Volume 93, Issue 30

Friday, October 22, 1999


Online votes problematic for election

Market returns to downtown core

Weston's address attacks OSAP fraud

London opts to defer Western's cash request

Government money to form an alliance

Food services rolling in the dough again


Caught on campus


London opts to defer Western's cash request

By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

The eagerly anticipated decision to accept or decline Western's $10 million proposal to London's city council has been put on the shelf – for now.

Last week, university officials approached the city's Board of Control asking for $2 million to be donated every five years, as part of a $270 million campaign drive. The money would be used to increase professorships, scholarships and raise the Western profile within the London community.

According to Sandy Levin, Ward 1 councillor, the council has decided to refer the proposal to civic administration while a policy is established to set up guidelines for such a significant monetary proposal.

"I specifically asked that we get guidelines because there are so many of these proposals," Levin said, adding council wants to ensure all decisions benefit the city. "The issue is who do you say 'no' to? After Western, there's a bio-tech company and The Grand Theatre has a loan. Take a number."

Ted Garrard, Western's VP-external, said he was neither surprised nor worried by the council's decision to refer the proposal to civic administration. "It was always part of the plan. We knew it would be referred for additional review with the rest of the city's budget review," he said.

Garrard said everything is still on track with the proposal and they are very hopeful about attaining the needed funding. "We think we're doing everything we can by giving them a complete case, but one thing we can't control is the decision – that's up to the politicians."

Western can now expect to wait until December for a final decision to be made when the budget outline is released, Garrard added.

Levin said the council's call for a new policy in no way affects the proposal's merits. He explained the policy could take as little as two weeks to hammer out. "I don't know how long it will take," he said, adding it is up to the entire city council to discuss new policies for these types of proposals.

University Students' Council president SzeJack Tan said he understands the council's need to be financially accountable. "It's a fair bit of money and the council wants to be accountable to the taxpayers."

Tan added he could see how it could get difficult for council to allocate large funds without any specific format or criteria already in place. "I can see the angle they're coming from."

Although Western's wait has now been extended, Tan said there is still hope the decision will be a favourable one. "The university put together a very good proposal. They've gotten compliments on it and [the council] hasn't said no yet."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999