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March 07, 2002

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Doctor's design boosts helmet safety
Indianapolis Star, March 3

Sooner or later, hockey fans have the chilling experience of watching a player lay unconscious on the ice after a violent collision. That's what happened to John Duguid, a Brownsburg neurologist, former player and now an inventor with a patent that could help prevent some head injuries. Experts agree there is a need to prevent sports-related head injuries. In Canada, where hockey is a sports religion, scientific studies are under way on concussions suffered by hockey-playing youths. SFU kinesiologist David Goodman, who is leading a $1.35 million, five-year study, says the first problem is getting accurate statistics. Goodman sent observers to games and discovered about one concussion per game. “In most of the older kids, it's hits to the head, while younger kids may be slipping and falling backwards,” he notes. Goodman found 63 per cent of 440 junior players in B.C. had suffered head injuries.

Weyerhaeuser checks ruling
Kamloops Daily News, March 1

Officials at forestry giant Weyerhaeuser in the Okanagan are struggling to comprehend the impact of a landmark court decision, suggesting it carries the potential to alter the company's continued investment in B.C. The ruling in the case of the Haida Nation against Weyerhaeuser and B.C. states that governments and companies have a duty to consult with natives about the use of Crown lands subject to land claims, even if aboriginal title hasn't yet been proven in court. Lawyer David Boyd, an adjunct professor at SFU, says the decision will change the way business operates on Crown lands. While the Liberal government wants to accelerate approvals and access for business to Crown land, Boyd said the court wants government to slow down and do a better job of protecting aboriginal interest. “There are two opposing forces headed for collision,” he says. “There's a train wreck waiting to happen here and we've known that for years. There's just been an ongoing dereliction of duty on the part of government in addressing those issues,” Boyd adds.

Activists push for bigger Christian say
Vancouver Sun, Feb. 22

A proposed Catholic lawyers guild, aimed at more effectively bringing Christian views to bear on Canadian culture and law, is just one of many manifestations of religious people in Canada pressing harder for a new kind of relationship between the church and state. Under the banner of freedom of religion, they want to bring a clear Christian voice back to the marketplace of ideas. Many of Canada's religious leaders yearn for a strong presence in several areas, including politics and the law. As SFU business professor and ethicist Mark Wexler says: “You can walk into a room of strangers and say, ‘ I'm an accountant.' But it's not okay to walk into a room and say, ‘I'm a Lutheran.'”

Police admit failure to move on cases
Canadian Press, Feb. 8

Vancouver police have admitted they should have moved much sooner to pool their information with other police forces on the missing women file. The mystery behind their disappearances dates back to 1983, though most of the 50 missing women, most of whom were prostitutes, went missing in the last five years. “The point has often been made that if you had 50 women of any other profession missing, the reaction would have been entirely different,” says John Lowman, an SFU criminologist who studies the sex trade and violence against prostitutes. Lowman notes that Vancouver mayor Philip Owen initially balked at offering a big reward to help solve the missing women case. A reward was recommended and an investigative team was established in 1999.

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