Airline pilots rise up in face of COVID vaccines

Four Canadian pilots founded Free to Fly at the end of August attracting more than 38,500 members

Airline pilots rise up in face of COVID vaccinesShould Canadians be free to fly without a COVID-19 vaccination? Four Canadian pilots thought so and founded Free to Fly at the end of August. By now, the organization has attracted more than 38,500 members, including 2,800 airline staff. In an interview, Free to Fly co-founder Derek Grigor said the time was ripe for their…

Ontario Liberal proposal for women-only nominations is just stupid

Does the party really believe women can't win in a fair fight against men?

Ontario Liberal proposal for women-only nominations is just stupidPolitical parties propose and support many policies and ideas. Some ideas are top-flight and beneficial to their political fortunes. Others seem good in theory, but may require additional tinkering or minor adjustment(s). Still other ideas may turn out to be untenable, or require a significant overhaul or have to be abandoned. Then there are ideas…

The religious fervour of the campaign against Covid-19

And is leading to the rise of a new inquisition to persecute and ostracize dissenters

The religious fervour of the campaign against Covid-19The ongoing campaign against COVID-19 has several religious attributes and analogues. I’m not talking about Mologic or Luciferase, or the way “Build Back Better” looks like code for 666, given that ‘b’ is a cipher for ‘6’. I’m not referring to the dozens of ways millenarians enthusiastically uncover apparent connections between this period of tribulation…

Canada must overcome its lingering linguistic imperialism

Nowhere else in the world could a person speak only one language and be considered educated

Canada must overcome its lingering linguistic imperialismA Czech proverb says, “You live a new life for every language you speak. If you only know one language, you only live once.” Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau got himself into hot water recently due to his inability to speak French. How he was chosen to lead a corporation that’s expected to offer services…

Ending genocide starts with recognizing our common humanity

Any attitude, word, action or law that draws us away from our common humanity steps toward genocide

Ending genocide starts with recognizing our common humanityMost people would agree that evil exists, yet very few of us understand it. We find it convenient to blame all the problems of the world on terrible but powerful individuals, or on one misguided group. In truth, there are good and bad people in every group, and there’s even good and bad in each…

Muslim Seniors Research works to improve health, fight Islamophobia

Unique research links academic findings with concrete change for Muslim communities

Muslim Seniors Research works to improve health, fight IslamophobiaFor Jordana Salma, academic research should be a two-way street: an ongoing cycle of asking questions, identifying concerns and then working with communities to address them. The assistant professor in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Nursing relies on Alberta’s Muslim community to guide her studies of aging and health for seniors. In return, she promises to…

Women leading in a landscape shaped by men

Research shows men are given second chances much more than women

Women leading in a landscape shaped by menIndira Samarasekera and Martha Piper have been leaders in post-secondary education every step of the way, right up to the presidencies of two of Canada’s top research universities. They explore what they’ve learned in a new book, Nerve: Lessons on Leadership From Two Women Who Went First. Samarasekera made University of Alberta history in 2005 as…

More capitalism leads to less discrimination

Discrimination is actually less pervasive in more competitive industries

More capitalism leads to less discriminationOne of the favourite myths peddled by proponents of government control is that under the free-market system discrimination is rife and leads to unfair outcomes for minorities, women, and other groups. Thus, they say, we need government regulation to correct this unfairness and equalize outcomes. The myth persists despite having been repeatedly debunked over decades,…

Nursing researcher fights ageism with education

Training modules, advisory group designed to help nurses, caregivers and others overcome biases against older people

Nursing researcher fights ageism with educationA University of Alberta researcher is hoping to start a Canada-wide revolution to combat discrimination against older people, starting with a change to the way nursing students are educated. “Ageism has been described by other scholars as the last “ism” that is socially accepted,” said Sherry Dahlke, associate professor in the Faculty of Nursing. “It’s subtle and…

Shunning the unvaccinated just another kind of discrimination

Vaccination passports will restrict the rights of a minority of people to access services

Shunning the unvaccinated just another kind of discriminationBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed in May that he would establish an agreement on creating a universal vaccine passport system with the G7 countries – including Canada. He told CBC News that nations require “agreements” on “COVID status certification and the rest.” Johnson was referring to how travel and passports will work as the…

Finding a new path forward driven by Indigenous people

The graves of residential school children symbolize the abject failure of decades of government policy

