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PPAL 6130.30 Equity, Policy, Law and Planning


Course Director Contact Information:

Course Director:          Cohort A & B: Dr. Naomi Couto (May 7 - June 12) and Dr. Lorne Foster (June 18 - July 13)

May-July, 2013           Cohort A: Tuesdays 7:00 -10:00 p.m. (Osgoode PDC)

                                    Cohort B:  Wednesdays 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. (McL 109)


Prof. Lorne Foster:  123 McLaughlin College; tel 736-2100 ext 33462;

Prof. Naomi Couto:  230 McLaughlin College; tel 416-736-2100x22278;

Office Hours:  The professors will be available by appointment.


Equity, Policy, Law and Planning

Purpose of Course:


The purpose of the course is to familiarize students with government responses to social changes in general and policy, legislative and planning issues related to human rights, employment equity, disabilities, immigration and diversity management in particular.  The course focuses on various strategic and operational issues as well as planning processes surrounding the development of public policies, public consultation, legislative development and enforcement.  


Required Textbooks:


Yasmeen Abu-Laban and Christina Gabriel, Selling Diversity:  Immigration, Multiculturalism, Employment Equity and Globalization.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002.


Julie McMullin, Understanding Social Inequality: Intersections of Class, Age, Gender, Ethnicity and Race in Canada (second edition). Oxford University Press, 2010.


Handouts and Online Sources



Course Requirements:

Couto:  2 Critical Papers (1500 words each) – 20% each

              Class Participation – 10%


Foster:  1 Minor Assignment (10%)

             1 Major Assignment (30%)

             Class Participation – 10%


Couto First Critical Paper: 20% ……….Due on May 21 or 22

Couto Second Critical Paper: 20% …   .Due on June 11 or 12

Foster Minor Assignment: 10% ………. Due on June 25 or 26

Foster Major Assignment: 30% ………..Due on July 13


Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

Plagiarism is a serious academic offence.  Quoting material without citing its source or using authors’ arguments without acknowledging them is not only dishonest but subject to significant penalties both in terms of your grade and your standing at the university. York’s policy can be seen at






I.                     Conceptual Frameworks of Inequality(May 7 and 8)


Abu-Laban and Gabriel, Chapter 1:  Diversity, Globalization and Public Policy in Canada



II.                 The Courts and Social Policy Development (May 15 and 16)


Gerald Rosenberg, “Courting Disaster:  Looking for Change in All the Wrong Places” (Handout)


Joel Bakan, “What’s Wrong With Social Rights?” (Handout)


Donald Horowitz, “The Courts and Social Policy”  (Handout)



III.              Affirmative Action and Employment Equity (May 22 and 23)


Abu-Laban and Gabriel, Chapter 5 – Employment Equity


Jacobs, Chapter 5:  Integration, Diversity and Affirmative Action


Jacobs, Chapter 8:  Gender Inequalities in the Workplace


First Critical Paper Due (20%)


IV.              Multicultural Citizenship (May 29 and 30)


Abu-Laban and Gabriel, Chapter 4 – Multiculturalism and Nation Building


Will Kymlicka, Finding Our Way (Handout)



V.                 Balancing Competing Human Rights (June 5 and June 6)


Ontario Human Rights Commission Framework for Balancing Competing Human Rights (Handout)


Shauna van Praag, “Sharing the Sidewalk” Canadian Diversity:  Special Issue on Balancing Competing Human Rights (December 2010), pp. 5-7


Lorne Foster & Lesley Jacobs, “Shared Citizenship as the Context for Competing Human Rights Claims”, Canadian Diversity:  Special Issue on Balancing Competing Human Rights (December 2010), pp. 8-13


Lauren Bates, “Competing Rights in Claims involving the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” Canadian Diversity:  Special Issue on Balancing Competing Human Rights (December 2010), pp. 35-37


All of these are available on the Ontario Human Rights Commission website:


Second Critical Paper Due (20%)



VI.              Discrimination (June 12 and 13)


Abu-Laban and Gabriel, chapter 6 – Selling (Out) Diversity in the Age of Globalization


Film: Journey to Justice


VII.           Models of Equality (June 19 and 20)


Mellissa Shin. 2007. Minority Report: An Examination of Diversity Within the Upper Ranks of Corporate Companies. Corporate Knights CLEANTECH Issue. (on-line resources).



Mellissa Shin. 2008. Diversity Survey: Immigrants face a “sticky floor” rather than a glass ceiling, but change is fast approaching. No Room For Talent? Corporate Knights Diversity Issue. (on-line resources).


VIII.        Human Rights and Racial Discrimination (June 26 and 27)


Bill Black, The Human Rights Process and Race Discrimination Complaints


Lorne Foster. 2009. “Lawyers of Colour and Racialized Immigrants With Foreign Legal Degrees: An Examination of The Institutionalized Processes of Social Nullification.” International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory, Vol. 2, No. 1.  (on-line resources)


Minor Assignment Due (10%)



XI.   Public Service Operational and Strategic Planning (July 2 and 3)



Daniel Cohn, Lorne Foster and Ian Greene. 2011. Learning From History. Program Review and Public Safety - Policy Options, Options Politiques. February (on-line resources)



Accommodation (Saturday, July 14), morning and afternoon, both sections in McLaughlin College TBA)


Yasmeen Abu-Laban and Baha Abu-Laban. 2007 Reasonable Accommodation in a

Global Village. Options Politiques. Septembre., (on-line resources)


