York grad student to help Revelstoke save native bee species

The Three-spot Mariposa Lily is an understated three-petalled white and yellow flower indigenous to some areas of the Columbia Basin. Like all living things, it’s part of the intricate and complex web of life that sustains us all, wrote B.C.’s Revelstoke Times Review, April 12.

Recent research by biologist Lincoln Best, [a graduate student] at York University [Faculty of Science & Engineering] has uncovered that this flower has a particularly intricate relationship with its friends in the bee world. Best’s research, which included fieldwork in Mount Revelstoke National Park, has uncovered evidence that the flower may be highly dependent on just one species of wild bee for pollination. There are over 400 species of wild bees in B.C., but in repeated fieldwork around the flowers, Best caught only the one species of bee interacting with the flower.

With wild bees in decline in B.C. and elsewhere in North America, the concern is this intricate relationship could break down; the tragic end of the cycle could mean the last lilies are left to bloom alone in the forest, with no helpers to spread their pollen an continue their cycle of life.

Air Canada needs pilots’ agreement to start low-cost service, says York prof

Air Canada pilots based in Toronto will hear details Wednesday of a tentative deal reached by their union that includes a controversial proposal for a new discount airline to vacation hot spots, wrote the Toronto Star April 13.

The move into the lucrative vacation business is seen by some as a smart move for Air Canada amid uncertainty in the industry, especially with soaring fuel prices. Just last month, the airline announced it was eliminating certain unprofitable routes and adding fuel charges on flights to the United States.

Fred Lazar, a professor at the Schulich School of Business at York University, pointed to the success of low-cost airline Jetstar Airways, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qantas. “Air Canada would need certain concessions from the pilots, in regards to hours and wages to make it viable, and the total number of aircraft that could be employed by this new subsidiary,” Lazar said.

Air Canada wants to compete with Air Transat and Sunwing, but Lazar thinks the airline is worried about other low-cost airlines in Europe and Asia such as Ryanair or AirAsia X operating here, or others yet to emerge.

He believes the pilots will sign on because they understand Air Canada needs such a subsidiary to succeed. As well, the pilots will set certain limits on routes, and to exceed the cap, it would require adding aircraft to the main carrier, he said.

CFL’s Blue Bombers look at York Lions’ Clarke

The Canadian Football League’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers coaches took a quick look at three prospects on Tuesday, including York University cornerback Andre Clarke, wrote the Winnipeg Free Press April 13.

Osgoode grad practised for 30 years in Peterborough

Francis (Frank) Adam Johnston [LLB ’62], QC, passed away peacefully with family by his side, at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre on April 11 in his 76th year, wrote The Peterborough Examiner April 13 in a notice of his death.

Frank’s wit, wisdom and warmth will be missed by his family and friends. Along with his family, the law, golf, fishing, debate and crossword puzzles were Frank’s passions. Frank was born in Toronto, educated at Lawrence Park Collegiate and attended the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Law School. Frank was called to the bar of Ontario in 1963, and appointed to Queen’s Counsel in 1982. He practised law in Toronto before moving to Peterborough in 1978, where he practised for over 30 years.

On air

  • Thomas Klassen, political science professor in York’s School of Public Policy & Administration, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, who has written about gambling and casinos, spoke about efforts to help compulsive gamblers, on TFO-TV April 12.