Failure to use rapid tests in pandemic points to deeper problems

We still have time to act by approving and quickly producing rapid tests in Canada by the tens of millions

Failure to use rapid tests in pandemic points to deeper problemsBy John Adams and Kashif Pirzada Macdonald-Laurier Institute Canada’s ongoing failure to effectively control the spread of COVID-19 reflects increasing failures by governments to coordinate with one another and to respond quickly and effectively to new developments and scientific advances. This is abundantly clear in the self-harm inflicted by our original difficulties in sourcing of…

Trump is a case study in bad leadership

Good leaders respect themselves and others, listen, celebrate differences of opinion and understand that winning means creating circumstances where everyone benefits

Trump is a case study in bad leadershipMany people have criticized Donald Trump’s actions in recent months, yet he still received more votes than any losing presidential candidate in American history. Many clearly think he’s a great leader. Perhaps Trump is the Vince Lombardi of presidents. The legendary football coach is known for having said, “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”…

Halifax-developed battery a game-changer for electric vehicles

We are beginning a serious transformation from fossil-fuel transportation to electric vehicles

Halifax-developed battery a game-changer for electric vehiclesCanadians generally have no idea that Tesla’s fancy battery technology has mostly been developed in Halifax. Dalhousie University has partnered with the American electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer and created what’s commonly referred to as the Tesla Dalhousie battery lab. The new 4680 dry-cell battery is going into Tesla vehicles sometime between February and April 2021.…

Five steps to boost your motivation

It’s easy to get caught up in a sense of hopelessness and helplessness, but that won’t help you conquer the year ahead

Five steps to boost your motivationIt’s no secret that life can be tough. And there are a lot of distractions lately that can feel like they’ll prevent you from going after big dreams and big goals. Some of you may not even have set new year’s resolutions. It’s easy to get caught up in a sense of hopelessness and helplessness,…

Boris Johnson: the man who got Brexit done

Boris Johnson: the man who got Brexit doneIn December 2019, I wrote a column arguing that United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson was shaping up as a genuinely consequential politician. And the recent announcement of a new trade deal between the U.K. and the European Union bears that out. First, though, a clarification of terms. Declaring someone as consequential isn’t necessarily an…

Sonic lab will help researchers shape the sound of things to come

Designing soundscapes for everything from music therapy in hospitals to community building

Sonic lab will help researchers shape the sound of things to comeA new, state-of-the-art sound laboratory at the University of Alberta will help advance innovative research in audio design and sonic experience – everything from music therapy for hospital patients to soundscapes in gaming to understanding how sound creates community. Called Sound3 Lab – to denote the three areas of sound art, sound health and sound…

Canada needs to stand on guard in the post-Covid-19 world

Canada needs to stand on guard in the post-Covid-19 worldIn the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic caused significant dislocations to Canadian economy and society. However, as we look to the international sphere, the pandemic has accelerated a number of long-standing trends, while introducing several new challenges. Over the past decade, we have witnessed the fragmentation of political, economic and military arrangements that underpinned the…

Satellite breakthroughs will change internet delivery

Exciting times in the satellite industry

Satellite breakthroughs will change internet deliveryElon Musk’s Starlink low Earth orbit (LEO) network has been awarded US$885 million over 10 years to build out rural internet access in the U.S. This was the fourth largest amount awarded under the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). Testing of preliminary Starlink service recently began. This is a billion-dollar (almost) vote of confidence in…

Research reveals new clues to hunting habits of elusive falcons

Study gives a rare glimpse into urban behaviour of birds of prey

Research reveals new clues to hunting habits of elusive falconsA popular Edmonton, Alberta landmark for local birdwatchers is teaching some valuable lessons about falcons – some of the most difficult raptors to observe. The Alberta Grain Terminal, a hulking brick structure in west Edmonton that’s been used to load grain rail cars for 96 years, is also a hotspot for pigeons and their predators,…

Eat your fruits and veggies for the sake of your immunity

One of the major pieces to building a strong immunity system is eating more fruits and vegetables

Eat your fruits and veggies for the sake of your immunityAccording to the United Nations, 2021 is the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. Many couldn’t care less about a proclamation from a global agency that has been criticized over the years as being inner-looking and out of touch. Some of this criticism is certainly warranted but depending on the topic, these campaigns can bring…

Trump’s final day as president

What does his future hold?

