Canadian job data point toward demographic shifts

Canada’s labour participation rate, the amount of people who either have or are looking for employment, is at its lowest point in 13 years and the available data are unclear about what exactly is causing the trend…. York University Professor Thomas Klassen says that all else being equal the participation rate will continue to fall as baby boomers enter retirement. “Older people are not as likely to work as those in [their] 30s and 40s, but far more likely to work than older people a decade or two ago,” he said in The Globe and Mail Aug. 4. Read full story.

Two who died at Veld festival identified
Two people who died after taking “party drugs” at an electronic music festival over the weekend have been identified as Willard Amurao and Annie Truong-Le, reported the Toronto Sun Aug. 5…. Truong-Le, 20, was a York University student who worked as an intern at Toronto City Hall last year. Read full story.

Raccoons have real-life superpowers: An expert fact-checks ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’
Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t pretend to be accurate. It is, after all, a space romp starring a laconic tree. But the surprise is its science holds up – kinda. Yes, Star Lord could survive in space without protection for a full minute. And yes, according to raccoon expert Suzanne MacDonald, a professor of animal behaviour at York University in Toronto, the quick-thinking, selfish, and aggro Rocket Raccoon – a lab experiment gone amuck – actually has a biological basis, reported LA Weekly Aug. 5. Read full story.

Syrian conflict spills into Lebanon
York University Professor Saeed Rahnema discussed the Syrian conflict and how it relates to an ISIS attack in Lebanon on CTV’s “Canada AM” Aug. 5. Watch full interview.

Entrepreneur builds successful business by doing something she hates: cleaning
After graduating from York University’s Schulich School of Business in 2005, Melissa Maker found herself working at a bank reviewing other entrepreneurs’ business plans. It was then she started noticing that many of her friends lived in pig sties…. While Clean My Space, the business she founded in 2006, now employs 22 people and Ms. Maker no longer cleans homes herself, that wasn’t always the case, reported The Globe and Mail Aug. 4. Read full story.

CUP and OUP titles win Shakespeare’s Globe award
A title on eating and ethics in Shakespearean England and another on the Catholic content in the Bard’s work have been crowned the joint winners of this year’s Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award. York University English Professor David B Goldstein and Gillian Woods will share the £3,000 cash prize for their books Eating and Ethics in Shakespeare’s England (Cambridge University Press) and Shakespeare’s Unreformed Fictions (Oxford University Press), respectively, reported The Bookseller Aug. 6.

Facing down autism: The unconventional (and somewhat controversial) therapy that’s led to recovery
Some families are turning to alternative approaches and, in particular, to Son-Rise, a 30-year-old therapy devised by an American couple for their severely autistic son, which is carefully detailed in a new book by that now-adult son, Raun Kaufman…. Over all, says James Bebko, a professor at York University in Toronto who studies autism and developmental disabilities, “the implementation of some sort of treatment has been effective for every child.” The problem, he says, is that there’s no way to predict which treatment will work best for any individual child, reported The Globe and Mail Aug. 3. Read full story.

Rob Ford’s testimony at Lisi hearing can’t be used as evidence against him later
Mayor Rob Ford’s testimony at “Sandro” Lisi’s preliminary hearing next spring could give police new avenues for investigation, but he is legally protected against having it used as evidence against him, experts say…. “That evidence cannot be the basis of further prosecution against the witness,” said Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Alan Young in the Toronto Star Aug. 1. “Obviously they can use his evidence to do an investigation and find independent evidence, but you can never just show up at a second trial and say, ‘Here’s what someone said at the first trial. That’s evidence against them.’ ” Read full story.

Should kids of Filipino caregivers get more help not less?
As director of York University’s Centre for Asian Research, York geography Professor Philip Kelly co-hosted a recent symposium on the academic roadblocks facing the children of Filipinos who come to Canada as live-in caregivers and send for their children once they become permanent residents, often up to eight years later, reported the Toronto Star Aug. 1. Read full story.

Charges rare as decisions go back two decades
The most relevant case law in defining the elements of the offences of bribery of a judicial officer and fraud on the government go back at least two decades. And the precedents may not provide a legal answer to why the RCMP charged Mike Duffy with those offences but not Nigel Wright over the personal $90,000 payment to the senator for him to reimburse residency expense claims. “The RCMP probably made an executive call,” said Enzo Rondinelli, a Toronto defence lawyer and adjunct professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, in Law Times Aug. 4. “It is very hard to prove the mens rea aspect, so if you charge both people, it is difficult to pierce the veil and show intent,” he said. Read full story.

Saskatchewan set as political battleground in 2015 election
Experts say Saskatchewan is set to become a battleground province in Canada’s 2015 election, as a redrawing of federal electoral boundaries may shake up the Conservative’s stronghold…. York University political science Professor Dennis Pilon, says opposition parties have a more realistic shot in 2015. “I think that we’ll see parties make appeals to voters that say ‘We could win’ in a way that, in the past, just didn’t seem realistic,” said Pilon in Metro Aug. 1. Read full story.

Solidarity, group farming and solar panels in the jungles of Kerala
In all some 250,000 Kudumbashree women throughout Kerala have come together to form farming collectives which jointly lease land, cultivate it, use the produce to meet their consumption needs and sell the surplus to local markets, reported The Ecologist Aug. 1. Professor Ananya Mukherjee of York University, Toronto, has written on the innovative approach to food security of these groups. “This increases the participation of women in agriculture”, she says, and “ensures that women, as producers, have control over the production, distribution and consumption of food.” Read full story.

Paul Hoffert: Lighthouse co-founder and Renaissance man
Paul Hoffert founded CulTech, an innovative research program at York University, and worked on projects like delivering information via videophone and video-conferencing (this was back in 1995), reported the Toronto Star Aug. 1. Read full story.

Christina Petrowska Quilico finding peace in contemporary music
Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico and composer Ann Southam enjoyed a 30-year personal and professional friendship that lasted until Southam’s death from lung cancer in 2010, reported the Ottawa Citizen Aug. 1…. The two met in 1979 when the composer asked the pianist, who was teaching at York University and was already established as a champion of Canadian music, to record a demo. Read full story.

A star-studded event
From Aug. 10 to 12, The Deanery Project Ship Harbour is hosting its second annual Sealight, Skylight event, reported The Chronicle Herald Aug. 5…. This year they’ve added another component to the event. Sally Morgan, a PhD student in performance studies at York University, will provide interactive dance performances to further enhance the evening. Read full story.