News & events

Oliver Schmidtke on the UK supreme court´s decision

CFGS Director Oliver Schmidtke joined Adam Stirling on CFAX 1070 to discuss what happened with Brexit and the UK Supreme Court. The supreme court ruled on September 24th that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's advice to the Queen that parliament should be prorogued for five weeks at the height of the Brexit crisis was unlawful. To listen to the radio interview, please click on the following link.

Oliver Schmidtke on the British parliament´s rejection of pre-Brexit snap elections

CFGS Director Oliver Schmidtke spoke with CBC's Carole MacNeil this week about British Prime Minister Boris Johnson´s intent to no longer accept any Brexit delays after the British parliament rejected his call for pre-Brexit snap elections. To watch the TV interview, please click on the following link.

Oliver Schmidtke on Macron and Russia

CFGS Director Oliver Schmidtke spoke with CTV News about French President Emmanuel Macron's statements warning against pushing Russia away from Europe, as well as Russia's current relationship and status within the G7. To watch the interview, click on the following link.

Laura Brandes and Bob Sandford: Sustainability in a post-2018 world

On Sunday, January 20th, the Times Colonist published an op-ed by Bob Sandford (EPCOR Chair in Water and Climate Security, United Nations University Institute for Water Environment and Health) and Laura Brandes (Communications Director, POLIS Water Sustainability Project). Picking up on themes from Bob Sandford's successful public talk at UVic last week, this op-ed describes the "tipping point" that was crossed in 2018 towards a new and turbulent climate regime in the Northern Hemisphere. The authors discuss what this “new normal” will look like and offer opportunities for action, including through British Columbia’s Water Sustainability Act.

Rosie Simms and Oliver Brandes Op-ed, "Island Voices: Is the province keeping its freshwater promises?"

POLIS' Rosie Simms and Oliver Brandes wrote an article in the Times Colonist about the province's water strategy, “Living Water Smart,” which is now 10 years old. The article reviewed the promises related to protecting fresh water and how the BC government is upholding theirs.

Trevor Hancock: Charity is big — but is that a good thing?

Times Colonist: My concern is at a wider level: Is it really such a good idea that civil society shoulder the responsibility of meeting people’s basic needs? In doing so, are we not enabling an abdication of responsibility by both our federal and provincial governments and by the business sector — especially large corporations — which avoid paying their fair share of the taxes that should support the meeting of basic needs for all?

Trevor Hancock: Don’t overlook tobacco-addiction epidemic

Times Colonist: While the opioid-overdose epidemic is a major focus of concern, it is worth recalling that it is not the most important cause of addiction-related deaths in Canada or even in B.C., the epicentre of the opioid epidemic. There were almost 4,000 opioid-related deaths in Canada in 2017, but tobacco, which is also addictive, kills 11 times as many Canadians every year as opioids — yes, 11 times as many.

Oliver Schmidtke on the probability of a second Brexit referendum

Commenting on a second Brexit referendum, Theresa may confirmed that the UK is committed to upholding the decision made in the first referendum to exit the EU. CFGS Director, Oliver Schmidtke joined CTV News National as an expert guest to comment on the political impact of her position and the probability of a second referendum.

Oliver Schmidtke on the meeting of US President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin

CFGS Director Oliver Schmidtke joined Ryan Price on CFAX Radio 1070 to discuss the meeting of US President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also spoke about the reaction of Americans to Trump's endorsement of Russia when he said that the state did not interfere with the 2016 election.

Jon O'Riordan and Oliver Brandes on the Columbia River Treaty

The WSP’s Jon O’Riordan and Oliver M. Brandes co-authored this op-ed with Kim Hyatt, Bruce MacLock, and Mike Miles. It outlines opportunities for Canada to share benefits with the U.S. if restoring ecosystem services plays a central role in a modernized Columbia River Treaty going forward. The existing treaty is too narrowly focused, since it only addresses power production and flood control.

Pablo Ouziel: New President for Spain - A Turning Point for the Country?

