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”

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”

Public schools matter

Universal access to publicly-funded healthcare is a source of national pride and a social policy that Canadians are willing to go to great lengths to defend.  But how passionate are we about preserving a robust public education system?  Recent events locally and provincially challenge our resolve on this very issue.  Exshaw School is under threatContinue reading “Public schools matter”