Stadium would be win-win for York

While Toronto Argonaut owners Howard Sokolowski and David Cynamon insist they are reviewing all options, they appear to be favouring York University as the site for a new Argo stadium, reported The Toronto Star Jan. 13. “I think York would be a tremendous location for a stadium,” Sokolowski said. “We’ve had some serious discussion – not negotiations, I want to stress – with York and they’re moving on it.” Cynamon admitted he has a “warmth” toward York, which he attended after moving from Edmonton, said the Star. “The city is growing northward,” he said. “It’ll be the hub of the city before too long.” Sokolowski pointed out that the bulk of the team’s season-ticket subscribers come from the 905 region.

Bud Purves, president of York University Development Corp., acknowledged he has had talks with Sokolowski and said the University would welcome a joint venture with the football team, reported the Star. While York would not be involved financially in building a stadium, it would provide the land adjacent to the new National Tennis Centre, which is scheduled to open in May. With the tennis centre, the Metro Track and Field facilities and the school’s Tait McKenzie athletic complex all nearby, a new stadium and the presence of a professional football team would tie in with the school’s sports medicine courses. “It would be an athletic power centre,” Purves said. “It would be a win-win proposition for the university.”

Need more money to participate in lunar station, says prof

US President George W. Bush was widely expected to announce that Americans will build a launching pad on the moon as part of their push on to Mars, reported the National Post Jan. 13. And space experts such as York’s Brendan Quine say chances are Canada will go with them, possibly even putting a Canadian astronaut on the red planet. A lunar station is at least 10 to 15 years away and a manned Mars mission is 25 to 30 years away. But Quine, a space physicist in York’s Faculty of Pure & Applied Science, said now is the time for Canada to get in on the latest US push into space. “It’s very likely that Canada will be involved somehow,” he said. “But the devil is in the details, as they say – the way the Canadian Space Agency is set up, they don’t have a very large budget for exploration. That needs to change.”

Quine said Canadian expertise, developed in helping build the shuttle and the international space station, would be invaluable in getting to the moon and beyond. The robotic shuttle arm and the much larger arm used on the space station were designed and built in Canada. “One can’t imagine a human presence on the moon without space robotics,” he said. “And that’s one of our areas of expertise … so I’m sure we’ll be involved to some extent.”

How much will depend on funding, he added. While more Canadians have been into space on the shuttle than citizens of any other nation except the United States and Russia – the CSA’s annual budget of about $325 million will need to be increased. “We would only need a small increase in that to take part in this venture,” Quine said. He estimated that returning to the moon will cost “tens of billions” and a manned Mars mission four or five times as much. However, it will be money well spent, he said. “This is the frontier of human exploration and Canada is a nation of explorers.”

Poor marks don’t always mean poor knowledge

The latest report from US researchers indicates that the smarts and success shown in school are often an indication of success later in the working world, reported Canadian Press Jan. 13. But Juan Pascual-Leone, professor emeritus in psychology in York’s Faculty of Arsts, noted that low achievement is not necessarily an indicator of poor knowledge. It might indicate a lack of proper experiences, an emotional setback or other problems that can all straighten out later in life.

Impasse continues over new student council

The student government at York University is still unwilling to ratify the incoming council, reported The Globe and Mail Jan. 13. A slate of 27 students was elected in a November vote seen as a political struggle between Jews and Arabs, said the newspaper. On Jan. 6, council refused to ratify many of them. On Jan. 12, they did it again. The Progress Not Politics slate criticized the previous council for supporting pro-Palestinian groups. Progress Not Politics also has ties to Jewish groups, reported the Globe.

On air

  • Saeed Rahnema, political science professor at York, commented on the showdown in Iran between politicians calling for parliamentary reform and a conservative religious council as the US is making overtures towards conciliation, on CBC Newsworld’s “Newsworld Today” Jan. 12.
  • Alan Young, professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, commented about the giant marijuana grow operation found inside a former Molson Brewery in Barrie, on Toronto1’s “Toronto Tonight” Jan. 12.
  • James Laxer, political science professor in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, discussed his latest book, The Border: Canada, the U.S. and Dispatches from the 49th Parallel, and the politics of increasing tension over border security, on TVO’s “Gregg & Company” Jan. 12.