Taxes are wise and necessary investments

This is the time of year we are all compelled to think about taxes. A few of us might get excited about the prospect of receiving a refund, but most of us dread this annual chore and would rather do without it. This time of year also presents us with an opportunity to reflect onContinue reading “Taxes are wise and necessary investments”

COVID-19 vaccine policies explained

Following a worrisome wait for a renewed supply of COVID-19 vaccines, many Albertans now have the opportunity to receive their vaccine much sooner than expected.  Many are pleased at the accelerated timelines and are ready to roll up their sleeves, but some are anxious or confused about the evolving COVID-19 vaccine recommendations. COVID-19 vaccine guidelinesContinue reading “COVID-19 vaccine policies explained”

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”