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September 8, 2005

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Christy says she's going for it
Vancouver Province, Sept. 1

Christy Clark, the former deputy premier who quit to spend more time with her family, wants to be the mayor of Vancouver. Clark, who has a four-year-old son, said being mayor would not impose the travel pressures that made family responsibilities difficult when she was in cabinet. Observers say Clark may have her sights set on succeeding Gordon Campbell as premier, but she says she wants to be mayor. SFU political science professor Patrick Smith notes that Campbell and former premier Mike Harcourt were both Vancouver mayors first.” Parking herself in the mayor's seat is a perfectly good strategy should she, in the future, rediscover her provincial ambitions,” he says.


Labour laws must go back to the future
Edmonton Sun, Aug. 30

If you're feeling more oppressed than fulfilled at work, take heart. Public hearings on federal labour standards are about to begin and they could revolutionize the Canadian workplace. As studies point out, workplace stress and absenteeism are climbing because Canadians are trying to juggle jobs and challenging family responsibilities. “The question really is what kind of a society do we as Canadians want to live in?” says Mark Leier, director of the centre for labour studies at SFU. Productivity has doubled since 1975 but wages have shrunk and the work day has gotten longer, he adds. “Any study that recommends changes to bring us back to the standards of the 1970s would be a very welcome thing for the vast majority of people in Canada.”


Gold collar workers buy brand names
Calgary Herald, Aug. 20

About a third of Canada's 1.5 million working-class youth are characterized as gold-collar workers. For marketers, the new niche has potential for advertisers that may not have considered this group worthy of targeting. “The niche goes on,” says Lindsay Meredith, professor at SFU's business school. “It's the Holy Grail of marketers, the endless search for a new niche. These are kids who will spend like drunken sailors on the right product with the right image.” He says consumers of all ages are seduced by celebrity images and the brands they sell. “The bottom line is, use your head - it's advertising. If you really want to belong to that group, get some education. But it's tough to sell that message to kids. The advertiser of that high-end wallet is going to have a lot easier time with their message.”


Accidents shouldn't be acceptable
Montreal Gazette, Aug. 20

More than 60 per cent of Canadians believe workplace accidents are inevitable - a conclusion that means more must be done to change people's perceptions about what's acceptable in terms of job safety, according to SFU professor Rick Iverson. “Accidents should not be socially acceptable as the cost of doing business,” says Iverson, a professor of human resource management in SFU's faculty of business administration. “Can we do more (to prevent) workplace death, injury and disease? The hope is yes.” The study concludes that while nearly two-thirds of Canadians reject the idea that injuries caused by drinking and driving are an inevitable part of life, that's not the case for workplace accidents, which result in 350,000 Canadians injured each year.











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