Creating better universities for a vibrant economy

Universities have become scary places for any student who doesn’t share the views of the minority

Creating better universities for a vibrant economyUniversities have changed drastically since the beginning of the 20th century. And more change is needed. Universities had already evolved from their role as places where sons (not daughters) of the wealthy and noble could acquire some of the traditional culture needed to retain their status in the leadership positions they were destined for. Practical…

Damned if you do: the thorny decision to remove hydro dams

Dealing with only one side of an issue – whether it’s migrating fish or electric cars – can generate more problems than it solves

Damned if you do: the thorny decision to remove hydro damsEconomists often talk about over-constrained problems. These are situations where there are so many goals to be reached and/or so many limitations that it’s impossible to find a solution that meets all requirements. Contrast this with advice often given to politicians to never talk about anything that can’t be fully described on a bumper sticker.…

Why I chose to celebrate Canada Day

Let’s fix what needs fixing but appreciate what we have

Why I chose to celebrate Canada DayI celebrated Canada Day. I took the day off from work. I wore red and white. I enjoyed a barbecue with friends. I’m very glad I live in Canada. Sad, tragic things have happened in Canada. A catastrophic event has been defined as one where little children die and we’re uncovering evidence of such catastrophes…

It’s not easy being green but we can get there

Wind and solar power won't magically eliminate the threats to our environment

It’s not easy being green but we can get thereBaruch Spinoza, a 17th-century philosopher, said the future and anything we can say about it is imaginary. He was right. Despite our best efforts to foresee what the future will bring, we really don’t know what is forthcoming until the future becomes the present. The challenge of climate change has focused our attention on what…

How to manage the post-lockdown search for workers

Available workers are rarer than openings now. Smart business people will start making adjustments so we can all enjoy some prosperity

How to manage the post-lockdown search for workersAt last we’re beginning to see beyond the pandemic to a return to more normal times. Businesses are reopening. Corporations have capital to invest and are starting to do so. Thanks to government support during the pandemic, many people have savings to spend. The combination of a liberation from lockdown and all these available funds…

Why do city planners put bicycles ahead of people?

People who don’t have yards or nearby open spaces should come before bicyclists

Why do city planners put bicycles ahead of people?Vancouver city council is considering a motion this week to turn sections of Granville Street and Commercial Drive into European-style pedestrian-friendly malls by reducing or eliminating automobile access. This is described as putting people over cars. Reducing car traffic leads to cleaner air and quieter neighbourhoods – good things. Some local businesses will benefit. But…

Why basic income is not the best way to tackle poverty

What we need are carefully targeted programs specifically aimed at dealing with the issues that keeps people in poverty

Why basic income is not the best way to tackle povertyIn a country as rich as Canada, no one should have to be hungry or homeless. We do have people who can’t provide for themselves and we rely on the government to provide a floor below which Canadians can’t fall. We have to remember that this support comes from us, the taxpayers, so we need…

Can the federal budget put real economic building blocks in place?

But don’t bet on seeing a balanced budget, let alone one in surplus

Can the federal budget put real economic building blocks in place?For the first time in more than two years, the federal government is bringing down a budget today (April 19). So let’s look at what the budget should do to best serve Canada, its people and our economy. The first function of any budget is to compare expected income and expenditures. In a balanced budget,…

Alaskan campaign could kill B.C. cruise industry

The state wants non-U.S. cruise ships to be allowed to go straight from continental U.S. ports to Alaska, cutting out B.C. entirely

Alaskan campaign could kill B.C. cruise industryYou may think British Columbia has a cruise ship industry because of our great location, marvellous climate and amazing attractions, natural or otherwise. You would be wrong. We have a cruise industry here because of actions by the United States 114 years ago to put America first. The U.S. wanted to ensure that it had…

How to safely – and gainfully – prepare for the end of the pandemic

We'll likely be able to celebrate a more normal December holiday season in 2021. The hard part's getting there

How to safely – and gainfully – prepare for the end of the pandemicWe’ve just marked (I won’t say celebrated) the first anniversary of the pandemic. And we have a long way to go – but we need to stay diligent. A year ago, when it was just starting, most of us expected that the resulting fear, uncertainties and restrictions would be over in a few weeks. As…
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