Recent Commentary by our Grads

The women with informed opinions that we’ve trained, inspired or supported have published hundreds of commentaries in daily newspapers and prominent online sites, generating additional interview requests and exposure as a result. Here are just some of the analyses they’ve contributed as a result:


Someone tell the Ontario Liberals that autism doesn’t end at 5

Huffington Post by Janet McLaughlin 16 May 2016

When the Progressive Conservatives and the NDP agree on something, the issue must transcend ideology. The Ontario government’s recent cut of life-changing therapy for autistic kids has mobilized them both.


Does your organization’s power structure enable workplace abuse?

Globe and Mail by Sarah Neville 14 May 2016

The statement that former CBC producer Kathryn Borel read this week on the steps of Toronto’s courthouse should send a chill through many organizations. Even companies that don’t employ high-profile entertainers need to get serious about tackling workplace sexual harassment and examine how power is organized and shared.


Private member’s bill has the potential to change the rules of the political game 

The Hill Times by Nancy Peckford, Nicole Foster and Grace Lore 9 May 2016.

Today, the Private Member’s Bill C-237, the Candidate Gender Equity Act, drafted by NDP MP Kennedy Stewart, will be debated in the House of Commons. It’s a provocative Bill in a country that has never invoked any structural measures to ensure more women stand for office. At its core, the proposed Bill would change the way in which registered political parties are reimbursed for a significant portion of their campaign expenses. Many Canadians don’t realize that, in addition to a generous tax credit for individual contributions to federal political parties, parties are also reimbursed for up to half of eligible campaign expenditures


The antidote for chronic stress is chronic exercise 

Waterloo Region Record by Jennifer Heisz and Emily Paolucci 28 April 2016

Even Olympic athletes sometimes get the blues. Clara Hughes has publicly shared her struggle with depression, bringing much needed honesty and openness to the stigma surrounding mental illness. At its peak, Clara’s depression filled her with inescapable hopelessness and isolation. Through her dark periods, Clara recounts the empowering benefits of exercise on her mental health.


It’s up to this Parliament to chart a different course for women on the Hill

Hill Times by Nancy Peckford 25 April  2016.

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel’s article about everyday sexism on the Hill in last week’s National Post is another sobering reminder of a male-dominated workplace in which women who occupy positions of power are met with varying degrees of hostility and/or ignorance far too often. This is not unique to Parliament Hill. Gender-biased behaviour and cultural norms, which undermine or diminish women’s influence in traditionally male fora, are commonplace and often quite resistant to change. And while it may be tempting to characterize the particular brand of sexism we see on the Hill as particularly egregious, I am not sure it is.


How can a criminal law system that fails victims of sexual assault be considered great?

Policy Options by Daphne Gilbert, Elizabeth Sheehy and Blair Crew 12 April 2016

In the aftermath of the acquittal of Jian Ghomeshi on four counts of sexual assault and one count of choking to overcome resistance, many commentators— particularly defence lawyers and Crown attorneys — have asserted that the case does not indicate that anything is “broken” in our criminal justice system. Instead, they say, it’s a great system — possibly the best in the world. It just doesn’t work that well for sexual assault, they acknowledge.


Autistic children denied hope due to being five

The Toronto Star by Janet McLaughlin and Willem van Heiningen 7 April 2016

Imagine that your child cannot look you in the eye, wave hello, or tell you he loves you. He has difficulty sleeping and often wakes in the night crying, but can’t tell you why. When he is sick or in pain, he can’t describe what hurts. He gets upset at seemingly random changes in his environment, sometimes to the point of sobbing uncontrollably, but can’t express the reason. You love him beyond words, yet you feel helpless.


We need data on physical activity among people with disabilities

Hamilton Spectator by Kathleen Martin Ginis 5 April 2016

He was doing so well. He should still be doing well. He was a young man in our McMaster University exercise program for people with spinal cord injuries, MacWheelers. He had worked hard to build a good life after becoming paraplegic. His twice-weekly workouts at our gym were relieving his pain so well that he’d been able to get off medication. He had a good, fulfilling job. He was thriving.

Then he got a new job and moved away, to a community where there is no place for the same kind of supported exercise.


Impact investing’s not inefficient; your money’s working double duty

Globe and Mail by Laura Doering 31 March 2016

If your investments were a person, who would they be? Perhaps a bespectacled accountant tallying pennies in a cubicle. Or maybe an exhausted analyst with shoulders hunched over an Excel spreadsheet. If you’re like many Canadians, you aspire to be a different kind of investment: one who stays late at the office, but also volunteers on the weekends.


BPA is still present in 60% of cans in the U.S.: Study

Time Magazine 30 March 2016

University of Calgary researcher Deborah Kurrasch comments on BPA alternatives.


Sounding the alarm will backfire thanks to human nature

Globe and Mail by Sarah Wolfe 22 March 2016

Today is World Water Day, and experts everywhere are sounding the alarm about water problems.

We’ll learn about children in distant lands who die from drinking contaminated water and women who suffer sexual assault because they don’t have access to private toilets. We’ll see photographs of urban flooding and the damage it has caused to municipal infrastructure and personal property. We’ll hear more about climate change, persistent drought and rising food prices. Someone will link water scarcity to the destabilization of societies and to violence and human migration. The list of global water problems is endless, daunting and heartbreaking.

