How to stop our top talent from fleeing south to find meaningful careers

With so few small and medium enterprises in Canada, who can blame Canadian tech students from going to the U.S. in search of opportunity?

How to stop our top talent from fleeing south to find meaningful careersConsiderable attention is being paid to the fact that much of Canada’s educated talent is moving to the U.S. to pursue employment, start companies, etc. While government can take steps to suppress brain drain, Canada must develop strategies to prevent other assets from also draining into the U.S. Experts suggest that jobs are best procured…

The black hole of increased funding for scientific research

Increasing investment in science is fine, but rarely does the investment seem to lead to an improvement in the lives of Canadians

The black hole of increased funding for scientific researchIn the recently released 2018 budget, I was pleased to see that the Liberal government has chosen to invest heavily in discovery-based research. According to Finance Minister Bill Morneau, this is the single largest investment in investigator-led fundamental research in Canadian history. This move is welcomed by universities because science was starved by the previous…

Canada’s new superclusters could just be black holes

The government thinks that if industry doesn’t see fit to use its own money to stimulate innovation, perhaps taxpayer money should be the fire starter

Canada’s new superclusters could just be black holesCan Canadian industry lead the Liberal government’s latest innovation idea? I have mixed feelings about the new Innovation Superclusters recently announced by the federal government. While I support more taxpayer money supporting research, I’m not convinced that Canadian industry has the innovation chops to lead Canada out of our doldrums. True to their innovation mandate,…

Sharing the spoils in a world ruled by the few

In a future ruled by titans, plebs lose opportunities to innovate. Advancement depends on idea generation in the hands of the many rather than the few

Sharing the spoils in a world ruled by the fewLast week’s announcement that Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase are forming a new health-care company to cover their employees is an interesting case study in creating haves and have nots. It’s an intriguing concept because of how fractured the United States health-care system is. No doubt other companies will join suit and pool their…

How to spark entrepreneurship in students

Students should be encouraged to think beyond their own thesis research project and consider other options - such as entrepreneurship - for their career

How to spark entrepreneurship in studentsI recently had the pleasure of being a judge for the University of Calgary’s first Innovation 4 Health hack-athon. This biomedical engineering (BME) graduate-student-led competition brought together multidisciplinary teams to design solutions for surgery and recovery problems posed by health-care professionals. Over four months of almost full-time work, a team of five BME graduate students envisioned…

Patients being kept in the dark about best treatment plans

To fight costs, Canadian patients are being denied coverage for biologics until all other (less expensive and less effective) measures are explored

Patients being kept in the dark about best treatment plansAs a stem cell biologist, I was very excited when Nobel laureate Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University developed cellular reprogramming, which enables us to generate patient-specific, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Being pluripotent, these cells have the potential to make any cell or tissue type in the body. Being patient specific, tissues derived from…

While we focus on sexual abuse, we can’t forget power abuse

Power abuse comes in many shapes and sizes. We need to put systems in place to control it

While we focus on sexual abuse, we can’t forget power abuseWhen the new allegations of sexual abuse in Hollywood surfaced, I was surprised that so many women (and men) were piling on. I thought we’d taken care of this problem after Anita Hill courageously declared in 1991 that Clarence Thomas was unfit to stand for the U.S. Supreme Court because of sexual harassment. Certainly, universities…

The human touch: people squeezed out of the workforce by AI

Artificial intelligence is being tailored to tackle critical-thinking jobs. The next step for humans is to focus on tacit skills that machines don't yet have

The human touch: people squeezed out of the workforce by AIIf machines can think critically, where will university-educated students go? As an educator who is passionate about student professional development, I’m concerned about how artificial intelligence (AI) threatens to steal many of the remaining jobs available for university-educated students. I’ve written previously about job shortages in academia and medicine and how students must turn to…

China’s unsettling leverage over America

China's economic, social, political and military growth mean the superpower dynamics are shifting dramatically

China’s unsettling leverage over AmericaDoes China control enough U.S. debt to influence American foreign policy? During the Second World War, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt told British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to get out of the colonialism business. By leveraging Britain’s war debt to the U.S., Roosevelt influenced English foreign policy, opening new markets for the U.S. and for globalization.…

How Alberta can deal with the ‘silver tsunami’ health-care crisis

If the NDP is going to lose the next election, the government should just fall on its sword and introduce a sales tax

How Alberta can deal with the ‘silver tsunami’ health-care crisisAs a baby boomer, I’m very concerned about my future dignity in Alberta. For the past two months, my 85-year-old mother-in-law, who suffers from dementia, has lived in Foothills Hospital because there are no long-term care facilities that can accept her. Her days (and nights) are spent locked in a chair because she wanders and…

Are changes to Canada’s tax code being driven by job churn?

Soon, half the workforce will be self-employed, compared with 20 per cent now. So we could lose a considerable amount of our tax base

Are changes to Canada’s tax code being driven by job churn?Many Canadians think the recently proposed changes to the tax code are a money grab. But it could also be related to the changing face of work. Just less than a year ago, Finance Minister Bill Morneau began warning Canadians about “job churn.” Also called “precarious work” by Morneau, it’s insecure and unprotected employment that…

Medical schools failing to help students develop their careers

Admission into medical school is not a ticket to a successful career. Physicians actually have a higher rate of unemployment than the national average

Medical schools failing to help students develop their careersExposure to career planning will ensure medical students make the most of their training. While many blame government cutbacks of medical residency positions for the tragic suicide of Ontario medical student Robert Chu, I believe part of the fault rests with medical programs that don’t expose students to career exploration and planning. Based on a…