Town Hall Report

November 22, 2007
1 item

Town Hall Report - October 31, 2007

Members of the Administrative Executive Committee  (AEC) of Lakehead University present at the open Town Hall Meeting on October 31, 2007,  were: Dr. Fred Gilbert, President, Mr. Michael Pawlowski, Vice President (Administration and Finance), Dr. Laurie Hayes, Vice President (Academic) and Provost, and Dr. Rui Wang, Vice President (Research).  
 
If you have any questions about this report, please direct them to Eleanor Abaya, Director of Communications at eabaya@lakeheadu.ca    
 
Following are excerpts from the session.

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Click here to view Dr. Fred Gilbert's slide presentation.  Powerpoint or Powerpoint Viewer is required. 
 

WiFi

I don't want to disappoint any students who are in the audience today, but this is not a Town Hall Meeting related to the pool.  It is a Town Hall Meeting that is designed to address some of the key issues related to the University at this point in time.  Most particularly though, it's an opportunity to provide some information on the WiFi policy that the University has.  
    
There will be a series of Town Hall Meetings related to the pool issue, which will probably start in January.  But, more information will hopefully be made available in November.  If it isn't, it will be made available in January, but the process certainly will carry through the early part of 2008. 
 
Just to correct some of the misinformation that's out there right now, what is being developed as one of the options is a University Student Service Centre.  This is not a strip mall, it's not a food mall, it is an opportunity to provide some services on campus that are currently not available.  All of this will play itself out when more information becomes available.  

WiFi has been, as I think a lot of people are aware, an issue on our campus throughout the past few years - simply because we do have a policy that has meant that we are not an open WiFi zone.  The policy has been that there will be no use of WiFi in those areas of the University that are already served adequately by hard-wire.  Until such time that the potential health effects have been scientifically rebutted, or there are adequate protective measures that can be taken, the policy will remain in effect.   

We feel that we, as a university, are very well connected.  We have a fibre-optic backbone, and all of our buildings are connected to that fibre-optic backbone.  We've made connectivity available both in public and private places throughout the campus.  We are linked, in terms of broadband, with two primary trunks, one being Orion and the other being CA Net.  We are also backed up by a commercial network if we have to go to it.  There are over 8,000 connectivity points on this campus.  So, we're well connected with high-speed interfaces.  There are lots of issues that are important when you're looking at going WiFi; some are related to security, speed, and cost.  However, it is the potential health impacts that have caused us to invoke the precautionary principle at Lakehead University.  The precautionary principle is essentially what it indicates; until you have adequate information upon which to make a definitive decision, you err on the side of caution.  As this particular technology is one of convenience rather than one of necessity, we feel that we're on pretty sound ground to have taken the policy stance that we have because of the information that is available, some of which I will share with you today.  

The concern about WiFi health hazards is not isolated to Lakehead University.  The concern is now global.  One of the elements of that concern has been expressed in the Benevento resolution, which was signed by 31 international scientists.  They are simply indicating what we're indicating; that there is knowledge that there are biological effects occurring at low-frequency levels in the range of WiFi systems, cell phones, and PDA devices.  There is concern that should be expressed, and concern that the current guidelines - in place at national and international levels - are not protecting the population.

This is just to give you some idea of where the radiation range is.  Below this line you're looking at ionizing radiation, the type of radiation used in X-ray devices and CAT scans.  Above non-ionizing radiation is radiation that you'll find in TV, radio, and WiFi and cellular system transmissions. The general thinking was that non-ionizing radiations had no effect on biological systems because of the nature of the radiation itself.  But, they've found that there are in fact biological effects.  They are a function of a host of factors.  Not surprisingly, in biological systems they are related to factors such as genotype, gender, physiology, and cell density.  In terms of the electromagnetic forces themselves, they are related to the frequency, the modulation intermittence, the time of exposure, the distance that you are from the field, the amount of energy within the field that you're exposed to, and the power density.  Because there's a great deal of uncertainty out there, we have a tremendous range of international EMF standards at this point in time.  Ranging from highs in the United Kingdom, where there is a tremendous amount of controversy under way right now, and North America where they are at the second highest, to the very low value that the city of Salzburg has put in place.