Excerps from Bouchard-Taylor Commission Report (on-line resources)


Major Assignment Due (30%)




Grading, Assignment Submission, Lateness Penalties and Missed Tests

Grading:  The grading scheme for the course conforms to the 9-point grading system used in undergraduate programs at York (e.g., A+ = 9, A = 8, B+ - 7, C+ = 5, etc.).  Assignments and tests* will bear either a letter grade designation or a corresponding number grade (e.g.  A+ = 90 to 100, A = 80 to 90, B+ = 75 to 79, etc.)  (For a full description of York grading system see the York University Undergraduate Calendar –

Assignment Submission: Proper academic performance depends on students doing their work not only well, but on time.  Accordingly, assignments for this course must be received on the due date specified for the assignment.  Written assignments are to be handed in to the Course Instructor in person and and students must retain a computer copy.

Lateness Penalty: Assignments received later than the due date will be penalized one-half grade letter per day that the assignment is late. Exceptions to the lateness penalty for valid reasons such as illness, compassionate grounds, etc., may be entertained by the Course Instructor but will require supporting documentation (e.g., a doctor’s letter).

Missed Tests:  Students with a documented reason for missing a course test, such as illness, compassionate grounds, etc., which is confirmed by supporting documentation (e.g., doctor’s letter) may request accommodation from the Course Instructor. Accommodation will entail a make-up test on a date and time specified by the Course Instructor. Further extensions or accommodation will require students to submit a formal petition to the Faculty.

Important York Policies

Academic Honesty: Atkinson as a Faculty considers breaches of the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty to be serious matters. To quote the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty:

The Policy on Academic Honesty is an affirmation and clarification for members of the University of the general obligation to maintain the highest standards of academic honesty. As a clear sense of academic honesty and responsibility is fundamental to good scholarship, the policy recognizes the general responsibility of all faculty members to foster acceptable standards of academic conduct and of the student to be mindful of and abide by such standards.

Suspected breaches of academic honesty will be investigated and charges shall be laid if reasonable and probable grounds exist.

Students should review the York Academic Honesty policy for themselves at: 

Students might also wish to review the interactive on-line Tutorial for students on academic integrity, at: 

Grading Scheme and Feedback Policy: The grading scheme (i.e. kinds and weights of assignments, essays, exams, etc.) shall be announced, and be available in writing, within the first two weeks of class, and, under normal circumstances, graded feedback worth at least 15% of the final grade for Fall, Winter or Summer Term, and 30% for ‘full year’ courses offered in the Fall/Winter Term be received by students in all courses prior to the final withdrawal date from a course without receiving a grade, with the following exceptions:

  • graduate or upper level undergraduate courses where course work typically, or at the instructor's discretion, consists of a single piece of work and/or is based predominantly (or solely) on student presentations ( e.g. honours theses or graduate research papers not due by the drop date, etc.);
  • practicum courses;
  • ungraded courses;
  • courses in Faculties where the drop date occurs within the first 3 weeks of classes;
  • courses which run on a compressed schedule (a course which accomplishes its academic credits of work at a rate of more than one credit hour per two calendar weeks ).

Note: Under unusual and/or unforeseeable circumstances which disrupt the academic norm, instructors are expected to provide grading schemes and academic feedback in the spirit of these regulations, as soon as possible.

For more information on the Grading Scheme and Feedback Policy, please visit: 

In-Class Tests and Exams - the 20% Rule

For all Undergraduate courses, except those which regularly meet on Friday evening or on a weekend, tests or exams worth more than 20% will not be held in the two weeks prior to the beginning of the official examination period. For further information on the 20% Rule, please visit:

For further information on examination scheduling, and Atkinson examination exceptions to this rule, please refer to the "Notes" in the table:  


Students may, with sufficient academic grounds, request that a final grade in a course be reappraised (which may mean the review of specific pieces of tangible work). Non-academic grounds are not relevant for grade reappraisals; in such cases, students are advised to petition to their home Faculty. Students are normally expected to first contact the course director to discuss the grade received and to request that their tangible work be reviewed. Tangible work may include written, graphic, digitized, modeled, video recording or audio recording formats, but not oral work.

Students need to be aware that a request for a grade reappraisal may result in the original grade being raised, lowered or confirmed.

For reappraisal procedures and information, please visit the Office of the Registrar site at:

Accommodation Procedures:

Atkinson students who have experienced a misfortune or who are too ill to attend an examination in an Atkinson course should not attempt to do so; they must pursue deferred standing. Other students should contact their home Faculty for information. For further information, please visit: 

Religious Accommodation

York University is committed to respecting the religious beliefs and practices of all members of the community, and making accommodations for observances of special significance to adherents.

For more information on religious accommodation, please visit: 

Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
(Senate Policy)

The nature and extent of accommodations shall be consistent with and supportive of the integrity of the curriculum and of the academic standards of programs or courses.

Provided that students have given sufficient notice about their accommodation needs, instructors shall take reasonable steps to accommodate these needs in a manner consistent with the guidelines established hereunder. For more information please visit the Disabilities Services website at 

Alternate Exams and Tests

York’s disabilities offices and the Registrar’s Office work in partnership to support alternate exam and test accommodation services for students with disabilities at the Keele campus. For more information on alternate exams and tests please visit 

Please alert the Course Director as soon as possible should you require special accommodations. For questions relating to academic accommodations, please contact the Atkinson Counseling and Supervision Centre: