Simon Fraser University

Issues and experts: Olympics, tourism, forestry and politics

Sep 24, 2003

Sizing up the Olympics…Peter Williams is back from Athens, Greece after a first–hand view of the progress of the 2004 Olympic facilities. Williams is studying the role of sport tourism on the economy in the wake of Vancouver’s successful 2010 bid. While there, the director of SFU’s centre for tourism policy and research presented a paper on the changing role of the spectator in sport tourism. Closer to home he can look at the impact of BC’s forest fires on tourism.

Aftermath of forest fires…SFU disaster communication expert Peter Anderson is back in the classroom sharing his experiences during BC’s forest fire season in his course, Communication to Mitigate Disasters. He spent the latter half of summer in the Kamloops Provincial Regional Emergency Operation Centre as part of the advance planning team and continues to lend his expertise.

Forest workers scrutinize industry…Members of the IWA gathering in Kelowna this week for their national convention will take a hard look at their industry — but they will be equally focused on their jobs. The union served 72-hour strike notice following a breakdown in contract talks. SFU economic geographer Roger Hayter is an industry analyst.

PM for PM…Paul Martin erased any doubt that he will become Canada's next prime minister after winning 90% of the delegate votes at the Liberal party's convention. He’s spending this week touring the western provinces. SFU political scientist Patrick Smith can look at what his shoe-in victory means out west.

Idol talent draws global raves…High TV ratings and merchandise sales worldwide are key responses to the rage in popular television built around talent competitions. The finale of Canadian Idol, which aired this week, is no exception. Paul Budra, a pop culture theory professor, can look at the evolution and popularity of ‘Idolmania.’
    Paul Budra, 604.291.4085;

BC municipal leaders make history…BC’s largest gathering of politicians, the Union of BC Municipalities, marks its 100th convention this week. Key issues will include policing, highway improvements and more self-government. SFU political scientist Patrick Smith can look at the discussion as well as the UBCM’s rise in power in recent years.

When sorry is not enough…Organizers of an upcoming World Religion conference in Vancouver (members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Canada) have publicly apologized to city councillor Tim Stevenson for retracting their invitation to him to serve as moderator because he is gay. SFU sociologist Ann Travers can comment on intolerance and tensions between gay rights and religious organizations.

Minding the Internet…Whether or not the Internet can be wisely and effectively governed and, if so, by whom are key questions facing the imminent world summit on the information society. William Melody, a visiting professor in media at the London School of Economics and former SFU communication chair, will tackle the issue of internet governance when he gives the school of communication Smythe lecture on Oct. 1 at 4 p.m. at Harbour Centre.

Insights into ‘free will’…One of SFU’s fall honorary degree recipients, Lüder Deecke, will look at the role of free will in decision-making when he gives a lecture at SFU on Monday Sept. 29 at 2:30 p.m. in room 3005 of the academic quadrangle. Deecke, who is head of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Functional Brain Topography in Vienna, will receive an honorary Doctor of Science from SFU on Oct. 2.
    Barry Beyerstein, psychology, 604.291.3743; (

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