Regulator stingy with details of offshore oil spills, says prof

A pair of environmentalists say the offshore petroleum regulator is stingy with details about oil spills on the Grand Banks, reported The Western Star in Corner Brook, Nfld., Aug. 11. Right now, Section 119 of the Atlantic Accord Implementation Act bars the public release of information submitted to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board by the oil companies without their consent. Gail Fraser, a professor in York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, says the board should be more generous in its interpretation of the Atlantic Accord section. During the past two years, she has made three specific requests to the CNLOPB for more detailed spill information. “We’re testing the system,” said Fraser. “The board has not been forthcoming with any of our three requests. This information should be accessible and it’s not.” In the United Kingdom, she says details about oil spills are much easier to come by. “When things are hidden, one starts to wonder what’s going on. It can be very damaging to the environment and it should not be proprietary information.”

Unpaid ad-agency internship ‘priceless’, says student

York University psychology student Robleh Jama recently finished an internship at Arnold Worldwide advertising agency. He said the experience he gained there was priceless, reported Metro Aug. 9 in its Workology column. Though he didn’t get paid, Jama said, “I feel like I got my money’s worth. There’s only so much you can learn at school. Now if I apply for a job at an ad agency, I’ll have a one-up on the competition.” Jama said his willingness to work full-time in an unpaid internship stemmed from the realities of getting a foot in the door of the working world. “You can’t get a job without experience, and you can’t get experience without a job. It’s a catch-22. You’re stuck in a hole. The best way to dig yourself out of that hole is to get meaningful work experience,” he said.

With his internship at Arnold now finished and at least another year of school left, Jama isn’t sitting on his laurels. He has already started his own business, Stylectroniq, which he hopes will carve a niche with iPod users bored of their usual, ubiquitous white headphones. Jama’s headphones look remarkably similar to iPod phones, but add a dash of colour around the earpiece for a customized look. Jama says he’s already found a manufacturer and expects his headphones to be out by the end of this summer.

OPG denies lawsuit allegations

Ontario Power Generation Inc. says it’s complying with the province’s air emission rules, playing down a $50-billion lawsuit that alleges the utility harmed Ontarians with pollutants from coal-fired plants, reported The Globe and Mail Aug. 11. Lawyers seeking class-action approval filed the lawsuit on behalf of three activists: Elizabeth May, the Ottawa-based executive director of environmental group Sierra Club of Canada; Hamilton public health consultant Kimberly Perrotta; and Christopher Robinson, a finance professor at York’s Atkinson School of Administrative Studies.

  • News of the lawsuit was broadcast on “Global News” and Webcast on Aug. 10, and published in The Spectator in Hamilton Aug. 11.