Third-generation locals are hard to find

Vancouver Sun Sun May 1 2016 By: Douglas Todd

Metro Vancouver’s population is so mobile that third-generation locals are hard to find, according to a Vancouver Sun article. The author cited UBC geographer Daniel Hiebert, who pointed to Statistics Canada’s forecast that by 2031 only one-quarter of Metro’s population will be third-generation Canadian.

“There is no European city with anything like this demographic structure, nor will there be in 2031,” Hiebert said.

A similar article appeared in the Ottawa Citizen and The Province.

The price we won’t pay

Toronto Sun Sat April 30 2016 By: Michele Mandel

The debate on whether Canada should pay ransom if its citizens are kidnapped was the focus of a Toronto Sun article.

UBC political scientist Will Plowright weighed in, saying the problem with paying ransom is where the money will be put to use. “There’s a major ethical problem with giving millions of dollars to terrorist organizations,” said Plowright. “They’re not going to spend it on candy.”

How to deal with your inbox

Gizmodo (UK) Mon May 2 2016 By: David Nield

Gizmodo (here and here) featured scientifically backed methods for coping with email. One of them is study published last year by UBC researchers, which showed that reading email at specified times rather than constantly checking your inbox lowers stress and improves well-being.

Could psychedelic drugs help keep ex-inmates out of jail?

Motherboard Fri April 29 2016 By: Joshua Rapp Learn

A UBC study shows that psychedelic drugs like LSD might help reduce domestic violence among men with substance abuse problems, reports Motherboard.

The study found that 42 per cent of U.S. inmates who hadn’t taken psychedelic drugs before incarceration were arrested within six years of their release for domestic battery–compared to 27 per cent of those who had taken psychedelics, according to lead author and UBC psychology professor Zachary Walsh.

What can one photo tell us about the media and 2016?

Politico May/June 2016

Policy site Politico asked and critics to analyze an image taken after the March 10 GOP debate in Miami for what it says about media in 2016.

UBC professor Heidi Tworek, who studies the history of news, said the photo shows how Donald Trump, surrounded by media, has become part of journalists’ index. Indexing is the idea that political coverage closely tracks debates among politicians because reporters depend on politicians as sources.

RESP grants favour higher-income families

CBC News Thu April 28 2016 By: Dean Beeby

A study of the Canada Education Savings Program shows that it’s helping higher-income families much more than struggling households, reports CBC News.

The findings support UBC economist Kevin Milligan’s position, according to the article. In 2002 and 2008, Milligan said that the grants disproportionately benefit high-income families that are 3½ times more likely to have an RESP than low-income families.

Similar articles appeared on Yahoo and MSN.

Basic income poses threat to existing social programs

Yahoo Finance Thu April 28 2016 By: Aaron Broverman

UBC economist Kevin Milligan was cited in a Yahoo Finance article on Ontario’s plans for a basic income pilot program.

“My concern is the sales pitch for basic income is often predicated on simplifying the administration of social supports and having a simple, transparent and clear benefit. But, if you’re keeping the existing supports and then just throw a basic income on top of that, you’re not really solving the problems a Basic Income Program purportedly solves,” Milligan said.

Indigenous artists and thinkers on relocating

Vice Thu April 28 2016 By: James Wilt

UBC professor Daniel Heath Justice was one of several indigenous thinkers included in a Vice article criticising calls for indigenous people to relocate.

“Always, we have generally white men who claim to know better for us than we do…Ultimately, their presumption is they know best for everybody. No matter what the rest of us think, they have the answers and by god we’re going to listen and if we don’t listen then they say we’re ungrateful, we’re naive, we’re ignorant, we’re backwards, we’re primitive,” said Justice.

4 more casualties of Vancouver’s real estate market

MSN Wed April 27 2016 By: Romana King

The work of UBC geographer Dan Hiebert is cited in an MSN article on the consequences of Vancouver’s red-hot real estate market, including the lack of locals living in the city.

According to Hiebert’s research, only one out of four Metro Vancouver residents will have grandparents born in Canada by 2031. Other metropolitan cities, like New York and Los Angeles, have almost half of their residents born in their states.

5 reasons to flee the U.S. for Canada

MSN Tue April 26 2016 By: Quentin Fottrell

Generous parental leave is one of five reasons for Americans to move to Canada, in addition to the fear over a Donald Trump presidency, according to an MSN article.

“There’s a much better government and cultural acceptance of parental leave here than in the U.S.,” said UBC sociologist Wendy Roth. “It takes the burden off women and strengthens the bonds between fathers and their children.”

Should you hug your dog?

New York Times Wed April 27 2016 By: Christine Hauser

Giving your hug a hug may actually be making him miserable or anxious, according to UBC psychology professor emeritus and canine expert Stanley Coren, reports the New York Times.

Coren drew his conclusions from a study of 250 random images of people hugging their dogs, where the dogs showed signs of discomfort or stress such as bared teeth, head turned away and a raised paw. Another article in the Washington Post cautioned against taking the finding too literally and urged for more rigorous testing of the concept.

The story also appeared on Yahoo, Discover Magazine, Vice, Huffington Post, Mother Nature Network, Tech TimesNational Post, Vancouver’s Metro News, and Vancity Buzz.

Canadian killed by terrorist group in Philippines

Globe and Mail Mon April 25 2016 By: Carrie Tait, Nathan Vanderklippe

UBC experts commented on the killing of John Ridsdel, the 68-year-old Canadian kidnapped last September in the Philippines.

The militant group Abu Sayyaf that allegedly killed Mr. Ridsdel came out of an ethnic conflict in the Philippines, according to Will Plowright, a PhD candidate in political studies at UBC. While the group has publicly announced allegiance to the Islamic State, Plowright said there’s no real connection between the two organizations.

Both Plowright and UBC political scientist Arjun Chowdhury said the execution puts Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a difficult situation. Trudeau can’t abandon the government’s no-ransom policy. “In this context, it becomes very difficult because the feelers from intelligence and diplomatic channels would already have already been tried,” said Chowdhury. The articles appeared in the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star.

Recycling measures need to be convenient for people

Radio Canada Mon April 25 2016 By: Marc Montgomery

Make recycling more convenient and more people will comply, a UBC expert told CBC’s B.C. Almanac and Radio Canada.

“Awareness alone is not enough to change behaviour, we actually need to provide solutions, suggestions, alternatives to current practice so that people can actually change,” said Jiaying Zhao, an assistant professor at UBC’s Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability and the department of psychology. One of Zhao’s suggestions is to move bins closer to people’s homes or offices, which could increase recycling and composting by at least 130 per cent.

Step away from your dog!

Daily Mail Tue April 26 2016 By: Dan Bates

Hugs and overly close physical contact stresses dogs out, according to a new article published in Psychology Today by UBC psychologist Stanley Coren.

Coren, a canine behaviour expert, said an embrace can annoy or frighten a dog. “Behaviourists believe that depriving a dog of [their natural instinct to run away in times of stress] by immobilizing him with a hug can increase his stress level and, if the dog’s anxiety becomes significantly intense, he may bite,” wrote Coren.

The story appeared in Daily MailNew York MagazineSFGate,Refinery 29, Seattle PI and

No ban on municipal political donations, B.C. government says

Globe and Mail Sun April 24 2016 By: Mike Hager

The B.C. government said there are no plans to ban municipal political donations from corporations or unions, reports the Globe and Mail.

UBC political science professor Maxwell Cameron believes the provincial Liberals’ reluctance to enforce strict municipal campaign finance rules stems from political caution.

“They know that if we were to have exemplary legislation at the local level, it would highlight the fact that we have nothing at the provincial level,” said Cameron.