Pablo Ouziel released a media tip regarding the no-confidence vote that ousted Marinao Rajoy of the Popular Party as the President of Spain, thus signaling the beginning of the end for the country's corruption plagued regime. While the no-confidence vote requires the cooperation of many parties and may be tied up in courts for years to come, it is the first step towards a broadening of possibilities for the future of Spanish politics.

Oliver Schmidtke on Italy's populist-nationalist coalition government

Oliver Schmidtke released a media tip regarding the increase tension between Italy's coalition government and the European Union. Italy's coalition government, comprised of the Five Star Movement (M5S) and the far right League (Lega), introduced a new government program that represents a blend of neoliberal policies and nationalistic, protectionist measures which reflect the anti-establishment agenda of both parties.

Oliver Brandes on practical approaches to efficiency and water conservation

The WSP’s Oliver M. Brandes was interviewed on CFAX Radio’s "The Drive with Mark Brennae" on World Water Day 2018. He discussed how climate change and increasing drought could affect British Columbia and the imminent need to adopt practical approaches to efficiency and water conservation to protect B.C.’s freshwater resources.

Undemocratic ‘deep state’ rules Egypt

Hanny Hilmy, CFGS Associate Fellow and Coordinator of the Middle East Discussion Group Egypt, wrote in an article for the Times Colonist, Dec. 26, 2017 that "hopes for a democratic resurgence in Egypt have been dashed as the military and security agencies wield increasing control over the country." ...Egypt now "fac[es] an uphill battle in its struggle for progress and stability, and the whole volatile region will be affected by the outcome." Read the full article here

New Graduate Course Summer 2017

Students from Aix-Marseille Université (France), Eötvös Loránd University (Hungary), the University of Osnabrück (Germany), and the University of Victoria will study and travel for three weeks in Hungary, Germany, France and Canada engaging in intercultural discussions and musical performances at sites of traumatic memory. At each location, students will reflect on how narratives of the past shape present-day EU decision-making processes regarding immigration, refugee and asylum policies.

Oliver Brandes on Raising Water Prices in BC

February 10, 2015 POLIS Project on Ecological Governance Co-director Oliver Brandes was quoted in a Vancouver Sun article entitled "Province raising prices but not ‘selling’ water with new rate schedule: Critics argue water rates still far from capturing resource’s value". Oliver gave his opinion on the current debate of raising water prices in BC. Click here to read the article in the Vancouver Sun. Oliver is quoted on page 2.

Ron Crelinsten on the Difference between Parliament Hill, BC Legislature and Paris Terror Attacks

January 9, 2015. CFGS Associate Fellow Ron Crelinsten was on CHEK news Jan 12 and interviewed by Terry Moore on CFAX Jan 9, commenting on the difference between the Parliament Hill, the BC Legislature and the Paris terror attacks and the threat of homegrown terrorism here in Canada. He also published an opinion piece in the Ottawa Citizen January 15 on "The reality and rhetoric of 'war' on terrorism." To listen to the CFAX interview, click here. Part I begins at 42:00; Part II begins at 51:38. To watch the CHEK news appearance, click here. To read the Op-Ed in the Ottawa Citizen, click here.

Ron Crelinsten on Canadian Airstrikes into Syria

March 31, 2015. CFGS Associate Fellow Ron Crelinsten published an Op-Ed in the Ottawa Citizen March 31st, commenting on the Canadian federal government's move to expand its military mission into Syria. Ron was also interviewed by Geoff Currier on CJOB 680 (Winnipeg) about the expansion of Canadian airstrikes into Syria. To read the article in the Ottawa Citizen, click here. To listen to the CJOB 680 clip, visit their website here.

Ron Crelinsten: Why do we need C-51?

March 16, 2015. CFGS Associate Fellow Ron Crelinsten wrote an opinion piece for the National Post on Mar 16, commenting again on Bill C-51. Ron was also was interviewed by Mercedes Stephenson on Power Play, CTV News Channel, at 5:15 p.m. EDT (2:15 p.m. PDT) on Friday, March 13th, about Bill C-51 and by Terry Moore about Bill C-51 and his National Post opinion piece. To read the article in the National Post, click here. To listen to the CFAX Podcast, click here. Part I begins at 5:53 and Part II begins at 19:50.

