Northern Ireland would be better off in united Ireland

Belfast Telegraph Tue Mar 22 2016 By: John Downing

Irish incomes and its economy would grow significantly if Northern Ireland were to unify with the rest of Ireland, according to a new international report led by UBC’s Kurt Huebner. The report found a united Ireland would grow its GDP to 32.5 billion Euros in the first eight years of unification.

“Our study underlines the potential of political and economic unification when it is supported by smart economic policy,” Huebner told The Belfast Telegraph.

A similar story appeared in The Independent, Irish Examiner.

Vancouver’s housing market

VICE Wed Mar 23 2016 By: Sarah Berman

Vancouver’s overheated housing market was the focus of a new article in VICE. According to a study by UBC geography professor David Ley, up to 200,000 immigrant investors have made Vancouver home in the past few decades, with many wealthy migrants investing in property as a speculative move, or to escape volatility at home.

Scientists can now watch the brain evaluate risk

The Atlantic Wed Mar 23 2016 By: Ed Yong

A new technique developed at Stanford University makes it possible to visualize the brain as it makes decisions and evaluates risk, according to The Atlantic. UBC’s Catherine Winstanley notes that the technique brings scientists “that much closer to solving that most fascinating of questions: How does the brain use patterns of neural activity to make decisions?” Yahoo also ran this story.

A risky attitude is contagious

Daily Mail Wed Mar 23 2016 By: Ellie Zolfagharifard

A Daily Mail article on gambling cited a UBC study that set up a “rat casino” to study risk-taking behaviours. The UBC study found that the flashing lights and tunes encouraged rats to take bigger risks, a result that mirrors what happens among people in a casino setting, according to the article.

UBC adds 13th-century bible to collection

24 Hours Mon Mar 21 2016 By: Eric MacKenzie

UBC has acquired a rare “student bible” that is close to 800 years old, and a Book of Hours–a private devotional book that dates to the 15th century, reports 24 Hours. The bible is now the UBC library’s oldest manuscript, said Siân Echard, head of UBC’s English department. “History comes to life (for students) when they’re engaging with these materials,” said Katherine Kalsbeek, acting head of the library’s rare books and special collections division.

In worldwide ranking, Canadian universities snag six top-ten spots

CTV News Mon Mar 21 2016 By: Shenaz Kermalli

UBC ranks fifth in the world for geography and ninth for education, according to the U.K.-based QS World University Rankings by Subject, reports CTV News. Three other Canadian universities were ranked among the top ten in the world for their programs in nursing, geography, education and veterinary science.

Insiders say there will be few surprises in federal budget

Huffington Post Mon Mar 21 2016 By: Canadian Press

UBC economist and occasional Liberal adviser Kevin Milligan believes the Trudeau government’s maiden budget will deliver on promised investment in infrastructure, but with modifications to allow for economic support for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador. Milligan told the Canadian Press that a “fast lane” might be created to speed up the energy producing provinces’ share of the promised $60 billion in additional infrastructure investments. This article appeared in Maclean’s and Huffington Post.

Find your happy place

The New York Times Mon Mar 21 2016 By: Eric Weiner

Happiness rankings are always popular and the latest one, co-authored by UBC’s John F. Helliwell, is no exception, according to a New York Times article. But it’s not the rankings that are important, but why people are happy or unhappy, says Helliwell, an emeritus professor of economics. Happiness levels vary widely, in part because of unequal income levels. Helliwell added that it’s possible to “redistribute” happiness by adding to someone else’s happiness, which people can do without reducing their own.

UBC Theatre’s The Arabian Nights confirms the power of storytelling

North Shore News Fri Mar 18 2016 By: Anna Dimoff

North Shore News highlighted The Arabian Nights, presented by UBC Theatre until April 2 at the Frederic Wood Theatre. The play is directed by Mary Zimmerman and performed by UBC’s intermediate and final year theatre students.

Temporary foreign worker program deserves another look

Business in Vancouver Fri Mar 18 2016 By: Jen St. Denis

Over the past two or three decades, Canada has progressively increased its immigration quota to 60 per cent and more, according to UBC immigration policy specialist Dan Hiebert. “What this did was create quite substantial limits on humanitarian and family immigrants and we saw a very long backlog of family reunification cases,” said Hiebert. Hiebert was interviewed in a Business in Vancouver article on Ottawa’s current focus on refugees and international student immigration.

U.S. candidates talk tough on trade and immigration

Business in Vancouver Mon Mar 21 2016 By: Glen Korstrom and Jen St. Denis

Business in Vancouver asked economic analysts to weigh in on which of the four main U.S. presidential contenders would be likely to support policies that benefit Canada-U.S. trade. UBC political science professor Richard Johnston noted that Canada could be hurt if the candidates who support anti-trade sentiment gain traction. “[W]e are the largest trading partner with the U.S., and the U.S. is overwhelmingly our largest market for goods, so the fear in Ottawa has always been that we would be collateral damage,” said Johnston.

Out-of-bounds behaviour: When risk-taking becomes reckless

The Province Sun Mar 20 2016 By: Nick Eagland

People younger than 25, those with sensitive dopamine systems, or young men are the most likely to engage in risky behaviour, according to UBC psychology professor Stanley Floresco. In an interview with The Province, Floresco explained that risk-takers experience a rush–a hit of dopamine–after the danger has passed, and this motivates them to seek the same thrills over and over again. Similar articles appeared in the Vancouver Sun and the Saskatoon Star Phoenix.

Blame politicians for Metro Vancouver’s housing price crisis

The Vancouver Sun Sun Mar 20 2016 By: Douglas Todd

A Vancouver Sun column focused on a new study by UBC geographer David Ley, which links Metro Vancouver’s affordability crisis to economic stimulus measures. The study, published in The International Journal of Housing Policy, highlighted the rapid rise of detached-home prices following governments’ efforts to attract wealthy immigrants and investment from East Asia. “Vancouver, the closest major city to East Asia and with a high quality of life, is the most popular destination, especially for the wealthiest investor newcomer,” said Ley.

Flipping on the rise, but still a small portion of sales

The Vancouver Sun Sun Mar 20 2016 By: Lori Culbert

A Vancouver Sun special report on Vancouver real estate highlighted the rise in flipping but noted that it still represented just a small portion of all homes sold in the city between 2011 and 2016. David Ley, a UBC geography professor and real estate expert, noted that flipping is popular when prices are increasing rapidly because sellers would then get very quick returns on their investment. A similar article appeared in the Ottawa Citizen.

Beaufort Sea drilling leases infringe on Canada’s sovereignty

CBC North Sat Mar 19 2016 By: Chris Windeyer

Proposed new U.S. oil and gas drilling leases in the Beaufort Sea could include offshore territory that Canada claims as its own, reports CBC News. UBC political scientist Michael Byers says the issue is an opportunity for Canada to open negotiations on the disputed boundary. “Every five or 10 years some minor point of friction will arise as it has now and we need to solve this problem once and for all by sitting down with the United States and negotiating an agreed boundary,” said Byers. A similar article appeared on Yahoo.