No Senate reform without public engagement

Allowing politicians alone to change the Senate creates a system that suits their interests ahead of the common good

No Senate reform without public engagementCanada needs to finally have a broad conversation about Senate reform before politicians and interest groups transform the institution without the participation of average citizens. The federal government has introduced a bill in the Senate that would formally recognize the Senate changes the Liberal government has been introducing since its first election in 2015. These…

Why private operation of public parks makes sense

Partnerships with private operators bring significant efficiencies and revenue sources for the public

Why private operation of public parks makes senseManitobans shouldn’t be afraid of the government partnering with the private sector to run public services such as provincial parks. Research shows these partnership agreements with private operators are quite common, are often well run, and bring significant efficiencies and revenue sources for the public. In 2020, the provincial government passed a law allowing companies…

Harmonizing Canadian law with UNDRIP can’t be forced

Would require that Indigenous peoples receive free, prior and informed consent for anything that affects their lands or rights

Harmonizing Canadian law with UNDRIP can’t be forcedCanada’s Senate or an election are the only things that could amend or end a badly-worded and contentious bill that seeks to harmonize federal laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Bill C-15 has received third reading in the House of Commons and now goes to the Senate for…

Can First Nations truly be autonomous in all things?

Ensuring access to safe drinking water isn’t simple. It may require guidance and even intervention by the federal government

Can First Nations truly be autonomous in all things?Self-determination for Indigenous communities can prevent meeting certain standards or goals, especially if the federal government takes a hands-off approach. This can be the problem when it comes to ensuring all First Nations have access to safe drinking water, which isn’t a simple matter. It has never been only about providing the necessary funds (whatever…

Indigenous housing crisis can be solved using market forces

Only the private sector can deliver the high-quality housing that reserves need. Government waiting lists will never catch up

Indigenous housing crisis can be solved using market forcesAdequate housing – especially in remote and northern locations – is an intractable problem facing First Nation communities. The high cost of housing in these locations and the never-ending cycle of backlogs plague reserve communities across Canada. The federal government must pledge to make housing a commitment on the same level as safe drinking water…

New Nova Scotia premier must seize opportunity for economic change

Nova Scotia is envied for its commitment to the environment. But it must also more aggressively encourage resources and startups

New Nova Scotia premier must seize opportunity for economic changeThe Nova Scotia Liberal Party has chosen a new leader so it’s important to think about the policy priorities of the province’s new premier, Iain Rankin. Although an election doesn’t need to be held until spring 2022, Elections Nova Scotia is already preparing for one as early as April 1 of this year. The premier…

History shows a path to resolve lobster fisheries dispute

Non-Indigenous fishers in Atlantic region need not be worried that Indigenous rights will come at the expense of conservation

History shows a path to resolve lobster fisheries disputeA dispute in Ontario may help us understand ongoing tensions over the lobster fisheries on the East Coast and offer a solution. The war over Indigenous fishing rights has played out before in Canada. As we reflect on recent violence in Nova Scotia over the lobster fisheries, it’s important to know if there are any…

Energy sector key to reviving post-pandemic Canadian economy

2021 perfect opportunity for the feds to demonstrate its commitment to a sector critical to the Canadian prosperity

Energy sector key to reviving post-pandemic Canadian economyIf only the federal government would put its full force behind the energy sector, as it does other critical sectors in the economy. In early October, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he wouldn’t back down from the latest American round of attacks on Canada’s softwood lumber industry. Then, the federal government announced it would pursue…

First Nations need safe drinking water now

The government should be bolder on reform commitments and less grandiose in its promises

First Nations need safe drinking water nowCanada and its Indigenous communities should finally commit this year to making the systemic reforms needed to ensure First Nations drinking water standards are the same as the rest of the country. For starters, Indigenous communities ought to experiment with more regional water authority agreements to deliver safe drinking water. In late 2020, Indigenous Services…

A lost economic opportunity in northern B.C.

Windy Craggy is a perfect example of how misguided environmental activism is fuelling northern alienation

A lost economic opportunity in northern B.C.A World Heritage Site designation continues to prevent development of one of the largest cobalt and copper deposits in North America. That lack of development is denying opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. And it serves as an example of how environmental activism is fuelling northern alienation. Windy Craggy is in northwestern British Columbia, about…

CBC has outlived its usefulness

The policy rationale for the existence of the CBC no longer meets the reality of the modern age

CBC has outlived its usefulnessThe Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) should go the way of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corp. (FFMC). In 1969, the federal government passed the Freshwater Fish Marketing Act (FFMA). It created a federal Crown corporation that acted as the sole buyer of freshwater fish caught in western Canada, northern Canada and parts of northern Ontario. The…

Why Canada needs to develop its zinc deposits

Zinc is a critical ingredient in a variety of products, including soap. In the midst of a pandemic, we need to ensure supply

Why Canada needs to develop its zinc depositsZinc is an important ingredient in disinfectants such as soap, so it plays an important role in preventing the spread of COVID-19. As we know, the twin pillars of COVID-19 prevention are social distancing and washing your hands properly. So mining this bluish-white metal is important to Canada’s strategy for addressing the pandemic at home.…

Fracking can lift the Maritimes out of economic doldrums

Fracking can lift the Maritimes out of economic doldrumsThe economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic should include Nova Scotia and New Brunswick lifting restrictions on natural gas fracking. Natural gas prices are low but that won’t last forever. Energy industry observers say the natural gas supply glut existed even well before the pandemic. However, the oversupply problems seem to be worse for American…

Mainstream media glosses over Indigenous issues

Media need time and resources to understand the issues and seek a range of views within the Indigenous world

Mainstream media glosses over Indigenous issuesYears ago, I was given a great opportunity to be the lead reporter and edit for a national Indigenous newspaper based in Winnipeg, the Drum/First Perspective. The paper no longer exists but the job changed my life in so many ways. I learned much and encountered many Indigenous people across Canada. I profiled many leading…
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