Finding a new path forward driven by Indigenous peoplePeople are mad. Finally! And sadly, belatedly. The discovery of the locations where hundreds of children were buried around abandoned residential school grounds has touched the country in ways that perhaps even the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission did not. People are responding to…

A civil libertarian who is neither civil nor libertarian

British Columbia Civil Liberties Association director Harsha Walia reacted to the burning of churches by tweeting ‘Burn it all down’

A civil libertarian who is neither civil nor libertarianBritish Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) executive director Harsha Walia retweeted a Vice News article on June 30 about two Catholic churches being burned down in Canada. These terrible incidents were reportedly related to the discovery of unmarked graves of Indigenous children at three former residential schools. A retweet wouldn’t have been noticed by most…

There are only two “races” of people: the decent and the indecent

Good people and bad people can be found in every group

There are only two “races” of people: the decent and the indecentWe’re all influenced by the environment we grow up in and our life experiences. We thus adopt paradigms in our effort to make sense of the world around us. Sometimes these perspectives serve us well but other times our core beliefs prevent us from seeing the truth. Yet there’s perhaps nothing more life-giving than experiencing…

The mad rush to implement MAiD legislation

A single year to legalize such a wholesale change about the ending of human life signals a country moving away from its past

The mad rush to implement MAiD legislationFor two evenings recently, my Cardus colleagues and a panel of expert guests have engaged in an in-depth discussion on YouTube on Canada’s post-COVID future. They covered an impressive range of issues from education to the bifurcation of society as the pandemic exposed real, and really troubling, differences in how cohorts of Canadian society were…

London murders wound us all

The killings demand empathy for the victims, but also renewed commitment to freedom of faith

London murders wound us allThe news from London, Ont. regarding a murdered Muslim family is horrifying. It is chilling even to write about a driver deliberately ramming his pick-up truck into a father, mother, grandmother, daughter, and son – leaving only the young boy alive but bereft of his family. The police-reported motivation behind the crime should make it…

Pandemic has exposed the social, political rot at the core of India

Since independence India has seen the addition of one billion citizens, persistent communalism and little change for the marginalized

Pandemic has exposed the social, political rot at the core of IndiaThe COVID-19 pandemic may be the most important event of our lifetimes. It will define the legitimacy of governments and leave long-lasting impressions about how societies responded on behalf of their citizens. The devastation being played out across India is beyond tragic – it was predictable, ignored, supported by willful blindness and even encouraged. As…

New podcast explores systemic racism, celebrates Black achievement

BlackTalk offers an ‘ethnic, modern, inclusive and informative’ take on the Black experience for listeners of all backgrounds

New podcast explores systemic racism, celebrates Black achievementThe murder of George Floyd last year was a pivotal moment for University of Alberta political scientist Andy Knight. The expert in international politics is acutely aware of his good fortune throughout his distinguished career. Growing up in Barbados, then immigrating to Canada in his teens, he felt insulated from the worst of the anti-Black…

‘Invisible’ racism continues to haunt the world of academia

Undermining staff, students and faculty members who experience it

‘Invisible’ racism continues to haunt the world of academiaRacism is often too easily shrugged off as someone being “overly sensitive” or “misunderstanding” what was done or said. It’s that invisibility that makes systemic racism against Black people, Indigenous people and people of colour so difficult to dislodge at the institutional level in post-secondary schools – and so undermining of staff, students and faculty…

Government programs should be based on need, not race

Race-based programs are an insult to those who have achieved success on their merit and hard work

Government programs should be based on need, not race‘Pretendians’ are what Indigenous people call non-Indigenous people who claim that they are Indigenous. Government financial incentives reserved exclusively for Indigenous people – supposedly, to achieve equity – have created pretendians, who are increasingly called out by other Indigenous people for not being Indigenous enough. Canadian novelist Joseph Boyden and filmmaker Michelle Latimer (maker of…

To end racial inequality, Canada must embrace equal rights and obligations

Canadian elites accepted the old-world model of political and social organization based on identification with racial groups

To end racial inequality, Canada must embrace equal rights and obligationsColumnist and author Richard Gwyn wrote that the 1950s was a time “when Canadians came to realize and believe that a ‘new nationality’ could be political rather than ethnic, or composed of  values and attitudes, rather than races.” Gwyn, author of Nation Maker – Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times, a biography of Canada’s first prime…

How do we fairly welcome trans athletes to playing fields?

