Effective Policy Needed to Reduce Alcohol-Related Harms

Many of us welcomed in the New Year with a glass of our favourite alcoholic beverage, even if in muted celebration this year. Alcohol is an ubiquitous and accepted part of our culture, associated with times of festivity, socializing with friends and family and relaxing after a hard day at work. While there are social,Continue reading “Effective Policy Needed to Reduce Alcohol-Related Harms”

The opioid crisis rages on

In the last five years, there has been an alarming increase in deaths related to opioid overdoses. Over 22,000 Canadians – the majority of them in the prime of their lives – have succumbed to fatal overdoses since 2016. These numbers are comparable to lives lost in Canada due to COVID-19 infections, yet we areContinue reading “The opioid crisis rages on”

Children and Youth in Mental Health Crisis

On October 19, 2021, the American Association of Pediatrics declared a national emergency in children’s mental health. They cited soaring rates of depression, anxiety, trauma and loneliness in American children and youth as reasons for this unprecedented declaration. The picture is no less grim in Canada. Even before the pandemic, poor mental health was rankedContinue reading “Children and Youth in Mental Health Crisis”

Help wanted in the hospitality industry

There is a scarcity of hospitality workers in Alberta and across Canada. According to Statistics Canada, the number of unfilled hospitality jobs in Canada have almost doubled since before the pandemic. How can we reconcile the labour shortage lamented by the hospitality sector with high unemployment rates across the country? A recent study by theContinue reading “Help wanted in the hospitality industry”

Everyone deserves to share in the bounty of our land

As harvest time approaches, many of us look forward to sharing food-laden tables with close friends and family. It is a time of plenty and conviviality. Sadly, this will not be the case for 13% of Canadians who are food insecure – those of us who do not have access to food of sufficient quantityContinue reading “Everyone deserves to share in the bounty of our land”

Human values unite us

We hear much about polarization in society these days, and with upcoming federal and municipal elections, the rhetoric around what divides us will become heightened. But the truth is that when it comes down to it, Canadians and Albertans have much more in common with each other than politicians and the media will have usContinue reading “Human values unite us”

Transformative change needed in care for seniors

In the wake of horrors laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic in our senior care facilities, the Government of Alberta commissioned a review of facility-based continuing care in the province.   Recommendations from the government-appointed panel were released at the end of last month. The report makes several important recommendations on improving quality of lifeContinue reading “Transformative change needed in care for seniors”

Federal-provincial cooperation a must in childcare

Canada is the weakest investor in early learning and childcare among wealthy countries and, not surprisingly, we rate last in meeting early childhood development objectives. However, this state of affairs may be dramatically altered by the $30 billion dollar investment in high-quality childcare announced in the federal budget last month. Early learning and childcare areContinue reading “Federal-provincial cooperation a must in childcare”

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”

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”