Trump’s final day as presidentOn Wednesday, Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States. That means the White House’s 45th occupant, Donald Trump, has only one more day in office. What will happen during his final few hours? Several phone calls of either a personal or political nature seem likely. Brief chats with White House staff…

Covid-19 and our forgotten freedoms of assembly and association

It is in emergencies that we see whether our deepest societal values mean anything

Covid-19 and our forgotten freedoms of assembly and associationBy Nnaemeka Ezeani and Dwight Newman Macdonald-Laurier Institute Government restrictions on various forms of gathering have bothered many Canadians throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. While freedoms are subject to limits for appropriate policies to protect life and health, there is a lingering sense that some of these policies have gone astray. But many find it hard…

Pioneering heart transplant expert named to Order of Canada

Pioneering heart transplant expert named to Order of CanadaWhen University of Alberta pediatric cardiologist Lori West was put in charge of the transplant program at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children in 1994, the situation was dire for newborns with bad hearts. Up until the first infant heart transplant in 1986, children born with certain kinds of heart malformations had a 100 per cent…

How to tone down the rhetoric and improve understanding

All political parties major contributors to the current situation of confrontation and violence

How to tone down the rhetoric and improve understandingPolitics and the COVID-19 pandemic have led to continuing confrontations and unprecedented uncertainties in the United States. The U.S. is still important enough that these events are reflected beyond its borders, leaving many longing for a return to a more stable situation and for the peace, order and good government, which are Canada’s ideals. Demonstrations,…

Crude oil market remains in flux

Global demand remains a major concern

Crude oil market remains in fluxUncertainty is ruling the energy world. “Crude producers continue to grapple with huge uncertainty about where this goes from here,” Tim Gould, the International Energy Agency (IEA) head of energy supply outlooks and investment, told the press last week. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agrees. “Uncertainties remain high going forward with the main…

Central banks should stay clear of cryptocurrencies

Central banks should stay clear of cryptocurrenciesAmong the many races the pandemic has accelerated, none is so pointless as the issuance of central-bank digital currencies. The Canadian government, which should know better, has jumped into the fray despite earlier opposition. Reversing comments made in February 2020, Bank of Canada deputy governor Timothy Lane now believes state involvement in cryptocurrencies is a…

Our “lost generation” of Canadian youth

Young people who graduate into a recession often take decades to recover

Our “lost generation” of Canadian youthAs we bid farewell to 2020, an annus horribilis if there ever was one, spare a thought or two for Canada’s youth. Hard as 2020 was on Canada a whole, young Canadians are paying big time for the unavoidable consequences of COVID-19. Many Canadian young people were supposed to be having the proverbial ‘time of…

Insights into how people cope with chronic back pain

Study could help health professionals understand what motivates patients to live on their own terms despite dealing with persistent pain

Insights into how people cope with chronic back painChronic back pain can keep us from living our best lives, but a University of Alberta study shows why some people don’t let it stop them. The research, published in the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, sheds light on what motivates people to soldier through their persistent pain. The qualitative study is one of just a handful that…

Three things governments got wrong in handling COVID-19

Ill-considered responses by governments left highly damaging long-term legacies

Three things governments got wrong in handling COVID-19History will record that multiple vaccine breakthroughs ended the COVID-19 pandemic. But it will also show that ill-considered responses by our federal and provincial governments left highly damaging long-term legacies. Here’s a list of what I call the COVID follies: Destruction of the Canadian aviation industry Canada’s airlines have been burning through their dwindling cash…

