Program Guide

SFU Ideas & Issues

Wednesday 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Stories with SFU flavour

Stories, research and events from Simon Fraser University students, experts and campuses.

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More Recent Programs

Mayor Jonathan Cote, New West, on MetroVan Transit Tax Referendum

July 29 12p - plus regular features Peak Speak and Health Matters
Peak Speak - Renaissance Coffee, Food Waste

Mayor Jonathan Cote, New Westminster: the SFU Alumni talks about his reaction to the "failed" MetroVan Transit Tax referendum, the Mayor's Council and New West Transportation Plan, and where he thinks funding should be coming from.
Last week we talked to two activists about the ref:

Then the monthly Health Matters. This month: Ethics with Prof Jeremy Snyder.

LNG in BC: Risk or Reward

an SFU conversation
Liquefied Natural Gas in BC: Risk or Reward

from Carbon Talks and the Pacific Institute for Climate, hosted by SFU Vancouver November 2012.

featuring: Marc Lee, Senior Economist with the BC Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and Co-Director of the Climate Justice Project. Author of BC’s Legislated Greenhouse Gas Targets vs Natural Gas Developments

David Austin, Associate Counsel Clark Wilson LLP, and a leading lawyer in British Columbia in the field of energy and electricity

Canada's Role in Global Food Security

featuring SFU International Studies Prof Ramiro Lopes de Silva
Feb. 8 2013: Georgia Straight editor Charlie Smith moderates a dialogue that will discuss Canada’s Role in Global Food Security. The panel featured an array of expertise on the subject, including Gerardo Otero, SFU International Studies professor, Ramiro Lopes de Silva, UN World Food Program assistant executive director, Evelyne Guindon, vice president of CARE Canada’s international program and Stephen Nairne, managing director of the Lundin Foundation.

The free public dialogue was part of a discussion of international development and global food security, as part of the Canadian International Development Agency’s (CIDA) International Development Week (IDW).

“IDW is dedicated to raising awareness of global issues and features how Canada and is making a difference internationally,” explains Sarah Dench, executive director for SFU International.

aired originally August 2013.

Transit Referendum - Failure or Near Miss?

with guest Andrew Longhurst, MA Candidate Geography (Urban)
Many are disappointed in the transit referendum failing. Why did it fail? And why might socially progressive lovers of public transit have voted no? On the July 8th edition of ‪#‎SFU‬ Ideas & Issues (Weds 12p), we talk to Urban Geography MA Candidate Andrew Longhurst about the taxation, planning and poverty issues obscured by the Yes and No referendum campaigns.

For further reading, Andrew suggests:

BC's Regressive Tax Shift: A Decade of Diminishing Tax Fairness, 2000 – 2010 and - See more at:

SustainableSFU Staff Segue; Health Matters

SFU I&I Weds 12p
Today on the show, SustainableSFU's Mike Soren (exiting exec director) and Joshua Cairns (incoming exec director) talk about what's next for the organization.

Then, each last Weds of the Month, we hear from Haaris and Health Matters - topics that matter to students and their health. Today's topic: alternative medicine.

Culture, Community and Collaboration

George Nicholas introduces IPinCH

Culture, Community, and Collaboration: New Directions for Protecting Indigenous Heritage

The Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage (IPinCH) project is the first-ever recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Award. In recognition of this award, President Petter is sponsoring a special presentation by George Nicholas, Director of the IPinCH project.

Questions about who “owns” or has the right to benefit from Indigenous heritage are at the core of ongoing political, economic, and ethical debates taking place at local, national, and international levels. When it comes to research in this area, Indigenous peoples have typically had little say in how studies related to their heritage are managed. Increasingly though, efforts are being made to decolonize research practices by fostering more equitable relationships between researchers and Indigenous peoples, based on mutual trust and collaboration.

In this presentation George Nicholas reviews debates over the “ownership” of Indigenous heritage and provides examples of new research practices that are both more ethical and more effective. These collaborative research models, in which the community leads the research, highlight important new directions in protecting Indigenous heritage.

Dr. George Nicholas is a professor of archeology at SFU who has worked for more than 20 years with Indigenous peoples in British Columbia and elsewhere. He is the Director of the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage (IPinCH) project, an international initiative that focuses on the rights, values, and responsibilities of material culture, cultural knowledge, and the practice of heritage research.

