The next step for Ontario’s energy mix

“The central issue facing Ontario’s electricity system is whether to attempt to refurbish the Bruce and Darlington nuclear power plants,” co-wrote Mark Winfield, York University environmental studies professor and co-chair of York’s Sustainable Energy Initiative, in the Ottawa Citizen June 23. “The track record of previous nuclear repair efforts has been one of delays, massive cost-overruns and even project failures. The situation has prompted many to ask whether there might be less expensive and less risky alternatives to continuing down the refurbishment path.” Read full story.

Rob Ford and Doug Ford: a boon for city hall integrity?
As part-time integrity commissioner Janet Leiper prepares to exit after a hectic five-year term, some notable critics of the Fords argue that her work and the Fords’ reign of error have put flesh on a framework of rules and schooled councillors and Torontonians on their importance. . . . “It shows both the possibilities and the limits of the model that came into place after the MFP inquiry,” said Osgoode Hall Law School Dean Lorne Sossin, interim integrity commissioner before Leiper’s appointment, in the Toronto Star June 24. “We’ve seen how far you can stretch those positive relationships, and that there aren’t many tools in the tool box when those relationships aren’t positive.” Read full story.

What American Apparel CEO Dov Charney’s ouster says about the new world of corporate leadership
On June 18, American Apparel Inc. CEO Dov Charney was unceremoniously ousted from the clothing retailer he founded in 1997, over a range of concerns tied to his personal and corporate activities. . . . So what suddenly caused the board of directors who had benevolently tolerated the misconduct of the “pants-optional” CEO of the $120-million enterprise to now view him as a liability? “Some charismatic, dominant people have demons and have reputational issues that can be their undoing,” explained York University Professor Richard LeBlanc in the Financial Post June 23. Read full story.

“Less unsustainable” not good enough
The corporate sector needs an urgent rethink to even come close to achieving the social and environmental hallmarks of truly sustainable business, academics warned at a national CSR conference. . . . Professor Andy Crane of York University said B corporations were a fantastic example of new ways of thinking about what types of companies were needed to achieve sufficient progress. “The point about these companies is that it’s written into the company articles that it has a purpose that’s about satisfying multiple stakeholders, not just about shareholder value. It’s in their DNA,” said Crane in Pro Bono Australia June 23. Read full story.

Being urban, transit-focused set Markham apart in York U bid
It appears Markham has what York University wants – an urban centre, transit, recreation and amenities for students. Which is why Markham’s star got a little brighter yesterday with the announcement the university has selected Markham Centre for expansion, reported the Markham Economist & Sun June 24. Read full story.

With help from Gloria Vanderbilt, Barry Callaghan keeps literary home fires burning
It happened at a Toronto literary event in the early 1970s, when Canadian cultural nationalism was reaching a fevered, almost religious pitch. Barry Callaghan, who had just launched a quarterly called Exile (with the help of York University) was accused of being a “continentalist” – and not in a flattering way, reported the Toronto Star June 25. Read full story.

Today’s letters: More liberty will make for a healthier society
“I want everyone who read this article about Canada’s single-tier health-care system to know that Cuba and North Korea are the only other countries that ‘enjoy’ the benefits of a solitary public system, without an accompanying private alternative. . . . The statements that the three writers of this article make, that the medical systems in Europe and Australia are harmful to their citizens, is simply false,” wrote York University Professor Emerita Sally F. Zerker in the National Post June 25. Read full story.

Bitcoin has a future, but maybe not as a currency
In the course of its five-year run, bitcoin has been heralded as a beacon of hope by those who mistrust banks and an object of suspicion by those who mistrust a grassroots currency, reported CBC News June 24. . . . Mark Kamstra, a finance professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, says that bitcoin has “fatal flaws” – like its fixed supply – that limit its growth. But he concedes that the underlying technology has the potential to change the online payment system. Read full story.

Students get a lesson on scholarships
Graduating high school students wanting to get scholarships should talk to Sherry Wong. The Cambridge student secured $130,000 in scholarship money and chose to accept a $60,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship from York University where she will attend in the fall, reported The Waterloo Region Record June 24. Read full story.

York U and Seneca pitch Markham for new campus
York University, in collaboration with Seneca College, announced Monday that Markham Centre is its preferred location for a new campus, reported the North York Mirror June 23. Read full story.