Are we really all on treaty land?

The phrase ‘you are now on treaty land’ is part of a slick marketing campaign with clear financial goals

Are we really all on treaty land?I recently attended an event that began with an announcement that “you are now on treaty land.” By now, we’re all familiar with this new way of starting public functions. It stems from a recommendation from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The claim is that such announcements will be a step in the direction…

Electric cars won’t save the world but they will destroy lives

Cobalt miners in the Congo, which has about 60% of the world’s known cobalt reserves, work for no salary and on a good day make $3 for what they finds. Deaths and injuries are common

Electric cars won’t save the world but they will destroy livesAnyone who says electric cars will save the world is dreaming. The adoption of electric cars over the next 20 years will barely shave a single per cent from the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, the batteries that power these cars rely on a nightmarish swath of human devastation. Most electric car buyers who pride…

How we ignore the complexity and moral ambiguity related to residential schools

We won't find reconciliation until we're willing to examine the truth in all its nuances and subtleties

How we ignore the complexity and moral ambiguity related to residential schoolsIn November 2016, I attended a national gathering in Toronto organized by Indspire, a truly worthwhile national body that promotes and assists with the improvement of education quality and success among Indigenous youth. I was presenting a workshop on the value of bringing dramatic activities into classes such as math and science, to engage students…

How to get high-performance government

The private sector can help revolutionize government services by improving productivity, cutting costs and introducing new ideas

How to get high-performance governmentAmen to the ideas offered in It’s Time for High-Performance Government, written by Howard Risher and William Wilder and published in 2017. But how do we bring about high-performance government? The authors say it’s not about efficiency, it’s about engaging workers. And on that score, government is 30 years behind the curve. The 1990s began…

What global warming? How about global cooling

Levying carbon tax will just cool the Earth's climate more than it already is

What global warming? How about global coolingIt’s been a long winter. I should know. I’m a former climate research scientist at Environment Canada. And I was an expert reviewer for the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its 2007 Climate Change Report. The wintry weather held its grip over most of Canada well into April, from Vancouver to St.…

Balancing Indigenous claims of institutional discrimination

If we go beyond the increasingly shrill voices, we can find stories of compassion and equality

Balancing Indigenous claims of institutional discriminationWe keep hearing about the negative ways that institutions treat Indigenous people. It’s a perception that needs to be challenged. Think of what has been said during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, about the ’60s scoop, and at the trials into the…

Intemperance and intolerance in campus culture clashes

Students of the snowflake generation feel empowered to videotape, confront and swarm professors with whom they disagree

Intemperance and intolerance in campus culture clashesI must confess to a crime. Many years ago, when I was still in my 20s, I was enjoying a late-night non-alcoholic beverage with an old friend from my high school days. Our talk turned to the teachers in our adolescence, some of whom we revered, some of whom we despised. The memory of one…

The modern quest for equality sacrifices freedom

In societies where economic equality exists, individual liberty is highly restricted. Communism is the perfect example

The modern quest for equality sacrifices freedomEquality is one of the hallowed values of the post-Enlightenment west. It's celebrated in the French revolutionary slogan, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” and in the American Declaration of Independence, which asserts that it is “self-evident” that “all men are created equal,” as well as that all men have “inalienable Rights” such as “Liberty.” The Canadian Charter of…

How do we play the mating game in the #MeToo era?

The workplace was once an acceptable place to find romance. Now it's a place to court misunderstanding and perhaps disaster

How do we play the mating game in the #MeToo era?My parents met during the Great Depression of the 1930s, when life was tough. They were both teachers in small prairie schools. My father was older than my mother and after a brief courtship they married. There’s nothing unusual about that story. In fact, it was very common. Many teachers met and married. In most…

Fracking moratoriums hold back struggling provinces

Across Canada, misguided populism is creating bad public policy, preventing the spreading of economic benefits to all citizens

Fracking moratoriums hold back struggling provincesMisguided moratoriums on hydraulic fracturing deny have-not provinces much-needed jobs and revenue, and deny citizens opportunities to relieve too-heavy tax burdens. British Columbia is the latest victim of the frenzy against fracking, a technique used to extract oil and gas from rock formations that has been safely used in Western Canada for more than 60…
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