Health Matters; SFU Club Spotlight

May 26 12p - Back Pain, Asian Club Spotlight
Today we have another Club Spotlight, where we highlight a club or collection of clubs at SFU. This time, we highlight Clubs Days and Asian Heritage month at once: we talked to clubs with an Asian connection who were tabling at SFU Burnaby the afternoon of May 21.

Plus Health Matters is back!
Haaris Mahmood brings back this regular segment of a health story that connects with students and more. This week we talk about back pain - all the sitting students and many modern workers do, back pain is a big part of our lives. There's new research that shows that while we can reduce this issue, humans are actually predisposed to back pain - blame the chimp! Conclusion? The one strap is out!

Today's Health Matters Meditation is brought to you by the sound of rain.

Yes to Transit: An SFU Rally and a Radio Drama

two productions from SFU Students support the Yes Transit Referendum
Part 1: excerpts and interviews from the April 2015 rally from SFU Geography students and Sustainable SFU.

Part 2: from Semester in Dialogue SFU Spring 2015, a radio drama: the Magic School Bus Breaks Down! with intro from Maggie Poirier.

Peak Speak; South Asian Women Against Violence Against Women

Weds 12p: Exploring voices from the Campuses & People of SFU
It's Peak Speak Week! Jamal Dumas talks UPasses becoming Compass Cards and SFU students’ smart paper towel dispenser wins sustainability award.

Then, May is Asian Heritage Month!

Neelam Gandevia presents excerpts from Breaking the Silence Dec 5th, from South Asian Women Against Violence Against Women, founded by SFU Alum Sunny Mangat…e-against-women/…allery/813949/

this program premiered IWD March 8, 2015
Listen to Sunny talk about her projects on IntraVenus (Weds 4p)

The Trottier Observatory

Howard Trottier, SFU Physics, live in studio
listen in on the opening ceremony (April 17, 2015) of the Trottier Observatory. Then Prof Howard Trottier talks about the observatory and the power of astronomy and science. He's joined by Matthew Cimone, SFU Resident Life Advisor and filmmaker of Chasing Atlantis. (for more info)

The Observatory is an integral part of the Trottier Studio for Innovative Science Education. The studio provides a home to more than 20 free Faculty of Science programs for school-aged children and youth, while the Observatory is a hub for the Starry Nights @ SFU outreach program, the SFU Astronomy Club and SFU astronomy classes.
The total cost for both facilities is $5.1 M
The Trottier Family Foundation contributed $2.7 M of the total cost
Huge starry walls feature large illuminated charts of stars as they are seen throughout the year
A concrete plinth describes cosmic structures from below an atom’s nucleus to beyond the cosmic horizon. Colored lights built into the plinth depict the spectra of six elements important to life, including hydrogen and helium
The equatorial sundial was created by students from BCIT’s Mechanical Technology (Manufacturing option) program, along with donations from the SFU Department of Mathematics and the North American Sundial Association. The sundial shows local clock time as well as sun time. Sun time is the sun’s position relative to the horizon, which means it does not recognize time zones or standard time/daylight time changeovers.
The 0.7-meter telescope is housed in a six-meter-diameter dome, with a state-of-the-art control system, an advanced camera, and stunning wide-field views through the eyepiece.


SFU's Press Release:

Thanks to a $2.7M gift from the Trottier Family Foundation, SFU will enable local astronomers and stargazers to engage the universe

The Trottier Studio for Innovative Science Education, which opened at the Burnaby campus in spring 2014, is a state-of-the-art learning space for the thousands of children and youth who attend free science workshops.

The Trottier Observatory and Science Courtyard features a six-meter-diameter dome housing a 0.7-metre-diameter reflector telescope capable of tracking distant galaxies billions of years old.

The telescope, which is among the largest in the province, delivers a digital feed that community groups and schools across Canada can remotely access and deploy. The viewing plaza and courtyard will feature illuminated star charts, areas to set up personal telescopes and a sundial built by BCIT students.

Both initiatives will strengthen SFU’s commitment to being Canada’s most community-engaged research university.

SFU Works - Labour Rights

Workers Memorial day - Apr 28, MayDay - May 1
We look at labour at SFU!

April 28 was Workers Memorial Day and the TSSU has a message for you, plus an update on their labour action.

