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February 10, 2005

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Air Canada ends bereavement fares
Calgary Herald, Feb. 2

As of Jan. 31 Canada's national airline will no longer offer discount fares for grieving family members, terminally ill children and medical emergencies for North American routes. The airline says that since the fares were revamped in 2003 there is little demand for the special discount flights because, in most cases, every day fares are cheaper. But some airline analysts say now is not the time for Air Canada to get rid of its compassionate fares program. “There should be compassionate programs that are cost effective for people in distress,” said airline analyst Warren Gill at Simon Fraser. “If you're looking for a way to keep your customers and help attract new ones, these kinds of programs should be front and centre.”

No magic cure for being overweight
Toronto Sun, Jan. 30

Canada's Target Obesity, spearheaded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, is investigating a series of promising new influences on obesity. “This research is critical to developing innovative ways to fight the obesity epidemic and its consequences,” says Diane Finegood, director of the CIHR's Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes at Simon Fraser University. A reformed yo-yo dieter, she realized that over 15 years she had gained 70 pounds. “I was 48 and it was time to do something, but I knew I was never going on a diet again,” she says. Over the past five years, with gradual lifestyle changes, she lost that 70 pounds. “We're all different and there's no silver bullet, no simple solution,” she says. “Everyone's looking for one thing that's going to solve their problem, but overcoming obesity demands many different solutions.”

Games give Vancouver a boost
Vancouver Sun, Jan. 26

Vancouver's 2010 Olympic Games are projected to boost the B.C. economy by up to $5.8 billion in tangible economic impacts alone. And that could reach $10 billion if the expansion of the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre is factored in, a study says. A great deal of the impact will come from spinoffs from Olympic spending. Other big-ticket construction projects will occur concurrently with Olympic preparations but can arguably be attributed to the Olympics. These include the upgrade of the Sea to Sky highway and the Richmond-Airport-Vancouver rapid transit line. “I think these projects, that have been on the books for a while, have been accelerated and compressed in terms of urgency,” said Peter Williams, director of the centre for tourism policy and research at Simon Fraser University. “That's the kind of catalyst that these big events can have.”

President advances his idealism
Washington Post, Jan. 21

Four years into a presidency that has reshaped American politics and shaken the world, perhaps no one should be surprised by George W. Bush's ambition. Even so, the address he delivered at the Capitol was startling in its reach. His pledges to promote liberty and aid the oppressed, along with predictions of the U.S. leading the world to the triumph of democracy over tyranny, were issued with some of the most expansive and lyrical language Bush has summoned. The immediate question is what are we to make of such idealistic and uncompromising language? Alex Moens, a political scientist at Simon Fraser University, who has recently written a book on Bush's foreign policy, said people will read the speech and ask: “How many code words are in there? If you're talking about tyranny these days, you're talking about North Korea and Iran,” both of which have nascent nuclear programs and represent near-term challenges for Bush.

Students win Premier's award
Premier Gordon Campbell recently honoured two SFU first year students, Matthew Folz and Caitlin Lougheed, with a Premier's excellence award for their high academic achievement and community service in grades 11 and 12. Folz, who is working toward a double major in mathematics and management and systems science, graduated from Port Moody secondary school with the school's Phoenix award for top all-around grad, an SFU scholarship and a Canada millennium excellence award. He was also a winner in the junior division of the Leonardo Da Vinci exam in mathematics and physics, a provincial medalist for the Canadian open mathematics competition and qualified for the Canada Mathematical Olympiad. As well, he edited the school's newspaper and founded the school's math club.

Lougheed graduated from Fort Nelson secondary school in Fort Nelson, B.C., where she was named youth of the year in 2002 and athlete of the year in 2003. An accomplished swimmer, she has won numerous medals and provincial swimming championships. She was named top academic student at her school for several years and was a peer tutor and swim coach. She hopes to join SFU's varsity swimming team and is currently studying science in hopes of becoming a veterinarian or physiotherapist.

Nominations open for B.C. Sugar prize
Nominations are being accepted for the B.C. Sugar achievement award. The award is presented annually to a member of the university community, who through a commitment to excellence, has brought distinction to the university and B.C. by achieving national and international recognition. Deadline for nominations for the award, worth $5,000, is April 15. Nominations should be sent to the director of student academic resources.

Hebb award for Kimura
SFU psychology professor Doreen Kimura will receive the Donald O. Hebb distinguished contribution award from the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science (CSBBCS), for her significant contribution to the study of brain, behavour and cognitive science. Kimura, a pioneer in the field of human and brain behaviour, is renowned for her research on the cognitive differences between women and men.

A visiting professor at SFU for the past six years, she spent three decades as a professor in both psychology and neuroscience at the University of Western Ontario and earlier worked under the mentorship of Hebb, a world leader in neuroscience in the mid-20th century. Kimura will receive the Hebb award at the annual meeting of the CSBBCS in Montreal in July.

Poverty seminar focuses on organizing
Several people involved in a community-based education program that is changing the lives of women in Mexico will share their experiences at a two-day seminar and workshop on Feb. 10 and 11. Now in its fourth year, the Women, Poverty and Education in Mexico project tests alternative ways of helping women in Tijuana with a basic education and on low incomes obtain a higher education. At the free, public workshops, some of the project's participants, coordinators and leaders will discuss practices of grassroots organizing and community development in Mexico.

SFU, through its Latin American studies program and continuing studies, is a partner in this project. Universidad Iberoamericana and Los Niños de Baja California, a non-government organization in Mexico, are also partners. Beyond Paradigms, An Alternate Approach To Adult Education will be held at the Morris J. Wosk centre for dialogue and the Self-Help Resource Association of B.C. To ensure seating, call 604-291-5100. For more information contact Susanne Nahm at 604-291-5084, or

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