International standards vary, North American standards are among the highest, and more importantly, they are based on thermal effects.  As you know, microwaves are used for the purpose of molecular agitation, which is a heating process.  So, microwave ovens are designed to increase the temperature of any substance that is put inside them.  As a result, the agitation results from the amount of exposure to the microwaves.  North American standards are based on the amount of heating it takes to raise the temperature in a portion of tissue, the human body in this case.  The issue is really about the non-thermal effects, which are not part-and-parcel of any of these standards, except some of the low standards like the Russian standards and the Salzburg standards.  

We have a situation that is analogous to the cell towers that provide the connectivity for cell phones, wireless personal communication devices, and in the antennas and the routers of the systems that are used to generate an environment - such as the one that now exists at the Outpost - to provide you connectivity to wireless.  Some of the early biological effects that were shown were free radical creation.  Some of you who are into the healthy food agenda will know that the free radicals are the precursors to problems within different biological systems; they cause chemical reactions that can lead to and result in such things as carcinomas.  You have general toxicity as a potential impact that has been demonstrated.  You also have increased permeability of membranes, and the mode of action of that is interesting.  These frequency ranges are very close to those biological systems that are us.  They interact at the cellular level and cause change in the ions that compose the cell membrane.  The calcium and potassium balances in terms of the cell membrane change, and hence the permeability or what can get into the cell also changes.  You have lysing activities which are cell destructive activities that can occur as a result of the penetration of things that normally would be prevented from entering the cell.

This is just a snapshot of the studies that were done during the 14-year period from 1990 to 2003.  So-called positive studies are studies that showed biological effects.  The negative studies are ones that showed no effects.  There are also a number of studies that have been addressed, but are not applicable because they were either poorly designed or they were not relevant.

Chronic exposure, as indicated in that list of variables, is the length of the time that cells are exposed.  Fifty-one out of 69 studies indicate impacts, and impacts that vary.  The same thing applies with nervous system effects, immune function changes, and the blood/brain barrier studies that have been done.  

The next set of slides will give you some terms of reference for what has been done, and reference points in terms of those international standards or guidelines they give us.  These standards supposedly tell us what levels we are safe to operate within, compared to some of the demonstrable biological effects that have occurred.  

Operating Standards

ANSI is the American National Standards Institute.  IEEE is the Institute of Electrical Electronics Engineers.  These are the operating standards.  The most important one is the one for public exposure, which is at 1000 w/cm2.  I'll give you some idea what some of the background levels are that we're operating with right now.  Remember, this upper chart is standards, and the lower one has some of the ambient conditions.  In cities in Sweden, it averages out to about .05 w/cm2.  The background level of some U.S. cities in the suburbs in the 1990s changed dramatically.  In the subsequent decade, levels were around .003 w/cm2.  In fact, if you're driving along Highway 401 right now, you're getting a higher exposure level than the .05 w/cm2 that's indicated here.  Obviously, if you're within the ambient radio frequency exposure range of a cell or personal communication device antenna ray, you're up around 0.1 w/cm2 or as much as 10 w/cm2.  

Now that you have that background, here is where you start to see some of the biological effects.  When as low as .0006 w/cm2, you see behavioural effects including fatigue, depressive tendencies, sleeping disorders, difficulty concentrating, and cardiovascular problems.  A lot of this work has been done in relation to cell phone devices.  They are just now starting to take a serious look at WiFi issues. Cortex in the brain - 60 w/kg.  Changes in immune system - 100 w/kg.  Drop in testosterone after certain periods of exposure - 100 w/kg.  Pathological change of blood/brain barrier - 120 w/kg.  500 w/kg - a five per cent drop in testosterone.  Also at 500 w/kg - change in calcium levels within epithelial cells, which are the cells that line your gut.  

