All Posts Tagged With: "Rob Ford"
British Columbia diploma offered at 41 off-shore schools
It’s a muggy afternoon in June and high school students wearing T-shirts stamped with the image of Terry Fox stride past towering high-rises and scooters with honking horns in this small Chinese city that’s been coated in haze from the local fiberglass factory for several days.
For most, it’s their first time making the fundraising trek that’s annual tradition half-a-world away in a country where they yearn to attend university.
Teachers at Grand Canadian Academy, a private school certified to award British Columbia diplomas, hope the early Terry Fox run will ease cultural integration for students who have perhaps only visited Canada once before.
Yet the teenagers don’t hesitate to draw contrast between how the hero from their prospective new country might have fared in their rapidly-developing homeland.
Bad news for Bieber, Mayor Rob Ford & job-seeking grads
1. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been removed from office and has 14 days to vacate his seat after a judgment from Ontario Superior Court Judge Charles Hackland. Ford violated conflict of interest rules by voting during a February council meeting on whether he should be forced to repay money he solicited from city lobbyists and businesses for his football charity. Toronto New Democrat MP Olivia Chow says she may run.
2. After accepting the Diamond Jubilee Medal—in overalls—from the prime minister, Justin Bieber was booed by the crowd during the halftime show of the Grey Cup final in Toronto on Sunday. The Canadian Press says 74-year-old Gordon Lightfoot better captivated the crowd. The Argonauts won 35-22.
3. In more bad news for Bieber, he’s no longer YouTube King. Korean rapper Psy’s video for Gangnam Style surpassed Bieber’s Baby as the most-viewed ever at 806 million and counting.
Michelle Obama, Quebec election, Adderall & Harry Potter
1. U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama gave a heartwarming speech at last night’s Democratic National Convention. She mentioned that she and her husband Barack struggled with college debt, contrasting them with Republican challenger Mitt Romney. She said her husband believes “success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”
2. The Gateway student newspaper obtained documents that “revealed serious health and safety concerns” in Lister Residence at the University of Alberta, where alcohol was recently banned in common areas. Problems included “a Floor Coordinator and a student vomiting on each other, collecting it in a pitcher, and having a third student drink it.” Serious concerns indeed.
3. Another student paper, The Harvard Crimson, has done something less impressive: run online advertisements for ADDTabz, the “Adderall Alternative.” Adderall is a prescription-only stimulant used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder. It is sold illegally as a study aid. This advertising partnership seems rather unbecoming of an Ivy League school, much like last week’s cheating scandal.
Rihanna cries, a stolen iPad and socialist summer school
1. In an interview promoted on her OWN Network even more often than Proactiv acne treatment, Oprah gets pop star Rihanna to cry and admit that she has forgiven Chris Brown for hitting her. “We are very, very close friends. We built a trust again,” she said. For the record, they’re not in a relationship, even though they chill in San Tropez.
2. Vancouver cyclists are angry at police for doing their jobs. Cops have been handing out $100 fines to those without lids, as a city bylaw dictates. Helmet haters say such laws cause people to cycle less. So far this year, 1,112 tickets have been given to bikers without headgear.
3. NASA’s Curiosity rover zapped its first Martian rock with a laser on Sunday. The rover, which landed two weeks ago, was sent to help answer the question: is Mars habitable? Considering the basic human need to burn tiny holes in things, the answer appears to be yes.
What’s really stunning is that he went to York
Toronto mayor Rob Ford dropped out of university in 1991 and it is apparently a scandal. There was some confusion over whether or not he graduated but that was cleared up months ago. He attended Carleton University for 1989-1990 and we now know that he later attended York University for 1990-91 taking distance education courses.
Bouncing off an Open File Ottawa story that looked at whether or not, and by how much, Ford embellished his time as a member of Carleton’s football team, the Toronto Star writes:
Mayor Rob Ford took courses at university — that much, at least, is clear.
Normally, a mayor’s post-secondary education is an easily confirmed thing, a line or two in an official biography.
But Ford is no ordinary mayor.
So, an ordinary mayor would list himself as a university dropout on an official biography? Or would an ordinary mayor simply list the education institutions he attended in order to imply he graduated, when he did not? Or is it that ordinary mayors have university degrees? It’s not really clear what the Star is implying. Are official biographies not usually a list of a politician’s accomplishments, and not their list of failures and incomplete or half-hearted measures? Should Ford’s official City of Toronto biography also list how many times he’s been arrested?
