The blessing of COVID-19

The long-term outcome of the prolonged lockdown is positive for many businesses, leaders and families

The blessing of COVID-19As summer comes to a close, with the call of September and school and work bearing down on us, the reality that the effects of COVID-19 linger is indisputable. Businesses, workplaces, schools and universities are all searching for ways to balance risk with service levels. The novelty of working remotely is wearing thin for many…

Federal government undermines COVID-19 vaccine development

Canada’s amended Patent Act weakens protections for intellectual property in the life sciences just when rights are vital for mobilizing a rapid response

Federal government undermines COVID-19 vaccine developmentFirst, the good news: Symvivo Corp., a Canadian company, has a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate in phase one trials. The bad news is that the federal government is dismantling the incentives to find a vaccine. In the battle against the global pandemic, public- and private-sector actors both have essential roles to play. Governments are collecting data,…

In times of crisis, we need to give more

Seven in 10 charities report lower revenues. As a whole, the sector has had to lay off 84,000 full- and part-time staff in Canada

In times of crisis, we need to give moreThe pandemic hasn’t been all bad for us. For some Canadians, it’s actually meant a bit of a financial boon. That’s not to say there haven’t been massive job losses and income losses. It’s just that the losses have happened unequally. The poorest and the youngest took the worst hit. When think-tank Cardus analyzed the…

Canadians with disabilities face barriers to financial security

Study shows those living with disabilities average 25% less in assets and COVID-19 is making the situation worse

Canadians with disabilities face barriers to financial securityWhen sociologist Michelle Maroto came across a Toronto Star article about an Ontario woman struggling to make ends meet while battling Type 1 diabetes, she knew the story was just the tip of the iceberg. Anna Costa was juggling four low-paying jobs without benefits, and after paying more than $300 per month for insulin and blood tests…

We can’t dodge deficits and debt forever

A government deficit is sometimes necessary but we need plans in place to eliminate it and reduce the debt

We can’t dodge deficits and debt foreverDeficits have become emotive hot buttons. A deficit arises when governments spend more than their income, which consists mainly of taxes. If the deficiency is not immediately covered, current deficits turn into long-term government debt. No one seems to be neutral about deficits and the resulting debt. Traditional economists argue against them, saying that spending…

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…

Discovery of HIV infection mechanism could hold key to COVID-19

New understanding leads U of A researchers to try a new class of drugs against SARS-CoV-2 and HIV

Discovery of HIV infection mechanism could hold key to COVID-19A newly discovered mechanism at work in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients may also lead to new treatments for COVID-19, according to a team of researchers at the University of Alberta. The recently published paper in the journal of the American Society for Microbiology, mBio, reveals how HIV attacks peroxisomes, organelles found in all cells that help…

Did we really need the Canada Student Service Grant?

Or was Trudeau just trying to buy the votes of young Canadians

Did we really need the Canada Student Service Grant?Conflict of interest revelations surrounding the selection of WE Charity to administer the Canada Student Service Grant have dominated recent media coverage and led to investigations by parliamentary committees and the federal ethics commissioner. While getting answers on how WE was selected is essential, there’s been scant focus on the more fundamental question: why was…

The making of the COVID-19 generation

The lockdowns, and the economic wrath that followed, will leave a definite scar on the lives of many young people

The making of the COVID-19 generationPeople under the age of 30 will pay a dear price for the global pandemic and could even be renamed the COVID-19 generation. After almost five months, most would agree that the older generations – although perhaps medically affected by COVID-19 – have been largely unscathed economically. Baby boomers and older generations have lived long…

Indigenous communities take COVID-19 measures into own hands

Local responses to pandemic are a necessity to protect people at higher risk of infectious diseases – and a strong assertion of sovereignty, says U of A expert

Indigenous communities take COVID-19 measures into own handsOn the federal government’s Indigenous Services web page, the first piece of information about COVID-19 is advice on how to wash your hands if you’re under a drinking water advisory. This highlights the multiple factors that influence Indigenous health outcomes in times of disease, said Jessica Kolopenuk, a researcher in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Native…
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