All right, let's go back to the standards.  The standard, uncontrolled environment is .08 w/kg.  Whole body exposure in a standard, controlled environment is 0.4 w/kg.  Remember what we saw in the last slides?  Let's go forward and take a look at what we're getting now.  Exposure is down to .00006 w/kg and is showing behavioural responses.  Calcium ion movement, as I indicated previously, is at very low levels.  You also see changes in cell cycle and cell proliferation.

Now, let's take a look at the recorded biological effects of the SAR, which is a heating term. I'm not going to go into every one of these, but what I'm showing you are those that are consistently below the levels of exposure, of the given standard - supposedly to protect us.

There are scientific studies out there - sound, scientific studies that clearly demonstrate biological effects.  There are correlative studies that are starting to emerge as there has now been a long enough exposure, particularly for cell phone use, that show there is in fact linkage between certain types of cancers and the use of cell phones.  

This fairly complicated diagram is intended to show you how these effects play themselves out in the biological system.  And again, I won't go through the details, but a lot of those previous slides simply relate to some of the information on this slide.  

Where are we now?  We're at a point where society generally embraced the technology that carries with it some potential health impacts. If you want to look at analogues, there are lots of them out there, because over the term of commercial history, human society has been exposed to cigarettes, asbestos, heavy metal accumulation, and chemical carcinogens and their consequences - all of which we discovered after the exposures had taken place and the correlations started to become undeniable in terms of the cause and effect relationships.

In each of these previous cases, concerns started with less scientific information and data in place than what currently exists for EMFs.  The obvious question is: How do you stop a runaway truck, or do you?  You don't do it by throwing yourself in front of the runaway truck, but by taking advantage of the knowledge base that's out there.  By viewing that information as valid, you limit your exposure and you limit your risk.  The policy at Lakehead University sets up a system of technology use that limits the risk for all of us who work in this environment.  It also gives you the element of choice.  Part of that choice is the Outpost.  If you want to take advantage of the convenience that wireless connectivity provides you, you can go to the Outpost and use it there.  It's an area that's controlled by the students, and we've said that as long as that non-ionizing radiation is kept within the Outpost, we have no concerns.  We've tested it and it is indeed limited to the Outpost.  

What are some of the consequences of exposure that are starting to show themselves?  One of them is increased electro-sensitivity in the population.  There is also decreased productivity due to those behavioural effects that we talked about earlier.  We're also starting to see the first class- action suits playing themselves out against municipalities, manufacturers, and in some case against the governing bodies that have allowed WiFi exposure.   The City of Toronto, for example, could be involved in a class-action suit at some point because they have set up ubiquitous WiFi within the core of the city; if you work there and you live there, you have no choice.  You are exposed to the radiation on a 24-hour basis.  

Remember an earlier slide that showed the highest ambient exposure levels occurred in the cities of Sweden?  That was a few years back, and Sweden now has one of the highest percentages of electrical hyper-sensitivity in the population.  It's in the 5 percent range, and it is sufficiently high now that they have clearly integrated it into their health system.  In other words, you can be considered functionally impaired if you are hyper-sensitive, and all of the welfare systems can plug-in.  This relates to contact with the EMF sources.  We've seen cellular and neuronal modification in these individuals, so what they are experiencing is real.  Their sensitivities are real, they are not psychosomatic.    

One of the interesting things when we look at the literature is that in 1973, Queen's University scientists warned the Federal Government that there were some real issues associated with microwave radiation, and that the Federal Government should proceed with caution before it made licenses available in some of these ranges, and before it made this technology fully available to the public.  That was another report that was ignored.  

Again this is theoretical, but here are some hypotheses and potential links that connect this exposure to the increase that we're seeing in Alzheimers disease and in autism.  These could be related to that change in the blood/brain barrier, the ability for mercury and heavy metals to penetrate across that barrier and affect our brain cells. Many vaccines that are now used on children do have a mercury carrier, and they would have in utero exposure with the immunization shots for the mother and mercury in her blood.  The mercury could be the result of amalgam fillings, which means there could in fact be a real linkage between Alzheimers, autism, and exposure to EMFs.

