English

Look up — way up

What astronauts and seniors with frailty have in common For decades, researchers have been studying the effects of reduced physical activity on astronauts during prolonged journeys to space. But what is surprising is one of the uses of that research. Turns out understanding the effects of space travel on the body may be important to […]

Time to end mandatory minimum-sentences for murder

Indigenous women vastly overrepresented among those sentenced to life   What’s wrong with mandatory minimum sentences?  Plenty. Especially when it comes to murder. High profile serial murderers come to mind when Canadians think of murder convictions: Bernardo, Olson, Pickton. Few turn their minds to the 18-year-old Indigenous teen who kills her abusive drug dealer. Such a […]

Big change takes big courage

New way to pay hospitals offers lessons on change management   If there’s one thing provincial governments across Canada can agree on, it’s that the status quo in health care is no longer good enough to deliver equitable access to high quality care in a cost-efficient manner.  Ontario’s Ministry of Health under the previous government […]

Students with developmental disabilities need sex-ed too

There has been a lot of discussion recently in Ontario and elsewhere about sex education. We have heard from diverse groups about what is taught and what is not taught in our schools. But there is one group whose voice has been missed. Our students with developmental disabilities need sex education too.  And no one’s […]

International researchers shocked at cancelation of Basic Income pilot

Two weeks ago, I participated in a panel in Finland with representatives of Basic Income Experiments from Finland, the Netherlands, India and Scotland. My report on the cancellation of Ontario’s Basic Income pilot project was received with stunned disbelief: on July 31, three months after enrollment was complete and before the first annual follow-up survey […]

Ontario emergency room visits remain high

Canadians have the highest rates of emergency room visits among high income countries   You’re getting home after a long day at work and the cough that has been bugging you just doesn’t seem to be letting up. Your muscles ache, you’ve got chills and you hear a slight wheeze when you breathe out. What […]

Accounting for pain beyond opioids

It’s time to change what we measure when funding healthcare   The prestigious Canadian Academy of Health Sciences annual meeting last week in Vancouver focused on chronic pain, and of course, the current catastrophe of opioid deaths was discussed.  But most of the discussion was broader: What are the biological mechanisms underlying chronic pain? What […]

Politics lacking women candidates

There has been some optimism about the rise of women in politics, including the so-called “revenge” candidacies of women vying for seats in the American midterm elections, running against politicians who have been openly anti-women, anti-pro-choice and anti-feminist. There is now a record number of women running in U.S. House and Senate races, and many […]

The many faces of poverty in Canada

The federal government is to be congratulated on its just-released Poverty Reduction Strategy. The strategy itself, running to over 100 pages, endorses the idea of an official poverty line, relieving Statistics Canada from the impossible task of finding a purely statistical basis for defining and measuring poverty. It further endorses the idea that poverty has […]

Voters disliked Ford a little less than Wynne

Ontario election results signal Canada’s wider democratic dilemma  June 2018 was an election for change in Ontario and Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives emerged the victors. Unfortunately, many voters believe their vote didn’t count. Thanks to our “first past the post” (FPTP) electoral system, they’re right.   Once again, Canada has an overwhelming majority provincial government elected by a minority of voters. Just over […]