The big benefits of going small

Subcompacts are the hottest slice of the vehicle market at the moment – sales surged 25 per cent in the first four months of the year, outpacing all other segments in Canada, wrote The Globe and Mail May 25. Automakers are tossing around huge incentives that include $1,000 rebates and interest-free loans and are spending big advertising dollars.

That spending is part of the $1 billion in advertising that automakers and their dealers do in Canada annually, said Alan Middleton, a professor of marketing at York University’s Schulich School of Business, citing Nielsen Media Research. He pointed to a confluence of factors that will cause automakers offering small cars to shift spending. Among them are the high price of gas, the rising Canadian dollar and growing environmental consciousness.

Another former Lion signs for CFL duty

The Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders have added Canadian free agent running back Josh Martyr (BA ’05) from York University to their roster, wrote The Ottawa Sun May 25.

  • The 6-foot-0, 210-pound Martyr, 26, spent five seasons at York, wrote The Leader-Post (Regina) May 25. Last year, he had 21 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown. He led York in rushing in 2002 with 440 yards.
    "(Roughriders assistant coaches) Alex Smith and Mike Gibson saw Josh at the Laval evaluation camp and really liked his overall athleticism. He’s also a real character guy, which we place a premium on, " Roughriders general manager Eric Tillman said.

East York Choir member teaches at York

In a story about an upcoming spring concert by the East York Choir, the East York Mirror noted May 24 that the second half of the concert will be special as it will feature African songs, dances, stories and drumming, with guest artists including Larry Graves, who teaches African percussion at York University.

MacDonald enters York University’s Hall of Fame

Former Mission, BC, resident and Olympic medallist Gary MacDonald will be inducted into York University’s Sports Hall of Fame on May 31, wrote the Mission City Record May 24. MacDonald, a freestyle swimmer, was born in Mission in 1953 and competed in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Monteal. He earned a silver medal in the 4×100 metre medley relay.

MacDonald started his swimming career at Simon Fraser University, and moved to York in his final year in 1977-1978, where he was named the country’s outstanding male swimmer of the year. He returned to York to help coach the next year, leading to a coaching career that has now taken him to Halifax where he currently resides.

More debate about climate change

Will Cole-Hamilton of the Learning Climate Educational Society writes in his letter that "a study of 928 peer-reviewed scientific articles on climate change found that none contested Al Gore’s premise [that climate change] is primarily caused by human activity."

This claim is false and misleading, wrote T.A. Heinrichs, political science professor at York’s Glendon College, in a letter to the National Post May 25. The 928 figure (which Gore cites in his film) is based on flawed research that was exposed by the British social scientist Benny Peiser. Peiser found that only 13 (or one per cent) of 1,117 articles supported the so-called "consensus view" on warming. He also found that 34 articles rejected or questioned this view.

Moreover, the idea that "the entire community of climate change scientists" agrees with Gore’s extreme assertions is false, said Heinrichs. A survey of 530 climate scientists in 2003 asked them to what extent they agreed that climate change is mostly the result of anthropogenic causes. Their answers, ranked on a scale of one to seven (one being strong agreement, seven strong disagreement) yielded a mean of 3.62 – hardly evidence of any "consensus".

What Gore is pushing is not science but politics, something, of course, that Gore does know a little about, wrote Heinrichs.

Visual arts student closes inaugural exhibit with a party

Georgetown native and York student, artist Kailey Bryan will hold a closing gala of her inaugural exhibit on May 26 at Evoked Emotions Gallery in Norval, wrote the Georgetown Independent May 25. The recipient of the GDHS Millennium Award for fine art in 2005, Bryan is now studying visual art at York University.

On air

  • Shin Imai, law professor in York’s Osgoode Hall Law School and an expert on Aboriginal land claims, was interviewed on the topic on BNN’s “Strictly Legal” program May 24.