We need to make it easier for parents to vaccinate their children

No child should die a preventable death. It's time Canada had a national vaccine framework

We need to make it easier for parents to vaccinate their childrenBy Sen. Raymonde Gagné and Sen. Mohamed-Iqbal Ravalia “As an infectious disease specialist, there is nothing sadder than standing at the bedside of a parent in an ICU with a child who’s got a vaccine preventable disease who is dying.” That’s what Dr. Noni MacDonald, professor of pediatrics at Dalhousie University, told us at a…

Journalism takes another hit in wake of Mueller, Covington fiascos

The damage done to public trust in journalism by not following basic rules of journalism is, at this stage, incalculable

Journalism takes another hit in wake of Mueller, Covington fiascosLast week’s sickening media meltdown means it is back-to-basics time for journalism on this continent. The need for reportorial rehab began when major news outlets repeated a BuzzFeed report – based on unnamed sources – that the Robert Mueller investigation had been told by Michael Cohen that U.S. President Donald Trump directed him to lie…

Can we restore public trust in journalism?

Too many journalists tolerate peers who, through undisciplined abandonment of standards, undermine their craft’s credibility

Can we restore public trust in journalism?It’s long past time that journalists paid attention to the millions of Canadians who don’t trust the news the way we used to. Sure, we could have lost faith because of the #fakenews narrative that has flowed north across the border. Or from learning that many of the characters influencing public reaction to events on…

Bad news makes headlines, good acts make humanity

For all the advances in the last century, a legacy of wars, gulags and holocausts remind us that things were never good

Bad news makes headlines, good acts make humanityThe news is usually bad. And right now, things look dire. So I don’t blame my friends and colleagues who have stopped reading the morning newspaper. Shutting the drapes on the storm raging can return a sense of normalcy to the breakfast table. As somebody who can’t stop reading the news, I can say that…

The gutter-low standards of academic journals

They don’t fact check. They don’t edit for clarity. They care nothing about meaning. And a trio of writers have exposed them

The gutter-low standards of academic journalsTo have somebody say you “write well in an academic context” is like being called the handsome one in an ugly contest. Academic writing has a bad reputation – a reputation it usually earns. Academic prose is dense, dry, formulaic, habitually bloated and often pretentious. By straining to look intelligent, the worst of it just…

Reckless rhetoric is no way to debate public policy

The basic presumption of democracy requires us to try to understand one another rather than calling opponents murderers

Reckless rhetoric is no way to debate public policyDennis Raphael, a professor of health policy and management at York University in Toronto, recently penned an opinion piece that represents a low point for discourse about public policy in Canada. Raphael describes the policies of the new Conservative government in Ontario, and specifically the decision not to increase the minimum wage next year, as “social…

Has trust in journalists started to rebound from rock bottom?

A new survey says people are looking at journalism with new respect in these troubled times

Has trust in journalists started to rebound from rock bottom?It’s true. The 2018 survey by Cision of 1,355 journalists from across six countries discovered that perceived trust in professional journalists improved by 20 per cent this year. Cision is a global provider of media software. Yes, sadly, journalists felt underappreciated by 91 per cent of the general public up until last year. And fake…

Did Canada expel Russian diplomats for a false reason?

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland plays fast and loose with the facts if she believes her grandfather wasn't a Nazi collaborator

Did Canada expel Russian diplomats for a false reason?We live in a world where “fake news” is used with near-reckless abandon. But there are moments when real news gets lumped into this category. It blurs fact and fiction, and changes a narrative not for the better but for the worse. Here’s a recent example. Canada recently tossed out four Russian diplomats and refused…

Social licence is just mob rule by another name

According to Brian Lee Crowley, social licence devotees disparage due process and are attacking the very foundations of democracy

Social licence is just mob rule by another nameThe logic of democracy is to democratize. Democratic desire is drawn toward the ideal of an ever-purer or more perfect democracy – one where the people’s will is expressed with immediacy. History offers many examples where immediacy has given way to democratic excess, be it the despotisms of Oliver Cromwell and Maximilien Robespierre, or the…

Pipeline opposition largely funded by rich Americans

To maintain secrecy, large U.S. environmental foundations simply "purchased" the co-operation of Canadian organizations to stop Alberta oil from reaching international markets

Pipeline opposition largely funded by rich Americans“The meek will inherit the earth … if that’s okay with everybody else,” goes the old joke. When it comes to developing Canada’s energy sector, that trite joke seems all too true. The Northern Gateway, Energy East, and Pacific NorthWest LNG pipeline proposals have been scrapped. Scotiabank estimates that the Canadian economy forfeits $15.6 billion…