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June 15, 2006

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The man who wrote the book
Globe and Mail, June 6
SFU professor emeritus Richard Lipsey is the author of Positive Economics, the economics 101 textbook that introduced millions of students around the world to the concepts of supply and demand. He also changed the world's thinking on free trade, productivity, technology, inflation and unemployment. He is Canada's economics guru, known internationally for his ideas on how to analyse, measure and predict the economy. Recently, he won a $100,000 prize for lifelong research achievement. He is also about to embark on new research about population growth and global warming. According to Lipsey, the world is nearing the end of the computer transformation.  It's payoff time, when the benefits of having learned how to maximize computer power in everyday life are piling up. The next big shock, he says, will be biotechnology, bringing changes just as great as the computer.

Home-care cuts hurt seniors, says study
Sterling News Service, June 6
Cuts to home-care services in B.C. have meant seniors are ending up in care homes and hospitals too early, according to a study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The study found the number of people receiving home support was cut by 24 per cent between 2000 and 2004. As well, the government cut the number of hours of support being provided by 12 per cent during the same time period, while the senior's population grew. SFU sociology and anthropology professor Arlene McLaren who is the study co-author, said care workers and clients have both said the changes leave them with too little time. "Workers are increasingly forced to rush from one client to another, without being able to take time to monitor their well-being," McLaren said. "Clients report that they aren't getting the level of support they need to live with dignity." McLaren said effective home support can help address long-term care shortages and hospital over-crowding. "This can reduce overall health expenditures," McLaren said. 

Plan? What plan? Alberta's energy future
Canadian Business, June 5
Alberta's Integrated Energy Strategy, if adopted as currently drafted, could eventually leave a hefty fossil-fuel footprint on every Canadian business.  Given that the federal government has no coherent energy plan of any kind, the province's document could simply fill the bill by default. Alberta supplies Canada with 70 per cent of its oil and 80 per cent of its natural gas.  Experts such as Mark Jaccard, SFU professor of resource and environmental management and author of Sustainable Fossil Fuels, found glaring omissions in the draft plan on the subject of climate change. He was particularly struck by its almost total neglect of the province's exploding carbon emissions. "I was surprised to see that global warming was not more prominent in their policy strategy, given that it's the major challenge of our energy system today," says Jaccard.

Canadian Investigators "Top-Shelf"
Toronto Sun, June 4
The elite team of police and intelligence experts whose months-long probe foiled a terrorist plot involved some of the most dedicated investigators in the world. The RCMP led the investigation, but the probe included significant co-operation with partners through an Integrated National Security Enforcement Team, or INSET, made up of RCMP, the CSIS spy organization, federal agencies and provincial and municipal police. INSET teams were created in April 2002 under a five-year, $64-million investment by the federal government. Their performance in the ongoing investigation could strengthen the reputation of Canada's ability to combat terrorist cells to the rest of the world, said Doug McArthur, an SFU political science professor. "This particular case is a good sign of the ability of our forces to chase down these types of situations," he said.

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