Protein providing muscle to the Smart Agri-Food Supercluster initiative

Four beef-sector case studies illustrate how SASC can magnify and amplify their impact

Protein providing muscle to the Smart Agri-Food Supercluster initiativeThe Smart Agri-Food Supercluster is one of nine groups awaiting word from the federal government on whether it will share in the $950-million innovation supercluster fund established earlier this year. It’s conducting innovation community meetings across Canada to help the sector understand its economic, environmental,  job creation and innovation impact.) How big is your innovation…

Electric vehicles pose a dilemma of conscience

When we consider the source of electricity, the invasive nature of copper mining for batteries and components, and other factors, the jury is out

Electric vehicles pose a dilemma of conscienceIn the push to normalize electric vehicles, many forget it’s not the end of the road as far as environmental impact is concerned. Presumably, those using electric vehicles or hybrids are motivated by a desire to improve the environment, especially by reducing carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Many owners of these vehicles derive satisfaction and…

Unplugged from the reality of our energy needs

The green movement’s fossil-fuel divestment crusade hurts the poor and middle class

Unplugged from the reality of our energy needsIf you ever wonder how academics and activists combine to end up utopian, anti-poor and anti-middle class all at once, look no further than calls for savings and pension divestment from Canadian oil and gas companies. One academic from Toronto’s Ryerson University wrote of how “we are facing an impending disaster” from fossil fuels. The professor had…

Forging new sources for biofuels and hydrocarbon-based products

Part 3 of a 10-part series: Forge Hydrocarbons, a U of A spinoff, turns low-grade fats and oils into valuable fuel

Forging new sources for biofuels and hydrocarbon-based productsNew technology employed by Forge Hydrocarbons Corp., a University of Alberta spinoff company, proves you don't have to dig oil wells to produce fuel. You only have to dig through the muck we send to the landfill. Waste streams like those from rendering plants and restaurants are loaded with low-grade fats and oils that can…

Agri-food supercluster could super-charge Canada’s economy

Nine groups await word from Ottawa on which gets to tap the $950-million supercluster innovation fund

Agri-food supercluster could super-charge Canada’s economyThe supercluster effect is one of the intriguing outcomes of dangling dollars in front of sectors hungry for innovation investment. Nine groups await word from the federal government on which gets to tap the $950-million supercluster innovation coffer. Ottawa established the fund last year to help reshape the Canadian economy and set it up for future…

Get ready for a greener but poorer and slower economy

As the world’s fastest growing economies expand fossil fuels usage, carbon dioxide emissions, jobs and growth, Canada is going the opposite direction

Get ready for a greener but poorer and slower economyCanadians have generally accepted that carbon pricing is necessary to save the planet. But as taxes and consumer costs rise, promised green jobs fail to materialize and few others in the world seem serious about staying the course, it’s time for a rethink. Rising population and prosperity in the developing world will grow global demand…

Changing attitudes, changing platitudes

We’re rather smug in our belief that our modern take on things reflects a perfect and compassionate view for all time

Changing attitudes, changing platitudesThe federal government recently announced it will compensate people who lost their jobs or were otherwise persecuted a generation ago simply because their sexual orientation didn’t fit the accepted norm of the day. This perfectly reflects modern thinking, and the government should be applauded for the decision to compensate members of the military and other…

Finding enlightenment in the dark

Twenty years after Montreal's devastating ice storm, some life lessons remain indelibly carved in a survivor’s psyche

Finding enlightenment in the darkClose your eyes and imagine a modern city that magically exists underneath the surface of the earth. Further imagine that the surface above it is frozen and crusted over with ice. Now, picture what would happen if, through some force of nature – or the special effects of a science fiction movie – that city…

The American dream is moving north to Canada

Great uncertainty faces Canada and the United States, but Canada seems better equipped to adapt and flourish

The American dream is moving north to CanadaSo how did you like last year? Did it advance your favourite causes? Did it fatten your assets? Did it leave you feeling like the world travelled a few metres forward on the roads that counted? Would it be enough if the 2017 trajectory simply continues for the next 12 months? Not from the perspective…

The most irrational, damaging or downright dumb beliefs of 2017

A look back at 2017 shows far too many instances in Canada where we got it all wrong

The most irrational, damaging or downright dumb beliefs of 2017For my first column of the New Year, I’ve dipped into my collection of irrational, damaging or downright dumb happenings in 2017. The year saw major breakthroughs in the use of genetically-modified human cells to treat diseases, including retinal dystrophy and blood cancer. Human genetic re-engineering is an emerging science but there has been little…
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