Enough talk, now’s the time for action on global warming, critics say

The provincial government’s latest climate change announcement prompted critics to wonder why Ontario Liberals are still trying to raise public awareness about – rather than acting on –global warming, reported the Ottawa Citizen July 20. At a Queen’s Park press conference Thursday, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay unveiled an interactive map showing the physical effects of climate change under higher‑ and lower‑polluting scenarios. Also announced was funding for a three‑year study on the health of polar bears, which, according to the minister, could lead to a better understanding of shifting weather conditions.

York environmental studies Prof. Mark Winfield says the province needs to respond to the changing climactic conditions with a comprehensive plan for action. "Our level of understanding of the likely impacts, I would say, is getting to be fairly sophisticated," Winfield said in an interview. "There are some very distinct endpoints that are being identified that need to be addressed. We’re really at a stage where we should be able to do things as opposed to striking another committee to study things."

Winfield says the Ontario government’s approach is scattered and lacks focus. "So far, there doesn’t seem to be a strategy. There has been a target established and there has been a series of announcements of bits and pieces, which at this stage can’t be said to add up to an overall strategy."

Councillors rail at provincial fee for York bus route

The province’s attempt to charge the city the equivalent of $3 million per kilometre to use a hydro corridor for a dedicated bus line to York University is nothing short of daylight robbery, a city councillor alleged, according to the North York MIrror July 19. The city is in the midst of negotiations with the Ontario Realty Corporation, which is acting on behalf of the province and Hydro One, for a grant to operate a dedicated roadway for buses within the Finch Hydro corridor. "It makes no sense for the province to offer to fund the building of light rapid rail across this province and within the City of Toronto and yet charge these fees for the expropriation of the land to actually put the rail in," Ward 1 (Etobicoke North) Councillor Suzan Hall said. "I believe the province wants this extension and so in order to have the extension they must come to some kind of an agreement with us and this is exorbitant, it’s like highway robbery."

"If we’re forced into a position of paying $3 million a kilometre, not for the land but for the right of access to a hydro corridor, which is a public facility, it will kill public transit plans for the future,@ said Councillor Howard Moscoe. AAnd the premier can’t say on one hand, ‘We’re going to build nine lines through Toronto, we’re going to build lines through the GTA,’ and then in the back door demand $3 million a kilometre in order to do this," Moscoe said.

He noted the roadway, which will improve the commute between Downsview station and York University, is essential. "This roadway is vital," Moscoe said. "It brings 1,500 buses a day into York University and it will save 20 minutes of the trip to the subway station." He also noted that once the subway is built, the roadway "will form the beginning of a network that will reach out to Etobicoke in the west and Scarborough in the east because the corridor stretches across the city."

Younger MBA grads pursue social and environmental goals

Most people who finish MBA programs know how to tackle financial accounting, business statistics, spreadsheets and case studies. Often they aspire to move on to well‑paid positions with large prestigious corporations, wrote The Globe and Mail July 20. But not always. A small but growing number of MBA grads want to merge their business expertise with social and environmental objectives, such as alleviating poverty.

The younger crop of MBA students have been the first to recognize that they need a different kind of education and work experience in order to be successful, according to Brian Kelly, director of the Sustainable Enterprise Academy at York University’s Schulich School of Business. "Most business issues … to a large degree now revolve around environmental and sustainability issues," he said.

Kelly said that in the past five years there has been a shift in the academic front in Canada, the United States and Europe that is seeing many MBA and undergraduate business programs adding courses on sustainable business development, corporate social responsibility or business ethics.

York basketball great in Lindsay, Ont. hall of fame

The Lindsay and District Sports Hall of Fame is adding six more names to its hallowed halls, reported the Lindsay Post July 20. Bill Abercrombie, Carl Coulter, Louis Karkabasis, Mary McKay, Basil McRae and Chris McRae will officially be inducted Oct. 21.  

Karkabasis is the most accomplished international basketball player this area has produced, the paper said. Karkabasis played four seasons of high school ball before moving onto York University. At York, he played with Paul and Mark Jones. Paul (BSc Spec. Hons. ’80) is the play‑by‑play voice for the Toronto Raptors’ broadcasts on the FAN590 while Mark (BA ’84) is a sportscaster at ESPN.

After university, Karkabasis moved to Greece where he played with the Olympiakos Basketball Club Pireaus from 1987 to 1992. His final season with Olympiakos was his best as the club won the European championship. He then played with the Sporting Basketball Club in Athens from 1992 to 1994.

 On air

  • A study by Prof. James Stribopoulos of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, finding that a judge’s political party of appointment has an impact on rulings, was reported on CJLL-FM (Ottawa), CJWL-FM (Ottawa), CHNO-AM (Sudbury) and CBC Radio (Thunder Bay) July 19.