When public safety gets caught in the middle

In time of crisis, should governments rely on non-governmental organizations or should those groups be asked to stand aside for the greater good?

When public safety gets caught in the middleFormer Canadian Finance minister Jim Flaherty was once asked whether the government would be or should be providing a certain service. He cleverly said that if you could find that service in the yellow pages, the government shouldn’t be involved. (For younger readers, the yellow pages were a listing of businesses in your city.) Flaherty’s point…

When lending a helping hand becomes official policy

In emergency circumstances, we often help each other. But what happens when a municipality mandates that citizens need to help strangers?

When lending a helping hand becomes official policyThe great disaster scholar Joe Scanlon told me that individuals perform well and organizations perform poorly in crises. Anyone who has been in a big storm in Montreal has seen individuals and restaurants open their doors to people with a thick layer of snow on their heads. Anyone who has lived on the Prairies has helped…

The truth about wasteful daycare funding

Offer money - not centres or spaces - to families and allow parents to make choices without being told the kind of care they’ll use

The truth about wasteful daycare fundingThe City of Toronto is asking you, Canadian taxpayer, to pay for most of its new, expansive daycare plans. But Toronto actually has a surplus of daycare spaces. Municipal politicians have adopted a plan that calls for the creation of 30,000 daycare spaces over the next decade with funding requirements as high as $2.6 billion. Provincial…

Why public spaces are so important

Lisa Benton-Short's great book about the National Mall in Washington, D.C., helps us understand why we need areas devoted to honouring society's best

Why public spaces are so importantParks and public spaces are often more than meets the eye. For example, the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is no ordinary public space. That’s true – and it's also the title of a great book by Lisa Benton-Short (The National Mall: No Ordinary Public Space). We all can learn a little about our less monumental…
1 4 5 6