Money and passion should be partners in a successful business

Lost the passion? Not making enough money? It's decision time

Money and passion should be partners in a successful businessJen’s business was on the rocks but I was a bit surprised when she came into my office and told me she had just taken a job. Jen’s business was 18 months old, and she had been referred to us for business development to help her capture a new market. Our previous two meetings had…

100-million-year-old crab trapped in amber helps fill evolutionary gap

Oldest non-marine crab ever – and most complete crab fossil known – identified

100-million-year-old crab trapped in amber helps fill evolutionary gapA young crustacean locked in amber 100 million years ago is filling a crucial gap in the puzzle of crab evolution, according to a University of Alberta PhD graduate whose work adds to growing evidence that the crab form is an evolutionary darling. “This crab is telling us a very interesting story about the tree…

Buying used: 2011 Volkswagen Golf is a treat to drive

The 2011 hatchback had a 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine, which made it kind of a hot rod

Buying used: 2011 Volkswagen Golf is a treat to driveThe Volkswagen Golf was completely restyled and redesigned in 2010 and little changed in 2011. The 2011 hatchback came in three and five-door variations and was propelled by a 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine, which made it kind of a hot rod. With some 170 horsepower pushing a 1,376-kg body, the three-door version with a manual gearbox,…

Mentorship key to breakthrough science in women and children’s health

Placenta in a petri dish is just one innovation that attracts top students and research dollars

Mentorship key to breakthrough science in women and children’s healthJasmine Nguyen signed up for a tour of Meghan Riddell’s cell biology lab as a first-year undergrad in the Faculty of Science and was immediately hooked. “Meghan pulled a placenta out of what was basically a lasagna dish and it was love at first sight,” said Nguyen, who’s now working on her fourth-year honours thesis…

How to be your very best every day

Find your zone, connect to the world, tune into your purpose and then get specific

How to be your very best every dayI once had the fabulous opportunity to chat with a group of executive administrative assistants on their final day of a national conference. They had spent a few days exploring what it takes to create positive energy for themselves and their organizations. When I met with them, they were elated, excited and maybe even a…

We must accept the mistakes of the past and make them right

What can be said of those who deny the past and ignore the inherent human rights of their neighbours?

We must accept the mistakes of the past and make them rightIt’s a normal human reaction not only to acknowledge when we’ve done something wrong but to seek to make reparations and heal the relationship with the person we’ve harmed. This is also true on a societal level. As I complete teaching my unit on the residential school system in Canada, I ask students to reflect…

Each loss of a police officer is a tragic indictment of social failure

Policing is fraught with physical dangers that most of us never see. Then there's the psychological trauma

Each loss of a police officer is a tragic indictment of social failureThe attack on the United States Capitol in Washington and its aftermath have taken a toll. Unfortunately, the Jan. 6 incident will remain remote and extraordinary for most. The incident has been politicized, sensationalized and reconstructed, but its tragic impact on those on the front lines is undeniable. Metropolitan Police Officer Kyle DeFreytag was found…

Canada missing out on $1.2-trillion EU natural gas market

According to Natural Resources Canada, at the end of 2018 Canada had 73 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of proven natural gas reserves

Canada missing out on $1.2-trillion EU natural gas marketBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre In 2009, the eastern European country of Ukraine endured a twin lesson in geopolitics and energy security: Russia cut off its natural gas supply in mid-winter. Russia’s public reason was that it was engaged in a pricing dispute with Ukraine. In reality, it was an attempt…

How to get Canada off the health care teeter-totter

Medicare struggles from funding thrown at the same tired ideas rooted in similar political traditions

How to get Canada off the health care teeter-totterLiberalism works when you are healthy but fails when you fall ill. Classical liberalism emphasizes autonomy, individual freedom, and free markets. These ideas have fuelled centuries of wealth and prosperity. Modern liberalism, in contrast, pursues central decision-making and equality of outcome. Despite similar names and obvious differences, neither type of liberalism provides arguments for everything…

The 26th Blah Blah Blah Festival (aka COP26)

Those who care about the climate act; those who care about blah blah blah will all be in Glasgow

The 26th Blah Blah Blah Festival (aka COP26)The Cop26 climate summit starts in Glasgow, UK, on October 31, and countries must deliver tougher pledges to cut emissions to keep the goal of 1.5C within reach. According to the UN, carbon emissions will rise by 16 per cent by 2030, rather than fall by half as governments previously agreed to in Paris at…