This is a recent study: If you make a 90-second call on your cell phone, you see changes in your red blood cells.  Instead of the cells being separate from one another, they clump. Clumping reduces the surface of these cells, and the cells are important in terms of the haemoglobin that they carry and their ability to carry oxygen within the vascular system.  So, you reduce your ability to oxygenate these cells, which has an effect on reducing oxygen to the brain, and is shown to reduce memory.  This is only a minute and a half exposure, so it only takes a 90 second telephone call to produce a reaction that takes almost an hour to get back to normal.  

We're starting to have sufficiently long enough exposure to things like cell phone usage to start to play out some of the correlative relationships that exist.  If you have been a consistent mobile phone user for 10 years or more, you are 40 percent more likely to develop tumours formed from glial cells in the central nervous system.  Interestingly enough, these tend to occur on the side of the head that you use the most with your cell phone.  Lots of very powerful journals and well-respected scientists are now starting to show this linkage.  

I indicated that exposure to the radiation around the towers was important.  Evidence is now starting to surface that this type of exposure, which was shown on the non-ionizing range slide that I showed you earlier, could be resulting in cancer clusters.  There are a number of these cases around the world that are being investigated.  One of the more recent ones concerned the Australian Broadcasting Commission.  On the top floor of its building, directly below all of its transmitting equipment, a large number of women who worked there developed breast and other forms of cancer.  In an environment where the ambient levels of exposure are very high, they were below the guidelines in Australia and they said it wasn't a problem.  But they still haven't explained why this particular cancer cluster occurred, nor have they explained the occurrence of some of the others clusters that have a very direct relationship to EMF exposure.

If you're deploying WiFi, it has some of the same elements from the studies that have been done with regard to cell phone usage.  It's a question of the amount of exposure and whether you have your connection point, which may happen to be a laptop, actually sitting on your lap, or whether it's sitting on a desk a couple of feet away from you.  That makes a difference.  But, we are in a situation where people should have the choice, as they do with other carcinogenic agents, to make the determination whether they want to be exposed or not.  

In September, Germany's Department of Environment issued a warning - to avoid using WiFi internet connections whenever possible.  The United Kingdom is now initiating a study to get measurements of ambient conditions in school rooms where students are now operating wireless systems.  There is tremendous pressure from parents to shut down these wireless systems and go to wired systems because it is growing human tissue that is most vulnerable to the effects of EMFs.  

If you really want to delve into this topic yourself and get a sense of the mass of literature that is available, this report, which also came out this September, has an analysis of all the work that has ever been done.  It is objective, and it has scientific basis for presenting the information and the recommendations it provides.  The recommendations are really precautionary.  We need to look at the standards.  We need to reduce the standards, and we need to acknowledge that there are potential health effects taking place. You can get this report by visiting www.bioinitiative.org, where there are about 1200 pages of information - all of it relevant.  

So, at the end of the day should we have WiFi?  Lakehead University has said no.  Until those elements in the policy have clearly demonstrated that we can avoid the problems of exposure, or that exposure itself is not a problem, then the policy will remain in effect.  Are there any questions?

Fadi Dawood (FD): Mr. President, thank you for coming to speak to us, but to me it seems that this is a personal issue being addressed in a public setting.  That is my concern.  The University is a public institution, and I have learned through my years and my involvement at Lakehead that the University is composed of the bicameral system, comprising the Board of Governors and Senate.  The policy that was addressed to the student population and to the Lakehead University population did not pass through any of the checks and balances required with regard to any policy applied to the general population.
FG:  The bicameral system involves the Senate and Board of Governors'
FD: Yes, can I just finish my question please?  So, my question is this.  We've had a number of different researchers on campus express that they cannot conduct their research without a wireless environment.  We've seen students not able to do their work due to the fact that there is no wireless environment.  This is clearly an educational matter and should be addressed by Senate.  Why don't you allow this policy free passage through Senate?  It should go to the Senate Information Systems Committee, for a number of stakeholders to discuss around the table, vote on and decide upon as a decision made by faculty and students of Lakehead University.
FG: This policy has been provided to the Board of Governors of Lakehead University, and there has been no request coming from the academic side of the Institution with regard to there being an academic need for having WiFi.  If you read the policy carefully, it says that in those situations where there is a demonstrable need, it will in fact be authorized.  None of that has come forward at this point in time.  This is not a policy that is up for debate in Senate, or quite literally until perhaps you have a change in Administration.  At this point in time, through the Board of Governors and through Administration, we are doing what we think is right for the people on this campus.  If we didn't have hard wire connectivity in place, it would be a different matter, and we would have to make some different types of decisions.  But, the important aspect is that this policy is sensible and defensible.  While the students have had input, as they always do with these issues, this is not an issue that will be decided by the students.  

