York student wins Ainsworth Dyer prize

The first recipient of the Ainsworth Dyer Memorial Scholarship at Eastdale Collegiate in Toronto is Andreen Dunkley, currently studying at York University, reports The Toronto Star Nov. 9. The award honours Cpl. Dyer, one of four soldiers who lost his life during a military exercise in Afghanistan when a US pilot mistook them for Taliban forces and dropped a bomb. Dunkley, an A student, was awarded the $500 prize for her volunteer work with children in the community and her participation in extracurricular activities. The award presentation coincided with Remembrance Day.

GO proposes busway across top of GTA

GO Transit has received the final draft of a plan for a 100-km bus-only highway across the top of the GTA, including a stop at York University, reports The Toronto Star Nov. 9. GO’s board of directors is to vote on the plan at its Dec. 13 meeting and is expected to endorse the proposal, says the Star. The busway would carry more than 230,000 passengers a day between Oakville and Pickering and connect with all TTC and GO rail lines by 2011. It would begin at the Oakville GO station, run alongside the QEW and Highway 403 and move east along Eastgate Drive and Eglinton Avenue to the Highway 401/427 interchange. It would then cut diagonally across northwest Toronto via the Toronto Hydro corridor and north through York University before meeting up with Highway 407 around Keele Street for its run across the top of the GTA.

The Star is inclusive, says Marsden

The Toronto Star

“does tremendous community building. I love the fact that it is consistent with my view of the inclusive nature of our society. [It’s] The best of Toronto,” says York University President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden in the Nov. 9 issue of the newspaper, which is celebrating its 110th anniversary.

No such thing as original idea in lit

Marcus Boon, a professor of contemporary literature at York University, said the spiral of accusations [about the idea for Man Booker Prize winning author Yann Martel’s Life of Pi] illustrates the absurdity of laying claim to an original idea in literature, reports the National Post Nov. 9. “These are sort of fundamental images and narratives within human culture,” Boon said of the image of a person cast adrift with animals…. Books are constantly referencing other books.”

Losing out on China

Lorna Wright, director of Schulich’s International MBA Program, was interviewed for the Nov. 8 “CBC News and Current Affairs” about Canadian entrepreneurs tapping cheap labour and a huge market in China. Wright said, “We’re losing out to other countries like Australia, the United States, Britain, et cetera, who are getting in there now. And you have first-mover advantages, and we’re losing out on that.”

GICs as good as equities?

If an ultra-conservative investor had invested in nothing but RRSPs since 1957, when they were introduced, how would they compare to returns on a diversified equity portfolio? Moshe Ayre Milevsky and Christopher Robinson, Schulich business professors, automatically expected a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds and money market instruments to beat GICs hands down, reports The Toronto Star Nov. 9. But, a GIC saver would have been ahead of a market player in all but 15 years of the comparison. “The advice here is that, if equities are going to work for you, you have to be smart, and the high management expenses charged by these funds are driving your return down to less than what you would have gotten with GICs,” Robinson said. Milevsky cautioned: “There is always a way to structure a comparison so that GICs come out looking better. If the idea is to show…equities aren’t that good in the long run, I think that is pushing the case a little bit. All I see (in these comparisons) is the horrendous impact of the last two years. The market has dropped so much that it has an impact that reaches back to compound returns.”