As cyber wars erupt, Canada must protect itself

If Canada is serious about standing as a sovereign entity, it would make sense to support our tech companies to ensure our security

As cyber wars erupt, Canada must protect itselfThe United States is pressuring Canada to block telecommunications companies from using equipment provided by Chinese company Huawei when building our 5G cellular network for smartphones. The U.S. logic is along the lines of “We don’t have actual evidence that China is using Huawei’s products to spy on us, but we suspect that they have…

We can’t ignore the roots of some rural crime

Trotting out historical excuses for criminal actions will only leave rural residents to continue to be terrorized by gangsters

We can’t ignore the roots of some rural crimeRural crime near troubled reserves on the Prairies must be acknowledged if there’s any hope of remedying the situation. Doug Cuthand, an Indigenous Saskatchewan columnist, believes the phrase ‘rural crime‘ is code for crimes committed by Indigenous thugs. But in Saskatchewan, for example, an Indigenous man is 33 times as likely to be convicted of…

Does Canadian culture warrant widespread taxpayer support?

Protecting cultural industries from competition and propping them up with public money is just wasteful

Does Canadian culture warrant widespread taxpayer support?Many advocates for cultural diversity have a sudden change of heart when the topic turns to Canada's ‘cultural industries.’ As they say in Argentina, for money, the monkey will dance. What constitutes Canadian heritage, given its complex milieu, tends to be in the eye of the beholder. However, the heritage is so weak that, supposedly,…

The strangling nature of Canada’s ‘duty to consult’ the Indigenous

A recent Supreme Court decision seems to have loosened the constraints, but will new legislation push such matters to the UN?

The strangling nature of Canada’s ‘duty to consult’ the IndigenousThe Supreme Court of Canada’s Mikisew decision, delivered on Oct. 11, 2018, marks what could be a very significant development in Canadian law – possibly ushering in a more reasonable era, where courts intervene less in matters that properly belong to the people’s elected representatives. Let me explain: Section 35 was written into Canada’s brand…

What’s next for climate and energy policy?

The mid-term U.S. elections bring mixed messages that require climate change and renewable energy reality checks

What’s next for climate and energy policy?The “Blue Wave” never really reached shore, the U.S. Senate is still in Republican hands after the mid-term elections, the House of Representatives flipped to Democratic control, Trump-era deregulation and fossil fuel production efforts continue, several governorships and state houses went from red to blue – and almost all state renewable energy and carbon tax…

Economic growth and innovation crucial to fighting poverty

Raising taxes to fund spending on the poor discourages wealth creation and productive work effort, shrinking the economic pie

Economic growth and innovation crucial to fighting povertyInstead of having government take more from the rich in hopes that it will go to the poor, a far better poverty reduction strategy is to encourage economic growth and innovation. Yale University economist William Nordhaus was one of the winners of the Nobel Prize in economics this year for his work on analyzing the…

Carbon taxes defy science, cripple economies

Fossil fuels are what made our health and economic progress over the past 150 years possible – and continue to do so

Carbon taxes defy science, cripple economiesThe U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a non-binding resolution that a carbon tax would kill jobs, damage the revitalized American economy, and disproportionately impact poor, minority and working class families. The vote also reflects the fact that America is still over 80 per cent dependent on fossil fuels – and helps explain why a…

Sympathizing with minorities, with a twist

Sociologists have convinced us to think of people solely in terms of their census categories and their victim credentials

Sympathizing with minorities, with a twistWhen an acquaintance accused me of being unsympathetic to minorities, I was indignant. I’m a member of a much-maligned minority ethnic group, with which I identify strongly. And both of my children are visible minorities: my son was adopted from Thailand and my daughter was adopted from China. In this cultural moment, to be unsympathetic…

The notwithstanding clause has a valuable role

When Canada’s courts overreach their responsibility, it’s up to legislators to see that the will of the people is done

The notwithstanding clause has a valuable roleThe notwithstanding clause, Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, allows Parliament and provincial legislatures to override certain Charter rights. Despite criticism from some politicians, academics and the media, the clause is constitutionally sound and useful. However, Section 33 has a fraught history. It came about as a result of tense negotiations between…

Has Saskatchewan Government Insurance outlived its purpose?

A private insurance corporation would be better suited to take on any risk, instead of leaving taxpayers to bear losses

Has Saskatchewan Government Insurance outlived its purpose?Ian Madsen and Alexandra Burnett Frontier Centre for Public Policy Many Crown corporations created long ago are showing signs that they’re no longer appropriate for life in evolving competitive markets. Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) may be one that’s outlived its purpose of providing vehicle insurance to Saskatchewan drivers. SGI is the monopoly owned by the…

Crowdfunding is democratizing finance

It’s opening up the financial sector, serving acute needs and transforming how businesses raise capital

Crowdfunding is democratizing financeWhen fundraising garnered leftover crumbs, the gatekeepers of finance barely cared to notice. Now digitized, it’s drawing a growing portion of the financial pie, running into regulatory barriers and legal limbo in Canada. The critics of crowdfunding, particularly regarding private equity, make many accurate claims. Open-access financial intermediation dislodges state social services and favours savvy…

What comes after multiculturalism?

Of all the alternatives that have been tried and rejected, nationalism seems like the best possibility

What comes after multiculturalism?You don’t have to be an anthropologist to understand that multiculturalism as the cohabitation of multiple distinct cultures is a non-starter. If ‘culture’ is understood in its simplest meaning, as a distinct way of life, then the idea of many distinct and mutually contradictory ways of life sharing the same space is obviously nonsensical. One…

Truth and Reconciliation proposals on child welfare destined to fail

Government is called upon for yet more legislation and more money when the real problem is poor parenting

Truth and Reconciliation proposals on child welfare destined to failFive calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada report concern child welfare. They are all destined to fail. The calls to action focus on increasing funding for Indigenous welfare, establishing national standards for the various agencies, keeping Indigenous children in culturally-relevant homes, and reducing the number of Indigenous children in the…

Broadcasting our private lives, one hack at a time

Through a combination of cyber laziness, poor practices by vendors and manufacturers and lax security, we're all exposed

Broadcasting our private lives, one hack at a timeWithin the traditionally sacred walls of our homes, we felt safe from prying eyes. Once the curtains were drawn and the doors shut, we felt we could say and do things we might not in public. But are we really alone? The revelation that a Russian-based website is streaming live video from thousands of security…

Bad public policy chokes out economic growth

Nova Scotia's continued ban on fracking isn't supported by evidence. And it has severely curtailed spending and job creation

Bad public policy chokes out economic growthWith an estimated 1.6-plus-trillion cubic feet of natural gas under foot, Nova Scotian policy-makers are choking out economic growth potential with bad public policy. Their hasty decisions regarding the not-so-new technology of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking, which has been around since the 1950s) were justified by claiming to have been based on incomplete, unavailable or…
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