10 The Chronicle December 19 - 25, 2017 chronicle.durhamcollege.ca Campus
Campus chronicle.durhamcollege.ca December 19 - 25, 2017 The Chronicle 11 The show must go on Shana Fillatrau The Chronicle The teachers who led Durham College graduates to Fall Convocation were not in attendance at the ceremony. Fall convocation took place Oct. 26 at the Tribute Community Centre – almost two weeks into the fiveweek long strike. Since teachers were not supposed to cross the picket line, most chose not to attend their student’s graduation. Jeffrey Gill graduated from the Public Relations program that night. He wasn’t happy that his teachers weren’t there. “It’s going to be disappointing because I was really looking forward to seeing some of my teachers here today but I understand why they’re doing it,” he said. “I’m not going to jump myself in the middle of the debate but, it’ll be disappointing not to see them, that’s for sure.” Other colleges such as Fanshawe and Mohawk postponed their graduation ceremony to accommodate the strike. Kevin Baker, principal of the Whitby Campus and the Dean of the school of the Skilled Trades, Photograph by Shana Fillatrau Jeffrey Gill, a public relations graduate, received his gown and is ready for the ceremony. Apprenticeship and Technology, and the Centre for Food, said the ceremony wasn’t cancelled because “logistically it would have been impossible to reschedule.” “That’s a really hard one. You know what, they’re a really big part of our family and a big part of everything that happens,” he said, “but I think that you know, this day is really important for these folks who are graduating, so I think it’s really just one of those unfortunate things where we just have to do it.” Baker said graduates and families come from “all over the country,” and many planned ahead to come to graduation. “It’s not something you can easily reschedule, right?” he said. “I mean, this building, it’s big, it’s busy, so trying to get a venue and trying to change things and all that, that’s really difficult, and for everyone who is coming tonight, you know, we see how Important this day is for them and they’ve been looking forward to it.” More than 1,100 graduates from all nine schools graduated in the ceremony. Oshawa airport town hall attracts frustrated residents John Cook The Chronicle The Oshawa Executive Airport held its first public town hall this month to share information and take comments from the public. The event quickly turned into a heated back-and-forth between aggravated residents and airport staff. About 90 people attended the event held at the Canadian Flight Academy on airport grounds. They ranged from airport users and staff, to members of the public and local government officials. The meeting began with four presentations including a plan to create a walking trail near the airport and to develop the south field on airport grounds. There were also updates on Oshawa’s fight against the emerald ash borer beetle. Stephen Wilcox, manager of the airport, was derailed several times during the final presentation by frustrated residents who cut in to offer criticism and make statements while he was speaking. Wilcox gave updates on recent airstrip repairs, new strategies to combat airport noise, and the projected impact on flight traffic in Oshawa when Buttonville airport ceases operations in the next year or two. Airport noise was the most common issue among residents. Second to that was the frequency of flights, including training flights by the two flight schools which operate in Oshawa. Chris Neshevich told staff he cannot enjoy peace and quiet anywhere in his home on Glenwood Crescent, a street neighbouring the airport. Neshevich says the planes are flying too low and too frequently over his house, creating excessive noise. He says he has raised his concerns with the airport before but with little to no response from Wilcox or anyone else. “The biggest concern is that they’re increasing the amount of air traffic with no regard to the residents and no dialogue,” said Neshevish. “It’s about the quiet enjoyment I deserve as a resident in my home.” Wilcox says there’s not much the airport can do to reduce flights in and out of Oshawa. He says if pilots choose to land in Oshawa, the airport cannot turn them away. Wilcox also pointed to the addition of new flight simulators at the flight schools to reduce the noise from training flights. Others asked if there were tactics other airports in Canada use to combat noise pollution that Oshawa does not. “No, we’re at the leading edge of dealing with [noise pollution],” Wilcox told the crowd. Another resident, Pat Blackwood, questioned why the city has not implemented a noise by-law applying to the airport. Wilcox said creating such a law would not be possible under federal and provincial regulations. Blackwood also criticized the communication between the airport and residents. “My complaint is that I don’t like the attitude [of airport staff], that they don’t have any control over anything, and any new business that comes into this airport, they can’t do anything about,” said Blackwood. Wilcox apologized for the perceived lack of action on various concerns. “We’re trying. We are trying. So, we will try better. We will try harder,” he said. While many residents had concerns, there were also some voices in support of the airport. One resident stood to remind residents that any reduction in flights to and from the airport could impact the local economy, and cost jobs or raise taxes. Another resident expressed annoyance at the residents of neighbouring communities for criticizing the noise. “Why did you people buy land up around here?” he asked. “You knew the damned airport was there. What the hell’s wrong with you people?” After the meeting, Wilcox said he was pleased with the results of the town hall. He said it was beneficial to interact face-to-face with residents, and he’s taken many of their suggestions into account. However, he said, the concerns expressed are rarely reported to the airport. “We don’t get a lot of complaints,” Wilcox said. “On an annual basis, we’re talking roughly 50 complaints.” The Oshawa Executive Airport has operated in North Oshawa since 1941, as part of a plan to train more pilots in British Commonwealth nations during the Second World War.