We can’t put a price on free speech

Universities should defend unpopular speech, not politicians who use funding as leverage

We can’t put a price on free speechLike a soundtrack on endless repeat, universities have come around again to the one about free speech. It’s an old song. The chorus goes something like, “Universities must support freedom of expression.” It’s not the catchiest tune but like the national anthem, it’s a song to sing with heart. One person who sings loudly and…

Trans Mountain shoe is now firmly on Trudeau’s foot

As proud owners of this stinking mess, Trudeau and Morneau are going to find out first-hand the challenges the oil and gas industry has had to face over the years

Trans Mountain shoe is now firmly on Trudeau’s footAmerican author Robert Byrne once opined: “Until you’ve walked a mile in another man’s moccasins, you can’t imagine the smell.” It’s time to smell the roses on the Trans Mountain pipeline. The federal government is about to stumble 1,770 kilometres in the oil industry’s shoes over the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision to revoke approvals…

Universities must prepare for legalization of pot

Students need real information that avoids both scare tactics and blanket reassurances based on unrepresentative anecdotes

Universities must prepare for legalization of potBy Alexandra Burnett, and Rodney A. Clifton Frontier Centre for Public Policy Marijuana will become legal in Canada on Oct. 17. Some students can hardly wait but are their universities ready? In curricular terms, the institutional response has been impressive. Many Canadian universities have already begun new courses to prepare their students to thrive in…

How much does your vote really count?

Ontario’s recent election results signal Canada’s wider democratic dilemma 

How much does your vote really count?Ontario’s June election was one for change and Doug Ford's Progressive Conservatives emerged the victors. Unfortunately, many voters believe their vote didn’t count. Thanks to our first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system, they’re right. Once again, there’s an overwhelming majority provincial government in Canada elected by a minority of voters. Just over 40 per cent of voters supported Ford's Progressive Conservatives.…

Canada’s persistent apartheid system

Canadians passionately denounced South Africa while not noticing that we had an apartheid system of our own. It's still here

Canada’s persistent apartheid systemWinnipeg’s Canadian Museum for Human Rights is commemorating Nelson Mandela’s long struggle against the white South African apartheid regime. Mandela, who died in 2013 at age 95, was imprisoned for 27 years because of his defiance of the regime and his determination to end apartheid. That apartheid regime divided people into racial categories and issued…

Ford’s notwithstanding clause gamble

The Ontario premier set a milestone precedent by invoking the clause in relation to Toronto city council. The fallout could be huge

Ford’s notwithstanding clause gambleThe Ontario government’s legislation to cut the number of Toronto city council seats from 47 to 25 was scuttled on Monday by a court ruling. While the general feeling had been that Premier Doug Ford would appeal this decision, he opted for a nuclear option that will be discussed for generations. The Progressive Conservative premier…

Breaking down barriers for Canadians with disability

We desperately need a ministry that’s directly responsible and accountable for the broad portfolio of disability policy

Breaking down barriers for Canadians with disabilityBy Jennifer Zwicker and Stephanie Dunn EvidenceNetwork.ca Breaking Down Barriers is the galvanizing theme of a recent report from the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. It outlines urgently-needed recommendations to improve access to underused federal disability supports: the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) and Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP). Some of our most…

The benefits of being an unlicensed medical doctor

An unlicensed doctor is free of the burden of bureaucratic make work, and can instead spend more time with a patient and keep up with medical research

The benefits of being an unlicensed medical doctorI’m now an unleashed doctor! Since I retired from a busy family medicine practice, I discovered the benefits of having an MD degree and no licence to practice. Universities confer the academic degree MD (medical doctor) on students who complete a particular set of studies. The degree is worth less than it appears, because the…

Smoke gets in your eyes – and spoils your plans

The summer of 2018’s last trip into Desolation Sound ended abruptly, and not because the weather changed

Smoke gets in your eyes – and spoils your plansOn the morning of Sept. 2, we decided to take a last trip in our boat into Desolation Sound, the world-class boating destination that lies a mere half hour from our Westview Marina berth in Powell River. All summer we’ve been popping in and out of this destination, taking advantage of blue skies and 30C…

For beer fairness, end price controls and corporate welfare

If government believes it should discourage alcohol consumption, why does it subsidize the beer and wine industries?

For beer fairness, end price controls and corporate welfareWith much fanfare, the Ontario government has brought back “Buck-a-Beer” by lowering the government-mandated price floor on a bottle or can of beer (with alcohol volume below 5.6 per cent) from $1.25 to $1. Ontarians who don’t drink or who consume only more expensive alcoholic beverages won’t be much affected by this policy. But for…

We must do more for seniors coming home from hospital

It's clear the status quo isn’t meeting the needs of our aging population. So what can be done?

We must do more for seniors coming home from hospitalBy Ruta Valaitis and Maureen Markle-Reid EvidenceNetwork.ca Despite having diabetes and arthritis, Verne was a thriving independent 72-year-old who lived at home with his wife when he had a stroke. He had excellent emergency care in the hospital and began his recovery there. But he didn’t adjust well after arriving home. He started to show…

Stop playing the racist card and deal with the real problems

To ignore a safety issue involving alcohol use among Indigenous communities for fear of being labelled a racist is just plain wrong

Stop playing the racist card and deal with the real problemsEver since Wilbur and Orville Wright proved that heavier-than-air machines could fly, safety has been a priority when it comes to air travel. Engines and chassis are inspected and re-inspected. If some gizmo in your car engine breaks, your car stops and you look under the hood. You don’t have that luxury in an airplane.…

Medically assisted dying cases need stronger review to safeguard us all

The act of ending the life of another person raises fundamental questions of human dignity and rights

Medically assisted dying cases need stronger review to safeguard us allIn the early days of Canada’s public conversation about medical assistance in dying (MAID), Dr. Jeff Blackmer, then vice-president of the Canadian Medical Association, expressed the gravitas of the policy choices that lay ahead as “no less than a sea change” to the ethos and culture of the medical profession. That was in 2016, after…

Focus on the merit of ideas, not identity politics

The Yellowhead Institute, a new think-tank focusing on Indigenous issues, needs to broaden its perspective

Focus on the merit of ideas, not identity politicsFormer U.S. president Barack Obama was in South Africa recently delivering a speech where he was widely praised for issuing a caution to those who embrace identity politics. “We’re able … to get inside the reality of people who are different from us so we can understand their point of view,” Obama said. “And you…

Why Olympic decision 2026 matters to every Calgarian

The conversation around hosting the Games is an opportunity to unite different age groups and mindsets

Why Olympic decision 2026 matters to every CalgarianA generation after the 1988 Olympics transformed Calgary, its citizens are debating whether to bid for the 2026 Games. Calgary city council votes on Sept. 10 on whether to keep the process alive and its citizens will have their say in a plebiscite on Nov. 13. What are the risks and rewards in hosting the…