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Anne McIlroy worked as a journalist for more than 25 years, including stints as the science reporter and parliamentary bureau chief for the Globe and Mail.

Dessert-ification

Health Canada misses an opportunity to inform Canadians about the silent menace of added sugars.

Canadians may end up consuming more sugar – not less – as a result of new food labels the federal government says are intended to help people make healthier choices.

The new labels are seen as a victory for the food processing industry and won’t tell consumers how much sugar, in all its different forms, was added to a product by the manufacturer. As well, the new daily value for sugar chosen by Health Canada is too high to encourage healthier eating, says Bill Jeffery, a lawyer and executive director of the Centre for Health Science and Law, a non-profit group in Ottawa.

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Remote control

By Anne McIlroy
A movement is afoot to wean northern communities off of diesel power.

Colville Lake, a First Nation community about 50 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, was quiet for a few hours in late February when, for the first time, solar power kept the lights on and the furnaces running.

For years, the settlement of about 160 people has been powered by noisy diesel generators, but a new hybrid energy system that combines solar and diesel power with energy storage began operating in December 2015. By the end of February, Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) was able to switch the generators off for a few hours at a time.

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Make me a match

By Anne McIlroy
How one non-profit is pairing up industry and academia in a bid to boost innovation in Canada.

Carbon Engineering’s pilot plant in Squamish, British Columbia, sucks carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. But that’s only the first step. The company will soon begin work on how to combine the captured greenhouse gas with hydrogen to create synthetic gasoline.

It’s a big idea that has attracted significant investments from Bill Gates and other high-profile backers. To bolster its research capacity, the Calgary-based startup turned to Mitacs, a national non-profit organization that builds bridges between industry and academia.

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