Media Bytes

February 21, 2002

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A compendium of articles that appeared in the media during the last few weeks quoting members of the SFU community.
DNA samples help police Agence France-Presse, Feb. 15 As police continue to scour a Port Coquitlam pig farm this week, people have come forward offering DNA samples to help authorities match samples found on site. The investigation is tied to the disappearances of 50 women since the mid-1980s. SFU criminologist Neil Boyd says it was obvious much earlier that it was unlikely 50 sex trade workers could disappear and that there would be no connective link. “The logical inference from some months ago was that a serial killer was at work and the police ought to go down that line.” But Boyd, who has researched Vancouver's downtown eastside for two decades, says it was unfair to criticize the current police effort, because the search is so difficult and sex trade workers lead unconventional, dangerous lives. “They don't have the same set of social networks that most of us do, and they may disappear into another city without telling friends or families. Close social connections are the kind of connections police depend upon to build a case.” Edmonton plants may be ‘huge mistake' Calgary Herald, Feb. 15 The construction of new coal-fired power plants near Edmonton may be a big mistake because there are costly risks lurking in their future, says Mark Jaccard, author of a new C.C. Howe Institute study on electricity. One threat to such ventures is international concern about greenhouse gas emissions, notes Jaccard, an associate professor in SFU's school of resource and environmental management. Canada is expected to endorse the 1997 Kyoto accord on greenhouse gas reductions later this year. “We need to reduce emissions globally by 70 per cent from where they are now,” says Jaccard. “If that happens, investment in a coal plant right now is a huge mistake.” It's expected to cost an estimated $1 billion to get power from the plants to southern markets, where electricity is most needed. Olympics pure gold for business Vancouver Sun, Feb. 13 While a bit of shine has worn off the interlocking rings in terms of wholesomeness, the Olympics still rate pretty high on what SFU business professor Lindsay Meredith calls “the Disney scale.” He says, “this is Mom and apple-pie stuff. It's young people, it's sport, it's clean, it's the United Nations.” He says the Canadian media have been predicting record performances for this country's athletes, hype that should help boost the audience for the game's sponsors. Meredith says those sponsors probably won't be hurt if Canadians fall short of the podium, but adds what could hurt them is a scandal exposing the Olympics' “ugly underbelly” - like the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan incident in 1994. “You don't want to see doping, you don't want to see cheating, you don't want to see ugly politics,” says Meredith. Broke B.C. joins the ‘have-nots' National Post, Feb. 8 B.C.'s minister of finance, Gary Collins, says the province's corroding economy has officially relegated it to ‘have-not' status. B.C. joins seven other provinces in being eligible for equalization payments from the federal government. Alberta and Ontario are the only two remaining provinces not receiving equalization money because of their healthy finances. “Eventually it will sink in that there are two Newfoundlands at both ends of the country,” says Gary Mauser, a political marketing expert at SFU. Mauser says B.C.'s have-not status is a condemnation of the previous NDP government that stalled one of the country's most powerful economies. Collins says the province hit a historic low point in 1999, which led to its status drop.

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