Unknown:
  I'm just curious.  If there is such a large block of literature and such concern, I'm wondering why we haven't heard anything coming from organizations like the Canadian Council for Universities or University's Collective Reassurance Program, a body that focuses on risk management.  
FG: It will happen.  When it does happen, it will be a function of some of the things that are taking place now in Europe as opposed to North America. In North America, we are dealing with a commercial juggernaut.  We are dealing with a very popular technology.  I would say that probably 95 percent of the people in this room use a cell phone.  With cell phones, you can determine whether you are going to use one or not - that's a personal decision.  Whether anyone in this room can make a choice about wanting to be exposed to WiFi or not is now impossible on virtually every university campus in the province of Ontario, as you may have noticed in the Globe and Mail report.  It's now impossible in a number of the major cities around the world.  When they go to the next step which is WiMax, the towers will permit exposure to WiFi transmission for 10 kilometres instead of the limited 50 metres that exist now.  At that point in time, there will be very few options as to where you can go and if you choose to be exposed or not.  There are now hypersensitive people in Sweden being subsidized by the government to live in areas of the country where EMF exposure is minimal, simply because they cannot function otherwise. At the end of the day, it's not a matter of being luddites, as this policy has been expressed in certain arenas, it's being at the forefront of very important decision making that will ultimately play the issue out - if and when the biological information starts to show that there is a causal link between the exposure and some of the health problems that we're experiencing in our society.  

Unknown: 
If all this research is showing that wireless can cause various forms of cancer, and the policy states that we're supposed to reduce as much wireless use possible, why were education students forced to purchase clickers this year?  These devices use wireless technology, there is great opposition to this, and they were never used before.
FG: I asked TSC if they would look into this, and also into some of the measurements those devices generate in terms of potential exposure levels.  Is Bernie here?
Bernie Blake (BB): Yes
FG: Bernie, do you want to talk about this?
BB: What we found with those devices is that although they were in the 2.4 GHz range, they were very low in output power.  The transmission of those frequencies was in the neighbourhood of milliseconds; this is not a constant transmission of frequencies, but very quick and abrupt, with very low power output.  
FG: Does Orillia have any questions on this issue?

Orillia:
I don't have a question, but think you may want to know that we can access wireless here on campus because of the tenants who live upstairs, so we are exposed to this radiation.  One other thing is that occasionally, students in classes are able to tap into the system and are actually looking at their email and Facebook during class time, and we're spending some time shutting that down.  I'm really quite curious about the student who figures that the education is being limited because of lack of access.  
FG: That's a very important point.  It's very difficult not to be exposed to someone's system, or multiple systems while in any very populated area.  In fact, what this does is increase the actual exposure that takes place.  When Lakehead moves to a permanent campus in Orillia, we would hope that the evidence will be even stronger and will justify continuation of this policy there.  So, in that more isolated environment there would obviously be less exposure, although it's never at zero.  For pedagogical reasons, a number of universities have outlawed the use of personal communications devices in the classroom because they divert students' attention from the class at hand.  Are there any questions from those next door? Is there anything from ATAC 1006?
Tom Austin (TA): It appears not.
FG: Ok, we'll take one last question on this and then we'll move on to something else.

