In the Media Archive 2020

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20 stories that defined the University of Alberta in 2020

In a year of unprecedented challenges, the people of the U of A gave us plenty of reasons to expect a brighter future, including Mike Maier, associate dean, master's program, School of Business.

Cannabis cutbacks in Alberta: Where the industry stands after two years of legalization (Global News)

Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth — two of Alberta’s major pot producers — are cutting back and laying off staff, but those watching the industry closely say it hasn’t gone up in smoke. Kendra Slugoski reports.

Canada Research Chair a twofold boon for U of A expert in women’s entrepreneurship

For business professor Jennifer Jennings—one of 16 new or renewed CRCs at the U of A announced today—receiving one of Canada’s most prestigious research awards couldn’t have come at a better time.

Five Things I’ve Learned About Adapting (New Trail)

One grad shares what crisis taught her about rolling with the punches.

In Ottawa's rush to buy PPE, companies with little or no experience got some of the biggest contracts (CBC)

Professor Vikas Mehrotra says procurement measures for PPE in the early stages of the pandemic were "akin to a war footing here, given the severity of the event," adding the government had to act quickly because other countries would be chasing the same PPE supplies and there was concern the world would be cut off from manufacturers.

Business students take learning from class to corporate world (folio)

Access to online platform gives students, professors and partner companies a way to work together on solving real-world marketing challenges.

Charts to watch in 2021: The most important Canadian economic graphs for the year ahead (Macleans)

As we prepare to leave this surreal year behind, experts share charts showing what they'll watch for in the economy in the coming year.

U of A students helping Edmonton businesses go digital as part of COVID-19 recovery push (Global News)

As COVID-19 increases the urge for many to shop online, the University of Alberta has partnered with the City of Edmonton to help local businesses improve their presence on the web.

U of A venture mentoring service helps entrepreneurs navigate the unknowns

ThresholdImpact VMS manager and entrepreneur Lazina McKenzie helps bring the collective experience of more than 100 volunteer mentors to a diverse array of startups.

Innovative company creates ‘synthetic cities’ to help solve future problems before they happen

Powered by U of A grads, RunWithIt Synthetics uses machine learning to help clients anticipate the complex reality their projects will operate in.

Imperial Oil set to end Syncrude services contract as Suncor becomes operator (Global News)

Dean Joseph Doucet says switching operatorship at Syncrude is a sign of the evolution of the oilsands mining industry from a high-cost venture with risky, unproven technology to one that's much more proven and predictable.

As COVID-19 surges, Alberta braces for possible new restrictions (CBC News)

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the province, the Alberta government is expected to introduce further measures to slow the spread of the disease.

‘The documentary is like a letter to my wife’: Edmonton man produces film about Iran plane tragedy (Global News)

It was a tragedy that shocked the world and impacted many in Edmonton.

Second-hand surge: why buying used is trendy among young Canadians (CBC Radio)

The second-hand economy is seeing a bump in 2020 thanks to younger generations choosing sustainable and renewable products over so-called fast fashion.

Risky Business? New shops open amid second wave of COVID-19 infections (CTV News)

Starting your own business is a risk-filled venture at the best of times. During a global pandemic, which has forced temporary and permanent business closures across Canada, the gamble is even more glaring.

U of A experts make impact on latest list of highly cited researchers (folio)

Clarivate’s annual list identifies researchers who demonstrated significant influence in their chosen field or fields through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade.

COVID-19: Edmonton retailers urge local support during holiday season (Global News)

Both consumers and retailers are facing uncertainty this holiday season. Many people are eager to support Edmonton-based businesses, while also trying to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

We're beginning to shop a lot like Christmas (CBC News)

With more time spent at home, people look to get into the Christmas spirit early.

OPINION | On COVID-19, Jason Kenney refuses to take responsibility (CBC News)

COVID-19 cases hit record levels nearly every day now — a startling 919 new cases were identified on Nov. 7. But it's not the case counts that hit hardest; it's what the numbers signal. Opinion piece by professor Andrew Leach.

New Alberta immigration pathways aimed at encouraging international students to stay in province (The Lawyer's Daily)

Alberta has launched two new immigration pathways to attract investment and encourage international graduates to start their businesses in the province. Joseph Doucet comments.

OPINION | It's full-speed ahead for the technology sector in Alberta (Edmonton Journal)

Opinion piece by Joseph Doucet and Adam Legge, co-chairs of the Innovation capital Working Group, on the promise of the tech industry in Alberta.

U of A students tapped to help local small businesses go digital

A group of University of Alberta business students have been tapped to help small businesses in Edmonton boost their online presence in an effort to keep up with a rapidly shifting economic landscape exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

OPINION | Alberta's shift away from coal power is a climate action success story (CBC News)

Over the past five years, coal has gone from supplying about 50% of Alberta's electricity to about 27%. This column is an opinion piece from U of A professor Andrew Leach and Blake Shaffer, from the University of Calgary.

Collaborative co-design could be key to better environmental decision-making: study (Future Energy Systems)

More communicative public engagement style on complex environmental issues leads to best outcomes when science, economics, and social factors are all weighed .

Edmonton’s iconic Take 5 doughnut shop for sale (Global News)

Take 5 is a cafe in Edmonton's Beverly neighbourhood. After 41 years with the same owner, the shop is up for sale. Heather Thomson, executive director at the School of Retailing, stresses that losing that kind of iconic business could be detrimental to the fabric of the neighbourhood.

COVID-19-Fighting Tools (New Trail)

Innovators aren’t holding their breath for a vaccine — they’re tackling the biggest health crisis in a century on several fronts

OPINION | This 'Bitumen Boondoggle' is costing Alberta taxpayers billions (CBC News)

In an op-ed, Andrew Leach discusses the Sturgeon Refinery saga.

