News briefs: truly, madly, briefly

By Bonnie Leung

Herald employees prepare for bargaining

The local union will continue bargaining with Calgary Herald employees on Tues., Oct. 12.

This decision was spurred by a strike vote of 82.5 per cent in favour of strike action.

"We welcome this last change to avoid a strike and make a deal that’s satisfactory to both sides," said
Local Union President Andy Marshall. "We enter the talks with the belief a compromise is possible from both sides."
Issues to be discussed include health benefits, seniority and pay.

At the same time, the national newspaper union, the Union Newspaper Council, will meet on Sun., Oct. 24 in Calgary.
The meeting will consider approaches for a joint response when industry targets local unions.

"Minds That Matter" draws leading scientist to Calgary
for 40th anniversary of Gairdner Foundations international awards

Calgary was one of 14 cities ac-ross Canada involved in a three-day international symposium en-titled "Minds that Matter" on Mon., Oct. 18.

The University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine and the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research sponsored University of Cambridge professor Andrew Wylie to speak about genetics.

"For 40 years now, the legacy of a Canadian businessman, James Arthur Gairdner, has fueled some of the most outstanding discoveries of our age," said Gairdner Foundation President John Dirks. "So it’s fitting that this major international conference will be held in so many cities across Canada, and that a celebration will take place in Calgary, which has grown to be a major centre for medical research."

At this symposium, annual awards are given to leading international and national scientists who make breakthrough discoveries in medicine. Each award is a cash prize of $30,000.

Among the participants were 50 Gairdner winners, including
15 Nobel laureates.

Next-generation internet announced for Alberta

Netera Alliance, Shaw Communications and Telus Advanced Communications are planning a new high-speed internet for early 2000.

"It will be the first Canadian installation of wide-area Ethernet networking, and the first provincial network to transport data at gigabit speeds," said Netera Director of Networking Gary Finley.

Gigabit speed is about 20,000 times faster than current telephone modems.

The new network, named Wnet 3, is developed from the existing Wnet 2. The universities of Alberta, Calgary and Lethbridge; the Southern and Northern Alberta institutes of technology and the Banff Centre are linked to research networks with Wnet 2.

One special feature of Wnet 3 is the new independent optical channel. According to Netera, isolation of the video channel will allow professors to have better networked video-conferencing technology than before.

First-ever global telehealth conference hosted in Calgary

The University of Calgary is holding the first international conference on telehealth from Oct. 21-23. Entitled "Telehealth: Evaluation and Diffusion," the conference takes place at Eau Claire Market.

Participants include Canadian political leaders, scholars, graduate students, and health authorities.

Among the topics discussed are visions of the future, the Canada health infrastructure and an assessment of telemedicine.

Speakers at the conference include U of C President Terry White, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Dr. Grant Gall and Canadian Society of Telehealth President Dr. Mo Watanbe.

Federal government invests $30 million in high-tech research
The Canadian Microelectronics Corporation will receive $30.5 million over the next five years to expand its chip design and training network for Canadian students and professors.
Thirty eight universities and

23 industry partners belong to the cmc network, which manufacturers chips designed by students and professors.

"CMC is a unique model of Canadian collaboration that is having a huge impact on the country’s ability to compete in microelectronics and is helping to develop the skilled personnel that are in such great demand by Canada’s high-tech industry," said Secretary of State (Science Research and Development) Dr. Gilbert Normand.

The new funding, confirmed at an NSERC meeting at Simon Fraser University Oct. 18, will run over five years. It is contingent on CMC raising $30.5 million in "in-kind" contributions, and an additional $7.7 million in cash, from industry partners and other sources.