Prairie provinces can thrive with greater Asian trade

With the COVID-19 recession and the expansion of Chinese influence, it’s urgent that Canada take the initiative and position itself in new markets

Prairie provinces can thrive with greater Asian tradeIn November, China and 14 Asia-Pacific countries including Japan and South Korea signed a free-trade deal covering 2.2 billion people and nearly 30 per cent of international trade. This Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership shows that the Pacific region continues to reinforce its place as the world’s leading trade hub. Canada and, more precisely, the Prairie…

Why a convenience store giant wants to be a grocer

Couche-Tard has a reputation of generating value by polishing hidden gems in companies like Carrefour

Why a convenience store giant wants to be a grocerWe heard this week that Alimentation Couche-Tard is looking at acquiring European-based Carrefour, the seventh largest food retailer in the world. Buying a grocery chain would be a significant departure from what Couche-Tard is known for. A non-binding, friendly offer of $25 billion was sent to Carrefour. Couche-Tard is all about the convenience store economy.…

How to increase your personal business performance

Performing at our best all the time can seem like a challenge unless we move the goal posts and focus on learning, fun and clarity

How to increase your personal business performanceThere were only three days left before I had to have the program ready for my team. I had been putting off working on the project until it seemed like the last minute. I could feel the pressure building internally and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to deliver. Working to deliver…

Pandemic exposes weaknesses of government intervention

The response of governments was heavy-handed, lead-footed, wrong-headed and inept

Pandemic exposes weaknesses of government intervention2020 forever will be associated with the coronavirus sweeping Canada and the world. However, its impact on the economy was much greater than on our health. Far fewer people were stricken by the virus than the initial apocalyptic warnings from health care experts, while its impact on incomes, jobs and government deficits was larger and…

New Nissan Rogue built for hockey moms

The 2021 version is a mainstream, garden-variety compact SUV and, all things considered, that’s a good thing

New Nissan Rogue built for hockey momsCar manufacturers have always had an interesting time when it comes to naming their products. Over the years, they’ve given us monikers such as Gremlin, Judge, Duster and, way back when, the Utopian Turtletop – although, in fairness, Ford didn’t choose this last one when unveiling the new 1958 Edsel but they thought about  it.…

COVID-19 restrictions may be harder in assisted living than in long-term care

U of A nursing researcher’s new study seeks input from family members and facilities to understand impact, plan for next pandemic

COVID-19 restrictions may be harder in assisted living than in long-term careCOVID-19 visitor restrictions may be even harder on residents of assisted living homes than on those in long-term care because of the vital role family caregivers play in helping with essential care tasks, according to Matthias Hoben, an assistant professor in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Nursing. “In assisted living, the residents are more independent and…

COVID-19 overreaction has pushed us to the tipping point

Our debt is rising and our population growth is slowing. The result will be a massive fiscal burden on taxpayers in decades to come

COVID-19 overreaction has pushed us to the tipping pointCaught between a rock and a hard place. This best sums up the position that Alberta’s United Conservative Party government found itself in as it announced new, stricter lockdown measures for Christmas. The government is attempting to bend the rising curve of COVID-19 infections. Premier Jason Kenney and his most trusted ministers lined up to…

A user’s guide to coping in an age of anxiety

Follow the evidence - and science

A user’s guide to coping in an age of anxietyTimothy Caulfield suggests trying the following thought experiment. It’s far-fetched to be sure, but to test the “stranger danger” hypothesis – known to cause considerable anxiety among today’s parents – imagine placing your child alone on the street as bait for some shady character in a white van. How long would it take for that child…

To protect democracy, we must protect local media

Our 21st-century reliance on tech giants to supply us with information has resulted in fake news, clickbait and polarized societies

To protect democracy, we must protect local mediaIt’s not news to say that our consumption of media has changed dramatically in the 21st century. Perhaps it’s time to take a step back and look objectively at the impact of these changes and begin thinking about how our media can be improved. For most of the 20th century, the media was controlled by…
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