Indigenous peoples also have the right to say “yes” to resource projects

End the ideological posturing that has proved so detrimental to Indigenous rights

Indigenous peoples also have the right to say “yes” to resource projectsFor the last few decades, Indigenous communities have fought for the right to have a say in resource projects. In earlier generations, major resource and infrastructure projects were imposed on traditional territories without consultation, engagement, and collaboration. In some instances, these projects did severe environmental damage or caused significant social and cultural disruptions. Indigenous peoples…

The rise of the once-silent, once-hidden food worker

Given our heightened consciousness about food systems, workers have more political capital than ever

The rise of the once-silent, once-hidden food workerWorkers across the food supply chain are expressing concerns about their livelihood. Last weekend, workers at the online grocery retailer Instacart went on strike for better conditions and higher wages. Instacart is a symbol of the new gig economy in food – you use a phone app to have someone else pick up your groceries…

We need a Plan B to deal with climate change

Adapting to a changing climate is the only feasible option

We need a Plan B to deal with climate changeDrawing heavily from physicist Steven Koonin’s recent book – Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters – my last column looked at some of the challenges involved in getting to global carbon-free by mid-century. Koonin actually calls it “a practical impossibility.” Now let’s talk about contingency planning. If carbon…

Plant-based milk alternatives meet consumers’ demand for choice

The real threat to cow-based products might be an appetite for choice in a highly regulated market

Plant-based milk alternatives meet consumers’ demand for choiceWith the explosion of plant-based milk alternatives flooding the market, can cow milk co-exist? Canada’s dairy industry will struggle to survive the competition unless it reconnects with its consumers. Until now, milk wars have been international. Canada’s dairy market is highly regulated through its contentious supply management system. Quotas and high tariffs are used to…

Toxic bosses a career-builder’s worst nightmare

Best advice:  Cope as best you can until you find another job

Toxic bosses a career-builder’s worst nightmareEvery industry has its fair share of toxic bosses. Many are accomplished, and extremely successful. Some are working for or running well-known companies.  Others are geniuses who created breakthrough technology. Typically, they make sterling impressions during the interview process. Unfortunately, their toxicity doesn't surface until you're working with them. Management consultant and author Robert Bacal…

Aging and blending create cognac’s extraordinary fusion

The blend is at the heart of cognac and its formulation is the industry’s highest art form

Aging and blending create cognac’s extraordinary fusionAfter distillation, the new spirit is casked and moved to a warehouse where, depending on its intended use, it may age for a period of a few years to several decades. Generally speaking, cognac is aged in barrels made from oak from either the Tronçais or Limousine forests. The eau de vie is aged in…

Alberta judge’s anti-free speech ruling must be challenged

Alberta Court of Queen's Bench Justice Adam Germain's ruling hostile to a free and democratic society

Alberta judge’s anti-free speech ruling must be challengedPolitically determined public health guidelines during the covid-19 pandemic have come with a cost. Governments have defined essential and non-essential services, ostensibly to ensure Canadians have access to food. Not all can afford essential services food – that’s a story for another day – so food banks have remained open alongside grocery sellers. Several non-essential…

Counselling students look to address COVID-19 mental health fallout

Clinical Services offers low-cost support and training to students who will be on the front lines of the recovery ahead

Counselling students look to address COVID-19 mental health falloutIt was a scream and a hug in the lobby of a vehicle registry in Camrose, Alta., that showed Larissa Brosinsky the power of positive self-talk. It was 2015 and the psychology grad was working with adults living with developmental disabilities – including a woman in her mid-40s who had dreamed for years of learning…

Canada, allies must unite to stop China’s economic domination

Opposition to the Communist Party of China’s aggression needs to be multilateral

Canada, allies must unite to stop China’s economic dominationThe Chinese economy is growing and surpassing the United States economy in size. That stature, with its consequent soft and hard power, means opposition to the Communist Party of China’s regime needs to be multilateral. No matter how much unipolarity the U.S. has enjoyed in recent decades, it can’t go it alone and would benefit…

Return iconic Toronto concert hall to its populist roots

Incorporate Hart Massey’s original model for Massey Hall and charge $1 for tickets to the first few concerts

