Commentary

Feuding premiers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would do well to consider what Canada needs to accomplish in reducing GHG emissions, argues ecologist.

09
February
2018

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has escalated the dispute with British Columbia over the Trans Mountain pipeline by banning B.C. wine. What could be next in this escalating food fight? Banning Alberta beef from B.C.? Not allowing Albertans access to salmon fishing from B.C. ports?

Perhaps instead of bickering, the premiers of both provinces, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, should consider what we need to accomplish.

In the 2015 Paris accord, Canada committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to 523 megatonnes per year by 2030. As the auditor general points out in his 2017 report, we are currently on track to exceed that target by over 200 megatonnes, and Canada does not have a coherent plan for reaching its goal. Downright Trumpian, it seems.

In November 2015, an expert panel of the Royal Society of Canada issued a rep...

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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
12
February
2018

COMMENTARY || Rachel Notley's war cry against B.C. is an ill-fated strategy

Alberta premier's framing of dispute over Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion is built on questionable claims, argues political scientist.

Premier Rachel Notley is clearly frustrated by British Columbia’s new obstacles to the expansion of pipeline capacity for transporting Alberta’s diluted bitumen to the coast and on to
24
January
2018

COMMENTARY || How patient stories can improve intensive care

Telling stories about care can bridge experiences and build empathy between patients and health professionals.

“Fighting to stay alive, I did the only thing I could do. I prayed. I couldn’t bear to leave my baby motherless. I opened my eyes one last time to tell my husband I would be OK, and then
16
January
2018

COMMENTARY || Indigenous group tackles diabetes with storytelling

How the James Bay Cree are finding an Indigenous solution to high rates of diabetes in their community.

When Emily’s mother lay dying of kidney failure from years of diabetes, Emily begged the doctors to take her kidney and transplant it into her mom. But the doctors refused—Emily had
15
January
2018

COMMENTARY || Raw water is the dangerously stupid 'natural food' fad nobody asked for

A new movement is embracing something that could cause you dysentery.

Retro is cool. I get that. I love vinyl records even though they likely don't really sound any better than digital—at least to my old ears. I also love fountain pens and
09
January
2018

COMMENTARY || In 2018 we need less nonsense and more science

Why critical thinking—and complaining—are so important in an information age riddled with pseudoscience.

A few years ago, Gwyneth Paltrow infamously declared that water (yes, she meant H2O) has feelings (yes, she meant emotions). It was suggested that just saying nasty things to
09
January
2018

COMMENTARY || Alberta hasn’t suffered for raising the minimum wage

History doesn't bear out doom-and-gloom economic predictions, says public policy expert.

Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour was a key plank in the Alberta NDP's 2015 election platform. At $10.20 an hour, and $9.20 for employees serving liquor, Alberta's minimum wage was
05
January
2018

Making a home on the range for bees a win-win for agriculture and nature

Setting aside grassland for the busy insects can pay dividends for Alberta farmers and ranchers, say researchers.

Farmers and ranchers should be buzzed about bees and making room for the busy little insect in their land management, say University of Alberta researchers who are leading one of the first studies to
05
January
2018

COMMENTARY || Claims that air pollution may cause a host of diseases are mostly false

Far too often epidemiology results are exaggerated and misused to inform the public about air pollution as a risk factor for chronic diseases.

Barely a week goes by without reading in a medical journal or newspaper about another epidemiology study claiming that present-day air pollution in North America causes a disease. According to
03
January
2018

COMMENTARY || LGBTQ equality moved closer in 2017 but fight isn't over

10 moments that moved Canada forward—and challenges that remain.

In many ways, it was an unprecedented year for human rights and LGBTQ equality in Canada. Here are 10 critical moments that moved our nation forward—and the challenges remaining to be
02
January
2018

COMMENTARY || Can you keep your kids safe when they watch YouTube?

Researcher offers practical suggestions to help parents navigate the wide-open world of digital media.

In recent weeks, parents have been shaken by media reports about upsetting, offensive or crassly commercial videos that children using YouTube and YouTube Kids could be exposed to just by following