How to save your summer vacation from COVID-19

Thinking differently about leisure time can help you get a family getaway despite the pandemic, say experts

How to save your summer vacation from COVID-19How do we keep COVID-19 from ruining our precious vacation time, with international borders closed to travellers, festivals cancelled, parks, camping and cottage visits limited, and even small events like garage sales forbidden? There are ways to salvage summer plans – but it means thinking differently about our leisure time, say University of Alberta experts.…

Isolation will bring epidemic of domestic violence, suicide

Did anyone think about how many people will die as a result of the unnatural conditions forced upon us?

Isolation will bring epidemic of domestic violence, suicideThere are always unintended consequences to government actions, especially those hastily adopted. So Canada’s COVID-19 policies could result in an epidemic of deaths and injuries due to domestic violence and suicide attempts. During the 24 years that I practised family law, I observed a large influx of separation and divorce cases every January and September.…

Alberta throws a stick of dynamite into education system

Being tested and labelled at an early age can have a devastating effect on a child’s self-esteem and intellectual potential

Alberta throws a stick of dynamite into education systemIf Steve Bannon isn’t on the Alberta government’s payroll, he certainly is its muse. Bannon is the notorious former strategic adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump. His views on the benefits of disruption might well inform Premier Jason Kenney’s government tactics of mass disruption in many sectors. These include the most vital areas of health…

It’s time we taught our youth resilience

It’s time we taught our youth resilienceThe old order has passed – the one where parents and grandparents could teach their offspring everything they needed to know. Now, there’s no need to teach the kids even the basic three Rs of reading, ’riting and ’rithmatic. Most have learned to read (if not spell) by themselves as they start texting each other…

Municipalities must take the lead in getting the lead out

The astonishing levels of lead in Canada’s drinking water requires action. That means taking simple measures at the local level, aided by federal incentives

Municipalities must take the lead in getting the lead outBy Paz Gómez Research Associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy Canadians have been exposed to a silent health hazard for more than 40 years: high levels of lead in tap water. Although a clear case of municipal mismanagement, Toronto shows the issue can be handled at the local level with minimal federal oversight – given…

Canada needs a comprehensive child and youth mental health strategy

Mental illnesses can often be prevented from developing, or becoming more severe and difficult to treat, by offering help to young people

Canada needs a comprehensive child and youth mental health strategyBy Mariette Chartier and Marni Brownell University of Manitoba Mental illness is the most common illness found in Canada's children and teens. We all know a young person who struggles with depression, anxiety, an addiction or a behavioural disorder. Mental illness causes high levels of distress in children and can significantly interfere with their lives. But mental illnesses can…

Crossing the line from eco-activism to emotional eco-terrorism

No other country has so deliberately turned itself into a climate-change martyr. Yet our sacrifices will have no perceptible impact

Crossing the line from eco-activism to emotional eco-terrorismIt’s been almost three decades since delegates from 172 countries, meeting at the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, adopted the Climate Change Convention. U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data show that since then the Earth’s temperature has risen an average of 0.03°C per year. At that rate, the planet will warm 2.4°…

Mentorship programs for troubled youth foster respect for others

Canadian governments should be investing in youth mentorship programs to help build an inclusive, supportive and more progressive society

Mentorship programs for troubled youth foster respect for othersBy Suzanne Tough and Nicole Letourneau University of Calgary The youth of any society constitute the promise of the future – and many of our youth are in trouble. They’re growing up in a divided society. Ethnic, gender and political tensions are at seemingly combustible levels – not just south of the border but in Canada,…

Grocery stores bulking up on ultra-processed foods

Far too many products in Canada’s stores give us lots of calories but little nutrition. And we have dangerously abandoned cooking and meal-time routines

Grocery stores bulking up on ultra-processed foodsIn the 1960s, the biggest supermarkets only carried 10,000 items or fewer. Big supermarkets today offer almost 40,000 products. To be sure, among those extra items are more kinds of fresh fruits, vegetables and non-food items. But not 30,000. The vast majority of the additional food items are a huge range of ready-to-eat products from…

The family that reads together, thrives together

Almost nine million Canadians can’t read well enough to perform everyday tasks. We need a cultural shift to a family-centred approach to literacy

The family that reads together, thrives togetherBy Erin Schryer Elementary Literacy Inc. and Nicole Letourneau University of Calgary Two out of five Canadian adults – nearly nine million people – can’t read well enough to perform everyday tasks. Reading difficulties start early. Children who aren’t reading well by the end of Grade 1 are never likely to read well. Reduced literacy…
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