Injecting some Positive Energy in a divisive national debate

A three-year initiative assesses how Canadians think and talk about energy in all forms, bringing together disparate and typically unaligned voices

Injecting some Positive Energy in a divisive national debateMonica Gattinger, a University of Ottawa scholar, is doing more to do advance constructive energy conversations in Canada than just about anyone. She's the chair of Positive Energy, a three-year initiative to assess how Canadians think and talk about energy in all forms. Positive Energy is bringing together disparate and typically unaligned voices. Her goal is to reframe our…

Canada answering the global need for health research

This World Health Day, Canada has much to be proud of, but much more can be done to address a variety of health issues with worldwide implications

Canada answering the global need for health researchFriday is World Health Day, which should remind us that the health of Canadians is interlinked with the health of people everywhere. Canadians know this best. In addition to being the “globalization nation” of immigrants and travellers, we’ve had a stake in nearly every major global health threat of the last two decades. Many Canadians’…

Guarding against income inequality in Canada

Does Canada need to worry about the same festering malaise that has disrupted the United States?

Guarding against income inequality in CanadaDonald Trump’s presidential campaign, as inarticulate and venal as it was, tapped into important and deeply-rooted American realities, realities that may also contain lessons for Canada. Does Canada need to worry about the same festering malaise that has become so dramatically evident in the U.S.? Powerful international data on income inequality offer significant insights. Branko…

People need less money to live as they get older? Not!

What we really need is an evidence-based public conversation about the consumption and income needs of Canadian seniors

People need less money to live as they get older? Not!The C.D. Howe Institute released a study just in time for the recent federal-provincial finance ministers’ meeting, rolling out the tired old argument that as people age they don't need as much money. If only retirement were so easy. The study focuses on Canadian public servants’ pension plans in particular – including those of teachers…

Preparing the health workforce for an aging population

The health needs of seniors are getting more complicated as people live longer, and we need a workforce that can keep up

Preparing the health workforce for an aging populationWe know Canada’s population is aging. In 2015, the proportion of seniors surpassed that of youth under 15 for the first time. And the gap will continue to widen over the next 20 years. But who will look after them? There has been much discussion about how to prepare for this bulge of aging baby boomers.…

Physician-assisted suicide no substitute for adequate care

Physician-assisted death may serve as a substitute for effective support for people with mental health problems

Physician-assisted suicide no substitute for adequate careBy Jennifer A. Chandler and Simon Hatcher University of Ottawa The federal government committee looking at physician assisted dying released its long-awaited recommendations recently to much debate. The permissive approach it recommends reflects the spirit of the Supreme Court of Canada declaration that the prohibition of physician assisted dying violates the fundamental human right to…

Health care should be modernized, not privatized

Two-tier care and extra-billing being sold to the public as strategies for saving health care

Health care should be modernized, not privatizedNational Medicare Week has just passed, buoyed with optimism as a fresh-faced government takes the reins in Ottawa – elected partly on a promise of renewed federal leadership on health care. Yet these “sunny ways” are overcast by recent developments at the provincial level that entrench and legitimize two-tier care. Saskatchewan has just enacted a…

Do Canadians pay too much in taxes?

Here’s why that’s the wrong question to ask

Do Canadians pay too much in taxes?A recent Fraser Institute report stated that taxes are the single largest budget item of Canadian households. “Your family’s largest expense may surprise you,” the think tank wrote alarmingly, with taxes as the punchline. Of course, if you divide all household expenditures into a number of different categories like food and transportation, but leave all…

Are public appeals for a live organ donor fair?

Public appeals help raise awareness of the great need for live donors to come forward

Are public appeals for a live organ donor fair?The public response to the appeal on behalf of Eugene Melnyk, owner of the Ottawa Senators hockey team, for a liver donor has been a heart-warming demonstration of the generosity of our community. Fortunately, a donor was found and the transplant was performed in time to save his life. But is it fair that he…