May 3, 2011

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Media Matters, a report on Simon Fraser University in the news, is compiled and distributed by SFU Public Affairs & Media Relations.
This edition is a daily roundup that lists the main items of known media coverage from 9 a.m. Monday May 2 to 9 a.m. today, Tuesday May 3.


National, regional and local media reported the election in the Burnaby-Douglas constituency of SFU prof Kennedy Stewart as an NDP MP.

  • The Vancouver Sun, for example, told readers: “Stewart, a public policy professor at Simon Fraser University, was greeted with cheers from a packed crowd at the Burnaby Firefighters' Club after he clinched the win.
    "‘I can't tell you what an honour it is to be elected,’ Stewart said after being surrounded by people chanting ‘Kennedy, NDP.’ It has been just a wild ride and I'm so proud to be a New Democrat. It's been amazing. It's just a matter of time before the NDP becomes the government of Canada.’"
    Full story:

  • The Globe and Mail: “Mr. Stewart, who led the race from wire to wire and was about 1,000 votes ahead with just a few polls remaining, wasted little time getting to work. In his first question from reporters, he teed off on the Conservatives.
    “‘The voters have spoken here in Burnaby-Douglas. They've rejected the Conservatives and said we're with the NDP and that's the message we're going to take to Ottawa. . . . The Harper agenda is reckless, it's going to hurt Canadians, but we'll be right there to make sure we stand up to his bullying.’"
    [Also in the Globe story: “Lindsay Meredith, a marketing professor at SFU and a political observer, said the riding's make-up has changed greatly in recent years, tightening the race. ‘You've got this old, aging demographic of Burnaby, which has always been pretty much an NDP stronghold. Now what you have is this whole immigrant melting pot, mostly Chinese, and these guys aren't traditionally NDPers,’ he said.]

  • The Montreal Gazette told readers: “According to an analysis of the election by Simon Fraser University, ‘the whimsies of Canada's single member plurality electoral system produced some rather strange results in the 2011 election. For example, Quebec voters contributed 36% of the total votes cast for the NDP across Canada, but Quebec MPs will comprise 57% of the NDP's national caucus.”
    The story linked tothe analysis—on the Elections webpage of political scientist Andrew Heard at
    Montreal Gazette story:

  • Peter Chow-White, SFU Communication prof, was on CKWX News 1130 and GlobalTV, talking about Canada’s ban on broadcasting election results from outside BC until polls have closed in BC.
    On GlobalTV, he said: “There was an advocacy movement called #TweettheResults, a hashtag on Twitter but also a website (, that wanted to challenge that old law, saying that once you open up democratic communication you can't lock it up again for a few hours and black it out like other governments have done in different parts of the world, like in Egypt. 
    “It was supposed to be a site of mass civil disobedience. Now, the website itself shut itself down; it didn't want to get in trouble. But there were thousands of people breaking the law during the blackout."
    Chow-White told News1130: "They're actually challenging the political process.  They're saying, 'Well, this law may not fit in this context and us as a citizenry are challenging that law in democratic civil disobedience and think that should be an actual issue after the election.'"
    Full story:
    On GlobalTV, he also said of Canada's politicians: "Everybody seemed to be on Twitter, which is evidence of Twitter becoming more important, more of a factor, more of a way of getting their message out. It seems that (NDP leader Jack) Layton was a very prolific tweeter, and so maybe that played into him moving up and into the NDP doing so well."


Historian André Gerolymatos, as an expert in international security and terrorism (and a member of Canada's advisory committee on national security) put in a second heavy day of media interviews on the U.S. killing of al-Qaida’s Osama bin Laden, and what may follow.

