Don’t let the Senate kill the food labelling bill

Let’s make industry’s job of marketing to kids easier by not letting them do it in the first place

Don’t let the Senate kill the food labelling billI was as happy as anyone with the release of the revised Canada’s Food Guide last month. There wasn’t much to complain about and, in fact, much to praise. This is as true for what was in the guide – sensible guidance around cooking more and consuming less processed food – as well as what…

It’s time the Senate worked efficiently, for all Canadians

The health of our children is at stake. Bill S-228 should be brought to a vote in the upper chamber

It’s time the Senate worked efficiently, for all CanadiansThe Senate of Canada has several key roles and makes important contributions to the development of the country’s most pivotal public policy initiatives. But lately, several key government and private members’ bills have suffered the consequences of political theatre as we enter into the throes of an election year. In recent months, we’ve seen a…

New breast screening guidelines fail Canadian women

Outdated material used by the task force could result in the deaths of far too many women. A new set of guidelines must be drawn up

New breast screening guidelines fail Canadian womenChanges to breast cancer screening guidelines have been big news since the release of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care’s updated guidelines in December. Women aged 50 to 74 are now recommended to undergo screening mammography every two to three years, while women 40 to 49 are advised not to undergo screening and…

Food Guide falls short for those with frailty and chronic illness

Malnutrition is too common in vulnerable populations. We need to remedy this by adapting the new guide

Food Guide falls short for those with frailty and chronic illness“What do you think of the new Canada’s Food Guide?” is a question I’ve been asked a lot since Health Canada launched new guidance on how the nation should eat. I have reservations, particularly when it comes to the diets of those living with frailty and chronic illness. The guide recommends a plant-focused diet but…

Address your fear of dying, express end-of-life care wishes

As physicians, we see death made worse and more painful every day by poor advance care planning

Address your fear of dying, express end-of-life care wishesBy Paul Hébert and George Heckman Canadian Frailty Network Are you or a loved one aging, perhaps with a chronic heart or lung condition that limits daily activities? Do you have an older parent in a nursing home or who needs assistance with daily living activities? If so, read on and make the pledge. As…

Using big data analytics for social good and broader perspectives

Gender Gap Tracker makes big data public to motivate media to achieve gender parity among experts

Using big data analytics for social good and broader perspectivesAn Iranian big data engineer, a Spanish computational linguist and a Canadian social activist walk into a research lab. They don’t miss the drinks they could order if they’d gone to the bar, because they’re on a mission to change the world. We hear a lot about how artificial intelligence is taking away jobs and…

Quoting more female sources can help engage audiences

New online tool gives fitness tracker-style incentive for media to achieve gender parity in their sources

Quoting more female sources can help engage audiencesCould the incentivizing power of a fitness tracker be adapted to help achieve gender equality in the media, enhancing Canadian democracy in the process? After a year of collaboration with a team of big data scientists, we’re about to find out.  Despite the increasing attention paid to the importance of women’s voices, in news media…

Canada’s Food Guide is a good first step but more must be done

We need clear warning labels on the front of unhealthy food products and legislation that protects children from marketing

Canada’s Food Guide is a good first step but more must be doneBy Andrew Pipe and Yves Savoie Heart & Stroke The new Canada’s Food Guide has the potential to help challenge the impact of diet on Canadians’ health. But more must be done to realize that potential. The updated version of this vital document, the first such major change to the Food Guide since 2007, has been…

Colleges and polytechnics key to business innovation

Let’s unlock their full potential with greater and more consistent government funding

Colleges and polytechnics key to business innovationBy Sarah Watts-Rynard and Denise Amyot Canada is at an innovation crossroads. Productivity measures have long lagged our international counterparts and our small businesses often lack the internal resources to fulfil their potential. Developing new prototypes, adopting new technologies and designing new processes takes time, money and human resources. As Canada’s economic engines, small and mid-sized…

Canada’s most vulnerable children deserve far better

First Nations children are denied the same funding for health care, social services and education as non-Indigenous kids

Canada’s most vulnerable children deserve far betterBy Jane Cordy and Raymonde Gagné National Child Day, which commemorates the adoption of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child, has come and gone for another year, but Canada cannot celebrate much progress. Yes, the federal government has established a Poverty Reduction Strategy; there is a Youth Council to advise the prime…

Federal funding is ending but frailty still matters

New Frontiers in Research Fund supported valuable, long-term work. The program replacing it leaves huge gaps

Federal funding is ending but frailty still mattersBy Russell Williams and John Muscedere The federal government has announced the end of funding for its Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. This is not good news for Canadians. The program has long been touted as the jewel of the federal government’s sciences research support – and programs around the world have been…

The wisdom (or lack of) in prescribing opiates after tooth removal

A mother and a dentist team call for an end to routine opioid use for teens after wisdom tooth removal

The wisdom (or lack of) in prescribing opiates after tooth removalBy Amy Ma and Susan Sutherland Contributors We’re writing as a parent and a dentist to spread a message to parents and dental health-care providers across Canada: there are alternatives to prescribing opioids after wisdom teeth removal. Removing wisdom teeth is considered by many as a rite of passage for teenagers. It’s one of the…

Interprovincial trade barriers are a national embarrassment

Studies suggest these constraints cost the Canadian economy up to $130 billion a year. But we can change that

Interprovincial trade barriers are a national embarrassmentBy Sen. Jane Cordy and Sen. Diane Bellemare Canada’s framework for interprovincial trade is patchy at best. While Canada has signed on to free trade agreements with countries around the world, there are significant barriers to the free flow of goods and services within our own borders. Studies have suggested that these interprovincial trade constraints…

Excluding irregular migrants from health care violates international law

People with irregular legal status generally receive no health benefits whatsoever and must pay out of pocket or rely on charity to cover their health needs

Excluding irregular migrants from health care violates international lawShould migrants living in Canada without legal authorization be entitled to health care? The answer according to a decision issued by the United Nations Human Rights Committee in August was clearly yes, especially if lack of health care threatens migrants’ lives. Sadly, the government of Canada has yet to respond. People living in Canada with…

Why Canada needs more restorative justice

‘Imagine what society would look like with more empowered, restored individuals, giving back like I am, changing like I did’

Why Canada needs more restorative justiceBy Sen. Art Eggleton and Sen. Raymonde Saint-Germain A Department of Justice survey conducted earlier this year discovered that over half of Canadians (52 per cent) have little familiarity with restorative justice despite its use in our criminal justice system for over 40 years. So what is restorative justice? And can it provide better justice…