THERE is something bracing about decisiveness. A matter is considered, the pros and cons weighed, a conclusion is reached, and acted on. There’s no unnecessary hesitation, no delay beyond that which is prudent.

There is something magical about Bangladesh. It’s as if the present came into the country but the past refused to leave. Rickshaws and donkey carts weave in and out of BMWs and Toyotas on busy and congested streets, vendors turn samosas and parathas in pans set over coal fires in front of Pi…

I HAD only briefly experienced life in Thunder Bay before deciding to make it my home for medical school in 2014. I was born and raised in southern Ontario and had visited just once with my girlfriend to meet her brother and his wife, both of whom had migrated from Sudbury for school.

If you want to change the system— change being the political theme of the day — you have two choices: Complain from a distance and hope that enough people happen to share your concern to grab the attention of relevant authorities. Or get involved.

THIS is not the first time that the term genocide has been used to describe the situation of Indigenous people in Canada. Then it was justified; now it is not. Then it accurately described the actions of the state; now it seems designed to provoke Canadians rather than prod them to address a…

FOR more than a century, provincial tree planting has cut flood risks in Ontario. Rivers have surged over their banks this spring, flooding hundreds of homes, businesses and cottages. The Ottawa, Muskoka, French and Mattagami rivers (and many others) have flooded — and the risk now extends t…

ONE can hardly blame Grassy Narrows First Nation Chief Randy Turtle for refusing to sign an agreement with Ottawa to pursue “a path forward” to deal with the “long-term health needs of the community . . .” After all, it’s been 50 years since the Dryden paper mill operator dumped thousands of…

I SUPPOSE we should always read beyond the headlines. On the editorial page of the May 21 Chronicle-Journal, I saw a guest column by Gwyn Morgan titled “Climate Change Conversation Must Change Focus to Mitigation.”

PREMIER Doug Ford plans to cancel OHIP coverage outside of Canada. With high administrative costs for the program and a nearly $12 billion provincial deficit, such action might have initially seemed reasonable. However, this would violate the Canada Health Act. Furthermore, because of severa…

THE ENVIRONMENTAL bill of rights and the position of environmental commissioner was passed into law in Ontario 25 years ago. It established legally that people in Ontario had the right to participate in government decisions that affect the environment. It was a shift from historical developm…

YOU’D think that if the federal government handed out millions of dollars to companies in order to deliver on a public mandate that it would be a simple thing to find out what happened to that money and those services.

IF TRAGEDY has a home, it is on Canada’s First Nations. The litany of violence and death has become a sadly predictable fixture in this country. Youth suicide. Assault and sexual assault. Rampant drug and alcohol abuse. Unusual disease rates. Substandard housing and services.

THE case being made to Canadian motorists these days is that higher taxes on fuel, and thus higher prices, will force us to conserve any way we can to save money. Fair enough. But what if the pre-tax prices aren’t fair to start with? What if drivers are being gouged?

ON MARCH 28, the Ontario government held a workshop on the future of the Lake Superior caribou. There are likely fewer than 20 caribou left on the North Shore, about 15 on the Slate Islands, and no more than 10 on Caribou Island. During the meeting, attendees raised some concerns over confli…

THE fifth provincial election win by conservatives in the past year carries with it the irony of the first-ever Green party official opposition. Prince Edward Island polls had suggested a truly historic result this week – the first Green government in the country. But polls have a growing te…

INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8. Initiated in the early 1900s as a call to action for women’s rights working in factories, it quickly evolved into a universal movement for women’s rights in recognition of women’s achievements. Many nations now celebrate International Women…

PUBLIC agencies release information and that invariably leads to questions. Perish the thought that these be anticipated and answered at the outset. The prevailing theory seems to be that the public cannot be trusted to analyze things and draw their own conclusions. And so we have spin, set-…

ONTARIO’S recent announcements of the $28.5 billion transit expansion plan for the GTA are welcome, and direly needed for one of the most, if not the most, congested urban agglomeration in North America. However, nowhere are we talking about leveraging these forthcoming investments to ensure…

AS IF frustration levels weren’t high enough in the Hammarskjold High School community, a meeting to discuss a series of violent threats that had closed or locked down the Thunder Bay school 10 times in the past two months was cancelled Thursday when an 11th threat was received. Police must …

THERE are two storms brewing in Canada. Both are political in nature but one is phony while the other is very real and genuinely scary. Ironically, if Canadians believe enough in the former to dump the Liberal government, they will have agreed to delay urgent action on the latter, helping to…

TWO countries. Two leaders. Two mysteries. It’s open season on political speculation in Canada and the United States as the prime minister and president engage in feats of avoidance that keep citizens in the dark on matters of importance.

FOLLOW the money. That was the advice of ‘Deep Throat,’ in the movie All the President’s Men — the story of Richard Nixon and the Watergate burglary. The same could be said when it comes to understanding who is standing in the way of a national pharmacare program in Canada.

CONSERVATIVES on Parliament Hill say they are shocked and appalled at the behaviour of the prime minister in the SNC-Lavalin affair. What about their own behaviour this week?

LIAR, weasel, tyrant, despot. The outrage directed at two particular Canadian political leaders is as varied as the individuals themselves. But Justin Trudeau is so far a victim of faux excess while Doug Ford has lately shown himself to be capable of something other than hare-brained ideas.

IN THE annals of journalism, the early days of 2019 will go down as unusually busy and, depending on outcomes, potentially spectacular.

ONTARIO'S health-care system has been so fractured for so long that an overhaul was overdue. Enter Ontario Health. Is this that? Is the Ford government’s proposed new central agency the answer to declining services, rising costs, “hallway medicine” and a host of other structural deficiencies…

TWENTY-THOUSAND seven hundred. That’s the average number of cars and trucks that travel the Thunder Bay Expressway between Oliver Road and the Harbour Expressway every day. It’s the busiest section of the expressway that will see an additional 500 transport trucks daily once the City of Thun…

USUALLY, the vast distance between Ottawa and Vancouver has been enough to keep the West Coast in a sort of splendid isolation. But lately the relationship has tightened. Disputes over pipelines and oil terminals opposed by some First Nations and a strong environmental lobby; freak weather c…

WHEN did it become OK for our leaders to lie to us? Why can’t we hold them accountable for failing to tell the whole truth? It’s exasperating, it’s counter-productive, it’s wrong, and yet it continues.

OFTEN when people talk about racism and discrimination, the focus is on negative personal interactions. But people that experience racism and discrimination in their daily lives often live with consequences beyond the pain of exclusion or negative interpersonal experiences.

IF POLITICS is a contact sport, as U.S. congressman Steve Chabot has said, then the cabinet is like a hockey team. Not like back in the day, mind you, when teams stayed together for long periods, to gel and excel. Fans knew the players by their association with the team, not as free agents o…

IT APPEARS former judge Brian Giesbrecht has found another member of the legal community who supports his narrow views on the treatment of Canada’s Indigenous peoples. In his latest column, Giesbrecht quotes lawyer Peter Best from Best’s book, There Is No Difference, and asks: “Why can’t Nel…

IF 2018 can be called the year of disappointment, will 2019 be the year that people’s quest for meaningful change is met? There are signs that a fundamental shift in the status quo is underway.

(Originally published Nov. 24, 2018)WHEN we speak of political extremes we tend to think of dictators in charge of banana republics far from here. But this week Canadians saw an odd clash of political extremes from the federal and Ontario governments.In general, the Liberals in Ottawa and Pr…