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Exclusion of Indigenous voices in U.S.-Canada water agreement

Salmon used to swim all the way up the Columbia River from the Pacific Ocean near Astoria, Oregon to the Canadian Rocky Mountains at the river’s headwaters in Canal Flats, British Columbia.  It was an astounding journey of 2,000 km upstream that cut through a landscape of lush forest, dry desert and high peaks. But […]

Too many bureaucratic hurdles for cannabis research

Researchers are studying cannabis for promising anti-seizure medication   We’ve lost many years of potentially important research on the use of cannabis as medicine because of polarized views of the “weed” among researchers, policymakers and the general public. On one side, there are those who see cannabis as a dangerous psychoactive drug that should be […]

Let’s not “whitewash” Cindy Gladue’s death

Missing and murdered Indigenous women not on trial   This week, the Supreme Court of Canada heard the most important case in a generation regarding the Canadian legal system’s response to murdered and missing Indigenous women. Thursday’s hearing was the culmination of a case that was set in motion on the morning of June 22, […]

Emotions and politics in the wake of the Kavanaugh Crisis

The fallout from the confirmation of President Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh, riveted people on both sides of the border and provides ample evidence that feelings can become weaponized in politics to uphold (white) male privilege. In his blistering, scripted opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh performed the role of the aggrieved party, […]

Climate change is a global health emergency

Federal pipeline needs independent assessment, global health leaders say   After a summer that saw over 90 heat-related deaths in Quebec, drought-impacted crops across the Prairies, and large swaths of Western Canada and Ontario ravaged by wildfires and shrouded in smoke, many of the world’s leading experts gathered in San Francisco at the Global Climate […]

When pilot projects go off the rails

Research subjects caught between elected politicians and research ethics boards   Calls for evidence-informed policymaking have grown louder in recent decades. Advocates argue that the systematic use of the best available scientific evidence can help us avoid harm and achieve social policy goals while avoiding the deliberate manipulation of scientific evidence to achieve political ends. […]

Why a Canadian Basic Income is inevitable

In Canadian policy circles, Basic Income has come to mean a stipend paid to families or individuals without the many conditions and rules that govern existing income assistance programs. The amount received is gradually reduced as income from other sources increases. However, Basic Income is not just about welfare reform. A Basic Income is most […]

Mental health therapies should be fully funded by medicare

Publicly funding comprehensive treatment for depression is cost-effective   Could we be doing more to prevent suicide in Canada?  The answer is an unmitigated, yes. Access to timely and appropriate interventions for depression, including drug therapy and psychotherapy,can significantly improve health outcomes and reduce the number of deaths by suicide. Yet these needs are not […]

Stripping Canadian citizenship from Aung San Suu Kyi should be applauded

The House of Commons recently voted unanimously to call the killings, persecution, rape, abuse, destruction of homes and forced displacement of Rohingya from Myanmar as genocide. More than 900,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since 2017 Last week, the House also voted unanimously to revoke Aung San Suu Kyi’s honourary Canadian citizenship, which she received in […]

Turning the sex ed clock back to 1998 puts our youth at risk

LGBTQ youth face additional mental health pressures associated with stigma and discrimination   It’s now widely known that the Ontario Ministry of Education will be reverting to the 2010 sex education curriculum to teach our youth – despite widespread criticism. What’s worse is youth in grades 7 and 8 will actually be taught the 1998 […]