COVID-19 puts girls in low- and middle-income countries in peril

COVID-19 puts girls in low- and middle-income countries in perilAn increase in child marriages, unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and sexual violence is likely to be seen for years in low-and middle-income countries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a University of Alberta nursing researcher who is leading an international study to address the problem. “In many countries all the health services…

Time for Canada to lift economic sanctions on Syria, Lebanon

Canada urged to rethink Middle East sanctions that make daily life a struggle just to get daily bread

Time for Canada to lift economic sanctions on Syria, Lebanon“Economic sanctions that afflict the poor must be lifted. I stress the word ‘poor,’” Archimandrite (head of a monastery) Georges Masri said in an e-mail from his home base in Syria. He was responding to my request for his views on the unfolding humanitarian crisis in his country, and whether sanctions have exacerbated it. “The…

Indigenous leaders step up but no applause from environmentalists

First Nations are fighting to determine their own futures. Why are environmental groups standing in the way?

Indigenous leaders step up but no applause from environmentalistsNot enough has been said about the recent memorandum of understanding between the First Nations Climate Initiative table and the First Nations Major Projects Coalition, which represents 70 First Nations from across Canada. In December 2020, the two parties signed an agreement to advance an Indigenous-led, net-zero carbon-emissions policy framework, including nature-based solutions for carbon…

Let charities care for the needy in society

Governments inevitably make a mess of social welfare programs, wasting money, discouraging work and encouraging dependence

Let charities care for the needy in societyLong before the COVID-19 recession, the generosity of Canadians, measured by charitable donations, was already steadily falling. From 2008 to 2018, the percentage of tax-filers donating to charity fell from 24.1 per cent to 19.4 per cent. And the percentage of aggregate income donated to charity fell from 0.62 per cent to 0.54 per cent.…

What Canadians can expect in the coming year

The good news? Pandemic under control. The bad news? Very slow growth, high debt, higher taxes, high unemployment

What Canadians can expect in the coming yearThe future is imaginary, said philosopher Baruch Spinoza. We don’t and can’t know what will happen in the future and last year certainly demonstrated that. Nevertheless, the desire to see what the new year will bring always overcomes the future’s inherent mystery. We peer into our crystal balls and bravely prognosticate, knowing full well that…

The slippery ethics of paying grocery executives bonuses

COVID-19 has made us realize that many people whose jobs are too important to be interrupted are the ones earning the least money

The slippery ethics of paying grocery executives bonusesAlmost everyone agrees that grocery store workers should earn better wages, especially during a pandemic. In Canada, their hourly rate hovers around $15 an hour. New hires get about $13 an hour, while the highest paid earn almost $50,000 annually, or about $25 an hour. In a high-volume, low-margin world, salaries are what they are.…

Many questions will linger post-pandemic

Many questions will linger post-pandemicPandemics have a way of changing the world. The Plague of Justinian hit the Mediterranean area in the 500s, not only killing millions but crucially weakening the Byzantine Empire and helping ruin its plans to reconquer western Europe from the barbarians. The Black Death of the 1300s wiped out over 100 million people in Europe…

How will Canadian households cope as food prices rise?

The pace of food inflation is unmanageable for many

How will Canadian households cope as food prices rise?Canada’s Food Price Report 2021 brought some disconcerting news to Canadians. We could see food prices rise by as much as five per cent in 2021, according to the recently-released report. That’s the highest increase ever predicted by the report’s authors, a group of 24 scholars from four universities. For a family of four, the…

Focus on getting aid to families in need

Focus on getting aid to families in needBy Jason Clemens, and Milagros Palacios The Fraser Institute Since its election, the current federal Liberal government has consistently demonstrated its disinterest in targeting spending to those in need and limiting debt accumulation. Despite expected deficits of $381.6 billion this year and $121.2 billion next year, and that the national debt (adjusted for financial assets)…

Economic growth for its own sake is misdirected

Economic growth for its own sake is misdirectedTwo centuries ago, clergyman Thomas Malthus expounded the proposition that population always outruns food supply. He said population increases geometrically while food supply increases, at best, only arithmetically. Half a century ago the Green Revolution, enabling massive increases in agricultural production, allayed such fears. Arguably, however, it will be impossible to repeat that revolution. Even…