Compensate the greenbelt farmers, says law prof

“Historically, in large land-use projects, the combination of developers and politicians is lethal. There have always been accusations of political gain and outright corruption in the determination of where those lines should be, with the farmers as pawns rather than players,” wrote Margaret Beare, director of the Nathanson Centre for the Study of Organized Crime and Corruption at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, in an opinion piece about the greenbelt controversy in the Toronto Star March 9. “In speaking about the destruction of farmland during the 1980s, former Ontario Liberal leader David Peterson was quoted saying ‘I’ve seen the old-boy network in action too many times in this province to have any confidence in the system,’” she wrote.  

“‘Green’ is good,” wrote Beare. “However, those people, who have been living in poor conditions if not actual poverty on farms and hanging on so that their efforts will benefit their children financially, must be compensated if the rest of us are to enjoy the benefits,” she concluded.

Study shows how to make ethics policy work

In a study published in the Journal of Business Ethics, Mark Schwartz, co-director of the Business Ethics Program at York’s Schulich School of Business, asked 57 managers, employees and ethics officers at four large Canadian companies what it was about their codes of business conduct and the way they were implemented that made them effective or ineffective, reported the National Post March 9. Some respondents pointed to requirements that they found unfair, implying they were less likely to follow these. Schwartz also found that concrete examples were very important in helping employees understand codes; codes that were negative in tone were considered clearer than those that sounded positive; and, it mattered who did the training. All four companies’ codes required staff to report violations. Schwartz asked whether they would do so. Respondents said that depended on a lot of things, including the nature of the offence, the person who had violated the code, and fear of retribution. Even some ethics officers indicated they might have difficulty reporting their supervisors.

Kosher food appreciated at York

Jewish students and their friends can now enjoy kosher meals at the University of Toronto as well as York University, reported Canadian Jewish News March 4. After noting that a kosher outlet had opened at the U of T in the past year, the story talked about the kosher Country Style Coffee and King David franchise at Winter’s College, which offers salads, dairy pizza, falafels and bourekas daily from 7am to 7pm. The location has been such a hit that students have suggested they open outlets on other parts of the campus, spokeswoman Leah Mati told the newspaper. “They really appreciate it. They’re getting healthy meals at reasonable prices. They know they can count on a good meal every day.”

Soccer team for Toronto a ‘work in progress’

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment officials are in discussions with Major League Soccer (MLS) about locating an expansion franchise in Toronto for the 2007 season, reported The Toronto Sun March 9. MLSE president and CEO Richard Peddie said talks have been held with the Argonauts about the possibility of making the soccer club a tenant of the CFL team’s proposed stadium at York University. “We view it as a potential fourth franchise along with the Leafs, Baby Leafs and Raptors,” Peddie said.”It’s a work in progress. We haven’t yet decided to buy anything and MLS hasn’t sold us anything.”

An MLS team in Toronto would provide a chance to house and develop the core of Canada’s national team, according to Canadian Soccer Association chief operating officer Kevan Pipe, reported The Globe and Mail the same day.

Bank donates 10 full scholarships to York

HBSC Bank Canada has donated 10 full scholarships to the university, reported Metro Toronto March 9. York University cheerleaders took their high-energy antics to downtown’s York Street recently as their way of saying thank you to the financial district for their ongoing financial support of York students’ education. Students gave HSBC Bank Canada a huge salute for its generous donation to the York University Foundation of 10 annual full-tuition scholarships for students to attend the university. Sandra Woods, a former York student, was pleasantly surprised when she stumbled upon the event. “It’s not like I hadn’t experienced first hand our school spirit, but it was refreshing to see it live and in colour right in front of me,” said Woods. “Hopefully others will realize just how much students appreciate and need the added financial support.”

According to York officials, the event, which followed the release of the former Ontario premier Bob Rae’s report on education, was held to raise public awareness of HSBC Bank Canada’s generosity and to encourage other organizations to follow suit by supporting students’ post-secondary education aspirations. Sean O’ Sullivan, chief operating officer of HSBC Bank Canada was pleased to be able to help students. “Education is one of our primary focuses so I am pleased to announce that HSBC will be donating $500,000 to York University for student scholarships,” said O’Sullivan.

Paul Marcus, president and chief executive officer of the York University Foundation was equally content with the contribution. “The gift of $500,000 from HSBC Bank Canada, combined with their $250,000 previous gift and matching funds, will result in $1 million in student scholarships at York.”

On air

  • Guida Ching-Fan Man, professor in York’s School of Social Sciences, discussed the changing Chinese Canadian population, on the Cantonese edition of “OMNI News” March 8.