Canada's history of political interference

In the midst of the SNC-Lavalin saga, we have another insightful piece in today’s The Conversation Canada, this one delving into the concept and history of political interference. Laverne Jacobs of the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Law writes about some relevant court cases of the past, including one involving onetime Québec premier Maurice Duplessis and another involving Gary Lunn, natural resources minister under Stephen Harper.

Could climate change fuel another global financial crisis? Korey Pasch of Queen’s University explains that insurance-linked securities created to protect insurers from catastrophic risk are disturbingly similar to the mortgage-backed securities that spurred the 2008 crisis.

Allyson Brady of McMaster University has a fascinating piece about how scientists are preparing for future Mars missions by collecting samples and simulating communications conditions from volcano parks on Earth.

Finally, anyone who’s ever had a dog knows what loving, comforting and sunny creatures they can be. Often first-year university students, struggling with homesickness, miss the family dog as much as their two-legged family members. And so John-Tyler Binfet of the University of British Columbia started a campus dog therapy program that’s having positive results – unsurprising to the dog-lovers among us.

Four great reads to kick off your week!

Scott White


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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a news conference in Ottawa to respond to allegations his office pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould in the SNC-Lavalin affair. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

SNC-Lavalin & the need for fresh thinking around independence and interference

Laverne Jacobs, University of Windsor

The prospect of political interference is at the heart of the SNC-Lavalin controversy. But it raises more issues related to identifying and preventing inappropriate interference.

A forest fire rages in California in November 2018. AP Photo/Noah Berger

Echoes of 2008: Could climate change spark a global financial crisis?

Korey Pasch, Queen's University, Ontario

Increasingly severe losses for insurers due to climate change could result in a global financial crisis.

Scientists conduct research in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park to practice for Mars landings. Shutterstock

Rehearsing for the Mars landings in Hawaii and Idaho

Allyson Brady, McMaster University

To prepare for future Mars missions, scientists collect samples and simulate communications conditions from volcano parks on Earth.

Ellie, a four-year-old labradoodle, works in the Building Academic Retention through K9s program (B.A.R.K.) at the University of British Columbia. (Freya L. L. Green)

Dog therapy: What I’ve learned overseeing 60 canine campus teams

John-Tyler Binfet, University of British Columbia

All hands on dog! Therapy dogs on campuses can help ease the transition from high school to university.


  • France’s ‘everyday sexism’ starts at school

    Bérengère Stassin, Université de Lorraine

    France's #MeToo backlash has revealed just how deeply rooted sexism is in the country. Disguised as flirtation or child's play, sexual harassment begins as early as elementary school.

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