MayDay is on Friday, May 1. What does that mean?
We look at related events like:
the Media Works Project that CJSF and SFU participated in.
MayWorks Arts Festival

Against Intellectual Property - David K. Levine

from the SFU I&I archives (Oct 2009)
David K. Levine is John H. Biggs Distinguished Professor of Economics at Washington University in St. Louis. His ongoing research in general equilibrium theory focuses on growth theory, innovation, and intellectual property. He blogs about copyright issues at

He spoke on "intellectual property" as a propaganda term at SFU Vancouver in March 2009.

Copyrights and patents have come to be called "intellectual property",a phrase which suggests that they are much akin to ordinary property. They are not: they are a government grant of monopoly power. The argument in favour of intellectual property must then be that these monopolies provide important offsetting incentives for innovation and creation.
However, all the available evidence suggests that patents and copyrights are a failure, and inhibit innovation and creativity at least as much they encourage it.

In this lively and entertaining lecture, Dr. David Levine documents the history of intellectual property, arguing that the best strategy for stimulating creativity in 21st century society is to eliminate copyrights and patents entirely.

Taxi Disruption!

an SFU City Conversation on Jan 15, 2015
In this City Conversation presenters and attendees talk about how new taxi-style services like Uber and Lyft disrupt traditional taxi and transit:
- the masters thesis by Ben Proctor, SFU that's mentioned can be found here
- benefits of taxi services as part of public transit service
- user experience re: taxi safety, reliability, cost
- privacy and safety issues with private drivers
- the accessibility of holding a taxi licensing (which is not the same as being a driver) in terms of cost and availability
- how the taxi system interacts with political system, for example with restrictions on numbers of taxis operating
- how freelance taxi services like Uber or Lyft address, mimic or miss what taxis do or do not provide

From the City Conversation event page: The taxi industry in Vancouver (and cities around the world) have operated under similar rules for decades. Those regulations provide stability, but leave many customers dissatisfied. Companies with new technology are disrupting the industry, making city regulators and the establishment angry, but often attracting new customers. While Uber and its aggressive tactics got the headlines as Vancouver booted them out, there are other kinder and gentler challengers. What do these challenges mean for taxi riders, drivers, the industry and cities?

To describe these changes and what they might bring, our presenters are columnist and former city councilor Peter Ladner; and Mohan Singh, President of the B.C. Taxi Association.

Peak Speak; Affordable Housing at SFU

live & from the archives
The debut the first edition of the biweekly segment, Peak Speak on CJSF - headlines from The Peak (SFU)!

Plus Gurpreet Kambo updates us on the Louis Riel House evictions.

In the second half, from the archives we hear an interview with Peter Ladner, Associate Fellow at the SFU Centre for Dialogue on housing, about his past project Homes Now!

Peter Ladner is a Dialogue Associate of the SFU Centre for Dialogue. His book The Urban Food Revolution: Changing the Way We Feed Cities, was published by New Society Publishers in fall, 2011, following a two-year Fellowship at the SFU Centre for Dialogue on Planning Cities as if Food Matters. He is a former Vancouver City Councillor, Metro Vancouver director, and publisher of Business in Vancouver newspaper, where he writes a weekly column. Twitter @pladner

Wedny Sarkissian - Kitchen Table Sustainability

from the CJSF Archives
In February of 2009, Wendy Sarkissian talked about Kitchen Table Sustainability as Community Engagement at SFU Harbour Centre.

Kitchen table sustainability: Practical recipes for community engagement with sustainability identifies 12 “ingredients” that help promote inclusive community engagement.

SFU Brews; Shiraz Ramji

a new brewmaster certificate; SFU Poetry
Neelam Gandeiva, our SFU Surrey Liaison, reports from the launch of SFU's Brewing Certificate.

Plus in a CJSF archive interview, Carly from Folk The Man talks to Shiraz Ramji, SFU poet. Shiraz is a fixture at social justice and writing events around SFU Burnaby and Vancouver. He always has a smile and maybe even a poem to give away.

Listen to another CJSF interview with KP!

Daphne Marlatt - Poetry, Feminism and more

by Beyan Farshi and Madeline Schmidt
Daphne Marlatt spoke at SFU Library on February 19. CJSF producers Beyan Farshi (Talking Life in Literature Weds 10a) and Madeline Schmidt caught up with Daphne at a coffee shop to talk about her poetry, feminism and nature.

