Province eyes tax scheme to pay for Spadina subway

The Ontario government is considering financing the proposed extension of the Spadina subway line with an innovative measure that captures future rises in property taxes, reported The Globe and Mail Oct. 11. Public Infrastructure Renewal Minister David Caplan said Tuesday that his government remains hopeful that the federal government will participate in the $2.1-billion Toronto Transit Commission expansion to York University and into neighbouring Vaughan. The three governments — Toronto, Vaughan and Ontario — have committed almost $1.4-billion to the project, but Ottawa has not yet offered to make up the difference. Asked what would happen if Ottawa declined to participate, Caplan suggested that the Ontario government, together with the cities of Toronto and Vaughan, would consider other ways to keep the extension on track.

York prof answers questions about Korea

When North Korea said Monday it had conducted its first nuclear weapons test, it sparked international debate and condemnation, and thrust the mysterious Stalinist country firmly into the spotlight. To help understand what’s really happening, invited South Asia expert Don Rickerd to join an online “noon EDT” to take questions on what life is like in North Korea, and what implications this week’s nuclear test could hold. Rickerd is the associate director, Asian Business & Management Program, at York’s Schulich School of Business. He is also a visiting research fellow at the Asian Institute, University of Toronto. Rickerd has been interested in the two Koreas for many years and has been to North Korea three times, most recently visiting the country two years ago.

Ian Scott, lawyer and politician: 1934-2006

An Ontario politician with the air of a statesman, Ian Scott was the social conscience of David Peterson’s Liberal cabinet, reported The Globe and Mail Oct. 11 in an obituary for the 72-year-old Osgoode Hall Law School grad. Lawyer, civil-rights advocate and politician, Scott had a silver tongue, a prodigious brain and an encompassing empathy. He also faced enormous hardships: His partner died of AIDS and, six months later, Scott suffered a devastating stroke that robbed him of mobility and his ability to speak. He refused to accept his infirmity and spent the next dozen years retraining his wayward speaking skills with the same determination that he had exerted pleading cases before the court or arguing public policy around the cabinet table or in the Ontario Legislature. Scott graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1959, then articled with William Howland, who was later appointed chief justice of Ontario. A labour lawyer, Scott formed his own law firm, Cameron, Brewin & Scott, in Toronto and was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1973. He also taught law at Queen’s University (where he earned a master’s of law degree), McGill University, the Law Society of Upper Canada and the University of Toronto. The Ottawa Citizen also published an obituary.

Counterculture icon joins the mainstream

GooTube. It’s the term bloggers have come up with for the entity that would be created through Internet giant Google Inc.’s acquisition of YouTube Inc., reported the Toronto Star Oct. 11. And they can’t stop chatting about why Google agreed to pay US$1.65 billion in stock for a Web site that posts video clips. As YouTube goes corporate, will consumers be put off by the legal traps that might ensnare operators of the Web-video site? “It’s difficult to say exactly where the rubber of counterculture meets the road of mainstream,” said Robert Kozinets, professor of marketing at York’s Schulich School of Business. “Since the 1960s, counterculture has been merchandised. Revolution is for sale, and cool is marketable.”

Flexibility is key for theatre students

In an Oct. 11 story about acting careers and Toronto-area acting schools, The Toronto Sun interviewed Shawn Kerwin, Chair of York’s Theatre Department. She said York accepts 135 students a year who share a common first year. In second year they decide whether to specialize in acting, directing or theatre studies. Those who want to act must pass an audition, of course, and their acceptance rate is a tiny one in 16 or so. However, those who don’t pass can audition again, Kerwin said, and she emphasized that they remain theatre department students.

York student wins Canadian aboriginal writing contest

Alicia Elliott, 18, of Six Nations, recently took first place in the Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge, reported the Brantford Expositor Oct. 11. Elliott, who is majoring in English at York, travelled to Ottawa last month to accept the award, and $500, at the National Gallery of Canada. This second annual Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge is a short story contest for Aboriginal Canadians ages 14 to 18 and 19 to 29, in which they write about a defining moment in Aboriginal history. Elliott wrote about the land dispute in Caledonia in her award-winning story.

Rules of team engagement

Management teams and groups need rules to operate effectively and efficiently, wrote York adjunct instructor Stephen Friedman in a Best Practices column Oct. 11 in the National Post. Some of the most important rules are those that guide the process of team/group meetings – who is in charge, who speaks, when and for how long, how the group deals with conflict, debate, going off topic, wrote Friedman, who teaches organizational behaviour and human resource management part time at York’s Schulich School of Business.

Precious war medal returning to North Bay

The widow of a Second World War hero was overcome with emotion Sunday afternoon when she learned a North Bay-led campaign rescued her Memorial Silver Cross from an eBay auction, reported the Sudbury Star Oct. 11. The bidding war involved two established collectors of military items and at least one earnest “do-gooder” unaware of local efforts. It came down to a last-second effort by an experienced southern Ontario buyer representing the North Bay contingent, securing the item with the “outrageous” final bid of US$1,255.
Lillian Francis Gale, 89, who grew up in North Bay and remarried after Capt. George Andrew Eaton died March 1, 1945, was watching the bids at her son’s home in Kingston. Hugh Gale, a North Bay city planner for five years before moving to Kingston, said his mother recalls parting with her Silver Cross six decades ago to help comfort her grieving mother-in-law in Port Elgin. Eaton received his bachelor degree in 1935, graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1938 and was called to the Ontario Bar a year later.

On air

  • David Dewitt, former director of York’s Centre for International & Security Studies, was interviewed Oct. 10 by CBC Radio in Ottawa about North Korea’s nuclear tests. He said Canada’s limited diplomatic relations with North Korea could come in handy concerning the global furor over the country’s recent underground nuclear tests. Dewitt was also interviewed on CBC Radio’s “Here and Now” in Toronto, and by similar shows in Winnipeg, Fredericton, and Thunder Bay. He was also one of the panellists on TVO’s The Agenda Oct. 10 about the North Korean nuclear tests.