Break the awkward silence about end-of-life decisions

Why you should start talking early to your family and friends about your wishes, and some tools to help you get the conversation started

Break the awkward silence about end-of-life decisionsBy Sharon Kaasalainen McMaster University and Tamara Sussman McGill University Many people must make critical decisions for family and friends who are at the end of their lives. This can create a great deal of stress and burden. They must navigate the social and health-care systems while coping with their impending loss and grief. A…

Causing a commotion based on innocent colours

What’s in a name? Apparently plenty when it comes to sports teams and imaginary slights

Causing a commotion based on innocent coloursIrving Berlin’s song White Christmas is a classic. But if the logic of a special interest group in Winnipeg prevails, the song’s name would have to be changed to something like Grey Christmas. Black Space Winnipeg, a non-profit organization that lobbies for safe spaces for Winnipeg's black community, argues that the popular Whiteout event put…

Monitoring the effectiveness of our prescription medications

It’s time we stepped up our system of drug surveillance to track why drugs are prescribed and their outcomes

Monitoring the effectiveness of our prescription medicationsBy Jenna Wong and Robyn Tamblyn McGill University What conditions do you take prescription medications for? Are they working? Have you had negative side-effects? It may surprise you to know that answers to these critical health questions aren’t well documented for most Canadians. Yet they would provide the crucial information needed to ensure our medications…

Canada’s income tax: 100 years old and not aging well

Income tax is now too high, too important, too complex and too costly. After a century, it’s time for serious reform

Canada’s income tax: 100 years old and not aging wellAs the April 30 tax deadline approaches, Canadians will be interested (though probably not happy) to know that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the federal income tax. Conservative Finance Minister Sir Thomas White introduced it for debate on July 25, 1917, three years into the First World War and just days after Parliament adopted…

Getting snowed under in a political Potter’s field

The fault isn’t with Quebec society. It’s with a political world that utterly rejects that it must bear responsibility when hundreds are stranded in a storm

Getting snowed under in a political Potter’s fieldThere are times when timing alone tells you everything you need to know about what’s truly wrong. An example arose last week when the head of McGill University’s Institute for the Study of Canada abruptly resigned because of a highly critical article he’d published about Quebec and Quebecers. Social media and mainstream media alike quivered with…

Why French Canadians have a right to be offended

The Andrew Potter incident should be viewed from the perspective of an ongoing pattern of anglophones marginalizing francophones

Why French Canadians have a right to be offendedMuch has been made about the resignation of Andrew Potter as director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. His departure stems from a column Potter wrote in Maclean’s magazine in which he used a snow removal incident in Quebec to portray Quebecers as pathetically alienated and the province’s society as low-trust. Predictably, many critics…

Andrew Potter, Maclean’s and the loss of academic freedom

His departure from McGill was a disgrace to one of Canada’s oldest institutions of higher learning

Andrew Potter, Maclean’s and the loss of academic freedomThere was a time when Canadian universities defended academic freedom with passion, authority and gravitas. Those days are over: hurt feelings and crocodile tears now trump free speech on our university campuses. Here’s a pertinent example. Andrew Potter resigned last week as director of the Institute for the Study of Canada at McGill University, mere…

The never-ending saga of medical user fees in Quebec

The new ban on user fees is a step forward, but much uncertainty remains about how the province will ensure quality care for everyone

The never-ending saga of medical user fees in QuebecQuebec regulation abolishing medical user fees came into effect on Jan. 26, bringing the province in line with the Canada Health Act. According to the act, money from Ottawa for provincial health services is conditional on the provinces upholding a ban on user fees for publicly-insured, medically-necessary procedures. Provinces that fail to act on user…