The Star also writes that: “Ford’s official biography makes no mention of university.” Well that is not entirely true. The biography does mention his experience playing “university-level” football, which is just the sort of passing reference one might expect from a politician who attended but did not complete university. The emphasis on football, and not, say, the courses he took in political science also seems to be typical Ford.
Besides, the Star appears to have buried the lead all the way in paragraph nine. Rob Ford went to York!?
The Canadian Federation of Students Ontario joins One Toronto campaign to provide ‘alternate view’ of upcoming Toronto mayoral election
For months, Toronto has been rapt in the rhetoric of its upcoming municipal election and the fervor’s only escalating as the October 25th D-Day draws nearer. The most recent poll shows Rob Ford, the outspoken Etobicoke councillor who’s turned the phrase “gravy train” into everyday vernacular, has a commanding 24-point lead over next-in-line George Smitherman. And that lead has many Torontonians worried. Ford has come out swinging against wasteful spending at City Hall, promising to slash the numbers at City Council from 44 to 22, abolish the city’s fair wage policy, end the war on cars and a plethora other pledges that have left some residents panicked and running for the hills (quite literally). Toronto Star columnist Heather Mallick bizarrely equated voting for Rob Ford with some sort of post-drunken-one-night-stand venereal disease, while others have hopped on an “Anyone but Ford” bandwagon, rallying to stop the privatization-pledging maniac before he ruins Toronto’s national and international reputation.
Then, Wednesday, a new campaign was launched with the help of the Ontario branch of the Canadian Federation of Students. The One Toronto campaign, as it calls itself, alleges it will not be telling voters how to cast their ballots, though the message is clear even to the most credulous Toronto voters; keep the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) public, focus on arts and social infrastructure, invest in education, make Toronto more diverse—which all, loosely translated, means don’t vote for Rob Ford. If that wasn’t obvious enough, this line from One Toronto’s website makes it crystal clear:
Right now the debate is very negative, focused on what is wrong inside City Hall, and how to slash away the more and more aspects of city government. Shouldn’t we be engaged in a debate on how to ensure that City Hall plays the most positive role possible in our lives?
CFS Ontario chair Sandy Hudson was on hand for the One Toronto launch Wednesday morning. Along with former United Way chair Dr. Joseph Wong, Luminato CEO Janice Price and journalist Michele Landsberg, Hudson took to the mic for the inaugural presentation. Hudson’s address focused on voter disengagement among city youth, an old but unyielding problem at all levels of politics.
Estimations of voter turnout show that just 43.8 per cent of Canadians aged 18 to 24 voted in the 2006 general election, up from 37 per cent in 2004. Though the numbers improved in 2006, youth turnout at the polls was still 19 percentage points below the national average. With youth apathy also a major factor at the provincial and municipal levels, strategists have created campaigns such as ApathyIsBoring.com and Student Connect to get young people interested in what’s going on in government. There have been other, more eccentric efforts made by our neighbors down south, including Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ 2004 “voting is cool” campaign, which curiously equated apathy with preemptive mortality (“Vote or Die!”) and Rock the Vote’s efforts to get young Americans to the polls during the 2008 presidential elections.
The logic behind these movements is clear; politicians won’t take youth issues seriously if they don’t show up to the polls. Why waste time lobbying to a demographic that is unlikely to go out and vote?
The problem is: One Toronto isn’t a campaign to get young people’s voices heard. It’s a pluralistic movement pushing a specific yet holistic vision for the city. In an interview with the Toronto Star, Hudson justifies the allegiance saying, “Students are paying lots and lots of money to go to school, so they need services that are going to be saving them money, but also helping them to get around.”
Certainly services such as the discounted TTC Metropass for post-secondary students secured this year are to the benefit of students; but just because an issue like transportation sometimes affects students doesn’t mean union fees should rightfully be allocated to a multidimensional campaign like One Toronto. Indeed, I could argue that the worn out sole of my left shoe is a student issue if it makes me late for class, but I’d be hesitant to go spend someone else’s money on an entire clothing initiative.
Municipal issues are a tough sell for student union dollars. Tuition fees are a provincial issue. Professional licenses, to practice medicine or law for example, are federally regulated. City laws, on the other hand, dictate whether you pay five cents for a plastic bag at a grocery store—it takes a little bit of extrapolation to connect that to the larger student movement.
The added fact that One Toronto so obviously supports certain candidates over others (even if it won’t name names) makes the CFS backing that much more incredulous. Dare I say–an example of wasteful spending?
- Photo by mars_discovery_district