We can prosper and still protect the environment

Increasing prosperity allows people once too poor to avoid environmental dead-ends to instead care for the environment

We can prosper and still protect the environmentYou may know this frightening if self-evident bit of advice: “Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught and the last stream poisoned will we realize we cannot eat money.” The quote is ostensibly from Canada's First Nations peoples (the Cree are often cited) but popularized by Greenpeace. The point…

Pouring money down the corporate welfare drain

Billions of Canadian taxpayers’ dollars go into ventures that don’t need or waste the money. And there is little oversight

Pouring money down the corporate welfare drainWhat do the federal government, responsibility and transparency have in common? When it comes to handing money to corporations, not much. Working-class Canadians watch helplessly as their hard-earned money is taxed away to be put into the laps of large businesses – often the same ones that receive it year after year. These dollar amounts…

Governments and the law of unintended market consequences

Things inevitably go off the rails when government gets involved in the marketplace

Governments and the law of unintended market consequencesI believe that the market is the best system for allocating goods and services in an economy. (I also believe that in a country as rich as Canada  no one should have to go cold or hungry, but that’s another subject.) There are many who would disagree, giving governments – through laws, regulation or fiat…

Ontario News Now sparks a silly political firefight

The Ontario PCs's Twitter channel is hardly without precedent: both the provincial Liberals and NDP have created their own "news" channels in the past

Ontario News Now sparks a silly political firefightWhy are some people so worked up about Ontario News Now? The Twitter account was started by the Ontario Progressive Conservatives on July 31. It’s being used as a political branding tool to promote Premier Doug Ford and his government’s programs and policies. The host is Lyndsey Vanstone, a former radio/TV producer and current deputy…

The death of forgiveness in an age of self-righteousness

Modern society doesn’t forgive. There’s no sense that a person’s life is always a mixture of light and darkness

The death of forgiveness in an age of self-righteousnessIn 1961, British War Minister John Profumo, a married man, had a brief, tawdry affair with teenage party girl Christine Keeler. Among Keeler’s other lovers was Yevgeny Ivanov, a Soviet military attaché and intelligence agent. When this potential threat to national security was raised in the House of Commons, Profumo did a foolish thing: he…

The upcoming human capital revolution

Despite fears about artificial intelligence taking jobs, people, ideas and innovation will grow in importance as the century unfolds

The upcoming human capital revolutionThe 21st century is going to be very different. If you're in business, a knowledgeable and skilled workforce will be essential. Despite the fears about artificial intelligence taking jobs, people, ideas and innovation are becoming more important as the century advances, not less. It’s now obvious that we live in a largely digital, technology-driven knowledge…

Whitewashing history fails to serve the common good

Beware the arrogance of the new age. Attempting to cleanse history is a fool’s or, worse, a tyrant’s errand

Whitewashing history fails to serve the common goodIn the interest of righting a genuine and grave historic wrong – the suffering of our Indigenous peoples – the historical hubris of our present Canadian age is distorting history yet again. Enter the City of Victoria and Sir John A. Macdonald. In removing his statue from in front of Victoria City Hall, the denizens…

The debt all Canadians owe to settlers

It was the settlers, with their hard work and the values they carried, who made Canada the wonderful country it is today

The debt all Canadians owe to settlersThe border between Gaza and Israel is a battle zone. Hamas, the party that governs Gaza, is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. It has tried everything from firing rockets over the border and encouraging Gazans to attempt suicidal border breaches, to sailing burning kites over the border. Hamas refuses to recognize the legitimacy of…

Resolving Canada’s trade quagmire in the age of Trump

We must make a major concession to protect the auto sector and that may mean phasing out our farm supply management system

Resolving Canada’s trade quagmire in the age of TrumpThe North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations continue to roller-coaster. The United States administration is now in senior level one-on-one NAFTA talks with Mexico. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump threatens Canada with new auto tariffs, and inflicts the silent treatment. And a Democratic governor calls on the president to cease his “childish” tweets at Prime…

Worried about the alt-right? Be the anti-right

The best way to reduce the possibility of more alt-right-inspired violence is to confront its narratives head on

Worried about the alt-right? Be the anti-rightBy John Grant and Fiona MacDonald EvidenceNetwork.ca One year since the violent alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., and months since the Toronto van attack, Canadians can legitimately worry about increased political violence. The images of angry white men marching openly in Nazi regalia loom large alongside the revelation that some men are organizing groups driven by views of…

Teacher competence in the subject they teach critical to learning

Despite what trendy education gurus say, a teacher's competence in their subject makes a noticeable difference to student achievement

Teacher competence in the subject they teach critical to learning“Teachers – don’t worry if you don’t have the knowledge or skill set. You are the lead learner. Inquire not lecture.” This was an actual tweet from a prominent education guru. Sadly, this message is far from isolated. There’s a common belief in education circles that teacher subject-matter expertise doesn’t matter a whole lot. The…

Monsanto lawsuit ruling leaves Bayer in need of more Aspirin

Monsanto, now a division of Bayer, ordered to pay $289M to a single plaintiff. Even if Monsanto’s brands no longer exist, its legacy remains

Monsanto lawsuit ruling leaves Bayer in need of more AspirinIn California, where lawsuits can be found more easily than drinking water, German chemical giant Bayer has been dealt a huge legal blow. Monsanto, now a division of Bayer, was ordered to pay a whopping US$289 million in damages to a gardener suffering from cancer, allegedly from using Monsanto products. Given that more than 5,000 such…

Polarization is a myth – we just need to break down the barriers

As we interact with those who appear to be different, we realize that much more unites us than separates us

Polarization is a myth – we just need to break down the barriersAmerican actor Alan Alda recently said, “I’m not really listening unless I’m willing to be changed by the other person.” This is a powerful statement and one that could easily be misinterpreted. Alda has created a podcast called Clear + Vivid where he discusses using communication to improve understanding between people. In this context, he’s…

Don’t blame academic malaise on the male ‘genius’ cult

Those teaching the humanities have abandoned attempts at outlining the grand narratives, the threads that link important events and people in art and history

Don’t blame academic malaise on the male ‘genius’ cultNobody does unintentional humour quite like an academic. Nobody can produce accidental laughter like a tenured professor explaining her deep thoughts to the masses. We have an excellent example of this sort of comedic gem in a recent article entitled “Jordan Peterson and the debilitating cult of genius” by Jennifer Garrison of St Mary’s University…

Ottawa’s contradictory climate policy just wastes money

Billions of dollars in spending announcements allow politicians to burnish their green credentials. But they don't get the job done

Ottawa’s contradictory climate policy just wastes money“Around the world, businesses, governments and experts agree that carbon pricing is the cheapest and most efficient way to cut carbon pollution,” Catherine McKenna, Canada’s environment and climate change minister, recently tweeted. If what she says is true, it means all other anti-carbon strategies – including regulations and subsidies – are unnecessarily expensive and inefficient.…
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