The enduring legacy of maverick media baron Jim Shaw

A hard-nosed businessman, he made a brilliant cable territory swap, competed ferociously with Telus and pulled Global television from the Canwest inferno

The enduring legacy of maverick media baron Jim ShawFew occasions better illustrated the cultural divide between the world of the western bottom-up entrepreneur and that of Ottawa’s top-down public service bureaucracy than when Jim Shaw and Konrad von Finckenstein crossed swords in a hearing room. There, front and centre of the raised platform bearing commissioners, would be the multilingual Von Finckenstein, a six-foot-something-awesome…

Charity is not enough to fight poverty, social inequality

Food banks remain a symptom of bigger problems – poverty and social inequality. We need systemic change to fix those bigger problems

Charity is not enough to fight poverty, social inequalityWe’ve just emerged from the season when everyone wants to help support their local food bank initiatives. But ‘sharing the season’ always poses a tough question for me: How do we help our neighbours when, according to Canada Without Poverty, there are 4.9 million neighbours to help? The number of Canadians in need only seems…

Emails destroyed, justice denied?

What part of ‘Don’t delete government emails’ did these Ontario cops not understand?

Emails destroyed, justice denied?Deleted government emails have been hot news in Ontario since former premier Dalton McGuinty’s aides David Livingston and Laura Miller were charged with deliberately destroying records relating to cancelled gas-fired power plants. Now an unrelated Ontario trial has revealed another alleged incident of deliberately deleted government emails. In late 2015, government employees and police raided…

Another province calls Trudeau’s carbon tax bluff

Wearing thin is the insistence from carbon tax proponents across Canada that there was no other way this could have played out

Another province calls Trudeau’s carbon tax bluffWhen the Alberta government introduced its carbon dioxide emissions tax, ministers often claimed that if they hadn’t, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would impose his own tax, leaving taxpayers worse off. More than a year later, New Brunswick is challenging that ‘we have no choice’ assertion. In December, Premier Brian Gallant’s government announced that instead of introducing a…

The perils of bottom-line blood collection

Why is Health Canada aiding a private company instead of safeguarding Canadian blood supplies?

The perils of bottom-line blood collectionAs the snow falls and the mercury drops, Health Canada has found itself in some hot water. The trouble has been years in the making – since at least 2013. That’s when Canadian Plasma Resources (CPR), a profit-seeking company that pays individuals for their blood plasma, sought to open its first location. A recent media…

Taxing meat is an unpalatable proposition

Arguing that meat is the new tobacco is sensationalist nonsense, since tobacco is not essential to life and food is. Let the market evolve

Taxing meat is an unpalatable propositionImposing a sin tax on foods that are deemed environmentally detrimental seems to be gaining support. But little can be accomplished by taxing meat. For some, eating meat is considered a sin and therefore meat products should be taxed, like alcohol and tobacco. A new report published recently by a group called Farm Animal Investment Risk…

Looking back to gain perspective on higher education

Time to abandon the factory-model, cheap-labour practices of colleges; time to push back against thoughtcrime; and to celebrate Precilla Veigas

Looking back to gain perspective on higher educationThe new year asks us to look back before we can move forward. For post-secondary educators in Ontario, two problems of the last year deserve careful reflection as we enter 2018. The disastrous college strike sits at the top of the list. In October, part-time instructors at Ontario’s 24 public colleges went on strike to…

We’ve turned into a nation of winter wimps

Even our junior men’s hockey team has fallen prey, blowing its outdoor game against the U.S. because we’ve forgotten how to play in a snowstorm

We’ve turned into a nation of winter wimpsOne day during the recent cold snap that gripped much of Canada, my wife said something that made me do a double-take. “It’s -41!” she cried. “It is?” I responded incredulously. That wicked temperature is not unknown in Calgary but typically only occurs every few years. “With the wind chill,” she said. Rarely am I…

An Alberta-made high-seas pollution solution

Part 2 of a 10-part series: Taking the dirty out of dirty oil and cleaning up the world's oceans at the same time

An Alberta-made high-seas pollution solutionWhat do beer, bitumen and greenhouse gas emissions have in common? That would be Neil Camarta, founder of Field Upgrading. Camarta spent most of his engineering career building conventional upgraders, which emit sulphur dioxide and other noxious GHG pollutants into the atmosphere. Now he’s teamed up with the Coors Brewing family and Alberta Innovates to commercialize a simple…

Altered reality: why legalizing pot remains hazy

The Liberal strategy faces a Senate roadblock, questions about police preparedness and concerns that the provinces won't be ready by July 1

Altered reality: why legalizing pot remains hazyHappy New Year, everyone! It’s time to remove the thick layer of dust off the crystal ball and predict what Canadians will witness in 2018. Besides some obvious choices – more mind-blowing tweets from U.S. President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continuing to stumble after every fifth word or so – the issue that could…