Russia seeks thawed relations with Canada over North Pole claim

Canadian Press Thu November 24 2016

Michael Byers, the Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at UBC, spoke to the Canadian Press after a Russian politician suggested his country maybe willing to work with Canada in the long-standing dispute over control of the North Pole.

Byers said sanctions and the decline in world oil prices contribute to Russia’s need to find partners in the Arctic. “The Russians are desperate to see sanctions lifted,” he said. “In that context, they’re very eager to improve relations in any domain.”

The CP story appeared in the Globe and Mail, on CTV, Yahoo, Toronto Star and Metro News.

Major B.C. earthquake could cost Canadian economy $127.5 billion

MSN Wed November 23 2016 By: Wanyee Li

MSN published a Metro News story quoting David Edgington, a UBC geography professor, for an article about the potentially huge economic cost of a major earthquake in B.C. Edgington noted that the rebuilding process would be a major undertaking but not catastrophic for the economy.

“I’ve been in Japan, looking at the reconstruction after the 2011 tsunami and the 1995 earthquake in Kobe. The markets thought just one part of the country going under wasn’t the end of the world,” he said.

Could pipeline protests in Vancouver resemble North Dakota’s?

News 1130 Mon November 21 2016 By: Alison Bailey and Kurtis Doering

News 1130 interviewed David Tindall, a UBC sociology professor, about the possibility of a massive protest in Vancouver if the federal government approves the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.

“Depending on where we’re talking about in the Greater Vancouver area in particular, there’s quite a large population and I think there’s a very significant section of the population that’s opposed to the pipeline,” he said.

Mohamed Fahmy details ‘grim’ imprisonment in new memoir

CBC Mon November 21 2016

CBC’s Early Edition featured an interview with Mohamed Fahmy, a journalism professor at UBC whose new book details his time spent wrongfully imprisoned in Egypt.

“I survived that because luckily enough I had a good family behind me. The journalism community did an impeccable job in keeping my story alive … Many tens of thousands of Canadians signed petitions so I realized it was not just about me. It was a bigger cause,” he said.

A similar story appeared in the National Observer.

How science and First Nations oral tradition are converging

CBC Tue November 22 2016 By: Nicole Mortillaro

CBC article on the connection between First Nations oral traditions and science mentioned UBC research, which found that First Nations historical accounts will likely vary with each retelling, but the base facts face a “peer review” and the changes are a way for the storyteller to include their unique context to the story.

“The nuances evident in distinct versions of a specific history represent a broader understanding of the events and the various ways people have internalized them,” wrote Erin Hanson, a UBC anthropology master’s candidate.

Vancouver should prohibit new single-family home construction

Metro News Mon November 21 2016 By: Jen St. Denis

Metro News interviewed Nathanael Lauster, a UBC sociology professor, and Thomas Davidoff, an economics professor at UBC Sauder School of Business, for an article about single-family home construction in Vancouver.

Both Lauster and Davidoff believe zoning laws in the city needs to change. “What are we doing reserving so much land for millionaires?” Lauster said recently.

Davidoff has argued for townhouses throughout the city and believes that zoning should be under the jurisdiction of the B.C. government.

Plan for giant buildings in Chinatown comes under fire

Vancouver Sun Fri November 18 2016 By: John Mackie

The Vancouver Sun interviewed Henry Yu, a UBC history professor, for an article on a new city proposal to allow buildings up to 200 feet wide in Chinatown. Yu has been involved with the Chinatown revitalization process and was surprised when he learned of the proposal for the buildings.

“It comes out of the blue,” said Yu. “In essence, this is the developer sort of formula of how many properties can you put together (for a highrise).” The story also appeared in The Province.

Mohamed Fahmy now forceful advocate for jailed journalists

CBC Ottawa Sat November 19 2016 By: Mario Carlucci and Alan Neal

CBC Ottawa featured a lecture on journalism and its role in human rights by Mohamed Fahmy, a journalism professor at UBC. He discussed the role of his cell phone in keeping him alive.

