Commentary

U.S. move only destabilizes the country more rather than alleviate suffering, argues U of A international relations expert.

05
March
2019

By ANDY KNIGHT

On Feb. 21, President Nicolas Maduro closed the border Venezuela shares with Brazil in an effort to block aid from coming into the country. At least two civilians were killed and dozens were injured when Venezuelan security forces fired on protesters near the Brazilian border.

United States President Donald Trump issued an ultimatum to the Venezuelan military on Feb. 26: side with the opposition coalition or face serious consequences.

Unfortunately, the U.S. is now using humanitarian aid as a “weapon” of sorts. The intent is clearly to destabilize Venezuela further rather than to ease the suffering of the Venezuelan people. I’m very disturbed by the method of U.S. intervention in the Venezuelan situation. It flies in the face of Article 2(7) of the UN Charter. This use of humanitarian aid as a confrontational de...

Headlines

06
March
2019

COMMENTARY || How the media makes sense of women in power

When women leaders have unconventional family lives, the media responds by trying to fit them into more stereotypical boxes, say researchers.

When asked to draw a picture of a leader, most people draw a man. If asked to draw a portrait of a political leader’s family, most people would depict this man surrounded by his loyal wife and
28
February
2019

COMMENTARY || SNC-Lavalin case shows why we should review Canada’s foreign corruption laws

Canada’s legislation hasn't kept pace with the realities of fighting foreign corruption, argues U of A law professor.

The controversy in Canada involving Québec-based corporate giant SNC-Lavalin highlights the need for a parliamentary review of the legal scheme for fighting foreign corruption. Underpinning the
27
February
2019

COMMENTARY || Supreme Court ruling will chill reporting on scandals

Decision that police can access journalist's unpublished conversations with source runs risk of preventing future informants from coming forward, says U of A law professor.

The two biggest political scandals in the news right now—the Mark Norman trial and the Trudeau/SNC-Lavalin controversy—were exposed by a reliable source who secretly shared information with a
26
February
2019

COMMENTARY || Silence or shame: the no-win situation for women in power

Jody Wilson-Raybould is just the latest high-profile woman to face the dilemma of staying silent or speaking out, of being powerless or shamed, says U of A political scientist.

The saga unfolding around former Liberal cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has been characterized as many things—evidence of the old guard that still pulls the levers in Ottawa, of the
12
February
2019

COMMENTARY || The numbers show fixing the Oilers is simple

"It’s not about getting pucks to the net; it’s about keeping them out," says U of A academic psychologist.

It is doom and gloom in Oiler Country. Fans are pessimistic. Energy and enthusiasm are low. It’s seemingly bleak … or is it? The Oilers are within striking distance; the Stanley Cup playoffs are
23
January
2019

COMMENTARY || Crowdfunding for bunk medical treatments hurts donors and patients

Crowdfunding platforms should act to counter misinformation in campaigns raising money for unproven treatments, say health policy experts.

Increasingly, money is being raised by crowdfunding campaigns for health services of questionable value. Recent studies have found that crowdfunding is attracting millions for unproven and
21
January
2019

COMMENTARY || Elizabeth Warren’s claim to Cherokee ancestry is a form of violence

Be it by the barrel of a carbine or a mail-order DNA test, the American spirit demands the disappearance of Indigenous people, says Native studies professor.

In the early 1990s, I bought a T-shirt at a powwow that read, “No! My great-grandmother was not a Cherokee princess!” It was a reference to the practice of non-Natives, with no lived tribal
16
January
2019

COMMENTARY || Historical lawsuit affirms Indigenous laws on par with Canada’s

Superior Court of Ontario decision informed by Anishinaabe principles could signal long-needed correction in treaty relations, says U of A legal scholar.

There is a tired joke, a standard for Indigenous peoples on the Prairies, regarding the five dollar bill. The bill is sometimes referred to as “treaty money,” and a chuckle is shared when it is
09
January
2019

COMMENTARY || In an era of misinformation, alternative medicine needs to be regulated

As misleading medical claims spread faster than truth, governments need to step up to protect the public, argues health-trend skeptic Timothy Caulfield.

Alternative medicine is big business. One estimate suggests that by 2025, the global market will be worth nearly US$200 billion. That’s a lot of money for an industry that, to put it kindly, is built
21
December
2018

The top 10 expert comment stories of 2018

Free trade, pipelines, wildfires and the “Laurel or Yanny” debate figured prominently as U of A experts weighed in on the issues this year.

1. COMMENTARY || Should Canada give up on NAFTA? Yes. Five months before Canada signed on to the overhauled free-trade pact in November, political economist Gordon Laxer argued that walking away
12
December
2018

COMMENTARY || New parks bolster Alberta’s conservation leadership

Proposed provincial park in Bighorn Country a significant step toward protecting wildlife, water and land for generations to come, says U of A ecologist.

Alberta is taking welcome steps to conserve the vibrant lands and clean waters that make this province a haven for wildlife and humans alike. The government’s newly announced proposal to establish