Return iconic Toronto concert hall to its populist rootsCOVID-19 remains a significant health problem around the world. Fortunately, some things are slowly beginning to shift into what’s commonly referred to as the “new normal.” It’s certainly happening in Canada. Many sports stadiums have returned to full capacity. Small and large businesses like movie theatres, gyms, hair salons and (fairly soon) restaurants are increasing…

Why a universal basic income falls short

And what we can do instead

Why a universal basic income falls shortIn a country as rich as Canada, no one should have to go cold or hungry. But is universal basic income the answer? Income assistance and other programs provide for almost all of the poorest among us, although some always slip between the cracks. No one would describe the level of support as generous, nor…

Climate summit forced to confront inconvenient truths

Movement to reduce global emissions toward net-zero is still too slow

Climate summit forced to confront inconvenient truthsWith the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow scheduled to open on Oct. 31, global powerhouses are coming up with their annual energy outlooks earlier than the customary November. With climate issues coming to the forefront at the COP26 summit, most of these reports and analyses are meant to help world leaders make decisions. But…

Internship immerses Black students in STEM, business

The program is giving 38 students tools to pursue career goals while caring for themselves

Internship immerses Black students in STEM, businessIn high school, Imani Murray fell in love with the brain. Next, she set her sights on pursuing her dream career: becoming a neurosurgeon. Now a physiology student in her third year at the University of Alberta, Murray is putting her passion and studies into practice for the first time – and growing in more…

Students design space-saving ‘commander’s kits’ for Canadian military

Hoping for some new assignments from the military this fall

Students design space-saving ‘commander’s kits’ for Canadian militaryAs an undergraduate, Kai Keewatin was torn between two passions: graphic design and his long-held dream to join the Canadian Armed Forces. In the second year of his design program at the University of Alberta, he finally enlisted with Lord Strathcona’s Horse in Edmonton, graduating in his military uniform in 2016. He is now a captain…

Government spending putting the economy at risk

Our ratio of net debt to GDP is almost as high as it was in 1995 when Canada was really in a fiscal crisis

Government spending putting the economy at riskThe Liberals made some big spending promises during last month’s election campaign, amounting to $78 billion in new spending over the next five years. These promises come on top of the existing baseline, which was already no model of austerity. The federal budget was bloated before the pandemic, and even after excluding some necessary public…

The big payoff that comes from doing absolutely nothing

When we’re running from moment to moment, task to task, we lose perspective

The big payoff that comes from doing absolutely nothingAre we so afraid of spending time alone with our own thoughts that we find tasks to occupy every moment of our waking day? We must stop consuming our days in this unmitigated busyness. When we’re running from moment to moment, task to task, we lose perspective. Events and circumstances start to feel all-consuming. We…

Not much difference between angel investors and VCs anymore

The differences between angels and VCs are no longer quite so clearly visible as they once were

Not much difference between angel investors and VCs anymoreThe start-up is going well and now it’s time to pursue capital. The friends and family networks are running thin. Who are you going to call? Angel groups exist across the country and there are VCs (venture capitalists) you might want to see. The rule of thumb is to call them all: both angels and…

There is a high cost to workplace deception

An organizational strategy for reducing lies and increasing candour at work

There is a high cost to workplace deceptionLies in the workplace are expensive. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, a typical organization loses five per cent of its revenue to fraud – a potential global loss of $3.5 trillion. But the cost of out-and-out fraud pales in comparison to the monumental cost of the erosion of trust that occurs when…

2021 Toyota C-HR passes (almost) every test

The C-HR is practical and easy to get along with – except for the CVT, which is its undoing

2021 Toyota C-HR passes (almost) every testIf you’ve ever driven in southern British Columbia, chances are you’ve spent some time on the Coquihalla Hwy, also known as Hwy 5. Constructed to coincide with Expo 86 in Vancouver, it’s a spectacular stretch of road, soaring over the coastal mountain range from Hope to Kamloops, with Hwy 97C branching off at Merritt, taking…

Kyrie Irving hasn’t learned a thing from playing a team sport

Unvaccinated NBA star won’t be welcomed back to the Nets until he’s fully able to participate in all team activities

Kyrie Irving hasn’t learned a thing from playing a team sportThe Brooklyn Nets have said thanks but no thanks to Kyrie Irving’s offer to be a part-time player for their National Basketball Association team. Due to public safety concerns regarding the pandemic, the unvaccinated Irving won’t be allowed to play games in New York. According to the city mandate, anyone entering an indoor gym/arena –…
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