Subway to York is a prime candidate for a ramp-up

The current economic crisis presents a perfect opportunity to move forward with the Metrolinx plan: jobs today, productivity tomorrow, argued Carol Wilding, president & CEO of The Toronto Board of Trade, in a column in the National Post Dec. 5. But unless Metrolinx and the provincial government address the twin problems of financing and governance, this golden opportunity could pass the region by, she wrote.

The price tag on Metrolinx’s regional transportation plan stands at $50 billion. Less than $12 billion of this plan is accounted for from money promised by the McGuinty government. Where the remaining $38 billion will come from is not yet known.

[But] it can’t be forgotten that there are hundreds of millions of federal dollars already committed to projects that have cleared environmental assessment hurdles, Wilding wrote. With money committed and regulatory requirements already fulfilled, these needed projects, such as the York University line, are prime candidates for ramp up and completion.

Law prof answers Star readers’ queries about coalition

The Toronto Star‘s Iain Marlow put readers’ questions about a coalition government to Christopher Dassios, an adjunct professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, in its Dec. 5 question and answer column.

Q. Can the coalition still try to bring down the government in January when the next session starts?

A. Absolutely. They’re entitled to vote the government down at any time when the government presents a bill that’s considered a confidence bill, like a budget. The opposition can also bring a motion of non-confidence, as and when the rules of Parliament permit it. They can do it – it’s just that the timing depends on the procedural rules of Parliament.

York’s cheerleaders place third in Canada

Word of the University of Regina cheerleading team is sure to spread after it won the Canadian university championships in the small team co-ed division on the weekend in Brampton, Ont., reported Regina’s Leader-Post Dec. 5. This year, the U of R bested the two-time defending national champions from McMaster, who wound up second. York University was third.

Music student sings at Christmas concert

Lyrica Chamber Choir launches its three-concert season with a holiday favourite – Handel’s "Messiah” – next weekend, reported the Barrie Examiner Dec. 5. The choir’s artistic director and conductor Steve Winfield has pulled out all the stops for the occasion, featuring up-and-coming soloists, including tenor John Castillo, currently in his third year of performance at York University.

On air

  • Robert MacDermid, political science professor emeritus in York’s Faculty of Arts, discussed Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s meeting with Governor General Michaëlle Jean, the coalition and the possibility of Harper’s resignation, on “The John Oakley Show” on CFMJ-AM in Toronto Dec. 4. 
  • Fred Fletcher, political science professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, discussed whether the Governor General would put conditions on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s request for prorogation of Parliament, on “The Bill Good Show” on CKNW-AM in Vancouver Dec. 4. 
  • Researchers at York University have designed a new computer game to help patients with a condition called convergence insufficiency learn to align their eyes, reported regional TV news shows in Prince George and Kamloops, BC, and Red Deer, Alta, Dec. 4.