York’s Drummond comments on Rae’s election chances

Bob Rae said Wednesday he will seek the Liberal nomination for a riding in downtown Toronto, a fourth political incarnation for the former NDP MP, Ontario premier and Liberal leadership candidate, wrote CanWest News Service March 8. Rae, 58, is likely to suffer from his past NDP affiliation, said Bob Drummond, political science professor and dean of  York’s Faculty of Arts.

"It won’t be an advantage to have had an NDP background because I think some Liberals will not vote for him on that basis and some New Democrats will not switch to vote for him on that basis," he said. "I think (Rae) drew reasonably good support in Ontario for his (Liberal) leadership (campaign) so certainly some Liberals in the province were prepared to overlook the years of the Rae government, recognizing he was a different party then, I guess."

The transit debate

Host Rosemary Thompson interviewed federal Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon about the funding announcement for the Spadina subway extension on CTV’s “Mike Duffy Live” March 6. From the transcript:

Cannon: Well, I think what it means, basically for all those people in the GTA who have to travel to work and are caught in gridlock; I think this is a godsend in many respects. It brings together three essential components. One, the health component…. The second one, of course, is the economy and Jim Flaherty stressed that. Ontario, the GTA particularly, is the hub of Canada’s economic well-being. So by accelerating the construction of roads and making sure that public transit is there, that is an important component. And, of course, finally the environmental file.

  • Consider, for starters, the highlight of the Toronto [transportation funding] announcement, extension of the city’s subway line another 8.7 kilometres north of the city, wrote Terence Corcoran in his column for the the National Post March 8. While the extension will pass through York University and make it easier for some students to get to class, where they can protest their subsidized tuition fees, the major objective is to hook the existing subway system up with suburban car culture and major real estate plays.

The extension will come to an end smack in the middle of what is known as Vaughan Corporate Centre. While it is theoretically possible that people who now live in Vaughan would abandon their cars and take the subway to downtown Toronto, thus curbing auto use and ending what Harper considers a scourge – gridlock – the reality is likely to be somewhat different, even the opposite.

IRIS director speaks in Shades of Green

The effort to create "greener" cities will get a big boost at a symposium on urban green space being held at Royal Botanical Gardens March 8, wrote the Burlington Post March 7. Shades Of Green: Exploring Biodiversity, Human Values And Urban Planning, runs from 1 to 5pm. Speakers include Dawn Bazely, director of York’s Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability.

Maggs moves for ‘Wilkinsons’

Former York student Adriana Maggs describes herself as a writer-for-hire who loves to act, wrote The Telegram (St. John’s) March 8. It’s a skill set that landed her a gig writing the original TV series, "The Wilkinsons." The show’s second season returned to CMT March 7, premiering with two back-to-back episodes. Maggs and her partner, actor/comedian Steve Cochrane, packed up their two sons, ages 2 and 5, and moved to Toronto in June when she landed the job. A native of Corner Brook, Nfld., she studied screenwriting at York and had lived in St. John’s since 1999.