Canadians (and especially Canadian politicians) seem to often work from the assumption that so much has been spent on developing Alberta’s oil sands that Canada is now committed to continuing with the project. There are many problems with the argument. Particularly when it comes to new investments, it could be seen as a case of […]


A carbon tax is a liberty-respecting, economically efficient mechanism to help address the threat of climate change and build a sustainable, prosperous society. It ought to be welcomed and supported by policy-savvy fair-minded conservatives who want to live up to their ideals while stewarding the integrity of the planet for future generations. Meanwhile in Canada: […]

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Steve Paikin’s show on TVO is a video equivalent to CBC’s The Current, in that they both tackle matters of going political importance, tend to get into the substantive matters involved, and feature hosts that press guests to go beyond sound bites. The recent segment with author Chris Hedges on American decline – “The Collapse […]


Climate change activists often (plausibly) assert that “the science is settled” and present themselves as the informed contrast to people whose lack of scientific understanding or manipulation by fossil fuel actors has left them with the false belief that climate change isn’t happening. At Toronto’s smallish Rise for Climate march on Saturday, I saw at […]


One frequent talking point from people who see no problem with continuing to enlarge the bitumen sands is that action by countries like Canada is pointless as long as larger places like India and China continue to build large amounts of coal capacity. The Economist recently reported (in an issue with a cover story about […]


There’s a lot that’s unnerving about the rise of China: their no-questions-asked support for authoritarian regimes, the worsening arms race they are in with the US and others, the surveillance state they have developed, and their massive contribution to climate change, to start with. One element that hits close to home is how their gaokao […]


The question of control is a touchy one. No segment of the population feels powerlessness more acutely than Downtown Eastside drug addicts. Even the average citizen finds it difficult to question medical authority, for a host of cultural and psychological reasons. As an authority figure, the doctor triggers deeply ingrained feelings of childhood powerlessness in […]


I got an email from Greyhound which confirmed recent headlines: We are permanently cancelling all Greyhound Canada services in the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In British Columbia, we are cancelling all services as well. This is a shame both for me personally and in general. It means the train is now the only […]


Universal mail services are interesting to consider, both in terms of the relationship between universal social needs and the government provision of services and because of how they illustrate connections between public policy and technology. It’s important to define what I mean, because it’s distinct from the broader category of delivery services, which are provided […]


Canada’s continued enthusiasm for new fossil fuel production not only helps undermine the world’s chances of dealing with climate change, but it also threatens Canada’s future economic prosperity as one of the dirtiest and highest-cost producers of a commodity that may see sharply declining demand. A recent special report in The Economist said: Yet the […]