U of A is the world’s 64th most sustainable university

Ranking acknowledges what the university has been doing and how it has been contributing to sustainability

U of A is the world’s 64th most sustainable universityThe University of Alberta has been named one of the world’s top 100 most sustainable post-secondary institutions for its ongoing efforts creating sustainability on campus and in the local and global community. According to the third annual Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Ranking, which lists participating universities by their contribution to a list of 17…

A path to prosperity for Indigenous communities

Building viable businesses and services on First Nations is the best way to build self-respect, self-determination and self-reliance

A path to prosperity for Indigenous communitiesThere’s little doubt that the condition of Indigenous people is desperate in Canada, especially for those living in the 600 or so small, isolated First Nations communities. Most Canadians know some facts about the quality of lives of the people in these communities but let’s refresh our minds with a few statistics. First Nations have…

Compassion and reform, not walls, will halt the flood of refugees

The only way to stop people from fleeing their countries is to hold their governments' culpable for their citizen's suffering

Compassion and reform, not walls, will halt the flood of refugeesEven when boundaries define arbitrary lines between territories, they embody deeper symbolic, cultural, historical and religious meaning that’s often contested for legitimacy. Our belief that borders are indisputable has at times led to remarkable efforts to establish permanent barriers as statements of sovereignty and against foreign intrusion. The Great Wall of China, built for defence…

Canada must stand up to China now

The Chinese government wants to dominate all other nations, seeking submission on its terms. We must resist

Canada must stand up to China nowThe vote by Canada’s Parliament to declare the actions of the Chinese government a genocide against the Uyghur people highlights the growing discordance between Western democracies and the increasingly repressive and aggressive Chinese regime. The Chinese government also engages in cultural repression, surveillance or discrimination against its Tibetan, Mongolian and Korean minorities. China has benefited…

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…

The return of the Armenian Genocide must be stopped

Putting the health of the people in the South Caucasus at risk puts us all at risk. Diseases spread and mutate rapidly in refugee camps

The return of the Armenian Genocide must be stoppedWhen teaching history, it’s rare that an issue more than 100 years old becomes a current events lesson, but that’s what happened as I began teaching about the Armenian Genocide. The Ottoman Empire is responsible for the death of 1.5 million Armenians, primarily under the cover of the First World War. The empire collapsed after…

Trudeau has eroded Canada’s place in the world

The image of the hip and virtuous leader that some media and voters hold of our prime minister is not what leaders of other nations see

Trudeau has eroded Canada’s place in the worldAfter boastfully declaring that he would enhance Canada’s place on the international scene, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau failed in his bid to secure a United Nations Security Council seat. Canada’s place in the world has been effectively eroded under his watch. Foreign policy matters, so Trudeau is right in drawing attention to it in his…

Canada’s foreign policy needs a course correction

We can’t simply watch global events unfold. We have a valuable contribution to make and we’re up to the challenge

Canada’s foreign policy needs a course correctionCanada’s foreign policy has strayed from its traditional path, losing the traction it once had on the world stage. Canada’s last two attempts to secure a seat as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council failed. Our international standing as a neutral middle power and an honest broker has lost its shine. Our…

Canada’s foreign policy isn’t what it used to be

Unfortunately, the list of ethical failures by the current Liberal government is very long

Canada’s foreign policy isn’t what it used to beCanada recently failed in a bid to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. It’s something neither Stephen Harper’s nor Justin Trudeau’s government has been able to achieve. The last time Canada was on the Security Council was when Jean Chretien was prime minister in 2000. Before that, it was during the…

We can – and must – stop our plastic legacy

Countless animals ingest plastics and die. Do we care? Do we care that these plastics are now in the human food chain?

We can – and must – stop our plastic legacyWe often see news items about the environmental impact of single-use plastic straws. And we want to do something, which is good. Costa Rica plans to ban single-use plastics. At a recent G7 summit, the nations condemned single use straws and said they will discuss the matter at a future meeting. But no action has…

Can Canada lead a global push to eradicate poverty?

