Sorbara strikes hopeful note on subway

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and his Queen’s Park counterpart Greg Sorbara appear to be experiencing a bit of a thaw, with the Ontario minister hoping they may be moving to end the impasse on federal funding for a subway extension through York University, reported the Toronto Star Dec. 8.

In Ottawa, Flaherty told the media that he and Sorbara had a “very friendly” conversation there Wednesday, the Star wrote. Sorbara said: “I was very pleased with what he had to say…on public transit in particular. He acknowledged for the first time that rapid transit like subways and extension of GO trains helps them on an environmental issue. We’re going to move ahead on that project and I believe that at the right time the federal government will be a partner. There is a huge political risk for them if they’re not.”

That could be good news for the new 6.2-kilometre TTC subway extension from Downsview station, through York’s Keele campus and across Steeles Avenue into the 905 area, the Star said.

Flaherty said the subway extension was among the projects the federal government is considering. “There are a whole series of proposed infrastructure projects related to transit and other things in and around the Greater Toronto Area and southern Ontario and we’re reviewing them,” he told reporters. “Public transit generally is significant…and environmentally important.” But he was non-committal about whether Ottawa would come through with the $670 million for the subway. “The question is, of course, which projects (should be approved) and which projects are of national economic significance.”

  • Ontario Finance Minister Greg Sorbara said he was confident that Ottawa will eventually become a partner in the province’s program to expand public transit, which includes a $2.1-billion subway expansion to York University and into neighbouring Vaughan, reported The Globe and Mail Dec. 8. Ontario, the City of Toronto and York Region have committed almost $1.4-billion, but Ottawa hasn’t offered to cover the difference. Sorbara said that if the minority Conservative government doesn’t contribute to Ontario’s infrastructure projects, “a new federal government will.” He said later that he wasn’t making any threats, although he offered that rapid transit would be an issue in the next federal election.

Improving service is the first priority for new TTC Chair

Transit service improvements are the first order of business for new TTC Chair Adam Giambrone – and any consideration of possible fare increases are far in the future, according to the 29-year-old councillor from Ward 18 (Davenport), reported the Bloor West Villager Dec. 7. “Our first priority is going to be getting the new commissioners up to speed, and then we have to sit down and talk about how we get things like the new subway (to York University and Vaughan) back on track,” he said.

Behind every car there is a unique story

Former York instructor Bill Sherk is a prolific writer, wrote the Brampton Guardian Dec. 8 in introducing him as a new columnist. He has written more than 300 newspaper articles and seven books. Sherk has been interested in automobiles since his first job pumping gas as a teenager. Right from the beginning he has been involved in the old car hobby.

Sherk has taught history for 31 years and courses on effective writing at York University for 19 years, wrote the Guardian. His secret to effective writing is quite simple. “1. Choose the right words. 2. Put them in the right order.” Sherk bought a 1940 Mercury convertible when he was a teenager. Years later, he began searching for that Mercury. He eventually bought it back in 2001. In searching for his old car, Sherk picked up the moniker of “The Old Car Detective”.

Alum runs for provincial PC nomination

York alumnus Paul Hong (LLB ’06) put his name forward for the Progressive Conservative nomination in the provincial riding of Dufferin-Caledon because he is “grateful for the opportunities this country and community have provided me and I want to give back to it,” reported The Orangeville Banner, Dec. 7. The 22-year resident of Bolton and Caledon has political experience volunteering on two leadership campaigns, nine electoral campaigns and is a current member of the local PC association executive. Hong, 27, is a graduate of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School and currently articles at a Toronto-based international law firm.

 MBA student Bloom hits his first career fair

I admit it, I was talking to myself, wrote columnist and MBA student at York’s Schulich School of Business Richard Bloom, in The Globe and Mail Dec. 8. But at events like these, even the smallest mistake and your résumé goes into the shredder. Standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom of a downtown Toronto hotel, I started running through a checklist for when I would get face to face with the recruiter at the career fair.

“Make sure palm isn’t sweaty when shaking hands.

“Don’t hesitate when answering the questions.

“Business cards in front pocket.

“Résumés neatly placed in portfolio.”

I muttered these to myself as I brushed my shoulders and inspected the back of my jacket to make sure it didn’t have any lint. I then marched into the room of about 100 other soon-to-graduated MBAs who were also looking to schmooze recruiters and find that important first job out of school. With that, my career hunt began.