Medical school at York will take time

Not getting any provincial funding earmarked for new medical school spots just means York University has to try harder to convince Queen’s Park it deserves to open a medical school, wrote the North York Mirror March 31, citing comments by Alex Bilyk, York’s director of media relations.

Last week’s provincial budget set aside $35 million for capital projects that will create 100 additional medical school spots. But none of the funding is going to York, which last year launched a campaign to bring a medical school to its campus. The Mirror said Bilyk is putting a brave face on the fact the medical school wasn’t included in the budget. "We continue to work with the government on our proposal. We didn’t expect it (approval) this time around," he said. "It is not a short-term project. These things take time. We’re confident we will eventually have a medical school. They haven’t said no. We feel our proposal has lots of merit."

The economic crisis makes pitching a new medical school tougher, Bilyk acknowledged. "With today’s economics, we have to be considerate of all factors," he said. "We all have to be realistic on expectations." At the same time, Bilyk said York supports the budget funding for 100 new medical school spaces. "A hundred spaces is good. The spaces are good news for Ontario," he said. "We’re supportive of that and we continue to work with the government on establishing a medical school here at York."

Last April, Dr. Peter Walker was named York’s special adviser to lead the campaign for the medical school. In an interview with the Mirror at the time, Walker said the University is interested in building an innovative medical program grounded in teaching socially conscious doctors interested in community-based care.

Universities shelling out top dollar for top staff

As universities struggle to cut costs during a recession, there is one area where it could be too costly to cut back: Salaries for top staff, wrote the Toronto Star April 1.

Hundreds of employees, dozens of deans and numerous professors at University of Toronto, Ryerson and York are paid more than $200,000, with some making near $500,000, according to the official salary list released yesterday. University officials say they must pay to attract and keep top talent.

U of T offers the most 200K salaries, with 187 employees getting paid that much or more. Ryerson offers 12 employees such salaries, and York University offers 47. Presidents were among the highest paid – U of T’s David Naylor made $380,000, York’s President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri collected $454,000 and Ryerson’s head, Sheldon Levy, made $344,583.

Teen pregnancy is an issue of social justice

A small item about the shocking rate of teenage pregnancies in Northumberland County passed by county council last month without so much as a peep, wrote columnist Robert Washburn in April 1.

Buried inside Northumberland County council’s agenda last month was a report from the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit saying Northumberland County’s rate is a whopping 9 per cent, almost three times the provincial average.

As York University Professor Andrea O’Reilly put it recently in a Citytv interview, teen pregnancy is becoming more socially acceptable, as compared to the stigma that was once attached to it not long ago. This makes the task more formidable, but not impossible, O’Reilly said.

Economy hits business travel at airlines

The number of business class passengers, where the real money’s made, is down dramatically, trading in the luxury for economy, reported CTV’s Lisa Laflamme March 31 in an item about troubles at Air Canada that included comments by Bernie Wolf, economics professor in the Schulich School of Business at York University. “If they can’t go business class, then they might as well go WestJet or Porter,” said Wolf.

York grad is a coach for all seasons

York grad Jos Nederveen (MA ’88) doesn’t have one foot in the grave and the other on a slippery surface, wrote the Hamilton Spectator April 1. Questions regarding the veteran volleyball coach’s health arose when he started receiving a number of prestigious awards two years ago. The number of honours are usually reserved for people either retiring or nearing exiting this planet.

Nederveen, 53, was named the Developmental Coach of the Year by the Coaches Association of Ontario for his work in developing athletes and coaches through high school and club programs. He was also awarded the Syl Apps Special Achievement Award for volleyball from the provincial government’s Ontario Sports Awards program. Two years ago, he won the Pete Beach Award from the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations.

"I really enjoy coaching," said Nederveen, who began his coaching career in 1974. "It’s been great coaching club, high school and now doing house league." Nederveen started coaching volleyball at the club level when he was a graduate student in what is now York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health, in 1982.

Former hockey Lion helps Trojans to third college title

Okotokians Sean Goodwin, Ryan Hyland and Jon Malin, all rookies, played a big part in the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Polytechnic hockey team’s success this season, wrote Alberta’s Okotoks Western Wheel April 1. Hyland played in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport league with the York University Lions last season.

Affordable housing is important, says York student

Affordable housing is a very smart initiative for Saugeen Shores and Bruce County as a whole, wrote York student Brandon Bell in a letter to the Shoreline Beacon April 1. Affordable housing is often overlooked because of its low-profit profile and overall demeanour to those in higher income groups. As an urban studies undergrad, I have a fair understanding in how urban affairs shape the lives of those in need. Affordable housing should be one of the most aggressive projects on the town’s agenda. While there are plenty of middle-class workers in the area, it is also home to others who would live a new life with affordable shelter.

Smart growth initiatives would see the town develop for mid-rise developments such as the apartments on Waterloo Street. This would increase the density in the town core, reduce waste and make for responsible land-use planning. Wherever the affordable housing goes, the town should be less concerned with splitting up valuable land by extending Market Street. As great as it may sound for a few people who use it, or think of it – think of the entire community. Saugeen Shores is a special place for all of us and the decisions made now will affect everyone for decades to come.

Bell is a third-year undergraduate at York University specializing in the post-industrial transformation of Canadian cities and communities, the Beacon noted.