Matt Granville (MG):
As this is now a policy of the University and has been for some time, and as a representative of students on campus, I just seek reassurance from Administration that while use within the campus is prohibited, unless there is a demonstrable need, that Administration will not actively seek-out or take any measures against students who are tenants within our Residence system and are operating private wireless routers within their residences.  
FG: I can't give you that guarantee at this stage. Shall we move on to some of the other issues? I said that was the last question on that topic. Next I'll talk about some other issues, and then we can talk about topics that I have not covered.

LAW SCHOOL

We are very close to completing a revised proposal for the law school.  A Senate committee has been working diligently all summer and early this fall to put curriculum and admission requirements in place, which will be part of the proposal.  When this is completed during the week of November 5, the document will not only be shared with the Law Society of Upper Canada, the body to which we have made the application, but will also be shared with Senate.  At that point, Senate can start to take action related to the academic support for the proposed curriculum.  I need to tell you that now that we're closer to the finish line, some opposition has surfaced from some of the other law schools in the province, and we hope to deal with that.  Nonetheless, we are grandparented into the Law Society.  They have said, unequivocally, that they will review our proposal, but will not review any other proposal.  Laurier now has one in place, McMaster is putting one together, and Laurentian is being pressured to submit an application for a law school - and this was all precipitated by the fact that Lakehead made its application.  We're still hoping that the first class of the Lakehead Faculty of Law will be admitted in the fall of 2009.  


PACI          

At this point in time, the acquisition of PACI is dependent upon an audit that is under way, and a due-diligence review of the deferred maintenance costs associated with the collegiate.  There is a review occurring within the University in terms of what academic areas would want to make use of the facility, and how much space they would want to make use of.  Obviously this is a location that would be used for the Law School as well.  

The proposal is to transfer 16 acres of University land to the school board in exchange for PACI.  There are a number of caveats that will be applied to any contractual arrangement that is made with the school board, a couple of which will ensure that we have some control over any development that takes place on that land.  If nothing happens within a given period of time, then the University will reacquire that property.  

POOL

FG: The pool - we already talked about.  There will be a lot more talk about this in a little while.


PERMANENT ORILLIA CAMPUS

FG: For those of you in Orillia, we are working diligently to come to a conclusion in terms of City Council, the Board of Governors, and doing our due-diligence around the business and development plans for the site which is near the Horne Farm area - the industrial park area that the City of Orillia purchased two years ago.  I'm sure that Michael Pawlowski will be happy to answer questions about this in a few minutes.  

BUDGET

FG: We are starting to develop the budget for the next fiscal year.  The good news is that we have met our enrolment targets this fall.  We have substantially grown graduate student numbers at Lakehead University.  We now have over 300 head-count students at Orillia, and all in all, we're now at a critical juncture in terms of being positioned to grow this institution with graduate, undergraduate, and research activity at both campuses.  So, the future does look bright.  


That is my presentation.  Any of us would be happy to take questions at this time.  

FD: My question concerns academic versus non-academic bodies making decisions on campus.  It seems to me that over the past number of weeks and months, non-academic bodies are making more decisions than are academic bodies.  For example, when it comes to the pool issue, we're looking at Athletics versus Outdoor Recreation or Kinesiology.  In other aspects of our Student Union, it seems to me that non-academic bodies are actually making the decisions that are affecting the academic well-being of our institution and of our students.  Can you assure the student body, and assure us - the student representatives, that the academic bodies and departments are going to be the ultimate decision makers when it comes to the academic well-being of Lakehead University?

FG: No decision has been made related to the pool issue.  All aspects of any decision will be vetted and discussed, and results will be considered before the ultimate decision is made.  That decision will have to be justified against any other potential uses, whether they are academic or non-academic.  Part of what is going to come forward, by my understanding, is an increase in academic space for Kinesiology.  It's not as though it's a black and white issue we're talking about here; none of these issues are ever black and white.  The Senate is the authority related to academic decision making.  When it is truly and solely an academic-based decision, that body makes the decision.  There are areas where Administration makes the decision.  Administration has certain responsibilities.  Ultimately, Administration is responsible to the Board of Governors; if it makes bad decisions, the Board of Governors gets rid of the Administration.  The Board of Governors, of course, is an important body in terms of policy.  You don't put in place too many things without, at the very least, informing the Board of Governors about what's going on.  There is always the potential for feedback and discussion.  But, there are different points of decision making within any institution, and not all those points of decision making necessarily involve the Senate or the students.  That's important to be aware of.

