The Pandemic Spoke Loud and Clear – it is Time to Care About our Most Vulnerable

By: Anastasia Volkov There is little doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted all of our lives. However, several snapshots released by Statistics Canada in late August report a disproportionate impact on individuals with disabilities. Unfortunately, the disability community frequently does not receive the attention it deserves. Yet, nearly 25 per cent of Canadians over the…

Current Competition Law Only One, Dull Tool to Rein In Google and Big Tech

By: Hugh Ragan Last month, the U.S. Justice Department launched a lawsuit against Google accusing the company of illegally protecting the cornerstone of its empire: search and advertising. This demonstration of government resolve is welcomed by many Americans who are wary of the threats that Google, and other Big Tech behemoths, pose by harnessing mountains…

A Fine Kettle of Disputed Fish: An Explanation of the Mi’kmaq Fishery Dispute

By: Rachel May The very foundations of the true Canadian archetype are of a polite and apologetic people, of populations with different backgrounds living together peacefully in a rich and beautiful land with abundant resources.  On those lines, the recent images of violent disputes erupting along our picturesque Nova Scotian coast, with scenes of destructive…

What is an Economy for Anyways: A Talk with Dr. Yannick Beaudoin

by Steven Giallelis A Story of Wants: To those who don’t have much knowledge or experience in the field, hearing the word “economics” or “economy” may bring shivers down their backs at the mere thought of mathematic calculations. Even more so, such terms beyond use in conversation may not be truly understood. Many may find…

Build the Wall: Border and Migration

by Steven Giallelis Regardless of political opinion, a rising notion has persisted in the minds of many. Among our American neighbours to the South, assertions of “building a wall” continue to spark heated debates around dinner tables and international political debates alike.  History of Border Walls and their Revival in the Modern Day: The use…

Canadian Sex Work Policy, the Failure of the “Nordic Model,” and Future Approaches

by Sabrina White (Spectrum) Spectrum is a student initiative aimed at professional and career development for LGBTQ+ students. We aim to foster an inclusive environment to ensure LGBTQ+ students and their allies have resources, information, and connections to maximize personal and professional success. Twenty-two days into the new year, a woman was killed in a hotel room…

Discrimination in Healthcare: How Indigenous Communities are Affected

by Carly Wigdor (Indigenous Affairs Student Initiative) IASI is a newly-established graduate student-led initiative that aims to provide a platform to discuss Indigenous issues from a policy-focused lens. In conjunction with our Advisory Board, consisting of Bob Rae, Grand Chief Arlen Dumas and Professor Douglas Sanderson, we seek to promote awareness of Indigenous issues and…

Let Them Lead: Tackling Indigenous Homelessness with Culturally Relevant Services

by Melissa Slauenwhite (Indigenous Affairs Student Initiative) IASI is a newly-established graduate student-led initiative that aims to provide a platform to discuss Indigenous issues from a policy-focused lens. In conjunction with our Advisory Board, consisting of Bob Rae, Grand Chief Arlen Dumas and Professor Douglas Sanderson, we seek to promote awareness of Indigenous issues and…

Framing Risk: The Homophobic Legacy of Blood Donation Discrimination in Canada

By Lucas Youmans (Spectrum) Spectrum is a student initiative aimed at professional and career development for LGBTQ+ students. We aim to foster an inclusive environment to ensure LGBTQ+ students and their allies have resources, information, and connections to maximize personal and professional success. On a recent CBC podcast, former federal cabinet minister Stockwell Day suggested…

By the Numbers: Question Period

BY Nick Thompson For those familiar with Canadian politics, Question Period is arguably the most important part of a given day in the House of Commons. One of the only times where all Members of Parliament (MPs) are present at once, it regularly produces the nightly news’ most played clips. What is often mentioned less,…

New Zealand’s Response to the Age-Old Question: Does Money Buy Happiness?

by Matt Condie and Steven Giallelis In association with the David Suzuki Foundation, this article was written to inform the public of the shortcomings of GDP-oriented policy making and potential solutions to ensure the health and sustainability of our economy and citizens for years to come. Through public awareness, the policy community can develop action…

Nova Scotia’s E-Cigarette Ban: Implications for Other Provinces

by Melissa Slauenwhite The introduction of e-cigarettes and vapes, as a tool for adult smokers to deal with nicotine addiction, is affecting the health of young Canadians and has created an unanticipated and serious policy issue. There have been more than 2200 reports of severe lung disease linked to vaping in the United States, with similar rates…

SRO Programs in Ontario’s Public Schools

Unpacking Equity is a collaboration between the Public Policy and Governance Review and the Equity, Diversity and Public Policy Initiative (EDPP) at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. This series aims to explain equity-related policy issues and break down complicated topics involving equity, diversity and inclusion. Policy professionals can gain a better…

Governing the Southern Border: The Politics and Policy of Irregular Border Crossing

By Declan Ingham and Ryan Phillips The images of asylum-seekers being apprehended along our snowy southern border brought the issue of irregular immigration to the forefront of the Canadian political consciousness and has spurred a broader anti-immigrant backlash. Yet the headlines obscure the deeper story of both policy-makers and asylum-seekers managing and navigating complex Canadian…

Live-In Caregiver Program Revised: Implications for Equity

By Hiba Siddiqui The Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) has been offered by the Government of Canada since 1992 and has been popular among Canadian families. The program provided relatively affordable and flexible child care for working parents as well as elder care for an aging population. Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), a component…

