China conference a wake-up call for Canada

China is the emerging new giant in the world economy, wrote the Toronto Star’s David Crane April 28. The question for Canada is, where do we fit in relation to China’s continued growth and importance, a subject that was the focus of a major conference on Canada-China relations this past weekend organized by the University of Toronto and York University (Asian Business & Management Program). If there was a conclusion, wrote Crane, it was that Canada is missing the boat when it comes to China. Too many businesses are fixated on the United States and ignoring China. Canada needs a new strategy to deal with China. But much of our success will depend on Canadian business engaging much more actively in trade and investment with China, he concluded.

Las Nubes coffee arrives at Timothy’s

York University‘s Las Nubes coffee has begun arriving in Timothy’s World Coffee stores across Canada, reported the Toronto Sun April 28. The coffee is grown on farms adjacent to York’s Las Nubes Rainforest in southern Costa Rica. It is the product of a joint effort by researchers from York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies working with the Tropical Science Center in Costa Rica and the local growers cooperative. Las Nubes coffee is certified sustainable by Costa Rica’s Ministry of Agriculture as grown in an environmentally, economically and socially responsible way. Producers employ methods that meet government standards for preserving the structure and function of the ecosystem, and having fair labour practices that bring a fair-trade price, or better, for the crop. Now those looking for a quality brew that supports the farmer, the environment and biodiversity have a coffee that’s easy to find and a pleasure to drink. To sweeten the cup further, Timothy’s is donating $1 for every pound sold to the Fisher Fund for Neotropical Conservation through the York University Foundation.

Layton only leader with PhD

Jack Layton is the only national party leader with a PhD, wrote columnist Paul Wells in the May 3 issue of Maclean’s in a pre-election profile of the New Democratic Party leader. Layton received an MA in 1974 and a PhD in 1982, both in political science from York University. He’s about as fluent in French as Paul Martin, said Wells. He held a number of important titles at Toronto council, a larger government than some provinces.

He chronicled a famous father

He dropped out of medical school to become a historian, a decision that may have disappointed his famous father but which, in the end, led to a definitive record of a great Canadian, reported The Globe and Mail April 28 in an obituary of Henry Best. The former president of Ontario’s Laurentian University and the son of renowned physician Charles Best died of diabetic complications in Sudbury on April 9. He was 69. Before arriving at Laurentian, he had been executive assistant to the secretary of state for external affairs, as well as history professor and administrator at York University (1966-1977) in Toronto. In 2003, Dundurn Press published his dual biography of his parents titled Margaret and Charley: The Personal Story of Dr. Charles Best, the Co-Discoverer of Insulin.

On air

  • Analyst Fred Lazar, economics professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, discussed operations of airlines in Canada and the economics of the industry, on “Dave Rutherford” (CHQR-AM), Calgary, April 27.