“It was very important because I was able to start a crowd-funding campaign from prison. I was checking on what the media was saying. I was communicating with very trusted journalists that I knew would not reveal the fact that I had a phone,” he said. “I basically was managing my campaign from prison.”

People get ahead in life by using one of two strategies

Quartz Mon November 21 2016 By: Jessica Tracy

Quartz published an op-ed by Jessica Tracy, a UBC psychology professor, about the elements that helped Donald Trump win the U.S. presidential election.

“Roughly 47 per cent of American voters chose Trump not because they were afraid of him, but because they saw him as their bully—the tough guy who would stand up for them, and make others afraid,” she wrote. “These people know that Trump is arrogant to the point of obnoxiousness, and they know that he can be mean. But these are exactly the traits that attract them.”

Syrian refugees rebuild their lives in suburban Canada

National Post Sun November 20 2016 By: Peter Kuitenbrouwer

The National Post quoted Dan Hiebert, a UBC geography professor, for an article about language class waiting lists for refugees in Canada. Refugees must learn English or French for most jobs in Canada.

“The federal government can’t just snap their fingers and have twice as many classrooms or instructors,” Hiebert said.  He also said he is concerned about reports that money set aside to resettle Syrians is still unspent.

The story also appeared in the Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun and Regina Leader-Post.

Global Reporting Centre wants to train better foreign correspondents

Maclean's Sun November 20 2016 By: Zane Schwartz

Maclean’s featured the Global Reporting Centre at UBC and its focus on international journalism. The program will build on the international reporting program taught by Peter Klein, a UBC journalism professor. The project covers underreported international stories and gives students on-the-ground experience.

Kinder Morgan opposition from Liberal MP applauded

CBC Thu November 17 2016 By: Belle Puri

Michael Byers, the Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at UBC, spoke to CBC about objections to the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline.

B.C. politicians recognize people in the province view the costs and benefits of the pipeline differently from Canadians in other parts the country. A B.C. Liberal MP urged Justin Trudeau’s government to reject the proposal.

“It’s entirely understandable why a member of parliament from the West Coast would object to this proposal,” Byers said. “A Liberal MP who is doing so is defying the momentum within his own caucus and that is to be celebrated.” The story also appeared on Yahoo.

Donald Trump could happen in Canada

Maclean's Thu November 17 2016 By: Charlie Gillis

David Green, a UBC economics professor, spoke to Maclean’s about how Donald Trump’s support base of white men without college degrees would be difficult to replicate in Canada because the commodities boom sustained Canada’s blue-collar workers.

“What do you do with that set of less-than-university-educated guys—the demographic that switched over to Trump?” Green asks. “That’s a potentially worrying connection.” The story also appeared on MSN.

Arrest made in baby formula theft allegedly destined for China

Globe and Mail Thu November 17 2016 By: Sunny Dhillon

The Globe and Mail quoted Amy Hanser, a UBC sociology professor who has researched China’s food safety and milk importing after a man was arrested in Vancouver for allegedly paying drug users to steal baby formula and shipping it to China.

Hanser said the demand for baby formula from outside China can be connected to the 2008 crisis, when formula made by a Chinese company was found to contain a chemical that killed six babies, and hospitalized thousands more. “This happened quite a long time ago, but it left a permanent distrust among Chinese consumers,” Hanser said.

Finding a rich vein of humour in China’s past

New York Times Wed November 16 2016 By: Ian Johnson

The New York Times featured an interview with UBC literary and cultural historian Christopher Rea, whose new work The Age of Innocence: A New History of Laughter in China, traces the growth of comedy, farce, cursing and satire in early 20th century China.

“China in the early 20th century — my book’s focus — was, to put it mildly, a rough and tumble place,” said Rea. “But it fostered a whole industry of mirth populated with cultural figures from hack jokesters to respectable writers slumming it as humourists.”