Orillia:  Those of us in Orillia are wondering about the date that we'll be moving to the permanent campus.
Michael Pawlowski (MP): We are still aiming for a 2009 date.  We are building two buildings in Orillia; one will be a science facility with labs, sized at about 30,000 square feet and the other will house all other services and classrooms, sized at about 70,000 square feet.  I know the question has been raised because of the RFP that was in the paper, advertising work for a project manager until 2010. Given the fact that we are building two buildings, it is conceivable and probably very likely that the buildings will not both be completed in time for the fall of 2009.  Considering some of the issues that we're facing in terms of the land transfer, it might be December of 2009 when the main building opens.  However, we are making arrangements to ensure that we can house students during that period of time if we're unable to move into the new building in the fall.  

MP: We have one question in ATAC 1006.  
Unknown:  This question is for whoever can answer it.  I'm aware that there is a lot of environmental action going on at the University, such as the Johnson's Control Project, and the establishment of the Sustainability Committee, but I'm interested in knowing if the University has any intention of formally establishing an environmental policy such as that of the University of British Columbia.  
MP: Fred, do you want to respond?
FG: Yes.  Now, as a signatory to the Talloires Declaration, we have in fact adopted a policy.  That policy is clearly stated in terms of expectations. The campus Sustainability Committee is working to help us achieve that at the Thunder Bay Campus.  At the Orillia Campus and the permanent site, we have committed to meeting both construction and operational standards at the highest international level, which is the LEEDS platinum standard.  The Chair of the Sustainability Committee is here today.  Grant, is there anything you want to add?
Grant Walsh (GW): Thank you, Fred.  Certainly the Sustainability Committee is in its formative stages.  The first thing the group decided to do was re-establish and re-introduce the recycling program, and there is evidence of that throughout campus now.  If anyone is interested in serving on the committee at the Thunder Bay Campus, please make yourself known to me or LUSU and we would be happy to involve as many as we can in this endeavour.  This is not a one-time thing.  Dr. Gilbert has indicated that this is to be an ongoing effort, so we would appreciate any interest or support that's out there.

FG: Are there any other questions?
Rob Bell (RB): Is there any truth to the rumour about the sale of the Book Store or the Intersection?  
MP: I'll respond to that.  It's all rumour - there's no truth to anything.
RB: That will be in the minutes of this meeting?
MP: At this point in time, no decision has been made to sell the Book Store or the Intersection.
RB: But will that be in the minutes of this meeting?
FG: It will be in the minutes of the meeting and if there is any change in the situation, people will be made aware of it.  

Unknown:  What 16 acres of land do you have in mind for the PACI swap?  Is that the same parcel of land you were looking at before?    
FG: It's a parcel of land, and this information has been made available to the University community in terms of showing it when we did the original communications.  It's a section of land that's toward the southeastern corner of the University.  It's currently scrub land at this point in time.  The best way to describe it is early second growth with some shrubs and a few trees on it, but it is not the environmentally sensitive land that was involved previously.

Unknown:  I guess this would be about the land swap deal.  The section of land is right behind the Residence. Can you comment on the fact that two years ago, during the three-way land swap deal, Residence said they didn't want a school in their backyard?  
FG: No school will be built there.  If you haven't heard, the Lakehead School Board will build its high school on Balsam Avenue.  
MP: And also, it's not the same land that was behind Residence.  It's the land that is off of Central Avenue.  It's the land farthest away from Residence, for all intents and purposes.

