Rather than defund the police, rethink its core functions

Less of an officer's time should be spent on functions that don’t involve protecting the public

Rather than defund the police, rethink its core functionsRising crime rates have required Canadian police forces to reconcile managing their budgets with fighting crime. It’s not an easy balance to strike. Yet there is a simple way to save hundreds of millions of dollars: re-think the division of labour for police. Modern police officers receive extensive training to carry out tasks requiring an…

When political protests become hate-filled harassment

Harassment such as that experienced by Rempel Garner and Trudeau must be immediately condemned

When political protests become hate-filled harassmentCanada’s federal election campaign just passed the two-week mark. Alas, we’ve already witnessed an invasion of the privacy of some politicians in public and private spaces. There was the Aug. 27 disruption of a Liberal rally in Bolton, Ont. Dozens of protesters, ranging from government critics to opponents of COVID-19 masks and vaccine passports, yelled…

Can First Nations truly be autonomous in all things?

Ensuring access to safe drinking water isn’t simple. It may require guidance and even intervention by the federal government

Can First Nations truly be autonomous in all things?Self-determination for Indigenous communities can prevent meeting certain standards or goals, especially if the federal government takes a hands-off approach. This can be the problem when it comes to ensuring all First Nations have access to safe drinking water, which isn’t a simple matter. It has never been only about providing the necessary funds (whatever…

Canada’s drug screening process falls dangerously short

A cure should never be worse than the disease and when regulators don’t do due diligence, that’s the very thing that can happen

Canada’s drug screening process falls dangerously shortCan we trust our government and medical establishment? Not entirely. Some glimpses of Health Canada’s approach to prescription drug safety are less than assuring. Public policy should be guided towards more drug safety, not less. Health Canada was solely funded by taxpayers until 1994 when it began to issue user fees to companies that wanted…

Think Canada’s gun registry is dead? Think again

We have reason to doubt Trudeau's word

Think Canada’s gun registry is dead? Think againPrime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he would never reinstate the gun registry, nor would any Canadian government disarm the people. His legislative track record says otherwise. On Sept. 22, 2010, Trudeau – then just a backbencher MP in opposition – voted against a private member’s bill to remove rifles from the federal gun registry.…

Researchers warn of unintended poisonings from hand sanitizer

There has been a 73 per cent increase in calls to Alberta Poison and Drug Information Service in 2020

Researchers warn of unintended poisonings from hand sanitizerOur obsession with killing germs during the COVID-19 pandemic has had an unintended and dangerous consequence, according to the University of Alberta’s Injury Prevention Centre: a sharp increase in unintentional poisonings due to hand sanitizers, disinfectants and household cleaners. Calls to Alberta’s Poison and Drug Information Service (PADIS) related to these products have increased by 73 per cent…

Failure to use rapid tests in pandemic points to deeper problems

We still have time to act by approving and quickly producing rapid tests in Canada by the tens of millions

Failure to use rapid tests in pandemic points to deeper problemsBy John Adams and Kashif Pirzada Macdonald-Laurier Institute Canada’s ongoing failure to effectively control the spread of COVID-19 reflects increasing failures by governments to coordinate with one another and to respond quickly and effectively to new developments and scientific advances. This is abundantly clear in the self-harm inflicted by our original difficulties in sourcing of…

Twenty per cent hike in flu vaccinations ambitious but attainable

U of A professor says COVID-19 crisis has provided much-needed public education in how vaccines can prevent deadly viruses

Twenty per cent hike in flu vaccinations ambitious but attainableA pharmacy researcher predicts more of us will roll up our sleeves for the influenza vaccine this fall thanks to the crash course we’ve all had recently on viruses and how to prevent them. “Because of COVID-19, people are becoming a lot more aware of how susceptible they are to viruses and virus-caused infections, especially…

Lockdown hysteria defies COVID-19 reality

Given that infections don’t by a long shot equal hospitalizations, civil libertarians are rightly sounding warning bells

Lockdown hysteria defies COVID-19 realityOn Sept. 18, Israel became the first developed country to launch a second COVID-19 lockdown. It came four months after the first lockdown – instituted in March – ended. How Israeli citizens have reacted to the unsustainable nature of renewed lockdowns is instructive for the Canadian jurisdictions that have increased a rhetoric of fear about…

Defunding police requires understanding the role of policing

Demystifying police work is needed to increase public support for major reforms, argues U of A sociologist

Defunding police requires understanding the role of policingTwo contrasting perspectives have emerged in response to recent calls to “defund” police. One perspective – espoused by some activists on the political left – holds that policing is fatally broken, can’t be fixed through any reforms and ought to be cancelled outright through financial asphyxiation. The second perspective argues that policing takes an outsized…
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