Ron Crelinsten on Bill C-51

March 9, 2015. CFGS Associate Fellow Ron Crelinsten wrote an Op-Ed for Ottawa Citizen last week, sharing his thoughts on Bill C-51. He was also interviewed by Terry Moore for CFAX1070 about Bill C-51, Zehaf-Bibeau Video, radicalization & social media, Islamic State Group & Boston Marathon trials. Ron was interviewed by Dan Matheson on CTV News at 7pm ET on Mar 6 about the Zehaf-Bibeau Video and the implications for Bill C-51 and again on Mar 9th by CTV's Don Martin about Bill C-51 and CSIS's new powers. To read the Ottawa Citizen article, click here. To listen to the CFAX interview, click here (Part I begins at 37:30 and Part II begins at 50:30).

Oliver Brandes on the province's plan to price groundwater

March 6, 2015. POLIS Project's Oliver M. Brandes tells Sarah Berman from VICE that Canada's "water-rich" narrative needs to be debunked. With the vast majority of Canadians living along the southern border, some areas of BC, Alberta, and southern Ontario are approaching water-supply limits. "We're water-tight where people live," he says. To read the full article, click here. Oliver M. Brandes was also quoted in an article in The Province about the province's plan to price groundwater. To read the article, click here. Oliver is quoted on page 2.

Ron Crelinsten on use of US Military force against Islamic State group

February 11, 2015. CFGS Associate Fellow Ron Crelinsten was interviewed by Terry Moore for CFAX 1070 on Wednesday, Feb 11 about US President Obama's request for Congress to authorize the use of military force against the Islamic State group, as well as the possibility of a peace deal in the Ukraine. To listen to the podcast, click here. Ron's interview starts after the 30 minute mark.

Derek Fraser on the Conflict between Russia and Ukraine

February 10, 2015. CFGS Associate Fellow Derek Fraser was interviewed by Terry Moore for CFAX1070 on Tuesday, Feb 10, discussing the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine and the discussion of a ceasefire. Derek also delivered a talk to the Unitarian Church in Vancouver in Feb 8 discussing the same issue. To listen to the interview, click here. To read his discussion, click here.

Ron Crelinsten on Anti-Terrorism Bill tabled by Federal Government

January 31, 2015. CFGS Associate Fellow Ron Crelinsten was quoted in The Gazette about the new anti-terrorism bill tabled last Friday by the federal government. Ron was also interviewed by Radio-Canada Colombie-Britannique on Monday about the terror threat in Canada and how to deal with it effectively. To read the Gazette article, click here. To listen to the radio interview, click here.

Declaration on Protection of First Nations Burial Grounds in BC

January 8, 2015. A new Declaration on protection of First Nations burial grounds in B.C. that was developed by POLIS Project co-director Kelly Bannister and colleagues from Simon Fraser University is getting positive attention in the press and a flood of endorsements from academics and activists alike. In this Georgia Straight article, Bannister describes nearby Grace Islet as one of the inspirations for the concerted response by international experts who are calling for meaningful involvement of First Nations leaders and traditional knowledge holders as experts in managing their own cultural heritage.

Dr. Martin Bunton joins the CFGS as Acting Director

The Centre for Global Studies Director Dr. Schmidtke will be on study leave from Jan. 1, 2015 to June 30, 2015. While Dr. Schmidtke is away, Dr. Martin Bunton will be the acting director at CFGS. Martin is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at UVic, publishing an array of books and articles exploring topics such as Modern Middle Eastern History, World History and Colonial Land Policies. His current research explores the development of land policies in Egypt during the period of British rule, 1882-1920, with a focus on land taxation, cadastral surveys, state lands, and agricultural credit. We welcome Dr. Bunton to the CFGS and look forward to working with him and learning from him in the following months. To read Dr. Bunton's full bio, visit his website.