the number of victims in Ontario over a three-year period than the number of cases the RCMP has reported for the entire country since 2005, reported Maclean’s June 14. . . . “This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Karlee Sapoznik, York University PhD candidate and president of Alliance Against Modern Slavery. “If we were to do this research on a regular basis, I think that we would see a much larger number.” Read full story.