Daphne Marlatt was born in Australia and immigrated to Vancouver as a child. She studied English and writing at U.B.C. (B.A. 1964), where she was a member of the TISH group of young writers that included Fred Wah, Frank Davey, and George Bowering. She is known best as a poet but has also published works of fiction, criticism and oral history, and has worked extensively as an editor and a teacher. In 2004 she became writer-in-residence at S.F.U., the first in three decades to hold this post. She was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2006, and in 2009 was awarded the Dorothy Livesay Prize for Poetry for her long poem, The Given. In 2012 she received the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award. Her recent work includes The Gull, the first Canadian play staged in the tradition of the Noh theatre. The play won the Uchamura Naoya Prize in 2008.

Political Action on SFU Campus

Gurpreet Kambo and Maegan Thomas host
Today we look at the many ways the SFU Burnaby campus is a hotbed of political action.

Election Officer Oscar talks SFSS Board Elections March 24-26

Teaching Support Staff Union Chief Steward Regan announces strike vote March 24-26 and tells us about the issues the TSSU is facing and what a strike might mean.

Louis Riel House Resistence - Mai and Teresa are part of the fight to stay at Louis Riel House after their notice of eviction. They talk about their love of the community there. the health and maintenance issues they are fighting for, and how SFU has been handling the situation (spoiler alert: not well).

Freedom to Read Week; Campus Activism Updates

live in studio
This week we chat with:
Holly Hendrigan about Freedom to Read Week at SFU
Steven Galloway, Freedom to Read Guest

Nathan Trudeau with a discussion of last week's transactivism, the SHIT IN

CJSF members Madeline and Gurpreet talk about the current status of Louis Riel House expulsion

African Student Association

Munatsi (Pres) and Ruramai (VP) guest
Munatsi Mavhima (Pres) and Ruramai Munyanyi (VP) of the African Student Association talk about upcoming events, issues for the African Diaspora on campus, racism and some of the things they discuss at the ASA.

Their free conference happens Feb 25/26, check out the info here:

Featuring music from the African Diaspora:
Aby Ngana
Ten Cities

Wayde Compton, a poet and more

a reading at SFU Special Collections, a conversation with Obediya Jones-Darrell
Obediya Jones-Darrell speaks to poet, author, organizer and SFU Creative Writing Program Director Wayde Compton after his reading at SFU special collections Feb 4, 2015.

Wayde Compton is the author of 49th Parallel Psalm, a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize; Performance Bond; After Canaan: Essays on Race Writing and Region, which was nominated for a City of Vancouver Book Award; and The Outer Harbour: Stories. He also edited the anthology Bluesprint: Black British Columbian Literature and Orature. He is a co-founder of the Hogan’s Alley Memorial Project, an organization that has collaborated on multiple projects intent on preserving the public memory of Vancouver’s original black community. Compton is the program director of Creative Writing in Continuing Studies at Simon Fraser University.

Dr Afua Cooper

from the archives, Dr Cooper speaks on BC's Black History
CJSF Talkie Jennifer interviews Dr Cooper before her 2009 talk at the SFU Teck gallery about BC's Black History, and her historic and poetic writing.

Dr. Afua Cooper is an historian and writer held the SFU Ruth Wynn Woodward Chair 2008 - 2009, and currently holds the James R. Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies at Dalhousie.

Dr Cooper holds a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in the history of the African Diaspora with specialties in Black Canadian history. Dr. Cooper’s research on Black Canadian history has made her a leading authority in the field. History was made in Vancouver, when scholars and community activists from various parts of Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom formed the Black Canadian Studies Association (BCSA). The formation of the BCSA was the outcome of a very successful three-day workshop. The BSCA aims to create a common forum for scholars and activists from the various Black communities to study, research and share ideas to advance the interest and understanding of Black Canada and the Diaspora. Workshop organizer, Dr. Afua Cooper was elected interim Chair.

Her co-authored publication We’re Rooted Here and They Can’t Pull Us Up: Essays in African Canadian Women’s History won the Joseph Brant Award for the best history book. Her ground-breaking book on Canadian slavery, The Hanging of Angelique: The Untold Story of Slavery in Canada and the Burning of Old Montreal was nominated for the Governor General’s Award. Dr. Cooper has curated exhibits on African Canadian history and culture, and the transatlantic slave trade for all three levels of governments. She is the recipient of the Harry Jerome Award for Professional Excellence, and the Planet Africa Renaissance Award.

Afua is also an accomplished poet and novelist. She has published five books of poetry, including the critically acclaimed Copper Woman and Other Poems, and two historical novels. Her work in the creative arts has been recognized with the Premier of Ontario Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the Red Maple Fiction Award.

Featured poetry: