Resilience and self-reliance key to pandemic recovery

COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Canada were reduced in recent weeks and Canadians have felt frustrated and helpless at being asked to wait.  We have watched with envy as other countries manufactured vaccines and inoculated their citizens. Canada was similarly vulnerable at the beginning of the pandemic when countries scrambled to procure adequate supplies of masks,Continue reading “Resilience and self-reliance key to pandemic recovery”

Engaged citizens make a difference

Global pandemic. Economic collapse. Partisan politics. Albertans may well have reason to despair as we face 2021.  But there is hope. Hope that comes in the form of people like you and me. Engaged citizens are ordinary people who do ordinary things to make extraordinary change. Engaged citizens build a better world by engaging with socialContinue reading “Engaged citizens make a difference”

COVID-19 vaccine brings hope for the new year

Last week, Health Canada announced approval of the first vaccine against COVID-19 infection for use in Canada. The development of highly effective vaccines against a virus that we couldn’t name a year ago will surely go down in history as an unequalled biomedical triumph.   The vaccine development process normally takes decades, not months, to accomplish. Continue reading “COVID-19 vaccine brings hope for the new year”

Privatizing health care is no panacea

Alberta’s UCP government is looking to privatization as a cure for what ails Alberta’s public health care system. Bill 30 allows for-profit corporations to bill the government directly for medical services and 30% of surgeries conducted in Alberta will be done in private facilities by 2023.  Despite ample evidence suggesting the opposite, the Kenney governmentContinue reading “Privatizing health care is no panacea”

National Pharmacare: A prescription for change

Canada is the only developed country with universal health care but no national pharmacare program.  In the recent throne speech, the federal Liberals pledged to change that.  But Canadians have heard this before from our government with little action to date. It is time that we hold them to their promise. Drugs account for theContinue reading “National Pharmacare: A prescription for change”

Basic Income: An idea whose time has come

The Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit comes to an end in a few weeks, putting many Canadians in a state of anxiety and insecurity about how they will pay for basics such as food, housing and transportation. Rather than moving back to the Employment Insurance program fraught with problems, the Government of Canada has the opportunityContinue reading “Basic Income: An idea whose time has come”

Impact of COVID-19 on children

Seniors are at highest risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 infection but children may suffer effects from the pandemic over an entire lifetime. The direct impact of COVID-19 on children is usually asymptomatic or mild infection with only rare hospitalization or ICU admission.   But, the impact of school closures, economic shutdowns and socialContinue reading “Impact of COVID-19 on children”

Public policy determines health and well-being

If you have read my previous commentaries, you may have found yourself wondering why a medical doctor would write about public policy. In the first twenty years of my career, I worked in clinics, emergency rooms and intensive care units.  Sometimes, it seemed that no matter how hard I worked or how much I caredContinue reading “Public policy determines health and well-being”

A new vision for our towns and cities

Our small mountain towns are joining the ranks of world-class cities in pedestrianizing streets in the downtown core.  The Towns of Banff and Canmore are mirroring actions in big cities like Paris, New York and Milan to make more space on downtown streets for people to maintain social distance while enjoying the commercial and recreationalContinue reading “A new vision for our towns and cities”

Re-imagining Work: We can do better

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a great revealer.  While creating new challenges, it is also shining a light on those problems in our society that we have chosen to ignore.   The pandemic has opened our eyes to the plight of seniors in long-term care, inadequate housing on reserves, and crowded shelters for the homeless. AsContinue reading “Re-imagining Work: We can do better”