Test of faith

Mainline Protestant churches across downtown Hamilton are in trouble. Declining congregations and revenue have put them in a fight for survival that could permanently alter the city’s religious and architectural heritage…. Others are sharing space with community groups, or even other denominations, as a means of making ends meet…. “They’ve all taken on this kind of multiple role,” said Ranu Basu, a geography professor at York University, in the Hamilton Spectator Oct. 10. “They’ve become places where diversity meets, interacts and is able to form these kind of really, really interesting communities.” Read full story.

Greg Sorbara, the Ontario Liberals’ rainmaker, spills his secrets
Greg Sorbara, who helped transform the Ontario Liberal Party from hapless also-ran into a political juggernaut that has won four straight elections in Canada’s‎ largest province, is sharing the secrets of his success in a new book, The Battlefield of Ontario Politics, to be published next month by Dundurn…. Through political life’s lows and highs – notably his signature achievements of extending the Spadina subway line to York University and implementing Ontario Child Benefit to help needy families – he’s still much the same idealistic hippy he was in the 1960s, reported the Toronto Star Oct. 10. Read full story.

Ex-model Velvet Haney pens graphic memoir of life in Toronto slum
Velvet Haney’s graphic memoir The Mousehouse Years tells the story of her mother, Meg McLaughlin Richardson, who grew up wealthy and raised her six children alone in a tiny house in a Toronto slum during the early ’60s…. A high school dropout, Haney had always been intimidated by academia, but got accepted as a mature student at York University, where professors encouraged her as a writer. She first started this book in creative writing class, reported the Toronto Star Oct. 13. Read full story.

Ontario pledges $12M for postsecondary mental health projects
The province has spent $9 million a year since 2012 on mental health support on campus, of which $6 million a year goes to projects suggested by postsecondary institutions and community partners, reported the Toronto Star Oct. 10. U of T has launched a project with York University and Ryerson that provides support for students who are hospitalized for mental health issues and then face a return to campus. Read full story.

Ontario health minister to review secrecy involving doctors
Ontario’s health minister, Eric Hoskins, is ordering a review of a controversial piece of legislation that gives medical regulatory bodies discretion on whether to alert police when one of their members may have committed a crime, reported OurWindsor.ca Oct. 10…. The colleges need to be more transparent by adopting mandatory reporting, said Mary Wiktorowicz, associate dean in York University’s Faculty of Health. “Right now, the college is protecting [its members].” Read full story.

Rick Mercer to receive York U honorary degree
Comedian, television personality, political satirist and officer of the Order of Canada Rick Mercer is one of five people receiving honorary degrees from York University this month, reported the North York Mirror Oct. 10. Read full story.

Dual honours for Bonnie Patterson
With almost 40 years of experience in higher education, it seems odd to hear Trent University’s former president say that she’s intimidated to speak at convocation. But that’s because this week, Bonnie Patterson, Trent’s longest-serving president, is addressing two sets of university graduates while also receiving her first honorary doctorates, from both Ryerson University and York University, reported The Peterborough Examiner Oct. 12. Read full story.