How Liberals gauged response to high-income tax hike

The Globe and Mail Wed Dec 9 2015 By: Bill Curry, Daniel LeBlanc

UBC economist Kevin Milligan, who was a member of the Liberal economic advisory team, is quoted in a Globe and Mail analysis of the federal tax plan and revised deficit projections.

“These new estimates by Finance, to my eye, look quite cautious and [are] building in enough room for a potential positive upside,” Milligan said. “They may be making a judgment that it’s better to take a small political hit now and look good three years from now, [rather] than the alternative.”

Opinion: Climate justice, Canada and COP21

The Vancouver Sun Tue Dec 8 2015 By: David Tindall

Issues around climate justice should be explored and resolved in order to reach a successful agreement on climate change, wrote UBC sociology professor David Tindall in an op-ed for the Vancouver Sun.

Tindall said climate justice involves addressing income, age and gender inequality issues as well as North-South and Aboriginal vs. non-Aboriginal conflicts.

“At COP21 in Paris, resolving climate justice is not just a moral-philosophical parlour game,” said Tindall. “It is central to whether or not an effective agreement emerges.”

Liberal tax changes to cost federal treasury $1.2-billion per year

The Globe and Mail Mon Dec 7 2015 By: Bill Curry

UBC economist and tax expert Kevin Milligan was quoted in a Globe and Mail article on the cost of the government’s proposed tax changes.

Milligan, a member of the Liberal economic advisory team, has said in the past that the party’s $2.8-billion projected revenue from tax hikes was a reasonable estimate if backed by “strong administrative efforts and an effective tax-expenditure review.”

The Heat: Arctic natural resource race

CCTV America Mon Dec 7 2015 By: Nathan King

UBC global politics professor Michael Byers joined CCTV America’s The Heat to talk about competing interests in the Arctic. According to Byers, the region is the most expensive place in the world to operate and that explains why Russia, the United States and Canada are willing to cooperate there.

“They cannot afford to have conflict in the Arctic, especially not Russia, with its economy in such serious trouble,” Byers said. He believes that “Russia is playing by the rules” in the Arctic.

North Korea agrees regular visits by the South’s Catholic priests

BBC Tue Dec 8 2015

UBC Korean history professor Donald Baker explains on BBC how North Korean Catholics practice their religion. A Catholic “Mass” in Pyongyang is not conducted by a priest but by a lay person. Baker said attempts to convert others aren’t allowed, but Christians who are willing to work within a government-authorized organisation and to practice within the larger North Korean framework are acceptable, because they show to the world that North Korea allows religious freedom.

Media frenzy in California recalls B.C. incident

CTV News Sat Dec 5 2015 By: Canadian Press

A new Canadian Press article compares the media presence inside the townhome of the deceased California shooting suspects with a similar incident involving two British Columbians accused of planting bombs at the Victoria Legislature.

Alfred Hermida, director of UBC’s school of journalism was quoted in the article as saying that one shot in particular violated the privacy of a relative of one of the suspects.

But he thought that outrage over the media’s behaviour may not prevent similar incidents from happening in the future because such stories attract a lot of attention.

The article was carried by CTV News, Yahoo NewsHuffington Post, City News, Toronto Star, Alaska Highway News, Calgary Herald, Winnipeg Free Press, Times Colonist, News 1130, and Castanet.

Opening the Canadian Arctic

Al Jazeera Sun Dec 6 2015 By: Leyland Cecco

A new article in Al Jazeera examines what the opening of the Northwest Passage could mean for the Inuit in Nunavut. The Canadian government has tied its claims to the Arctic on the Inuit but, according to UBC professor and Arctic specialist Michael Byers, little has been done to address the many difficulties the Inuit face.

“The social, economic and health crises in Nunavut are worse now than they were 10 years ago,” Byers said. “A small amount of money [was spent] on housing but nowhere near what was needed to address the problems.”

The article also discusses concerns over the impact of the opening of the passage on the fragile Arctic ecosystem, with Byers noting that regulating ship traffic and invasive species coming into the area would be difficult.