  • On CKNW, host Gord MacDonald asked Gerolymatos: “Is the world better off for the death of Osama bin Laden?”
    Gerolymatos: ”Yes, because the world knows that there is justice; that despite the length of time that it took, this man was brought to justice and paid the ultimate price for committing murder.”
    - What of the risk of retaliatory attacks?
    Gerolymatos: “I think that the immediate targets are going to be American and Canadian soldiers and British soldiers and NATO soldiers in Afghanistan, who are easy targets by virtue of where they’re located. (And) American embassies and consulates and places like that in Pakistan. It’s going to take al-Qaida some time to organize a retaliatory strike . . . so something on a grand scale won’t happen immediately. 
    But there is an unknown factor. There is the homegrown terrorist. These are people in Canada, in the UK, in the United States, in Germany; anywhere in the world, where they’re alone, basically, they’re not part of a network or an organization. And they have been converted to jihadist Islam. And now they’ve seen their great leader, their great symbol, gunned down by the United States. They might decide to join him and become martyrs by blowing themselves up and taking a few people with them. . . .
    “There’s going to be a backlash. We may face more terrorism or terrorist threats, more terrorist attempts.  But we have—at least, the Americans have—demonstrated that they cannot ultimately get away with it. But it’s not a stable world yet.”
    - What does this mean for the Taliban?
    Gerolymatos: “I don’t think it makes any difference, because the Taliban is a separate entity than al-Qaida. They collaborate occasionally but they are two different organizations. So the death of Bin Laden is not going to make that much of an impact.”
    - What about Pakistan?
    Gerolymatos: “It’s probably, other than Saudi Arabia, one of the most fundamentalist Islamic countries; not in terms so much of daily practice but in terms of its leadership. And also there are movements within the country that are very similar to the ideology of Osama bin Laden. In addition, this is a country whose secret service, whose intelligence service, has from 1947 specialized in creating terrorists to fight against India in Kashmir, and also in India itself, right? It was a Pakistani general who helped create the Taliban, in effect. . . .
    And this is how Bin Laden was able to get away with living in Pakistan, living in the open, because he was being protected by Pakistan’s intelligence service as well as elements of Pakistan’s army. . . .
    “The present government, they are genuinely pro-West and they would like to see the country be rid of all these terrible things. But in a sense their hands are tied because the military, who is very powerful in the country, is still very pro-jihadist.”

  • Gerolymatos told CBC News: "I think [bin Laden's] followers are going to treat him like a martyr and they're going to try and retaliate. This is why every American base, every Canadian base, every embassy is put on full alert. And I'm sure people are going to find a lot more security at other places of transit."
    Full story:

  • And in a national Postmedia News story, he said of Bin Laden’s supporters: “They're not going to take this news kindly. We'll see demonstrations, riots, maybe against the American embassy (in Pakistan), maybe against their own government.”

  • Gerolymatos also did interviews Monday on the BC Almanac program on CBC Radio, on CBC national and local TV, on Fairchild TV—and a string of nine interviews, one after the other, for CBC Radio outlets in Halifax, Quebec City, Ottawa, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Regina, Yellowknife and Whitehorse.

  • Meanwhile, SFU Communication prof Peter Chow-White was in a USA Today story on the use of social media to spread the word about the killing of Bin Laden.
    "‘This is what we are coming to expect nowadays—people witnessing and participating in global conversations about events through a number of media platforms (Twitter, CNN, Facebook, network TV)," says Peter Chow-White, a communication professor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.
    "‘People want to interact, either in person or virtually, discuss, and participate in important events, similar to the Royal Wedding or the federal election in Canada today,’ Chow-White says.”
    Full story:


  • A guest column in The Vancouver Sun looked at Vancouver’s approval of an increase in building heights in Chinatown, permitting buildings of up to 15 storeys—and a “social mix” of residents. The column said in part:
    “Simon Fraser University (geography) professor Nicholas Blomley explained that "the language of social mix serves to justify giving the right to space and property to those with wealth, and taking it away from those who are poor. Social mix is a strategy used to expand hierarchical structures and mask asymmetrical power. . . . It is the wolf in sheep's clothing."
    Full column:


  • SFU Athletics told media how members of the Clan track and field team posted personal-best performances at the 2011 Payton Jordan Invitational, hosted by Stanford University.
    Helen Crofts posted a personal best time of 2:02.68 in the 800m. Brianna Kane also set a personal best in the 800m, at 2:07.67. Jade Richardson set a personal best in discus, at 46.53m. On the men’s side, Ryan Brockerville posted a personal best and school record time of 8:49.39 in the 3000m steeplechase.
    Clan news release:


  • The Canadian District Energy Association issued a media release congratulating SFU and UniverCity on their recent announcement that SFU, the SFU Community Trust, Corix Utilities and the BC government will be partnering on development of a community-based district energy system on the Burnaby campus.
    CDEA release:
    SFU release (April 21):


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