Deepwater drilling will continue off Newfoundland at record depths

Newfoundland & Labrador is proceeding with the high-risk game of oil exploration in ultra-deep water, as regulators in the province express confidence in industry’s safety practices despite the ecological catastrophe of BP PLC’s Gulf of Mexico blowout, wrote The Globe and Mail June 3.

Canada’s East Coast is now the only region in North America where oil companies can continue to drill deepwater exploration wells after President Barack Obama last week ordered the industry to suspend such operations in the Gulf of Mexico, pending a review of the BP disaster.

Gail Fraser, a biologist in York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies who studies offshore oil regulations, said she worries an accident like the one that has confounded BP would gush into the North Atlantic for months, killing sea birds, fish and marine mammals.

She argued that Chevron should be required to begin drilling a relief well even as it proceeds with the primary exploration well – though the industry argues such an approach would be both risky and prohibitively expensive.

  • Fraser also spoke about changes at the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board in the wake of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, on CBC Radio St. John’s, Nfld., June 2.

Trial dates set in Vaughan’s 2006 campaign charges cases

Trial dates for four cases stemming from Vaughan’s last municipal election have finally been set, wrote the Vaughan Citizen June 2. Residents who initially called for a review of the campaign expenses [that led to the charges] were shocked at how late the court dates are [in 2011 – after the municipal elections].

York University Professor Robert MacDermid also expressed concerns, wrote the Citizen. “This is unfair to citizens, the charged councillors and their election opponents. Of course, if they are not found guilty they will have had to go through the election with the court cases hanging over them,” MacDermid said. “On the other hand, if they are found guilty, it is possible they should not have even served out the term, let alone been re-elected to a new one.”

Schulich grad turns to acting

Thirty-one-year-old Richard Young (MBA ’03) is making a return in FenStar Productions’ 30 Dates where he will play three major roles in addition to appearing as a couple of minor characters, wrote the Oakville Beaver June 2.

“As an actor you also want to bring in yourself. But then you want to make the characters different, but you also don’t want to make them feel false. Some of the characters are larger than life and some of them are more natural and normal,” Young said of his five distinct roles. “For me, it’s a treat to go and play a bunch of different characters. It’s extra work and it’s an extra challenge. I have to figure out the back stories for these characters, but it’s a treat.”

While acting was not always in his career plan, Young said he has always had an interest in the industry. He attended the Schulich School of Business at York University…and entered the world of marketing, but one day he decided that particular field was not for him.

Natives talk tough on HST

It could be a long, hot summer of protest if the Ontario and federal governments don’t extend a First Nations provincial tax exemption under the new HST, wrote the London Free Press June 3.

Officially, Ontario supports a continuation of the exemption. On May 3, the province and the Chiefs of Ontario signed a memorandum of agreement that “commits the parties to work together to realize the continuation of the First Nation point of sale tax exemption.”

But Fred Lazar, professor in the Schulich School of Business at York University, suspects the language of the memorandum is just politics. The economist said Ontario has the full authority to extend the exemption autonomously, regardless of the federal government. “They’re using the federal government as an excuse not to act,” said Lazar.

He said the exemption is not generally popular with Canadians and the province has little to gain by fighting for it. He speculated the cash-starved government might quietly welcome the new revenue.

Why Daniel Barrow keeps his diary in overhead form

Ideas of projection – whether cinematic & psychological – get a compelling art treatment in the work of Daniel Barrow, wrote the National Post June 3. Now, with a new book, a Toronto exhibition at the Art Gallery of York University and New York performances on the go, the Winnipeg-born, Montreal-based artist talks to Leah Sandals about drawing, drama and the unexpected divine.

Q: You’ve written, “I don’t have enough things from my childhood. Over the years, I have thrown out so much in various attempts to reinvent myself.” What do you wish you still had?

A: “It’s not that I long for any particular items; I just regret the way I let go of certain ones. So often I was throwing things away in the spirit of self-contempt, like throwing away diaries solely out of the fear that, someday, someone somewhere else might read [them]. Which doesn’t seem like a really great rationale for, you know, destroying a really personal record of who I was. But I have kept a lot – I don’t want to mislead anyone, I have a lot of stuff.

On air

  • Bernie Wolf, economics professor in the Schulich School of Business at York University, took part in a panel discussion on the reinvention of China’s economy, on TVO’s “The Agenda” June 2.