Building Empathy, Addressing Inequity: A Lecture by Tanya Talaga

By Kelly Husack “We were talking two different languages.”  These were the words that Tanya Talaga, the award-winning author and journalist, used to describe her interview with the former grand chief, Stan Beardy of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation as she spoke at the second event hosted by the Indigenous Affairs Student Initiative at the Munk School of…

The Future of Health Care: In Conversation with Shannon Lundquist

By Jolene Funk As technology advances, the opportunity for innovation across different sectors grows. For the health care industry, the present moment offers a unique opportunity to push the boundaries of the possible, but also presents challenges as the sector struggles to adapt while maintaining patient safety, allocating scarce resources, and adhering to standards of…

Unpacking Equity: The Use of AI in Canada’s Immigration and Refugee System

By Mackenzie Rice The use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to improve public sector efficiency is both exciting and controversial. While these technologies have the power to present new solutions to some of the toughest global challenges, their use has also called attention to serious concerns relating to data privacy, human rights,…

Who Benefits From Ford’s Changes to Rent Control?

By: Caroline Xhaferri Ford’s Conservative government introduced its first long-term strategy termed the 2018 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, designed to reduce the Province’s deficit and to “help people make ends meet”. Rent control policies in Ontario plays a vital role in mitigating the effects of changing demographics as a result of global attractiveness…

The Future of Service Delivery: Government in the Digital Age

By: Hiba Siddiqui We live in a society where individuals use powerful digital services on a regular basis for a variety of purposes. With the speed and sophistication of social networking services, enterprise systems and streaming services, it is imperative that public service delivery is also modernized and transformed to mirror the private sector’s fast…

Four Great Ideas from the 2019 Urban Policy Lab Case Competition

By Breanne Bateman The Urban Policy Lab Case Competition is an annual student-led initiative, organized by the Lab’s Graduate Fellows, that focuses on tackling municipal and urban policy problems. This year marks the fifth edition of the event formerly known as the Municipal Policy Action Case Competition, which offers students at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy the…

Is it time for us to break up with GDP?

By: Lawrence Zhang How do we measure the economic well-being of a country?  Despite the popularity of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the end-all-be-all measure of economic activity, many would argue that GDP is far from the best way to measure economic well-being. From news reports, to speeches by politicians, to international publications, GDP…

Breaking down the Huawei Case: A Closer look at Canada’s Extradition Process

By: Sarah Baker On December 1st 2018, the Chief Financial Officer of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Meng Wanzhou, landed in Vancouver’s International airport. The 46-year-old Chinese business executive had been on her way to catch a connecting flight to Mexico when she was detained by RCMP due to an extradition request filed by the American…

The GM Closure in Oshawa and the Future of the Auto Industry in Canada

by Daniel Blazekovic On November 7, 1953, production began at the Oshawa General Motors (GM) assembly plant. A century later, the Oshawa plant has become “the most decorated plant with 29 J.D. Power awards, [with] a proven track record of great quality and customer satisfaction.” On November 26, more than 65 years after GM began…

Bill C-59, Canada’s Secret Spy Agency, and the Cyber Offensive

By Bryan Roh Update 1: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Bill C-59 was currently undergoing second reading in the Senate. That error has now been corrected. Update 2: Some text has been changed to better reflect the authorities of the CSE under Bill C-59. On June 20th, 2017, the Canadian government introduced Bill C-59, an ambitious piece of national security legislation that proposes to dramatically overhaul the…

Ontario’s Environment Plan: An Abdication of Responsibility

By Megan Mattes On November 29th, 2018, Environment Minister Rod Phillips announced the Ontario government’s long-awaited Environment Plan. Not a climate plan, mind you – an Environment Plan. A weak substitute for the now-cancelled Cap and Trade Act, the new plan contains four sections: protecting air, lakes and rivers; addressing climate change; reducing litter and…

2018 Prof Talks: Wicked Policy Problems

By Lawrence Zhang Since World War II, humanity has been afflicted with intractable policy problems that extend far beyond the traditional scope of public policy. These are problems that stretch beyond the jurisdiction of one single country, that are too grave in consequence to take a trial-and-error approach to, and have too many competing perspectives…

Obstacles to Female Leadership: In Conversation with Marie Henein

By Sarah Baker For female attorneys in Canada, the glass ceiling seems to have hardened into a concrete wall. According to findings by the Catalyst, a global non-profit that assists organizations in advancing women into positions of leadership, female attorneys remain significantly underrepresented in positions of seniority, despite constituting nearly half of all practicing lawyers…

Unpacking Equity: The Fight for Indigenous Rights Under USMCA

Unpacking Equity is a collaboration between the Public Policy and Governance Review and the Gender, Diversity and Public Policy Initiative (GDPP) at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. This series aims to explain equity-related policy issues and break down complicated topics involving equity, diversity and inclusion. Policy professionals can gain a better…

A New Era of Brazilian Politics: The Election of Jair Bolsonaro

by Daniel Blazekovic Fernando Haddad hopelessly watched as 57 million Brazilians marked their support for Jair Bolsonaro, who will lead the world’s fourth largest democracy for the next four years. On October 28, 2018, Jair Bolsonaro – a right-wing populist – was elected President of Brazil after receiving 55.1% of the popular vote. It is…

Restoring the Tree of Life: Facing Hate through Policy

by Myra Lisselle Wein From sundown Friday night to sundown Saturday night, Jews commemorate the Sabbath, a day of rest. Yet on the morning of Saturday October 27th, that day of rest was shattered by a massacre in a Pittsburgh congregation; a devastating reminder of the hard truth that anti-Semitism is alive and well. Among…