Issues & Experts >  Issues & Experts Archive > Week of May 20 – 27, 2002

Week of May 20 – 27, 2002

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May 21, 2002
Warming up to Kyoto targets…Canada’s energy ministers are meeting this week in Charlottetown to talk about the issues surrounding the provinces’ role in achieving the conditions of the Kyoto accord on greenhouse gas emissions. Federal assistance to help the provinces kick-start technology that would help meet the accord targets has been offered. The extent of that assistance is one of the issues expected to be raised. Mark Jaccard, a professor in SFU’s school of resource and environmental management, is one of the country’s leading experts on estimating the cost of greenhouse gas emission reduction and can talk about the issues. Next month (June), his book on the issue, called The Cost of Climate Policy., will be published (UBC Press).

Mark Jaccard, 604.291.4219;

Saving a life-sustaining resource…Water is one of our most precious resources, sustaining all life on earth. Yet this lifeline is no longer assured for future generations, and a global water crisis appears imminent. "Within the next few years, quality of life will be defined in terms of accessibility to clean air, water, and space," predicts SFU’s Leah Bendell-Young, an associate professor of biological sciences and member of SFU’s centre for coastal studies. The centre, along with UBC, is sponsoring a workshop to be held May 22-23 at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. The workshop, called Water and the Future of Life on Earth, will bring together world experts on water science, management and policy who will discuss ways to avoid the impending crises in the maintenance of water resources globally. Diana Allen, an assistant professor of earth sciences at SFU and workshop speaker, says participants will identify the most critical water issues and knowledge gaps, nationally as well as globally. Recommendations will be forwarded to the Third World Water Forum in Kyoto in 2003. Participants will hold a press conference at the UBC Centre for Global Issues on Friday, May 24, 2 p.m.

Leah Bendell-Young, 604.291.5621;
Diana Allen, 604.291.3967;

Seniors' care and social housing…Provincial plans to close thousands of long-term care beds and use social housing dollars to provide assisted living and supportive housing arrangements for seniors come under the microscope at a public forum, Wednesday, May 22, 1-5 p.m. at the Harbour Centre campus. Academics, health planners and consumer advocates will provide their views on the provincial government's new policy direction for seniors' care. Victoria's plans to replace residential care beds with supportive housing and assisted living arrangements mirror a similar scheme in Alberta. Noted consumer advocate Wendy Armstrong will provide a closer look at the results. Other speakers include Jeremy Tate, Capital Regional Health District; Keith Anderson, Fraser Health Authority; and Craig Crawford, BC Housing. SFU gerontologist Gloria Gutman and Michael Hayes of SFU's Institute for Health Research and Education will chair the discussion. The forum is co-sponsored by the Seniors, Health and Housing Coalition.

Gloria Gutman, gerontology, 604.291.5063;
Mike Old, Seniors, Health and Housing Coalition, 604.828.6771

Do the math, eh?!…Among Canada’s bragging rights is this one — we are a veritable hot spot for the world’s best mathematicians. The number of male and female mathematicians is steadily growing, due to the opportunities available to work with industry. "Not too long ago, mathematicians either became professors or moved south of the border upon graduation; now, we’re not only stopping math graduates from leaving the country, we’re also attracting some of the world’s brightest minds," says SFU mathematician Arvind Gupta. Gupta is the scientific director of MITACS (Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems), which is holding its annual general meeting in Vancouver May 23 – 25 at UBC. MITACS is a national research network, which brings together industry and academia to solve large-scale problems. Since MITACS was established three years ago, the number of male PhD and master’s students working in industry has more than doubled, while the number of females has increased 60 per cent.

Olga Stachova, 604.291.5477;