Commentary

The most recent round of polarized discourse over water fluoridation, among other health issues, does little to help develop rational, evidence-informed health policy.

13
October
2017

Increasingly, it feels like there is no middle ground. There is no space for a reasoned discussion. No matter what the topic, you need to be either for it or against it. And this polarized posturing seems particularly common in the realm of health-science controversies.

Whether we are debating the potential harms of e-cigarettes, the value of organic food, flu vaccine policy or even the fitness merits of yoga, you are now expected to take a definitive and unwavering position. Any hesitation to consider the merits of the available science is pounced on as a sign of weakness and evidence that you are clearly in the pocket of Big Tobacco, Big Ag, Big Pharma or Big Yoga.

In this age of polarized discourse, we can't talk about stuff. And this is a problem.

Fluoride hyperbole

Last week, a study was published that found an associa...

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20
October
2017

COMMENTARY || What to do with Northlands?

Decision on redevelopment will have a tremendous impact in the area and the city. We need to get it right.

Edmonton faces a number of challenges related to community safety and economic development. Recent hard economic times have not only negatively impacted our prosperity but also community safety and
19
October
2017

COMMENTARY || How terrorists use propaganda to recruit lone wolves

Edmonton attack bears all the hallmarks of ISIS, but how did the terrorist organization get to the attacker?

It was a pleasant night in September and many Edmonton residents, knowing the long winter was just around the corner, didn’t want to miss a chance to enjoy a beautiful evening. The fun came to
18
October
2017

COMMENTARY || Enabling innovation: Lessons from Crystal Pepsi

Turns out developing a product is the easy part, getting people to buy requires an 'enabler.'

We tend to think that innovation is driven by new discoveries or advances in technology. Yet the problem with new products is often not an engineering challenge, but a psychological one. In fact,
17
October
2017

COMMENTARY || The real facts about the social studies curriculum-revision process

Two UAlberta professors involved in the process set the record straight.

We are two professors currently involved in the Alberta Education social studies curriculum-revision process. One of us (Lindsay Gibson) is a member of the Curriculum Writing Group (CWG) and one of
11
October
2017

COMMENTARY || How Donald Trump killed the Energy East pipeline

Sagging oil prices and a revived Keystone left TransCanada Corp. with no other option but to cancel its cross-Canada pipeline.

On March 24, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the death warrant for Energy East. Although he likely didn't know it, when he signed a presidential permit for the not-quite-dead-yet Keystone XL
06
October
2017

COMMENTARY || How one-third of the food we produce worldwide is wasted

Slightly more than half of food waste in Canada comes from our homes.

In my experience growing up on a mixed farm in north-central Alberta, it was practically a sin to spill grain. But if you were on Twitter this last year, it was amazing to see farmers from around the
25
September
2017

COMMENTARY || 7 ways to soothe your child’s pain in the hospital

UAlberta ER physician reveals straightforward tips that parents can use to help with the tears.

Imagine this: You are having a lovely day at the park, when your sweet boy, only seven years old, falls from the monkey bars and screams loudly. His wrist is swelling quickly and looks deformed. You
18
September
2017

COMMENTARY || Fierce debate roars to life over grizzly bear hunt

Management of grizzlies requires those on either side of the issue to find some common ground.

There’s no shortage of controversy surrounding the British Columbia government’s decision to stop the grizzly bear trophy hunt. The province announced in late August that it’s
14
September
2017

COMMENTARY: Legal weed: How to talk to your teenagers and kids about it

Cannabis is the most widely available and most used illegal substance in the world, and Canadian youth are among the top users. Parents and their kids need to prepare for the day it becomes legal in Canada in 2018.

Weed, pot, grass, marijuana—or cannabis to use the proper terminology—will be legal in Canada from July 1, 2018. Anyone over the age of 18 will be able to walk into a store and buy up to
08
September
2017

COMMENTARY || Our dangerous national trail is nothing to celebrate

What we have is a dangerous motorway, not a national trail. Parliament should adopt a Trans Canada Trail Act that establishes minimum standards for safety and quality.

Last weekend, the Trans Canada Trail organization triumphantly threw “a huge party” to celebrate a “momentous collective achievement” and the realization of a “major Cana
07
September
2017

COMMENTARY || We must make our schools inclusive spaces

Here are 10 proven strategies to help make it happen.

This past summer saw record attendance at pride festivals across Canada, yet this was juxtaposed with more visible and vocal attacks against the LGBTQ community with rainbow crosswalks vandalized and