Born to be conned

New York Times Sat Dec 5 2015 By: Maria Konnikovadec

A New York Times article on why people fall for confidence tricks mentions the work done by UBC psychologist Delroy L. Paulhus. Paulhus studies the “dark triad traits”–narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy–and believes that con artists are more Machiavellian than psychopathic.

“It seems clear that malevolent stockbrokers like Bernie Madoff do not qualify as psychopaths. They are corporate Machiavellians who use deliberate, strategic procedures for exploiting others,” Paulhus wrote in a 2014 paper titled “Toward a Taxonomy of Dark Personalities.”

B.C.’s ethnic diversity divide raises political questions

The Vancouver Sun Fri Dec 4 2015 By: Douglas Todd

Two UBC faculty members discussed ethnic diversity in Metro Vancouver in a Vancouver Sun article.

The metro area is growing culturally distinct from the rest of B.C. because newcomers tend to go where they find people of the same background, according to sociologist Richard Carpiano.

Geography professor Dan Hiebert added that there are also political implications in Metro Vancouver’s unique diversity. Canada’s ethnically diverse metropolises, including Toronto typically have a hard time gaining federal or provincial attention on issues involving affordable housing, education or transit, Hiebert said.

B.C. food banks call for more government action

CBC News Thu Dec 3 2015

In a CBC News article, Graham Riches, professor emeritus at UBC, called for a closer look at the role of food banks.

“We’ve adopted this whole-scale food charity movement and it’s really enabled our governments to look the other way and not address many basic sort of questions about the adequacy of income, about living wage, about adequate social security,” Riches, who has been researching food banks since the 1980s, said.

Five rules to guide the future of Canadian digital diplomacy

Open Canada Wed Dec 2 2015 By: Julian Dierkes

UBC sociologist Julian Dierkes urges a strategic approach to social media and to digital diplomacy instead of the “haphazard public relations” that’s currently in place.

In an article for the policy site Open Canada, Dierkes recommends active and strategic online engagement for diplomats and empowering diplomats on the ground. Embracing digital diplomacy, Dierkes says, will enhance the process of integrating development assistance into the department of foreign affairs.

Wade Davis: Why not a war on global warming?

The Globe and Mail Wed Dec 2 2015 By: Wade Davis

In a Globe and Mail op-ed, UBC anthropology professor Wade Davis asks why the international response to the threat of climate change has been so lukewarm.

“If [the scientists] are wrong and we act, the worst that will happen will be an economic stimulus that will result in a cleaner environment, a more technologically integrated world and a healthier planet,” Davis wrote. “If they are right, and we do nothing, the potential consequences are at best bad, at worst catastrophic, with scenarios so bleak as to defy the darkest imaginings of science fiction.”

B.C. Premier rejects PM’s new Senate appointment process

The Globe and Mail Thu Dec 3 2015 By: Ian Bailey

Experts say Christy Clark’s decision to boycott the Senate appointment process won’t help her achieve the changes she wants, according to a Globe and Mail article.

The article quoted UBC political scientist Gerald Baier, who said the B.C. premier is entitled to refuse to endorse Senate changes that don’t work for B.C., but that Ottawa can still consult with British Columbians to decide who should sit on the advisory board.

UBC student wins 2015 Mayor’s Arts Award

City of Vancouver Thu Dec 3 2015

Congratulations to Acting and First Nations Studies student Tai Amy Grauman, who won the 2015 Mayor's Arts Award for "Emerging Artist in Theatre". Grauman was nominated by Margo Kane, a Cree/Saulteaux artist and a prominent figure in Canadian theatre.

Grauman is a new member of Full Circle Theatre's training ensemble program and a proud member of the Métis Nation of Alberta. She plans to pursue a PhD in Aboriginal theatre.

Chinese opera singers dazzle Vancouver

Global Post Thu Dec 3 2015 By: Xinhua

The Global Post and Shanghai Daily ran a Xinhua article on the Beijing Conservatory’s opera performance at UBC’s Chan Centre.

The concert was part of the cultural exchange program between the two institutions as UBC marks its centennial.

“We both have very high quality programs in our own countries, so it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to work together,” said Nancy Hermiston, head of voice and opera at UBC school of music.