When reconciliation defies the common good

In a democracy, politicians need to balance various interests. Indigenous needs can’t always come first

When reconciliation defies the common goodTen years ago, Douglas Bland, a retired lieutenant-colonel from the Canadian Forces and the chair of Defence Studies at Queen’s University, published Uprising: A Novel. In this 500-page work of fiction, Bland outlines how militant Indigenous warriors and their allies could, in the tradition of Louis Riel, hold Canada up for ransom, stopping rail traffic, blocking…

Canada needs a comprehensive child and youth mental health strategy

Mental illnesses can often be prevented from developing, or becoming more severe and difficult to treat, by offering help to young people

Canada needs a comprehensive child and youth mental health strategyBy Mariette Chartier and Marni Brownell University of Manitoba Mental illness is the most common illness found in Canada's children and teens. We all know a young person who struggles with depression, anxiety, an addiction or a behavioural disorder. Mental illness causes high levels of distress in children and can significantly interfere with their lives. But mental illnesses can…

The diet shell game

Stick to the evidence when reporting on – and endorsing – food studies. We need real solutions to obesity and Type 2 diabetes, not sales jobs

The diet shell gameTwo of the best-known American food journalists have been telling readers that the DASH and Mediterranean diets aren’t best for our health. But the evidence tells a different story. The journalists are Gary Taubes, the author of The Case Against Sugar, and Nina Teicholz, the author of the bestselling The Big Fat Surprise. In their recent Los…

Hiring consultants to fix health-care systems doesn’t work

Too often, politicians wrongly assume that the leaders of health organizations are unwilling and unable to bring about bold reforms

Hiring consultants to fix health-care systems doesn’t workUsing management consultants to design reforms for Canada’s health systems has become an increasingly popular strategy used by provincial and federal governments over the past several decades. But it’s not always been good value for money spent. So why do governments do it? In my home province of Manitoba, the newly-installed Conservative government of Premier…

Waiting for emergency care – how long is too long?

New study sheds light on an old problem in Canada's hospitals and suggests that strategies to shorten wait times should be considered

Waiting for emergency care – how long is too long?By Alan Katz and Jennifer Enns University of Manitoba Canada's emergency departments are very busy. Every year, Canadians make about 16 million visits to emergency rooms and more than one million Canadians are admitted to hospital through emergency departments. Given how complex it is to assess, treat and admit this large and variable population to hospital, it…

Why I continue to get the flu vaccine for myself and my children

The vaccine doesn’t fully protect from the flu – it's one of many strategies, like frequent hand washing, adequate rest and a balanced diet

Why I continue to get the flu vaccine for myself and my childrenIt’s time again for the familiar “Get the shot, not the flu” campaign. It comes every year around this time and we're frequently reminded that it isn’t too late to get the flu vaccine if you haven’t taken advantage of the free campaign. The flu vaccine is recommended by several Canadian public health agencies, such…

Why Manitoba needs to invest in its children

Unless troublesome infant mortality rates and the number of children in care are addressed, Manitoba's economic productivity will lag

Why Manitoba needs to invest in its childrenBy Nathan C. Nickel and Michael Moffatt University of Manitoba To thrive economically, Manitoba needs young people. And troublesome provincial trends must be addressed if we are to make the most of those young people. The province's relatively high birth rate – around 1.93 for every 1,000 women – combined with favourable immigration trends means that Manitoba’s…

Strong link between culture and health for indigenous populations

We need to to restore cultural practices to indigenous communities, which provide more value than simply moving entire communities

Indigenous educator, activist, journalist and politician Wab Kinew has been telling scientists and health care professionals for years that culture is medicine. It's a message that must be heard. Epidemics of obesity, diabetes, infectious diseases and suicide that plague First Nation children across Canada are complex and multi-faceted. Yet government solutions often focus on simplistic biomedical…

A tax on sugar-sweetened beverages not the answer to obesity

To tackle obesity in Canada, we need strategies that offer health education and support, not another tax on the poor

A tax on sugar-sweetened beverages not the answer to obesityA 'pop tax' is hardly a simple solution to the rising problem of obesity in Canada, despite the chorus of support. A recent Senate report on obesity in Canada recommends a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages be examined and points to tobacco product taxes as a successful example worth imitating. But have taxes on tobacco products been as…

Urgent investment in Indigenous health care needed

A shared federal-provincial initiative could bring new focus to a desperate problem

Urgent investment in Indigenous health care neededBy Brian Postl University of Manitoba and Pierre-Gerlier Forest University of Calgary Being an indigenous person in Canada is too often a dangerous reality. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The tragic reality is that the health of Canada’s indigenous people lags substantially behind other Canadians. The well-documented data shows the problem across all major illnesses and…
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