U of A wildfire expert to head up national research network

New $5-million federal investment will bring together top wildfire scientists to help manage ecosystems, protect communities

U of A wildfire expert to head up national research networkThe University of Alberta will be home to a federal government network whose mission will be to make Canada more resilient to wildfire. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s Canadian Wildfire Strategic Network, in which the federal government is investing $5 million, will bring the best minds in wildfire science together to train students,…

Want to pay for medical supplies? Stop funding CBC

Our health-care budgets were already greatly strained before the COVID-19 crisis; they’re completely blown out now

Want to pay for medical supplies? Stop funding CBCTwo of the major issues arising from the current medical emergency and lockdown are how much it would cost to prepare for a similar crisis and how Canadians would pay for it (as well as pay for the one we’re enduring). The N95 particulate mask is deemed necessary to ensure that neither the wearer nor…

Canada’s PPE missteps endangered its citizens

Canada has the raw materials and the industry to ensure its health system is prepared for the next big pandemic

Canada’s PPE missteps endangered its citizensCanada has its priorities all wrong when it comes to personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturing and distribution. Through a series of missteps, the government put its citizens in danger. Negligence and mismanagement resulted in Canada shipping away vital PPE supplies, allowing foreign entities to purchase existing stock, and later importing poor-quality replacements at a time…

Four strategies to help avoid the next pandemic

U of A virus expert offers recommendations that would be easier to implement and enforce than other public health measures

Four strategies to help avoid the next pandemicNew viruses emerge every few years that threaten humanity: HIV, swine flu, SARS, Ebola, Zika, MERS and now COVID-19. Unfortunately, the only drugs that can combat a viral pandemic are antiviral therapies – although most antivirals don’t work very well – or vaccines, most of which work incredibly well. Vaccines for newly emerging viral diseases…

Abject failure in U.S., India in face of COVID-19 crisis

India has failed its citizens, especially the vulnerable. The U.S. has hobbled from one makeshift policy fiasco to another

Abject failure in U.S., India in face of COVID-19 crisisThe largest democracy and the most powerful nation in the world have both been left disrobed of their pageantry and power by COVID-19, shamefully failing their citizens and revealing their disintegrating moral façade. It’s said that the measure of a person is not what they do when things are going well, but rather how they…

How Canada can confront future pandemics

Our leaders should have ways to handle a public health disaster without throwing half the population into penury

How Canada can confront future pandemicsMost of the nations in the developed world, including Canada, were unprepared for the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. So we need to examine what steps should be taken to forestall or substantially mitigate the next microbial conflagration. While the current main weapon – the medieval quarantine – might still be part of the future arsenal, more…

Federal government failed to prepare for pandemic

There’s a difference between what Ottawa says about its preparedness and the reality. The results in the face of COVID-19 could be tragic

Federal government failed to prepare for pandemicPrime Minister Justin Trudeau finally says Canada is moving aggressively to procure diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and the personal protective equipment (masks, face shields, gloves, gowns) that front-line health-care workers require to carry out their duties during a pandemic. Without adequate quantities of those supplies, it’s impossible for doctors to determine who is infected, to…

Ten key messages to navigating a crisis

How can we draw on the work of futurists and foresight professionals to enhance our responses to the current crisis and increase resilience against future shocks?

Ten key messages to navigating a crisisWithin the futurist community there is much hand wringing and frustration at the extent to which leaders, decision makers, and policy advisors have ignored past advice and countless preparedness studies for governments, businesses, and civil society. Since the 1960’s the stock in trade of much futurist work has been to advise on both the range…

Are Canadians prepared if the power grid fails?

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack could devastate modern society and result in massive casualties

Are Canadians prepared if the power grid fails?On Feb. 2, thousands of Canadians lost by a landslide – and most weren’t even in politics! Ordinary citizens found normal life interrupted for days after a landslide near North Bend, B.C., cut fibre optic cables. Phone and Internet service was disrupted all weekend. Vancouver parking meters stopped working. Calgary security alarms started malfunctioning. But…

Is Canada heading to a national emergency?

Ignorant, selfish actions by some Canadians put fellow citizens in harm’s way. It must stop now, even if the measures are drastic

Is Canada heading to a national emergency?“We’ve all seen the pictures online of the people who seem to think they’re invincible. Well, you’re not. Enough is enough. Go home and stay home. This is what we all need to be doing. And we’re going to make sure this happens, whether by educating people more on the risks or by enforcing the…