Injury and job losses push Calgarians to live off credit cards

As people dig out from Alberta’s worst recession in three decades, Troy Media talks to everyday Albertans who are working to become debt free

Injury and job losses push Calgarians to live off credit cardsSpecial Report Part 3 in our five-part series Back in Balance Name: Linda Pierce Age: 53 Residence: Calgary Occupation: Office administrator At one of the lowest points in Linda Pierce’s 10-plus-year debt roller-coaster ride, she worked three part-time jobs while raising three teenage daughters. Amid it all, she suffered an ankle injury that required surgery, a…

20 robotics and connected devices that could impact our lives

How the next wave of disruptive technologies will change our notions of ‘normal’

20 robotics and connected devices that could impact our livesIf we could time travel five, 15, or 20 years into the future, what would we see? It doesn’t take a team of futurists to imagine a continuing evolution of intelligent, robotic, connected, digital, and social technology innovations persisting for decades to come. Automated, smart, digitised, and autonomous are some of the design qualities likely…

Ireland’s abortion referendum puts it all on the table

If you probe the granular views of most people, I suspect you’ll find they’re somewhere between the two extremes

Ireland’s abortion referendum puts it all on the tableThere is no abortion law in Canada. Canadians uneasy about that can look across the Atlantic for an alternative way of doing things. On May 25, the Republic of Ireland goes to the polls in an abortion-related constitutional referendum. Abortion was outlawed in Ireland by the Offences Against the Person Act passed by the United…

The ministry of loneliness wants to be your friend

But it’s far more likely that the institutions at neighbourhood levels are better positioned to address key aspects of loneliness

The ministry of loneliness wants to be your friendSince her January appointment as the United Kingdom’s minister of loneliness, Tracey Crouch has started work on a multimillion-dollar fund of anti-loneliness programs. That’s spurred debate about whether Canada and other countries should follow suit. While social isolation deserves our attention, a new federal minister may not be the answer. A growing body of research…

Public library is where democracy, learning and inspiration meet

A good public library provides an easy access point for any journey of discovery and a place to find directions when one feels lost

Public library is where democracy, learning and inspiration meetBritish writer Doris Lessing said, “A public library is the most democratic thing in the world. What can be found there has undone dictators and tyrants.” I have to admit I had forgotten what a wonderful and amazing place a public library is until I brought a group of students to my local library for…

The big payoff that comes from doing absolutely nothing

When we’re running from moment to moment, task to task, we lose perspective. Events and circumstances start to feel all-consuming

The big payoff that comes from doing absolutely nothingAre we so afraid of spending time alone with our own thoughts that we find tasks to occupy every moment of our waking day? We must stop consuming our days in this unmitigated busyness. When we’re running from moment to moment, task to task, we lose perspective. Events and circumstances start to feel all-consuming. We…

No-go zones around abortion clinics are unconstitutional

Free societies don’t dictate the correct answers to difficult questions, nor protect people from discomfort over their choices

No-go zones around abortion clinics are unconstitutionalAlberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman recently claimed that banning peaceful anti-abortion protests near abortion clinics is not about freedom of expression. Yet she has also expressed confidence that her new law would withstand a constitutional challenge. By speaking of a constitutional challenge, it seems that she knows that this new law tramples on free expression…

Surprise tax bill in the mail was the final straw

Four Albertans rebounding from debt: ‘I was losing sleep and avoiding phone calls from unknown numbers’

Surprise tax bill in the mail was the final strawSpecial Report Part 2 in our five-part series Back in Balance Name: Amy Mahon Occupation: Mother of four children, full-time administrative assistant for Alberta Health Services Age: 41 Amy Mahon remembers her breaking point. It was the day she opened a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency and read that she owed $5,000 in back taxes.…

Cognac’s rise from a regional product to a worldwide phenomenon

Export sales drove the development of the industry, a feature as true today as it was three centuries ago

Cognac’s rise from a regional product to a worldwide phenomenonPart 6 of our series The Business of Cognac From the very beginning, the cognac industry was dominated by cognac houses that acted as intermediaries between the producers of eau de vie and their overseas markets. Many of the first cognac houses were founded by English and Irish entrepreneurs: Jean Martell was from Jersey, while…