Alberta projects historic $24.2-billion deficit amid COVID-19 pandemic, low oil prices (Edmonton Journal)

Collapsed oil prices and an increase in spending amid the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed Alberta into a historic projected deficit of $24.2 billion. Andrew Leach comments.

Proposed spot zoning could have negative consequences, critics say (Pique Magazine)

A Resort Municipality of Whistler initiative to lock key food and beverage establishments into their current zoning is an attempt to address a problem that doesn’t exist according to some—and could have negative consequences in an uncertain time. David Dale-Johnson is interviewed.

Where new Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole stands on climate change, carbon tax, oil and LNG (The Narwhal)

In his acceptance speech new federal Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole promised his party would be ready for an election as early as this fall. What he didn’t say is that the party’s fate in a federal contest could hinge at least in part on a plan to combat climate change. Andrew Leach is interviewed.

Should you pay with cash or debit during the pandemic? (CTV News)

While many businesses are urging customers to not use cash, Mike Maier from the University of Alberta School of Business says relying too much on debit or credit cards can prove costly.

Why not using cash during COVID-19 could make you more likely to overspend (folio)

Cashless purchases during the pandemic can add up quickly and make us more likely to ignore prices, says Mike Maier, a financial expert who provides seven tips for keeping your spending in check.

Return to Stage 1 would devastate Edmonton businesses, says retail school director (Edmonton Journal)

Amid a surge of COVID-19 infections in Edmonton, returning to Stage 1 of Alberta’s relaunch strategy would be devastating to many businesses, says John Pracejus, the director of the University of Alberta’s school of retailing.

Economy showing signs of rebound but experts warn it could be short lived (CTV News)

As more stores started to re-open in June, so did people's wallets. According to Statistics Canada, retailers across the country reported $53 billion in sales for June, up about 23% over May. Heather Thomson, executive director of the School of Retailing, comments.

Downtown businesses show flexibility, creativity during COVID-19, report says (CBC)

MBA student Kennedy Quigley authored a report released by the Downtown Business Association that evaluates what some downtown Edmonton companies are doing to attract and retain customers and what could improve.

New Startup Edmonton program offers mentorship for Black entrepreneurs (CBC)

Startup Edmonton launched Foundations for Black Founders this summer to offer business classes with mentorship and stories from successful Black company founders. Keenan Pascal, an alum of the School of Business, is interviewed and one of the program's mentors.

Alberta government handpicks new school curriculum advisers (CBC News)

The Alberta government has appointed eight advisers to shape a revamped curriculum for K-12 schools. Of the eight, five are from the U of A.

Varcoe: Alberta studies nuclear power again — this time, it's small modular reactors (Calgary Herald)

Alberta has toyed with the idea of embracing nuclear energy for decades. The piece includes comments from Dean Joseph Doucet.

Anti-China sentiment in US at ‘historic high’, Pew Research survey finds, amid friction over trade, coronavirus and human rights (South China Morning Post)

The story mentions a study involving Runjing Lu, showing that wherever COVID-19 has spread in the U.S., it has been closely followed by racist slurs targeting Chinese Americans.

OPINION | The fiasco that is Alberta's energy 'war room' (CBC News)

In an op-ed, Andrew Leach discusses the Canadian Energy Centre.

Obesity rates likely to rise during COVID-19 pandemic, study suggests (folio)

New consumer psychology research shows people under financial stress want to eat more of everything.

Jack Knox: Coronavirus or not, we are trending tubbier (Times Colonist)

Jim Swaffield, a consumer psychology researcher, warns the current crisis could drive up obesity rates, particularly among those who have lost their jobs.

COVID-19, low oil prices leads to dramatic drop in demand for power in Alberta (Global News)

Measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, combined with a slowdown in Alberta’s oil patch, led to a dramatic drop in demand for electricity in the province.

Success begets success in crowdfunding—but so does falling just short, study shows (folio)

If entrepreneurs can’t follow in the footsteps of blockbuster ideas, they should aim to come in behind campaigns that nearly reached their goals, business researchers find.

Staying in grace: Why some people are immune from scandal – until they’re not (The Conversation)

According to researchers, not all scandalous acts result in a scandal or produce the same consequences. In this piece co-authored by Assistant Professor Tim Hannigan, researchers outline the five factors that influence how scandals get activated and explain why some figures fall from grace while others remain untouched.

Research reveals which types of leaders are more likely to burn out (folio)

U of A researcher Ian Gellatly finds that being too hands-off can be as stressful for leaders as being too engaged.

Trampolines, hot tubs and fitness equipment in high demand during pandemic (Airdrie Today)

There's no place like home in a pandemic which explains why hot tubs and gym equipment are selling like toilet paper did in the early days of COVID-19.

Alberta at Noon with Judy Aldous (CBC Radio)

The province has announced a plan to turn around its struggling economy. Are these the right steps? Professor Andrew Leach weighs in (interview begins at 40:38).

David Staples: Jason Kenney shakes up pandemic recession with bold tax cut, big spending (Edmonton Journal)

On Monday, Kenney unleashed a blizzard of government programs to help deal with what he refers to as the Triple Threat of pandemic, global economic contraction, and a collapse in energy prices. Professor Andrew Leach comments.

As 330,000 Albertans lose their jobs, Kenney unveils tax cuts, $10B in spending to lift economy (Financial Post)

Deepest recession in a generation has effectively cut all the job growth the province enjoyed over the past decade. Dean Joseph Doucet comments.