The no-zero policy finally gets a failing grade

But dumping the misguided practice in Newfoundland and Labrador schools is just the beginning – much more reform is needed

The no-zero policy finally gets a failing gradeThe long-standing no-zero policy in Newfoundland and Labrador schools is no more. The chief executive officer of the English School District recently announced that teachers are once again free to deduct marks for late work and assign marks of zero when work doesn’t come in at all. This is a significant step forward, not only…

The coffee industry is getting roasted by climate change

That's not java jive: shifting weather patterns mean the industry faces major upheaval within a generation, even as demand explodes

The coffee industry is getting roasted by climate changeFall is always a good time to create new habits, including coffee consumption. And coffee chains are always looking for ways to get you to drink their java. But the coffee industry faces big changes. For restaurant operators, there’s no better hook than coffee to get repeat business. Most recently, many chains used International Coffee…

Ottawa’s tax changes could kill family farm

The federal government’s proposed changes to capital gains rules make it more difficult for a farm to stay in the family

Ottawa’s tax changes could kill family farmTwo things have always been certain: death and taxes. We can now add a third: botching the promotion of a tax reform for political gains. Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s tax reform has been a communications disaster, on both sides of the debate. Various claims made about Ottawa’s intentions to revamp our tax system for…

Driverless pizza delivery, at – or near – your doorstep

Driverless home deliveries can’t come soon enough for the food service industry. Simplified delivery is a key expansion strategy

Driverless pizza delivery, at – or near – your doorstepAnn Arbor, Mich., residents will soon have food delivered to their doors by driverless cars as part of an intriguing socio-economic experiment. Domino’s Pizza and Ford have paired up in a pilot project to see how humans interact with driverless delivery cars. This is the first time a food service or retail company has used driverless…

Study: more fats, less carbohydrates, equal a balanced diet

Nutritionists have been telling us for years to load up on the low-fat products. Turns out that may have been a bad idea

Study: more fats, less carbohydrates, equal a balanced dietMcMaster University’s Population Health Research Institute just released a major study comparing the benefits of various diets around the world. After surveying 135,000 people over seven years in 18 countries, the study concluded that we should be eating more fats, more fruits and vegetables and fewer sugary carbohydrates. According to the lead author, Mahshid Dehgha,…

What’s missing in Ontario’s approach to marijuana distribution

Ontario says it won’t allow edibles. But the black market will fill the gap and may impact the province’s attempts to mitigate public risk

What’s missing in Ontario’s approach to marijuana distributionOntario deserves some credit for forging ahead with guidelines for its legal marijuana distribution system, but the province’s plan is filled with ambiguities and unknowns. Ontario is the first province to define how it intends to sell non-medicinal marijuana to the public. About 150 stores across the province will be operated by a division of…

Amazon brings democratic simplicity to the food industry

The online giant is essentially about merchandizing convenience for all. Organic foods and meal kits are its latest targets

Amazon brings democratic simplicity to the food industryAmazon isn’t wasting time wading in to the food industry – and speed of execution and ease of delivery are at the heart of its business model. As soon as United States regulators approved its acquisition of Whole Foods last week, Amazon announced it would aggressively reduce the price of several organic staples in all 431 Whole Foods…

Gasoline price-fixing harms Atlantic Canada

Controls were intended to ease consumer anger over rare but large price fluctuations. But government isn’t meant to be an anger management therapist

Gasoline price-fixing harms Atlantic CanadaGasoline price controls are a major burden for the minor benefit of having less mercurial cost fluctuations. Government policies are often contradictory. This isn’t directly the result of conspiracy or ill intent. Governments are no different than individuals. We all embrace beliefs that sometimes contradict others we hold. To eliminate these contradictions, Atlantic Canadian governments…

Days of supply management may finally be coming to an end

And if they are, Canadian consumers with have NAFTA 2.0 and Donald Trump to thank for the decrease in the price of dairy products

Days of supply management may finally be coming to an endCanada's supply management system is a textbook case for food sovereignty. But the social contract the system represents may need to be redrafted as we head toward North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations. Supply management is a social contract between farmers and consumers. Canada’s heavily-criticized quota regime for the dairy, egg and poultry industries was…

A Canadian delicacy claws its way back into the market

Lobster is so popular these days, McDonald's ditched its McLobster due to higher prices. Still, things are looking up for the 'chicken of the sea'

A Canadian delicacy claws its way back into the marketLobsters are not easy on the eyes. The first person to discover that these hideous crustaceans were edible deserves a medal. Lobster was once the poor man’s protein and fed mainly to prisoners. These days, the chicken of the sea is enjoying more love than ever – U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel…

Minimum wage prices low-skilled workers out of a job

Governments should abolish the fruitless minimum wage if they want to do right by young and low-income persons

Minimum wage prices low-skilled workers out of a jobHigh unemployment in Atlantic Canada is a longstanding problem. For over four decades, unemployment rates have consistently exceeded the national rate. It is critical for the provinces to reduce barriers to work. Yet governments do the opposite when they raise the legislated minimum wage, as all four Maritime provinces did last April. With each increase,…

Guiding Canada down a multicultural food path, with consequences

The next food guide will make the disconnect between Canadian agricultural policies and food consumption much more obvious

Guiding Canada down a multicultural food path, with consequencesThe new principles Health Canada will use for its next food guide signal a complete revamp of our rainbow of food groups. It appears a plant-based diet will be strongly encouraged. We might even see a focus on more plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, nuts and tofu in the next Canada’s Food Guide. This would…

Ontario government strangling its wineries’ ability to compete

Likes to talk about its love for local wineries, but giving more shelf space to local vintners at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario would hurt provincial revenues

Ontario government strangling its wineries’ ability to competeShopping at the LCBO, Ontario’s government-owned alcohol retailing monopoly, is like buying liquor from a bank. The only difference is that bank tellers are nicer. It’s never fun buying wine and beer from bureaucrats. It’s better than it was in the ‘70s, but lousy just the same. Ontario’s wine producers aren’t that pleased selling to…

Tim Hortons: the coffee giant needs a fix

The iconic Canadian-owned business is now just part of a much larger portfolio. RBI needs to appreciate the intimate connection shops have with communities

Tim Hortons: the coffee giant needs a fixTim Hortons is slowly becoming a completely dysfunctional franchise system. Franchisees on both sides of the border are pressuring Restaurant Brands International Inc. (RBI), the new owners of coffee giant, to ease up on its increasingly strict rules around standards, pricing and inspections. Some franchisees have even called RBI’s approach abusive. And some are pursuing…

Canada 150 a time for reflection and renewed commitment

We have much to be proud of: a multilingual and cosmopolitan democracy, strong international friendships and a generous view of others. But challenges await

Canada 150 a time for reflection and renewed commitmentOn its 150th birthday this weekend, Canadians celebrate their peaceful and prosperous country. It’s also special occasion for those of us who were born elsewhere and have adopted Canada as our home. We especially know the gifts of Canada in contrast to less stable places. Canada 150 is a time to appreciate our accomplishments: the…