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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

  • North campus environmental reserve takes shape
  • Accountancy professor adds up the dollars in Blue Jays' tax proposal

Chris Redmond

Salvador Dali, 100 years

North campus environmental reserve takes shape

A more detailed image of the environmental reserve is available in PDF (4MB).
Cropped image of environmental reserve.

An open house was held in the ES courtyard on Wednesday, May 5 to show what the planned environmental reserve on the North Campus might look like. The basics of the plan were approved by the UW Board of Governors last October. The purpose of the open house was to let people view and comment on the details of how the plan will be accomplished.

Steve Brown, the engineer from Stantec Consulting who is overseeing the project, says at least 17 people came to look at posters showing variations of the details of the plan and question some of the people involved in implementing it-including Tom Galloway, UW's director of plant operations. The overall response was positive, Brown says. "A few people expressed concerns, but most liked what they saw."

The most dramatic element in the project will be the reconfiguration of  Columbia Lake. The lake's current condition has a significant impact on water quality and aquatic habitat both in the lake and downstream, Brown says. To improve water quality it will be deepened from its current average depth of less than two metres to between two and three metres. A "wetland complex" with pondweed, bullrushes, and other swamp plants will be created at the lake's north end. And a new stream channel will carry some of Laurel Creek around the western side of the lake and on downstream. "It will flow in a more natural manner, and it will allow fish to swim up and downstream," Brown says. At the moment, the dam at the south end of the lake prevents fish from getting upstream.

The heavy lifting part of the project-dredging Columbia Lake, regrading the lake bottom, and creating a new stream channel-will begin late in 2004 and will take about a year to complete, Brown says. "We will go ahead with the project as far as we can this year, depending on the weather, and resume work in the spring."

In future phases, the recreational trail system will be expanded and redesigned; other areas that are now agricultural or park-like land will be replanted with "old field species" such as goldenrod, asters, and St. John's Wort to create meadowlands; some areas will be left wooded; and areas close to Westmount Road will be planted with still-undetermined salt-resistant species.

Accountancy professor adds up the dollars in Blue Jays' tax proposal --from UW Media Relations

If the May 18 Ontario budget adopts a proposal by Toronto Blue Jays' president Paul Godfrey to tax American major league athletes playing in Canada, $13 million annually could be added to Ontario's coffers, says accountancy professor Alan Macnaughton. Currently, under a provision of the Canada-U.S. tax treaty, athletes who are resident in the United States and who play for American teams pay no income tax to either the Canadian or the Ontario government when they play in this country.

The $13 million figure is from an article, "Should Provinces Tax Non-Resident Athletes?" by Macnaughton and Kim Wood, a Toronto tax professional, to be published in vol.52, no. 2, of the Canadian Tax Journal. The 15 per cent rate is a compromise among varying provincial rates. Macnaughton notes that the tax would not be a burden for athletes because their U.S. federal income tax would be reduced by the same amount.

Godfrey has proposed that tax revenue collected in Ontario should be given to the province's sports teams, but there is a good argument that the money should become general revenue of the province, Macnaughton says. "All athletes who earn income in Ontario are benefiting from the government services that assist them in earning that income, such as roads, public transit and police. In Ontario's current difficult financial situation, imposing a charge for the use of these services is worth considering."

The proposed Ontario tax would apply to all major league athletes. Of the $13 million, about $7 million would come from baseball and $3 million each from basketball and hockey. Visiting athletes who are not in leagues, such as golfers, or who are resident of countries other than the U.S., would be exempted because they already pay tax to the Canadian federal and provincial governments.

But suppose U.S. states decide to reciprocate? Even if they do, Macnaughton says, it's not a major concern, since there are relatively few Canadian-resident athletes on Canadian teams to tax. But it could affect truckers. Five U.S. states currently tax Canadian truckers who have pickups and deliveries in their states even though treaty rules say they should not be taxed unless they have permanent operations in the U.S.


Tutorial for engineering students on designing HTML pages for Jobmine resumes happens today, 11:30 a.m., multimedia lab, CPH.

Co-op JobMine Technical Help Tutorial today, 4-6 p.m., TC 2218A.

Senate Undergraduate Council meets today, noon, NH 3004.

LT3 colloquium on e-Portfolios today, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Dana Porter Library, room 329.

Arts Faculty Council meets today, 3:30 p.m., Hagey Hall room 373.

Cosmologist Robert Brandenberger speaks on: "Was There a Big Bang?" today, 5 p.m., Grad House.

Midnight Sun solar car recruitment meeting today, 5:30 p.m., Rod Coutts Hall room 301.

WPIRG information meeting today, 5:30 p.m., Student Life Centre room 2143.

UW Bookstore sale of gardening books today and Wednesday, May 12, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the SCH concourse. Gardening expert David Hobson today at noon.

Term loan books from UW libraries, borrowed before early April, are due tomorrow.

Panel discussion on being deaf in academia, Wednesday, May 12, noon to 1 p.m., NH 1132.

Student Professional Awareness Conference, May 12-13, Tatham Centre. Register online.

UW Aerial Robotics Group information meeting Wednesday, May 12, 6 p.m., Davis Centre room 1304.


Alexander Tzang, deputy president of Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKPU) is on a two-day visit to UW that wraps up today. UW has formalized a research MOU and a student exchange agreement with HKPU, which is described as an applied research university with strong links to business and industry. Tzang is finding out about, among other things, our long-term strategic planning, management structure, R&T transfer, co-op education, and development activities.

A reminder for co-op students: Work term reports in most faculties (check your undergrad office if you're unsure) are due today.

A tutorial for designing HTML pages-with a special focus on accepted formats for the new Jobmine resumes-is on today at 11:30 a.m. in the multimedia lab in CPH, beside the Orifice. It's "open to all engineering students, young and old." For information e-mail cpellett@engmail.

The Interdisciplinary Coffee Talk Society starts this term's free monthly seminar series with a Big Bang today at 5 p.m. in the Grad House. It's a talk by cosmologist Robert Brandenberger, a Brown University professor visiting the Perimeter Institute, on the very early history of the universe. Organizer Achim Kempf reminds all that the series has moved from Thursdays to Tuesdays.

Utility shutdown notice for Engineering 3: chilled water to the entire building will be shut off Wednesday, 4 to 9 p.m., to allow a tie-in for the asphalt testing lab.

The Bike Centre is looking for volunteers. The main responsibility is a two-hour shift once a week, and you should know a bit about bikes or be interested in learning more -- you don't have to be a mechanical whiz. For information send e-mail to uwbikecentre@yahoo.com.

And don't forget about the Bookstore's sale of gardening books today and Wednesday, May 12, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the SCH concourse. Gardening expert David Hobson will be there to answer questions today, noon to 1 p.m.

The UW Aerial Robotics Group (WARG), a student group, announces that they have "accomplished a milestone in technology by creating a fully autonomous fixed wing aircraft." Find out more about their current activities and plans for the future at a meeting on Wednesday, May 12, 6 p.m., in Davis Centre room 1304.