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Pt 2: Pink - Educators Concerns - Ask any young girl what her favourite colour is and she'll probably say pink. And if you want to buy her something -- say clothes, toys or bedding -- you'll be hard-pressed to find anything that doesn't have pink in it.
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Pt 3: Contract Faculty - Story - The 12-week strike at York University appears to be coming to an end. Back to work legislation is expected to be passed by the Ontario legislature this week ... with classes resuming shortly after that.
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Today's guest host was Linden MacIntyre.
It's Wednesday, January 28th.
With hopes of jump-starting Canada's economy, the Conservative Party's budget includes a plan to reduce corporate tax to 19%.
Currently, this is great news. Awesome. Now I just need to figure out 19 percent of zero.
This is The Current.
Budget & Taxes
After nearly a week of strategic leaks, there weren't a lot of surprises in yesterday's federal budget. Although the numbers are still pretty staggering. $12-Billion-dollars in infrastructure spending over the next two years. And a projected deficit of nearly $85-Billion-dollars over the next four years starting with a $1.1 Billion-dollar shortfall for this fiscal year.
On the flip side, the budget calls for $20-Billion-dollars worth of personal tax cuts over the next five years. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says those tax cuts will help boost the economy by getting people spending.
And just in case you've forgotten how to do that over the last few months, our friends at CBC's Content Factory have got a few ideas to help get you started.
We aired a clip with some spending advice from our friends at CBC's Content Factory.
But still, the question remains ... If Ottawa leaves you with more money in your pockets, will you spend it or just hang on for an even rainier day? John Wright has been asking Canadians a lot of questions about tax cuts and budgets. He's the Senior Vice President with the polling and research firm Ipsos Reid. And Lisa Philipps is a tax professor at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. They were both in our Toronto studio. And David Duff is a visiting professor at the University of British Columbia. He specializes in tax law and policy. He was in our Vancouver studio.
Pink - Educators Concerns
Ask any young girl what her favourite colour is and she'll probably say pink. And if you want to buy her something -- say clothes, toys or bedding -- you'll be hard-pressed to find anything that doesn't have pink in it.
Now on the face of it, that's hardly a shock. But if you scratch the surface just a bit ... it turns out that the colour pink is loaded with political and historical baggage.
We wanted to unpack the meaning of pink and we'll begin with The Current's Kathleen Goldhar. She wanted to know why it is that little girls seem to be so drawn to the colour. So she threw a princess-themed birthday party for her own pink-obsessed, six-year-old daughter and asked around.
Pink wasn't always the colour of choice for little girls. In the early 1900s, The Women's Journal wrote that pink was a "more decided and stronger colour" that was best suited for boys. According to the Journal, blue, was "more delicate and dainty" and better for girls. But today, pink positively dominates little girls' lives.
Nazi's Use of Pink
For good or bad, pink is pretty clearly seen as a girl's colour these days. But back in the 1930s, the Nazi's used it in a more malicious manor as a way of identifying homosexuals in concentration camps.
Erwin Haeberle has been studying that history. He's the Founder and Director of the Archive for Sexology at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.
Pink - Power of Colour
So we invest colours with all sorts of meanings -- good and bad. But according to Pegie Stark Adam, colours can shape our moods and carry meanings of their own. Pegie Stark Adam is the Director of Stark Adam Design and an affiliate faculty member at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. She was in Ottawa.
Contract Faculty - Story
The 12-week strike at York University appears to be coming to an end. Back to work legislation is expected to be passed by the Ontario legislature this week ... with classes resuming shortly after that.
But even though 3,400 teaching assistants and contract faculty will be back on the job and 50,000 students will be back in class ... one of the key issues behind the strike will be left unresolved. Like many universities across Canada, York has come to rely more and more on contract faculty -- teachers who are hired for a term or a year at a time and then renewed or not.
And for those contact faculty, that's the issue. They want more security. Some teach a course or two here and there while they work on their PhDs. But others -- like Sara Matthews, who has a PhD in Education -- end up trying to carve out a career and scrape out a living by teaching several courses at a time ... often different courses every year and often at more than one university. We aired a clip with how Sara described her professional life.
Sara Matthews is a contract faculty member at York University, the University of Toronto and Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.
Contract Faculty - CAUT
And according to Jim Turk, her experience isn't all that unusual ... fully credentialed PhDs are continuing their education in the school of hard knocks. For more on this, and the impact the shift to contract faculty is having on universities, we were joined by Jim Turk. He's the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers and he was in Ottawa.
Contract Faculty - Dean
Across Canada, universities are struggling to find a balance between tenured and contract faculty. But right now, the epicentre of the debate is at York University. Bob Drummond is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at York University and he was in Toronto.
The Current asked both the Association of Colleges and Universities in Canada and the Council of Ontario Universities for comment on this issue. Both groups declined our requests.
But before we go ... Earlier in the program we explored the history and cultural significance of the colour pink including its seemingly magnetic appeal to young girls and the way it continues to shape ideas of femininity. And that got some of The Current's producers thinking back to John Hughes 1986 movie, "Pretty in Pink" starring the very red-headed Molly Ringwald. So we ended the program with the Psychedelic Furs and the title track from the movie's soundtrack.
Last Word - Pink