A year ago, would any of us have imagined we'd still be dealing with COVID-19 variants that are resulting in travel bans and lockdowns — time and again, even after millions of us have been vaccinated? In March, it will be two years since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, but I naively believed — or should I say hoped? — that the crisis would come to an end once the majority of the population was vaccinated. Hardly.

The ongoing pandemic had a big impact on my two sections: Politics and Business. It prompted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to call another election when he was riding high in the polls due to his handling of the crisis. Nonetheless, he was handed yet another minority and the political map barely changed. On the business and economics front, organizations large and small are still grappling with vaccine mandates, work-from-home strategies, the so-called Great Resignation and now the spectre of sky-high inflation. 

Through it all, academics at universities across Canada have contributed insightful, smart analyses to The Conversation Canada on a wide range of topics, some pandemic-related, some blessedly unrelated to the crisis — but all of them raised awareness of some critically important issues both in Canada and abroad that too often fly under the radar.

In no particular order, here were the Politics and Business stories that really stuck with me long after I finished the edit and hit the publish button.




Lee-Anne Goodman

Politics, Business + Economics Editor

Year in Review: Politics + Business

The world must not look away as the Taliban sexually enslaves women and girls

Vrinda Narain, McGill University

Emboldened by success in Afghanistan, the Taliban is now ordering religious leaders to provide them with lists of girls over the age of 15 to enter into ‘marriages’ to Taliban fighters.

What’s next for Trump: Will he face charges after leaving office? Will he pardon himself?

Thomas Klassen, York University, Canada

After blazing an unprecedented post-election path of inciting violence, Donald Trump’s path forward contains some potential landmines.

From sunny ways to pelted with stones: Why do some Canadians hate Justin Trudeau?

Fenwick McKelvey, Concordia University; Scott DeJong, Concordia University

Justin Trudeau has a reputation as a youthful progressive outside of Canada, but among right-wing Canadians online, he’s despised — and he’s been confronted with hostility on the campaign trail.

How Canada committed genocide against Indigenous Peoples, explained by the lawyer central to the determination

Fannie Lafontaine, Université Laval

Ending the Canadian genocide of Indigenous peoples is a legal obligation, requiring honest, active decolonization. The lawyer who wrote the MMIWG’s inquiry’s legal analysis of genocide explains.

Pierre Trudeau’s failures on Indigenous rights tarnish his legacy

Raymond B. Blake, University of Regina; John Donaldson Whyte, University of Regina

How did a national leader whose animating political spirit was protecting human rights come to adopt a passive acceptance of Canada’s worst face of colonialism?

From Vincent Massey to Ed Rogers: Canada’s history of family firm feuds rivals Succession

Dimitry Anastakis, University of Toronto

Bitter family feuds and succession battles are not new to Canadian business. In fact, several prominent family-owned firms have had very public brawls. The Rogers feud, though, puts the company at risk.

Toxic bosses should be the next to face #MeToo-type reprisals

Erica Mildner, University of British Columbia

Could the resignation of Canada’s governor general represent a watershed moment for workers’ rights?

When your dream job is a nightmare

Lisa Cohen, McGill University; Sandra E. Spataro, Northern Kentucky University

So you snagged your dream job. And it quickly became the stuff of nightmares, filled with mundane tasks and drudgery. What can employees and employers do?

Worker shortage? Or poor work conditions? Here’s what’s really vexing Canadian restaurants

Bruce McAdams, University of Guelph; Rebecca Gordon, University of Guelph

Should the chronic hiring struggles of Canadian restaurants be referred to as a labour shortage, or can it be more accurately portrayed as a retention issue fuelled by a lack of decent work?

Nobel winner David Card shows immigrants don’t reduce the wages of native-born workers

Arvind Magesan, University of Calgary

Canadian economist David Card won the Nobel Prize in economics for demonstrating that large-scale immigration has no effect on the wages of native-born workers. In doing so, he’s challenged Economics 101.