Unknown: I have a question about the pool.  I'm sorry I missed your earlier discussion.
FG: I said no further questions about the pool.
Unknown: Well, I'm just wondering about the effect of potential pool closure on community access or users such as Special Olympics, the Lakehead Public School Board, or seniors who come for exercise classes in the morning.  I'm just wondering what kind of response there has been to those people who value this institution for delivering those services, and also the negative impact on their appreciation of the University because of this potential closure?
FG: All of that will play itself out when we have information on who the users are, how much time  they spend in the pool, how much they pay to be there, and what impact that might have on them as to the alternatives that are available to them.  All of this will be presented in the near future.  Again, we have yet to see the information that will be coming forward from Athletics, but it should encompass all of these questions.  

Cole Breiland (CB): My question is also about the pool.  I'm wondering why the repairs that need to be made have accumulated over the years, and what the University has done during the time the pool has been on campus to ensure it is a usable facility.  
FG:  As I said earlier, I'm not going to take questions on the pool.  However, this question actually came up in a meeting with LUSU yesterday morning, and my reaction was probably a little bit strong.  Right now, Lakehead University has $44 million in deferred maintenance.  The Johnson Controls initiative, which cost us $23 million, was designed to address some of that deferred maintenance.  At the time that we went into that, we had about $33 million.  Between then and now, after taking care of about $20 million of the deferred maintenance, it's actually gone up to $44 million.  The Athletics area is an ancillary area of the Institution.  In other words, we do not get government funding for the Athletics facilities.  This means that Athletics, through student fees and the department's operating budget, has to deal - as do all units in the Institution to some extent - with issues of deteriorating infrastructure.  I'm sure they have done some patch-work along the way, but they are now faced with a very expensive retrofit to the mechanical systems and to work on the pool itself.  Again, the pool issue and process will be brought forward at a later date, so I'm going to close any more questions on the pool at this meeting.  We'll have time for lots of debate when we get this out into the public arena.  

Fadi Dawood (FD): This question is directed to the Vice President (Academic) & Provost and Chief Academic Officer of Lakehead University: Will you commit to all academic bodies in making sure that they are all taken care of in terms of everybody's educational needs being covered in any decisions that are made?
Laurie Hayes (LH): That is my responsibility, and I will do it to my best - yes.

FG: Michael, are there any questions in ATAC 1006?
MP: Are there any questions in here?  I don't think so, no.  
FG: Are there any more questions?
Orillia: No questions here either.
FG: Is there anyone who hasn't had a chance to ask a question yet?
Matt Granville (MG): This actually has to do with an ancillary fee being charged to Orillia students.  They were charged a $25 ancillary health fee, and I'm just wondering what that is being put toward because there is no student health centre on the Orillia Campus as of yet.
LH: The ancillary health fee in Orillia is being used to provide, as I understand, some access to health services in Orillia, but I don't know the particulars of that.  It's my understanding that their fees are there to provide this access, and perhaps Dr. den Otter can speak more actively to this than I can.  Dr. den Otter, do you know?
Simon Looker (SL): My name is Simon Looker, I'm a Student Services Specialist at the Orillia Campus.  As far as I know, there are no health services available to students on campus.
LH: I'll have to explore that then, in response to that answer, because it was my understanding that when the fees were charged, access to emergency medical care was part of the regular service being provided to all students in Orillia.  However, we are at some distance.  Simon, maybe you and I will have to talk more about this.  
FG: Is that both health and psychiatric services, as needed?
MP: It's an all-encompassing fee for those services, Fred.
LH: If I might mention, it's similar to when we were starting the campus there and were trying to figure out which services offered in Thunder Bay could be duplicated in Orillia at an efficient cost.  It's similar to the way we proceeded, as far as I understand it, with our Learning Assistance.  We waited until we saw what students were there, we hired a full-time Learning Assistance Centre person, and for a while we were outsourcing that support to people in the community, and have begun to provide more active support for the students on the campus.  It was my understanding that health and counselling was proceeding in the same manner.  
FG: We will provide the information.  Is there anything else?  If not, thank you all very much for joining us this afternoon. The next time we meet will probably be for one of the Town Hall Meetings related to the pool.