First we need to deal with our own problems, starting with the huge inequities among our Indigenous peoples

Can Canada lead a global push to eradicate poverty?Despite our best efforts towards eliminating poverty and inequality, large segments of society remain left behind. Problems seem to outpace rhetoric. Worse, governments face huge challenges in meeting their obligations and commitments. We face two tragedies: our domestic challenge with poverty and inequality, and the estimated 828 million people globally living in slums (expected to…

Trudeau enlists Clark: a gathering of mediocrity

Trudeau enlists Clark: a gathering of mediocrityPrime Minister Justin Trudeau has had a terrible few weeks, from the Wet’suwet’en solidarity blockades to the collapse of Teck Resources’ $20 billion Frontier mine project. Most world leaders would immediately focus their energies on their domestic economies if faced with such dire financial circumstances. Not Trudeau. The PM remains obsessed with the single-minded goal…

I stand with the Wet’suwet’en people

Divide-and-conquer tactics have been used by colonial powers for hundreds of years to get Indigenous groups to succumb to their wishes

I stand with the Wet’suwet’en peopleCanadians take pride in our identity as a peaceful nation that celebrates diversity. These are indeed wonderful ideals but to be authentic, they need to be lived. In 1990, a community in Quebec wanted to expand its golf course and claimed the right to traditional Indigenous lands. The Mohawk people blocked this process and when…

Trudeau throwing away Canada’s future for a seat at the UN table

The government has compounded the problem of stalled pipeline projects by adopting UNDRIP, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People

Trudeau throwing away Canada’s future for a seat at the UN tableIn 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a stunning decision with profound impact on the future development of our country. For more than a century, Indigenous title had been limited to the immediate environs around settlements. The court ruling vastly expanded it to “tracts of land that were regularly used for hunting, fishing or…

UNDRIP is the slow drip eroding Canadians’ rights

There are good reasons why other countries and previous Canadian governments have consistently refused to fully implement the UN declaration on Indigenous rights

UNDRIP is the slow drip eroding Canadians’ rightsBritish Columbia has become the first province to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). And except for the opposition of a determined group of Conservative senators, the federal government would have adopted UNDRIP as actionable law before last fall’s federal election. Re-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already announced…

Plant health a decidedly human issue

Climate change knows no borders and neither should science. And when it comes to plant science, Canada is a force to be reckoned with

Plant health a decidedly human issueEvery year, the United Nations promotes something that it believes warrants attention and it has declared 2020 the International Year of Plant Health. Celebrating plant health and bringing more awareness to the issue is well worth pursuing. Plants represent about 80 per cent of everything we eat. And animals raised on farms, of course, eat…

Crossing the line from eco-activism to emotional eco-terrorism

No other country has so deliberately turned itself into a climate-change martyr. Yet our sacrifices will have no perceptible impact

Crossing the line from eco-activism to emotional eco-terrorismIt’s been almost three decades since delegates from 172 countries, meeting at the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, adopted the Climate Change Convention. U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data show that since then the Earth’s temperature has risen an average of 0.03°C per year. At that rate, the planet will warm 2.4°…

Humanity faces a huge and growing crisis

The number of displaced, marginalized and impoverished people continues to grow. How we handle this will determine mankind’s future

Humanity faces a huge and growing crisisAt any given time, there are about 20 million people on the move in the world. When there’s war, terrorism, extreme weather events or other disruptions, this can grow to 80 million people trying to get to safety. We hear of illegal immigrants crossing borders and thousands of people walking north through Central America to…

University’s Indigenous strategy is a threat to academic standards

Document contains serious flaws and constitutes an unprecedented threat to academic freedom and freedom of inquiry

University’s Indigenous strategy is a threat to academic standardsIn September 2018, the Office of Academic Indigenization provided Mount Royal University (MRU) faculty with a document entitled Indigenizing Mount Royal’s Curricula: A Call For Engagement. This document affirmed the Calgary university’s commitment “to indigenizing its curricula to ensure that all students graduate with a basic understanding of Indigenous content informed by Indigenous perspectives,” and…

Canada falling behind on corporate accountability

Trudeau government’s global reputation at risk over how Canadian companies do business abroad

Canada falling behind on corporate accountabilityEarlier this year, Canadians were given a behind-the-scenes view on attempts by the federal government to ensure that SNC-Lavalin would escape potential criminal liability under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act. What may be less clear is that the government’s stance in this case is reflective of its broader approach to corporate accountability. The…

