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Issues & Experts >  Issues & Experts Archive > Financial security, competitive Christmas, military defence – Issues, Experts and Ideas

Financial security, competitive Christmas, military defence – Issues, Experts and Ideas

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December 07, 2006

Spending and debting
Competitive Christmas
Long range plans for military

Spending and debting
A new Statistics Canada report on financial security shows Canadians are not only substantially wealthier than ever but also deeper in debt because of increased mortgage loads and burgeoning lines of credit. As we enter another spending season, SFU economist David Adolfatto can comment on the implications of the report, which also indicates that almost 30 percent of Canadians have no retirement savings.

David Adolfatto: dandolfa@sfu.ca, 604.291.5825

Competitive Christmas
Family sociologist Barbara Mitchell says the new Danny DeVito movie Deck the Halls shines a spotlight on a growing holiday phenomenon: “a crazy, endless pursuit of material goods that is changing our experiences of family life” and eroding family intimacy. She says parents feel increasingly pressured into satisfying their children's extensive wish lists, and even compete with their friends and neighbours to give—and receive—the newest toys and electronic gadgetry. In the film, neighbors try to outdo each other with the latest and greatest in decorations and digital lighting while searching for the true meaning of the season. “The movie is a somewhat exaggerated mirror of society,” says the author of the forthcoming Canadian Families in Social Context, “but I think it does reflect shifts in the way that families spend their time and money during the holidays.”

Barbara Mitchell: 604-268-6628; 604-291-5234; mitchelo@sfu.ca

Long range plans for military
A long range military defence plan prepared for the federal government suggests Canadian troops will continue to have an overseas presence in failed states, and to deal with terrorism. The Defence Capability Plan outlines the course for the Canadian military's next two decades. SFU political science professor Alex Moens, who specializes in military issues, can look at details of the plan, which is based on the assumption that the next 20 years will see no large-scale conventional military threat to the country.

Alexander Moens, 604.291.4361; alexander_moens@sfu.ca