In the digital economy, SMEs must be fast followers

Globe and Mail: Report on Business by Isabelle Perreault 15 March 2016

A 1-per-cent increase in labour productivity from adopting advanced technologies would yield $8-billion for the Canadian economy, according to a report released last week. The Information and Communications Technology Council’s (ICTC) 2015 labour market outlook also confirmed that small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – the bedrock of our economy – aren’t embracing digital technologies as fast as they should.


Attacking poverty to foster creativity in entrepreneurs

New York Times 12 March 2016

Research into entrepreneurial creativity by Rotman Strategic Management professor Laura Doering was profiled in the New York Times.


Can robo advisers replace human financial advisers?

Wall Street Journal 28 February 2016

Lisa Kramer, professor of Finance at the University of Toronto provides her expertise on robo financial advisers.


Gates to prosperity

Winnipeg Free Press by Lori Wilkinson 19 February 2016

Many people wonder why Canada is opening its doors for Syrian refugees when there is so much poverty, inequality and injustice in our own society. Leaving aside Canada’s moral and international legal obligations, critics of the refugees argue that they are an unnecessary expense. What most don’t realize, however, is that refugees are actually an economic benefit to our country.


Get what’s mine: “Formation” changes the way we listen to Beyoncé forever by Naila Keleta-Mae 8 February 2016

Beyoncé’s a performer. That said, she’s invited us to watch her get free in “Formation” but she also needs us to witness—to “get” it; to get her as an artist. What we’ve witnessed, with the release of “Formation,” is a master class in how pop artists can clearly articulate political views that differ from the mainstream without being labeled didactic and marginalized by the media. And “Formation” couldn’t be quietly relegated to the ether of the internet because it’s such a good pop song. Its mainstream trap beat is skillfully created by producer Mike WiLL Made It; the lyrics, co-written with Rae Sremmurd’s Swae Lee, provide just the right amount of braggadocio, sex and cute one liners; the looks, styled by Shiona Turini and Marni Senofonte, got the attention of bloggers, and the video direction by Melina Matsoukas delivers just the right artsy-pop-documentary feel.


Despite progress, women remain a distinct minority in House

The Hill Times by Nancy Peckford, 8 February 2016

Since getting elected, most Members of Parliament now have fully functional offices, their staff are getting into the swing of things and everyone is adapting (or re-adjusting) to life as they straddle time on the Hill with the demands of their ridings.


The way forward on sexual assault on campus

Ottawa Citizen by Elizabeth Sheehy and Allan Rock 5 February 2016

Two years ago, allegations of sexual violence involving students led the University of Ottawa to create a task force on respect and equality, with a mandate to recommend policies and practices to create a safe and respectful environment on campus.


Jian Ghomeshi’s sexual assault trial fuels debate over defence’s tactics

The Globe and Mail 3 February 2016

Elaine Craig weighs in on the debate among criminal defense lawyers about the practice of “whacking” female sexual assault complainants.


Refugees: What do we know? 

CTV News 03 February 2016

University of Manitoba sociology professor, Lori Wilkinson, speaks about refugees on CTV Morning News.


A person with Alzheimer’s disease is still here

The Hamilton Spectator by Jennifer Heisz 30 January 2016

In the movie Still Alice, Julianne Moore infused grace and honesty into the struggles faced by a woman with Alzheimer’s disease. In coming to terms with the heartbreaking symptoms of dementia, Alice must also learn to confront her own stigma of the disease.


Want to silence the truth? Sue for defamation

The Toronto Star by Hilary Young 17 January 2016

In 1989, Memorial University professor Ranjit Chandra committed flagrant academic fraud. He invented data showing that certain baby formulas, made by companies that were paying him, helped prevent allergies. Upon discovering the misconduct, Memorial confronted the professor, who resigned. But it didn’t reveal its findings to the public, nor to journals that published Dr. Chandra’s papers. In fact, the baby formula paper was only recently retracted, after 25 years. Last week it was announced that he’d been stripped of his Order of Canada.


Medical insurance case no cause for concern

St. John’s Telegraph by Hilary Young 12 January 2016

In the 1990s, Shirley Shannon was sexually abused by her doctor, K.A. Akuffo-Akoto. The New Brunswick woman and her husband sued Dr. Akoto and the court found in their favour. As I tell my law students, however, winning your case does not mean you will get your money. Unfortunately for the Shannons, Dr. Akoto was no longer in Canada and he did not leave behind any assets that could be used to satisfy the judgment.


Low-cost airlines may offer a greener way to travel

CBC 8 January 2016

University of Waterloo professor Jennifer Lynes offered insight into the relative environmental impact of discount airlines to listeners of CBC’s Morning Edition in Kitchener-Waterloo.


Ottawa police should adopt the ‘Philadelphia model’ to give sexual assault victims justice by Elizabeth Sheehy 6 January 2016

The Ottawa Police Service’s recently announced decision to charge the man who allegedly raped, strangled, punched, and spat upon Mélodie Morin on the University of Ottawa campus last fall may reassure the public that police are responding effectively to sexual violence in our city. Should we rest easy?




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