Why helping the downtrodden around the world helps us all

The idea that you can wall build walls and create quarantines is as ridiculous as it is dangerous

Why helping the downtrodden around the world helps us allWhen we carefully examine fear, we can see that it’s mostly irrational. Legitimate fear is a good thing, however, because it pushes us to eliminate actual dangers to our well-being. During the Cold War, the threat of a nuclear Armageddon was very real. Many of us took up the task of changing global conditions by…

What CBC gets wrong about the crisis in Venezuela

The Maduro regime has inflicted massive human suffering. You wouldn't know that by watching the National

What CBC gets wrong about the crisis in VenezuelaIn the early 2000s, CBC faced charges of deep-seated left-wing bias. In recent years, it cleaned up its act and is rated centre-left by Media Bias/Fact Check, a website that rates accuracy and political bias in news media. Not unbiased but a big improvement from where it was. Yet, the CBC’s flagship National newscast recently…

Suing oil companies over climate change will only hurt taxpayers

Precious little good will can come from Victoria city council's campaign, but it will certainly cost a great deal of money

Suing oil companies over climate change will only hurt taxpayersThe City of Victoria wants to round up municipalities to sue oil companies for damages from climate change. Not only is such a case virtually impossible to prove, it’s also full of rich ironies. Weather-related damages, termed “perils” in Canadian insurance plans, are more commonly called acts of God. How ironic that environmentalists envision the…

We can’t let outside powers dictate law in Canada

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples should be treated as nothing more than an aspirational document

We can’t let outside powers dictate law in CanadaThe final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission called for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) to become law in Canada. This is a very bad idea for many reasons. Enacting a law that would make all legislation subject to UNDRIP could render Canada virtually ungovernable. Justice Minister Jody…

The clear and present danger of climate change

Who best to convey this message of impending calamity in contemporary society?

The clear and present danger of climate changeWhat’s the best way to ensure that humanity gets the severity of our impending climate crisis and acts to forestall or prevent its full-scale onslaught? The question is particularly pertinent given that the science is well founded and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is well informed – even while the oil and…

It’s time for economic and social paradigm shifts

For far too many people, life is losing its lustre. Here's a systemic remedy that will take us into a new era of prosperity

It’s time for economic and social paradigm shiftsDay by day, the storm signals are more evident. Let’s start with Peak America. It’s no longer the world’s top economy (China’s gross domestic product is $22 trillion compared to America’s $19 trillion), suffers under bitterly tribalized politics and is led by an oligarch with a growing list of symptoms of aged maladies. Are would-be…

Globalism trumped by Trump’s international vision

Many thought his staunch nationalism would kill the economy and spark international conflict. They were wrong

Globalism trumped by Trump’s international vision“In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country,” U.S. President Donald Trump recently told the United Nations. His overstatement inspired some chuckles, to which he quipped, “So true. … Didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s okay,” he smiled as the laughter grew, overtaken…

Healthy nations need healthy boundaries

If the world has anything to teach Canada, it’s not how to treat migrants. It’s how to deliver health care for its own

Healthy nations need healthy boundariesAre you a big-hearted person who likes to help everyone? If so, you probably suffered a phase where you offered too much of yourself: heart, time and money. Then you realized if you gave out too much, you would just plain give out. Despite your best efforts, there would always be more people in need…

John McCain’s legacy of public service and sacrifice

In the selfish era of Donald Trump, McCain’s life offered a shining example of how to serve with distinction

John McCain’s legacy of public service and sacrificeIt’s hard for Canadian citizens to take the full measure of an American politician like John McCain, whose route to public service glory began in the combat of the Vietnam War. Our country doesn’t particularly valourize the military and those who serve, unless perhaps they do peacekeeping missions with the United Nations overseas. McCain’s career…

Worried about the alt-right? Be the anti-right

The best way to reduce the possibility of more alt-right-inspired violence is to confront its narratives head on

Worried about the alt-right? Be the anti-rightBy John Grant Western University and Fiona MacDonald University of the Fraser Valley One year since the violent alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., and months since the Toronto van attack, Canadians can legitimately worry about increased political violence. The images of angry white men marching openly in Nazi regalia loom large alongside the revelation that…