I’m delighted to announce that I have a new co-host for the Blue and Goldcast podcast.
As you may know, my previous co-host, Jennifer Gardy, has left UBC to take on a new role as Deputy Director, Surveillance, Data, & Epidemiology at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I’d like to thank Jennifer for being such a great co-host. I’ll miss you on the podcast and hope you’ll continue to listen in, Jenn!
My new co-host is Margot Young, a professor in the Peter A. Allard School of Law. She’s been at UBC for over 16 years and describes herself as a feminist social justice legal scholar. In her words: “My work focused on constitutional law, and in particular, on how the various forms of inequality that are rife in Canadian society do or don’t get recognition under our constitutional doctrine. So in terms of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, what does it protect, what can it do to speak to the kinds of, say, women’s economic inequality that exists in Canada?”
Margo is also active with the David Suzuki Foundation and Justice for Girls, which works with girls and young women who’ve become involved with the criminal justice system and tries to give them better opportunities and the sorts of chances that so many of the rest of us have in life.
Margot told me she’s excited to be part of the Blue and Goldcast: “It’s an amazing opportunity to learn more about and engage with all the incredible work at UBC. I’m looking forward to working with you.”
Likewise, Margot. Welcome to the Blue and Goldcast!
Our second podcast as co-hosts just came out. The topic was mental health on campus, and Margot and I spoke with Nursing Professor Emily Jenkins. Please listen at https://www.blueandgoldcast.com/?ep08
In our first episode as co-hosts, Margot and I talked to Paul Kershaw, an associate professor in the School of Population and Public Health, and the founder of Generation Squeeze. You can listen to our discussion with Paul at https://www.blueandgoldcast.com/?ep07.
Paul defines GenSqueeze as Canadians in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Millions of Canadians in this cohort are squeezed by high costs for things like housing and child care, stagnant earnings and mounting debts. For members of GenSqueeze, he says, “hard work doesn’t pay off for those demographics in the way that it did for our aging population back in the day.”
Paul says his group has had an impact on government policy and in gaining recognition for the situation that members of GenSqueeze find themselves in. “One of the ones that I’m most proud of is a historic billion-dollar investment in childcare in BC that was motivated by something called the $10 a Day Childcare Plan. And that $10 a Day Childcare Plan started in the GenSqueeze lab.”
And that’s just one example, he says. “On housing affordability, we fundamentally shaped the national housing strategy so that it included young adults to be identified amongst the most vulnerable in our housing markets and made them eligible for billions in new investment. Whereas the first few drafts of the national housing strategy kept excluding young people. We worked to have the first ever tax on empty homes in North American happen in Vancouver. And that’s been a positive thing to enhance supply.”
It was a fascinating and stimulating conversation. You can listen to it at https://www.blueandgoldcast.com/?ep07 or learn more about GenSqueeze at https://www.gensqueeze.ca/.
And please subscribe to the Blue and Goldcast. Margot and I have lots of exciting topics lined up.
Professor Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor