SFU People in the News

March 16, 2012

This report on Simon Fraser University in the news lists the main items of known media coverage from 9 a.m. Pacific Thursday March 15 to 9 a.m. Pacific Friday March 16.
The report is compiled and distributed by SFU Public Affairs & Media Relations.

Politics | Transit | Twitter | Immigrants | Arts | Athletics


  • Public policy prof Doug McArthur was on CKNW, with host Simi Sara asking about the new law to end the public-school teachers’ labour dispute.
    McArthur: “I think there’s some danger (to the government’s image) but I don’t think it’s as large as if it were in a case of . . . some union where this had never been done before, and that it appeared that the government was clearly taking its own side to the strong disadvantage of the other side. . . .
    “I think on the teachers’ side they’ve become accustomed to the fact that the government will step in with legislation. . . . So I think the teachers feel that the public support teachers generally, and that they (teachers) don’t necessarily lose a great deal by pursuing this strategy because eventually it will be settled through legislation, and that’s what a lot of people expect.
    “I think on the government’s side, the politics are a bit more complicated but my guess is that the government feels that this action is not going to drive away many of their supporters  . . . and they don’t think it will have a big impact on the independent voters, the ones in-between who are still trying to decide. And it does appeal to their base, in particular their attempt to appeal to the conservative base.”


  • News1130 Radio asked SFU’s Gordon Price, a former TransLink director, what he thinks of an idea of a lottery to fund roads, bridges and transit.
    "‘It's only a slightly better idea than a bake sale,’ says Gordon Price, director of Simon Fraser University's City Program. ‘Actually I'd tend to go with the bake sale before a lottery.’
    “He feels a lottery to benefit TransLink would trivialize an important issue.
    “‘There can't be anything much more important than transportation; it is so embedded with our way of life, our economy, everything about living in Vancouver. To put it in that category, 'Gee we need to fund it with a lottery,' suggests we don't take it seriously and that we are not serious,’ he argues.
    “Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts has called for regional tolling of Metro Vancouver bridges and tunnels to help pay for infrastructure and Price believes she has started down the right road.
    “‘She gets it on the table as a question of equity, that we have to think about how we fund transit on a regional basis. However, it does run into 'fairness' problems. South of the Fraser makes the best case—it is simply not tenable to toll all the bridges that go into Surrey or south of the Fraser without having to bear the burden,’ says Price.
    “He backs the idea of road pricing—paying for the distance you drive—as an equitable way to fund transit and infrastructure.”
    Full story:


  • Communication prof Peter Chow-White was in a Globe and Mail story that noted MLA Guy Gentner had a locked Twitter account, so that access was limited to authorized users and was not “public”.
    “More than a dozen members of the British Columbia legislature don’t appear to have Twitter accounts. Several others are signed up, but haven’t used the microblogging site in eons.
    “As of this week, though, only one MLA kept his tweets from public view: Guy Gentner, member for North Delta since 2005.”
    Gentner said he’d simply forgotten to unlock it—and promptly did so.
    “Peter Chow-White, assistant professor at Simon Fraser University's school of communication, said politicians who have their accounts locked are missing the point—and the conversation.
    "‘It seems to defeat the purpose, only letting certain people in,’ he said. ‘You're supposed to talk to as many people as possible as a politician. In this case, it's . . . kind of like holding a closed-door meeting.’"
    Full story:


  • Herb Grubel, prof emeritus of SFU Economics, told the Toronto Sun that Canada should admit immigrants only if they have guaranteed jobs—and should bar admission to “hamburger-flippers.”
    “‘I would suggest we don’t allow in any hamburger-flippers,’ Grubel said. “Chances are they are not as well-trained and productive as Canadians who are doing a better job.’
    “With most immigrants now from Asia, Africa and the Philippines, he said most have no work experience here. They also lack English and sometimes carry either fake certificates or ones from unrecognized institutions.”
    His comments were in a story that looked at a new study from the Fraser Institute, co-authored by Grubel.
    “In addition to threatening the concept that newcomers will boost Canada’s economy, the report by Grubel and Prof. Patrick Grady, released Thursday, predicted that immigrants will continue to be a financial drain—by being unable to pay taxes as high as workers in previous generations.
    “To reverse the trend of newcomers costing taxpayer $16.3-to $23.5 billion a year, they suggest replacing the current emphasis on university degrees with immigration levels based on marketplace needs, admitting only foreigners with guaranteed jobs, Grubel told The Toronto Sun.”
    The story added: “Mohsen Javdani, a Simon Fraser economics teacher and PhD candidate . . . criticized the Grubel-Grady report for being too narrow in its focus on more recent immigrants. . . . Calling the revised study ‘contaminated,’ with ‘too many assumptions,’ Javdani said ‘It’s not very sound, to be honest.”
    The story also ran in the North Bay (ON) Nugget.
    Full story:
    The Fraser Institute study:


