Lorna R. Marsden joins Toronto city alliance

A group of civic leaders, including York University President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden, has announced the formation of the Toronto City Summit Alliance, reports Canada News-Wire Dec. 2. The alliance consists of Toronto leaders from private, labour, voluntary and public sectors who are planning to create an action plan for the city based on a framework developed at a summit last summer. The plan will be focus on infrastructure, finance, education, immigration and the economy.

Alumnus to review Hydro bills

As part of the Ontario government’s Action Plan to Lower Your Hydro Bill, Energy Minister John Baird has appointed Sal Badali to review all the items on the electricity bills of families, small businesses and farmers across the province, reports Canada News-Wire Dec. 2. Badali is a business adviser with Deloitte Consulting in Toronto and graduated from York with an MBA in 1981.

Self-service checkouts not so alien

Prof. Don Thompson, marketing professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, says adoption of self-service checkouts in 40 Home Depot Canadian stores could take some time, reports The National Post Dec. 3. “It took banks three to four years to build significant use of bank machines. But Canadians use similar technology from electronic ticket processing at airports to card payment at gas stations. This self-serve system isn’t that unfamiliar.”

“Mr. Eves, how about a rebate for students?”

York University undergraduate Hooman Rowshanbin reckons provincial government policies have left him out of pocket to the tune of $6,000 and he’d like a refund, he says in a public letter to Premier Ernie Eves printed in The Toronto Star Dec. 3. In the letter Rowshanbin says: “Since you’re giving taxpayers a refund for hydro rates that went through the roof, why not give students a refund on expenses we were hit with after you took over edjucation (Is that how you spell it? No? Oh well, must be a result of cutbacks that affected English classes.)”

On air

Prof. Fred Lazar, York’s Schulich School of Business,  was interviewed on CBC’s “Ontario Morning” and “Metro Morning” Dec. 2 about higher-priced airline tickets…. Psychologist Leslie Greenberg, Faculty of Arts, talked about the rising national divorce rate on CFTO-TV’s “World Beat News” Dec. 2…. History Prof. William Wicken, Faculty of Arts, discussed whether Nova Scotia has the right to regulate the native fishery, Dec. 2 on “Canada Now” on CBHT-TV in Halifax…. Marketing Prof. Alan Middleton, York’s Schulich School of Business, commented on an American company’s use of MRI machines to scan people’s brains in order to develop products and ads that appeal to sub-conscious, on CBC’s “World Report” Dec. 3…. Geography Prof. Joseph Mensah, School of Social Sciences, Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, talked about his recently published history of black Canadians and the experience of the African-Canadian, on “Maritime Noon” on CBH-FM, Halifax, Nov. 29.