Finally, a ticket to ride: Uber making inroads in Canada

Taxis and ride-sharing services can happily co-exist. Even cabbies are starting to get that

Finally, a ticket to ride: Uber making inroads in Canada“She's got a ticket to ride, but she don't care,” goes the old Beatles song. When it comes to Uber, most riders would sing along. If consumer demand was the only issue, the ride-sharing service would probably be operating across Canada by now, just like it does in over 600 cities around the world. Unfortunately,…

In defence of Sen. Lynn Beyak’s stance on Indigenous rights

Racial purity laws – status cards – have no place in a modern country. They should have been gone long ago

In defence of Sen. Lynn Beyak’s stance on Indigenous rightsSen. Lynn Beyak says in an open letter that the Indigenous should give up their status cards and become true Canadians. The reaction to the letter has been fast and furious. She has been denounced by a host of worthies. As I write this, I’m listening to a CBC radio interview with the mayor of…

Environment-friendly “plyscrapers” blocked by red tape

The USDA estimates every four storeys would save the same amount of carbon emissions as created by 500 cars every year

Environment-friendly “plyscrapers” blocked by red tapeIf a tree falls in the forest, can a tree-hugger cheer? Yes, believe it or not. Felled trees can now replace concrete and steel in high-rise buildings, saving their weight in carbon emissions. Engineers and environmentalists are both rightfully excited by the new innovation in building high-rises. Unfortunately, a recent competition south of the border…

Indigenous department changes herald an important new beginning

The federal government must ensure that dividing the department into two helps bands negotiate self-government and create own-source revenue streams

Indigenous department changes herald an important new beginningRecent changes at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada are causing consternation across indigenous communities, and with other Canadians. The decision to split the department in two, one part overseeing Crown-indigenous relations and the other overseeing service delivery to communities, comes right out of the 20-year-old report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP), which…

Putting a muzzle on those you disagree with

Mark Kingwell is vexed by the failure of democracy to silence the speech of those he disagrees with

Putting a muzzle on those you disagree withMark Kingwell is what is commonly called an intellectual social critic. He has an impressive list of advanced degrees and has published books on difficult topics such as baseball, cocktails and democracy. He’s paid by the taxpayers of Ontario to teach philosophy to their university-going young people. But a recent article in the Globe and…

Content knowledge is the foundation of quality education

Content-rich instruction is key to reading comprehension and critical thinking, and it empowers disadvantaged students

Content knowledge is the foundation of quality educationContent-rich instruction may not be as flashy as some of the educational alternatives but it’s a whole lot more effective. Educators have long debated the importance of specific content knowledge in the curriculum. Progressive educators generally favour a non-content-specific learning process. Traditional educators say all students should master a defined body of knowledge. The 21st century…

Statues tell a story that people need to hear

You could fill volumes with the uncomfortable statements uttered in the past by people whom we now revere, from Abraham Lincoln to Mahatma Gandhi

Statues tell a story that people need to hearFrantic officials in the American south are joining with the Taliban and Islamic State as the latest group to destroy memorials to the past. Specifically, they are tearing down statues in praise of the Confederacy. We might well examine the racist speech of Civil War-era politicians to see what motivates the iconoclasts of today to…

Andrew Scheer must put First Nations issues back on the agenda

The new Conservative leader can do much to advance indigenous issues and the national agenda – and get his party elected in 2019

Andrew Scheer must put First Nations issues back on the agendaIndigenous issues didn’t play a large part in the recent federal Conservative leadership race. They were mentioned but took a back seat to other matters. But Conservatives must understand that indigenous issues are of vital concern to all Canadians. For instance, candidates devoted considerable time debating TransCanada’s Energy East and Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline projects. Energy…

The Indian Act should have been abolished years ago

Aboriginal Canadians must accept that remaining in grievance mode and relying on the government is preventing them from moving forward

The Indian Act should have been abolished years ago“The Indian Act is the root cause of all of the maladies that our people suffer from,” aboriginal leader Craig Blacksmith said recently. He's absolutely right. Blacksmith was a candidate in the recent Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) election. He ran on a platform of getting rid of the Indian Act. While he made it…

Cornwallis and Ryerson: heroes or villains?

Recognizing that all of us are an amalgam of good deeds and bad attitudes will save us from a ceaseless round of endless moaning about the sins of our ancestors

Cornwallis and Ryerson: heroes or villains?How much of a hero do you have to be to warrant a statue? How much of a villain do you have to be to have your name stripped from streets, bridges or schools? The brouhaha surrounding the memory of Edward Cornwallis and Egerton Ryerson means that Canadians and their governmental representatives need to seriously…