Public library is where democracy, learning and inspiration meet

A good public library provides an easy access point for any journey of discovery and a place to find directions when one feels lost

Public library is where democracy, learning and inspiration meetBritish writer Doris Lessing said, “A public library is the most democratic thing in the world. What can be found there has undone dictators and tyrants.” I have to admit I had forgotten what a wonderful and amazing place a public library is until I brought a group of students to my local library for…

Private care is an essential part of an effective health system

We should stop demonizing private clinics – and the patients who need them – and recognize that they're part of the solution

Private care is an essential part of an effective health systemLast month, on the heels of a new threat from the British Columbia government to fine doctors who accept private payment for treatment already covered by the government-run health-care system, a trial – initiated more than seven years ago by a private Vancouver clinic led by Dr. Brian Day – resumed. Day, a former head…

Rolling the gender boulder up the broadcast hill ignores bigger issues

The CRTC should be far more concerned about the role of women within the telecommunications industry than in TV

Rolling the gender boulder up the broadcast hill ignores bigger issuesIf you like Canadian television and you’re a woman – better yet, you’re a woman in the industry – there’s a chance that in the years ahead you’re going to like it a lot more. That’s because, in alignment with the federal government’s commitment to a strong feminist agenda, its communications regulator is once again…

How to get high-performance government

The private sector can help revolutionize government services by improving productivity, cutting costs and introducing new ideas

How to get high-performance governmentAmen to the ideas offered in It’s Time for High-Performance Government, written by Howard Risher and William Wilder and published in 2017. But how do we bring about high-performance government? The authors say it’s not about efficiency, it’s about engaging workers. And on that score, government is 30 years behind the curve. The 1990s began…

Balancing Indigenous claims of institutional discrimination

If we go beyond the increasingly shrill voices, we can find stories of compassion and equality

Balancing Indigenous claims of institutional discriminationWe keep hearing about the negative ways that institutions treat Indigenous people. It’s a perception that needs to be challenged. Think of what has been said during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, about the ’60s scoop, and at the trials into the…

The CRTC remains shrouded in mystery

Open up about decisions made on the communications tools people use, the content they consume and the price they pay for it

The CRTC remains shrouded in mysteryMany years ago, after a particularly chaotic day in a newsroom, a couple of colleagues and I shared a deep breath, a relieved laugh and shook our heads in dismay. “If only they knew,” one of us said of the readers we sought to serve, “… if only they knew.” I decided then that If…

Search for the just and the reasonable is not a beauty pageant

Canada's public institution boards may not be democracy in action, but ultimately they’re obliged to heed the public and their political masters

Search for the just and the reasonable is not a beauty pageantIn the wake of the latest twist in the fight for lower mobile phone rates, there were cries last week for more democracy within Canada’s public institutions. But here’s the deal: no matter how hard you close your eyes, clench your fists, squeeze your knees together and wish it were so, there is little if…

Machinations of mandarins greatest threat to government action

There always will be those few political appointees who aspire to little more than their entitlements, but most desire to be useful and effective

Machinations of mandarins greatest threat to government actionCommentators who dismiss the people governing Canada’s institutions as “patronage” or “fat-cat political” appointees aren’t wrong all the time but are wrong most of the time. In my 10 years as – and let’s go with the full pejorative title here – “a fat-cat political patronage appointee,” I worked with people appointed by the government…

Learning economic lessons from an Old World master

An IMF report uses Italy to highlight the dangers of a bloated, unproductive public sector, but it is just pertinent to Canada

Learning economic lessons from an Old World masterThe International Monetary Fund (IMF), in a study released with its latest Global Financial Stability Report, chided Italy, a perennial underperformer famous for its large, unaffordable and growth-stifling public sector. Why does this matter to anyone outside that beautiful, historic Mediterranean country? Because the follies of the modern Romans aren’t unique. They suffuse Canada and…

B.C. needs to scrutinize its employee wages and benefits

It’s unfair that government workers receive a premium paid for by private-sector workers who receive less for similar positions

B.C. needs to scrutinize its employee wages and benefitsBy Charles Lammam and Milagros Palacios The Fraser Institute VANCOUVER, B.C. Jan. 16, 2017/ Troy Media/ - With many governments across Canada mired in red ink, B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong’s [popup url="http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/SecondQuarterlyReport_2016-17%20FINAL.PDF" height="1000" width="1200" scrollbars="1"]plan[/popup] to balance the budget this year is a laudable goal. But there are significant risks on the horizon in…