Posted May 22, 2018
A new book delves into the murky world of processed foods
Processed foods have never been a bigger part of the North American diet, with a 2016 study concluding that ultra-processed foods account for 57.9 per cent of the average American’s caloric intake.
But despite playing such a big role in our everyday lives, there remains remarkably little interest in funding public research to demystify this topic. The general public itself remains confused, a knowledge gap author Nicola Temple is attempting to rectify with her new book, Best Before: The Evolution and Future of Processed Food.Continue Reading...
Retooling the suburbs
Posted March 27, 2018
A discussion with urbanist Markus Moos about suburban ways of living in 21st century Canada
When people think of the biggest cities in Canada, they often think of the iconic features of their downtowns – the CN Tower in Toronto, the Farine Five Roses sign in Montréal, Stanley Park in Vancouver. But the vast majority of population growth in Canada’s large urban areas is still occurring in their suburbs.
It is these areas that urban planners Markus Moos and Robert Walter-Joseph have spent years focused on, through research projects like the Atlas of Suburbanisms and their most recent book Still Detached and Subdivided? It aims to move past the simple notion that suburbs are simply subdivisions in need of urbanization, taking into account their unique challenges and lifestyles. Continue Reading...
Posted January 11, 2018
Why a population of 35 million is not enough to become the green country we wish to be
The Globe and Mail’s long-time foreign affairs correspondent is a busy man these days, covering everything from Catalonia’s burgeoning independence movement to ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. But one question has been fascinating Doug Saunders for the past 15 years: Why does Canada have such a small population, and what are the negative consequences of that?
His book Maximum Canada delves into this very question, detailing Canada’s long legacy of what he calls “minimizing” policies during the century after Confederation – high trade tariffs, limited immigration from outside of the British Isles and an overemphasis on immigrant farmers over entrepreneurship, all of which have resulted in our current population of only 35 million.Continue Reading...
Posted December 13, 2017
London mayor unveils draft plan to densify suburbs, tackle congestion
London mayor Sadiq Khan released his highly-anticipated draft London Plan in late November, aimed at addressing an acute housing shortage, congested streets and stubborn levels of air pollution. The 500-page blueprint, which sketches out how the British capital will change between 2019 and 2029, is one of the most important vehicles for reshaping priorities in the ancient metropolis.Continue Reading...
Fuelling the war machine
Posted October 26, 2017
Book reveals new details of Texaco’s support for Franco in Spanish Civil War
It has long been known that American oil giant Texaco (now a subsidiary of Chevron) provided assistance to Francisco Franco’s Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War, but new research has revealed this support to have been much more extensive than previously thought.
In the mid-1930s, Texaco was growing rapidly under the helm of the brash Norwegian émigré Torkild Rieber. An admirer of Hitler who specialized at making deals with strongmen, Rieber fit Texaco’s rough image as one the most aggressive oil companies in the world.Continue Reading...
Getting to equal
Posted June 15, 2017
Iceland moves closer towards mandatory equal pay law
A bill moving through the Icelandic parliament would require public and private firms to prove they offer equal pay regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality. If passed, the law would come into effect next year, marking the first time a national regime has been introduced for mandatory equal pay in both sectors.
Companies and institutions with over 25 employees would need to obtain a certificate of compliance with the rules, a process which involves classifying each position and reducing any wage gaps to less than five per cent. Firms would also be subject to audits to ensure continued compliance, with all entities certified by 2022. Any entity failing to take adequate steps would be subject to a series of escalating fines.Continue Reading...
Editor’s note: A seat at the table
Posted June 6, 2017
Companies across North America should look more like their clientele
This piece appeared as an editor's note in the Summer 2017 issue of Corporate Knights
One persistent thread of the nascent Trump era is the stark divide between corporate America and the White House on many of the issues du jour, particularly when it comes to questions of diversity and inclusion. Some of these are explicit, such as vocal opposition and fierce lobbying against the president’s religious liberty executive order or the proposed travel ban.Continue Reading...
Who stopped the rain?
Posted June 5, 2017
Water expert Adèle Hurley outlines the advocacy role the Canadian Coalition on Acid Rain played in curbing the silent menace.
The Canadian Coalition on Acid Rain (CCAR) was formed in 1981 and became what was then the largest single-issue coalition in the nation’s history. It ended up playing a key role in raising awareness of the acid rain issue, lobbying the governments of both Canada and the United States for the passage of legislation restricting acid rain-causing emissions and running various educational programs in Canada.
Just 26 years old at the time, Adèle Hurley teamed up with fellow Canadian Michael Perley to help found the CCAR and act as its chief lobbyists and executive co-ordinators. Starting out with 12 core organizations, the group eventually encompassed 58 member groups representing over two million Canadians. It was also one of the first times that Canadians had set up a public advocacy campaign in Washington, D.C.Continue Reading...
Editor’s Note: Everywhere and nowhere
Posted April 5, 2017
What role do indigenous peoples play in Canada's environmental history?
This piece appeared as an editor's note in the Spring 2017 issue of Corporate Knights
As sesquicentennial events take place around the country in 2017, Canadians have been struggling with how best to approach this milestone. One major concern being raised is that the outpouring of patriotism and celebrations risks ignoring the ghosts of our past, papering over the problems of today and sidelining the narratives of marginalized people.Continue Reading...
Dissent in the ranks
Posted April 3, 2017
Conservative MP and federal leadership candidate Michael Chong wants to tell you about his ambitious carbon tax proposal.
During the 2008 federal election campaign, then-prime minister Stephen Harper took particular delight in lampooning Liberal leader Stephane Dion’s green shift plan as a tax on everything. Complete opposition to all forms of carbon taxation continues to be the national Conservative party’s preferred strategy almost a decade later, despite professed support for lowering Canada’s emissions 30 per cent by 2030.
Economists broadly agree that carbon pricing is the preferred method for reducing emissions with the lowest economic cost, but resistance to the idea at the federal level has led to the territory being seceded to the governing Liberal party. As Republicans learned repeatedly during the Obama era, while failing to engage constructively on controversial issues can be a political winner it often leads to “worse” policy outcomes (from a conservative perspective).Continue Reading...