  • Heidi Taylor, a grad of SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts and a sessional instructor in acting there, will become in December the artistic and executive director of Vancouver’s Playwrights Theatre Centre, the Georgia Straight reported.
    “Playwrights Theatre Centre has announced that Martin Kinch is stepping down after more than ten years of leading the organization as executive director and literary manager. PTC dramaturge Heidi Taylor will assume the company’s leadership as its artistic and executive director, effective December 1, 2012.
    “Taylor, who teaches acting at Simon Fraser University, has dramaturged over 40 plays since joining PTC in 2005, working with writers such as Jan Derbyshire, Dave Deveau, and Anita Majumdar. She also a co-founder of the cross-disciplinary company Proximity Arts.”
    Full story:
  • Burnaby Now noted that the SFU Pipe Bandis turning 30 this year—“and it plans to do so in style.”
    “The pipe band is offering up a special 30th anniversary concert for hometown fans in Vancouver on April 15 and another in New York City on May 4.
    "‘This is a special year for the SFU Pipe Band,’ pipe sergeant Jack Lee said in a press release. ‘Very few bands have been able to maintain themselves as world championships contenders, and we are proud of the band's accomplishments.’
    “Over the past 30 years the band has won six firsts and nine second-place finishes at the Glasgow world championships, as well as capturing both the North American and Australian championships, releasing 10 CDs and performing around the world.”
    Full story:



  • GlobalTV carried a feature on Jason Beck, the new offensive coordinator for the SFU football team, who brought with him eight years of experience in NCAA Division I football as a player and a coach.
    GlobalTV sportscaster Jay Durant: “Jason Beck has played alongside, and coached, some of the top college players in the U.S., many of whom have gone onto the pros. It’s that pedigree and experience that made him such an appealing candidate for the Clan’s offensive coordinator job. In the end, he beat out close to 200 applicants because he’s seen as someone who can help close the gap on the Clan’s American competition.”
    Head coach Dave Johnson: “This is a different animal, this NCAA thing. And it became very apparent, the first year, we didn’t know what we didn’t know. Last year we thought we figured it out, and ended up eating humble pie.
    “Well, it became very apparent we needed to bring, not just higher-quality people because we’ve got good coaches here, but guys that had a deeper level of experience.”
    Durant said Beck is “bringing a new, pro-style offence to The Hill.”
    Running back Bo Palmer:  “It’s been pretty overwhelming. I think we put in more our first day in spring camp than we did all of last spring camp, kind of a crash course in offence, and I think it’s going to help us so we can hit the ground running in fall.”
    Beck: “Part of my coaching style is, you know, kind of talk about it, show it, watch it, but also definitely demonstrate it, show the footwork, show the timing and how it works.”
    Johnson: “I really do feel like there’s a quiet confidence (in the team). This team is full of potential. Bringing those people in will keep us getting from getting stuck  . . . in the gift shop on the way up the mountain.”
  • Meanwhile, the Guelph Mercury reported that high-school player Sharieff Peru has made a verbal commitment to join SFU and its football program. “‘They play in the NCAA Division II and that really attracted me because it’s a high competition of football,’ Peru said. ‘Playing against the American kids, I can get CFL looks and NFL looks and that’s something that I ultimately want to do.’”
    Full story:


  • Burnaby Now turned an SFU Athletics news release into a story: “Simon Fraser University pitcher Cara Lukawesky was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference pitcher of the week after throwing her career-first no-hit softball game.
    “Lukawesky's no hitter was the first seven-inning no-hitter by a pitcher in the Great Northwest conference since Central Washington's Sara Badgely no-hit Western Oregon on March 5, 2005.”
    Full story:


  • The North Shore News told readers that SFU track star Helen Crofts of West Vancouver had been named this year's Sport BC university athlete of the year.
    “This season has brought with it some stiffer competition as SFU has entered Division II of the U.S.'s National Collegiate Athletic Association—the first Canadian university to make that jump.
    "‘There's more opponents and it's a very strong field,’ said the biology major. ‘The higher the calibre the better chance to run faster.’"
    Full story:

Also in sport

  • The defending champion SFU men’s hockey team bowed to the University of Victoria 4-3 in a shootout at the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League championship tournament in Kamloops on Thursday (March 15). UVic now plays Okanagan College tonight. SFU will take on Thompson Rivers University in the elimination game at 4 pm.
    BICHL game report:
  • The Delta Optimist carried a story on Delta’s Sam Clare. “Sam Clare has wasted little time in making an impact in his freshman season with the Simon Fraser University men's field lacrosse team.
    “The midfielder has become one of the Clan's go-to players, ranking second on the team in scoring with 16 points, including 13 goals, in just seven games.”
    Full story:




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