How to get Aboriginal kids’ grades up

A voucher system would ensure teachers have incentives to increase the time their students spend on literacy and numeracy

How to get Aboriginal kids’ grades upAboriginal students’ educational achievement is, on average, two years behind other Canadian students and their graduation rate is less than half the national average. How can their educational outcomes be improved? Hire private tutors. First, it is important to know that the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development funds education for many bands. These…

National drug plan idea filled with false assumptions

A national drug plan may simply end up subsidizing the drug consumption of people who don’t need subsidies

National drug plan idea filled with false assumptionsCalls for a government-operated national drug insurance program have been getting louder over the past few months, culminating most recently with premiers from across the country signing a “prescription” for national drug coverage. While there may indeed be legitimate concerns regarding the affordability of prescription drugs for certain groups, the notion that a national government-run…

Zombie apocalypse in higher education

Liberal education has been extinguished by political correctness

Zombie apocalypse in higher educationIn 1953 Hilda Neatby, a historian at the University of Saskatchewan, wrote So Little for the Mind: An Indictment of Canadian Education. A generation later, the Great Brain Robbery appeared, written by two friends, Jack Granatstein and David Bercuson. A couple of years ago Ben Ginsberg wrote The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the…

The brouhaha over Greece, Iran and Atticus Finch

The brouhaha over Greece, Iran and Atticus FinchAs July dwindles down into August, here are a few personal reflections on three of the month’s big stories – Greece, Iran, and the brouhaha about Atticus Finch. It was obvious from the get-go that Greece was placing all its chips on the belief that the Northern Europeans, particularly the Germans, would ultimately agree to…

Premiers must make up their minds on energy

And stop speaking out of both sides of their mouths

Premiers must make up their minds on energyBy Kenneth P. Green and Taylor Jackson The Fraser Institute Canada’s premiers concluded their most recent meetings last week with the release of Canada’s Energy Strategy, a document that “charts a path for shaping the sustainable development of Canada’s energy future.” The plan includes such undefined recommendations as to “promote energy efficiency and conservations,” “transition…

Raising the minimum wage comes at a cost of higher prices

Pressure is mounting on food chains to pay employees decent wages, which will hit consumers at the checkout counter

Raising the minimum wage comes at a cost of higher pricesMany have questioned Starbucks’ recent decision to raise its prices for most of its drinks (including its coveted Venti Lattes) because coffee futures have dropped and overall prices are down 42 per cent from late last year. Clearly motivated by its desire to increase revenue, this hike in prices, regardless of its motive, speaks volumes…

Oklahoma museum celebrates Pawnee Bill

The West lives on at Oklahoma's Pawnee Bill Ranch and Museum

Oklahoma museum celebrates Pawnee BillKevin Webb, 32, cracks his bullwhip. It snaps like gunshot, and stirs up the morning dew so fine it resembles gun smoke. Little wonder: the braided leather whip travels 1,200 kilometres an hour. “I beat the livin’ daylights out o’ myself learnin’ how to crack the whip,” Webb says with a gosh-shucks smile and sweet-as-sarsaparilla…

1955 Great Powers summit Khrushchev’s introduction to the world

Eisenhower was cool about going, but at least he learned who had replaced Stalin

1955 Great Powers summit Khrushchev’s introduction to the worldWe’re used to summit conferences these days. In fact, sometimes it feels like we’re on a treadmill where a summit is either happening or about to happen. However, things weren’t always like that. In fact, after Potsdam in July/August 1945, it was a full decade before the Great Powers sat down together again. And it…

Interest rate cut underscores Canada’s gloomy economic prospects

The Bank of Canada is acknowledging that the energy-related downturn is worse than expected

Interest rate cut underscores Canada’s gloomy economic prospectsWhat are we to make of the Bank of Canada’s recent decision to trim its short-term policy interest rate by another 25 basis points, taking it to a near record low level of 0.5 per cent? The Bank is frankly acknowledging that the energy-related downturn in capital spending and exports in Canada has been greater…