The general approach should be to have experts in each sport come together and decide on the specific rules for allowing fair competition

How do we fairly welcome trans athletes to playing fields?Most of the sports issues I write about are pretty straightforward – at least in my mind. The solutions seem pretty clear. Do big-time college athletes deserve a bigger slice of the billions being made from their efforts? Undoubtedly. In an era in which childhood obesity is at epidemic levels, and teenage anxiety, depression and…

Troubling trends for human rights in China and India

Genocide is the outcome of nationalistic, populist movements that tolerate hate speech and discrimination and incite violence

Troubling trends for human rights in China and IndiaIf left unaddressed, the rising extremism and persecutions in China and India will undermine the well-being of millions of people. These acts will also set a precedent the international community will regret for generations, both in terms of the human cost and the undermining of many gains made in human rights over the past several…

Poverty often at the root of racism, hate

Teaching critical thinking skills is vital in promoting honest and respectful dialogue. Yet schools are underfunded

Poverty often at the root of racism, hateEarly-20th-century electrical engineer Charles Proteus Steinmetz said, “There are no foolish questions and no man becomes a fool until he stops asking questions.” Steinmetz is right. Asking questions is vital in seeking truth and finding wisdom. Many things are happening in the world where the narrative perpetrated simply doesn’t make sense. We’re told, for example,…

Good Seuss, bad Seuss, less Seuss, no Seuss?

Ignoring, desensitizing or eliminating history is the wrong approach. Learning, engaging and explaining will have a more positive effect

Good Seuss, bad Seuss, less Seuss, no Seuss?Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel was one of the world’s most influential authors of children’s literature. The talented political cartoonist, illustrator and poet released over 60 memorable and beloved tales. Those tales included The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories, Bartholomew and the Oobleck, Green Eggs and…

New scholarship encourages law students to champion racial justice

Scotiabank launches nationwide scholarship supporting future lawyers tackling systemic discrimination and creating change

New scholarship encourages law students to champion racial justiceStudents in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law who are invested in combatting racism and promoting inclusivity will have more opportunities to put their passion into practice thanks to a new Scotiabank scholarship program. The Scotiabank Program for Law Students launched nationwide recently with the goal of increasing the number of future lawyers who are tackling…

Identity politics is an evil virus spreading across society

This obsession with identity can do nothing good for a society that values equality of treatment of all its people

Identity politics is an evil virus spreading across societyOn my desk is a commemorative plate honouring the 1966 Grey Cup champions, the Saskatchewan Roughriders. It includes the pictures of Canadian Football League legend Ronnie Lancaster and his teammates. A quick scan of these portraits reveals something odd: just three of the players are black. If one looks at the rosters of other CFL…

Lose sight of justice and society starves

Trump poured gasoline on the flames of misogyny and racism and put the lives of millions of people at risk

Lose sight of justice and society starvesAmer Zahr, a teacher of Islamic law, points out that while eating pork is forbidden, it’s allowed out of necessity in cases of extreme hunger. Zahr is also a Palestinian-American comedian, and in a recent monologue, he stated that in the 2020 presidential election he chose ham over starvation. He has a point. Much of…

How stigma makes pandemics worse for marginalized groups

COVID-19 isn’t affecting everyone equally, says U of A diversity expert who recommends ways to help overcome harmful biases

How stigma makes pandemics worse for marginalized groupsThe assumption that pandemics affect everyone equally is wrong and is helping to unnecessarily stigmatize socio-economically disadvantaged groups, according to a University of Alberta diversity expert. “If we are focusing on the aspect of stigma and bias alone, viruses or bacteria might have an address,” said Helly Goez, a pediatric neurologist in the Faculty of Medicine &…

Lack of online access a barrier for athletes with disabilities

Vast majority of athletics websites make it hard for people with disabilities to see themselves participating in sport, U of A researcher finds

Lack of online access a barrier for athletes with disabilitiesDespite overtures to the contrary, para-athletes remain largely invisible within the vast majority of Canadian athletics websites, according to a University of Alberta study showing access to sport for people with disabilities is all but completely missing online. Danielle Peers, a professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation and Canada Research Chair in Disability and…
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