Commentary

U of A researcher leans on his own NCAA golfing experience and academic expertise to analyze the team’s woeful showing this past season.

12
April
2018

TSN senior writer Frank Seravalli says the Oilers’ failed season is layered and complex. I agree.

There are multi-layered personnel issues, like managers, coaches and players. There are also complex interconnected parts, like line combinations, defence pairings and special teams. It’s a razor-thin line between team success and failure, with “team” being key. Teams win games. Teams lose games, not individual players, coaches or managers.

Pioneering broadcast journalist Ed Murrow said, “The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer.” To me, it’s completely obvious why the Oilers lost 46 games this year, and it’s not offence. It’s defence.

Defensively, the Oilers were depleted. Case in point: Andrej Sekera’s torn ACL, nine-month rehab and 44-game absence doomed this year’s season, but also last yea...

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24
April
2018

COMMENTARY || Suzuki controversy shows U of A champions freedom of thought

Take uncomfortable ideas, debate, and conflict out of the university and its fundamental role in society disappears, says U of A president.

David Suzuki is a controversial figure. A companion of the Order of Canada in recognition of his promotion of science literacy and education, he has been an inspiration to many around the world and a
18
April
2018

COMMENTARY || Did the West rush to judgment on the Russian spy poisoning?

Expelling Russian diplomats may have been the right move but it was too hasty given lack of conclusive proof, says UAlberta historian.

On March 4, former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, a British resident, and his daughter Yulia, visiting from Russia, were found slumped on a park bench in the quiet town of Salisbury, Wiltshire,
17
April
2018

COMMENTARY || There are parts of Canada's national interest that Trudeau didn't talk about

Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion debate reveals a crisis of leadership in two levels of government, argues political scientist.

The Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion conflict reveals a much larger crisis than the “constitutional” or “investor confidence” crises constructed by the project's&
17
April
2018

COMMENTARY || How NAFTA restricts Canada’s ability to lower carbon emissions

Energy proportionality rule makes it difficult for Canada to scale back oil and gas production—its largest and fastest-growing source of emissions.

NAFTA jeopardizes Canada’s climate commitments. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared himself a champion of the Paris climate change agreement. Yet, Canada’s NAFTA negotiations show the
13
April
2018

COMMENTARY || Hawking’s unlikely fame left an indelible mark on humanity

Like few before him, the late physicist inspired universal interest in the science of the stars.

Few people were more internationally recognized than Stephen Hawking. It is interesting to ponder what made him famous. Was it his somewhat unique circumstances of living as a limitless mind in a
27
March
2018

COMMENTARY || Putin not likely to soften with re-election

Russian president's public image hinges on appearance of toughness, says UAlberta historian.

On Sunday, March 18, Russian voters returned Vladimir V. Putin to office with a reported 76.67 per cent of the votes. The result was never in doubt, and the main concern of the government was to
19
March
2018

COMMENTARY || The uncertain science behind diluted bitumen spills

Kinder Morgan pipeline offers Canada opportunity to prioritize preventing damage before it occurs—and before it’s too late, ecologists argue.

In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes. Yet when Benjamin Franklin coined his now-familiar phrase, it’s fairly certain he wasn’t pondering the fate of pipelines and oil
15
March
2018

COMMENTARY || Alberta needs a coherent, evidence-based pharmaceutical policy

Reducing pharmacists' reimbursement through drug benefit program fails to put patients first, says UAlberta expert.

Alberta needs a coherent pharmaceutical policy. It was expected that the province’s NDP government would follow through on its commitment to a universal drug benefit program and to improve the
08
March
2018

COMMENTARY || South Koreans doing the heavy lifting in calming North Korea crisis

Steady diplomatic effort seems to be bearing more fruit than U.S. bluster, says UAlberta historian.

On Monday, South Korean envoys returning from meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reported that the North is now willing to discuss possible “denuclearization” in direct talks with
05
March
2018

COMMENTARY || Alberta’s climate change claims ring hollow

Government ads in B.C. newspapers promote "decisive action" that doesn't stand up to scrutiny, argues UAlberta political scientist.

Alberta recently took its battle with British Columbia over Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline project to B.C.’s major daily newspapers. The provincial government’s
15
February
2018

COMMENTARY || Why the oilsands era is over

Carbon pricing, low energy costs spell economic doom for Alberta megaprojects, argues political economist.

Last Sept. 30 marked the 50th anniversary of the opening of the first large oilsands mine and processing plant in Fort McMurray. A lot has changed since then. Once seen as the key to long-lasting