First Nations need safe drinking water now

The government should be bolder on reform commitments and less grandiose in its promises

First Nations need safe drinking water nowCanada and its Indigenous communities should finally commit this year to making the systemic reforms needed to ensure First Nations drinking water standards are the same as the rest of the country. For starters, Indigenous communities ought to experiment with more regional water authority agreements to deliver safe drinking water. In late 2020, Indigenous Services…

A lost economic opportunity in northern B.C.

Windy Craggy is a perfect example of how misguided environmental activism is fuelling northern alienation

A lost economic opportunity in northern B.C.A World Heritage Site designation continues to prevent development of one of the largest cobalt and copper deposits in North America. That lack of development is denying opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. And it serves as an example of how environmental activism is fuelling northern alienation. Windy Craggy is in northwestern British Columbia, about…

CBC has outlived its usefulness

The policy rationale for the existence of the CBC no longer meets the reality of the modern age

CBC has outlived its usefulnessThe Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) should go the way of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corp. (FFMC). In 1969, the federal government passed the Freshwater Fish Marketing Act (FFMA). It created a federal Crown corporation that acted as the sole buyer of freshwater fish caught in western Canada, northern Canada and parts of northern Ontario. The…

Why Canada needs to develop its zinc deposits

Zinc is a critical ingredient in a variety of products, including soap. In the midst of a pandemic, we need to ensure supply

Why Canada needs to develop its zinc depositsZinc is an important ingredient in disinfectants such as soap, so it plays an important role in preventing the spread of COVID-19. As we know, the twin pillars of COVID-19 prevention are social distancing and washing your hands properly. So mining this bluish-white metal is important to Canada’s strategy for addressing the pandemic at home.…

Fracking can lift the Maritimes out of economic doldrums

Fracking can lift the Maritimes out of economic doldrumsThe economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic should include Nova Scotia and New Brunswick lifting restrictions on natural gas fracking. Natural gas prices are low but that won’t last forever. Energy industry observers say the natural gas supply glut existed even well before the pandemic. However, the oversupply problems seem to be worse for American…

Mainstream media glosses over Indigenous issues

Media need time and resources to understand the issues and seek a range of views within the Indigenous world

Mainstream media glosses over Indigenous issuesYears ago, I was given a great opportunity to be the lead reporter and edit for a national Indigenous newspaper based in Winnipeg, the Drum/First Perspective. The paper no longer exists but the job changed my life in so many ways. I learned much and encountered many Indigenous people across Canada. I profiled many leading…

Canada must re-establish itself as an energy superpower

While the Americans were acting in their own economic self-interest, our leaders were undermining our national energy interests

Canada must re-establish itself as an energy superpowerCanada needs renewed federal leadership to support our energy sector, given its importance to the entire economy. And all provinces and territories must come together in this effort. If not, Canada will continue to see the sector fall behind the United States and other larger powers. We will lose our traditional position as a strong…

First Nations face deep pandemic risks

The terrible COVID-19 experience of Native American communities clearly carries lessons for Canada’s First Nations

First Nations face deep pandemic risksCanadians have seen the harm the COVID-19 pandemic is doing to Native American communities in the United States, knowing it could happen to Indigenous peoples here. The infection and death rates for many Native American communities is much higher than mainstream communities. The American Indian Studies Center at the University of California published a graphic…

We need to liberate Indigenous entrepreneurs

Talented, ambitious and resourceful Indigenous people continue to face systemic obstacles to start businesses

We need to liberate Indigenous entrepreneursA Winnipeg-area Indigenous entrepreneur might hold the key to Indigenous peoples controlling their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. His experience also underscores why it’s so important to unshackle the Indigenous business community and entrepreneurial sector from restrictions imposed by the Indian Act, as well as other non-legislative barriers. Josh Giesbrecht is president and co-founder of…

Let Quebecers decide the fate of a national pipeline

Confederation was designed as an economic union from sea to sea, linked by infrastructure that crosses provincial borders

Let Quebecers decide the fate of a national pipelineDuring the recent French and English language debates for the Conservative leadership, one of the two leading candidates accused the other of wanting to impose an oil pipeline on Quebec without its consent. Erin O’Toole, the Conservative MP for Durham, Ont., articulated his vision for a national energy corridor throughout Canada. He was then accused…