Breathing new life into cities post-COVID-19

New guide shows how planners can revive urban centres by shifting focus of vacant spaces from commercial to cultural

Breathing new life into cities post-COVID-19In the wake of economic fallout from COVID-19, urban centres could see a sharp increase in abandoned spaces as some businesses are forced to close. But vacant space doesn’t have to sit idle, according to a research associate with the University of Alberta’s Wirth Institute. If managed properly, it could spark a cultural revival of sorts,…

Online grocery retailing ramped up by Sobeys

Voilà delivery vans will offer one-hour grocery delivery in the Toronto area, with Montreal service next

Online grocery retailing ramped up by SobeysVoilà is the new benchmark in online food retailing in Canada, at least for now. More than 100 Voilà delivery vans will roam the streets of the Greater Toronto Area to deliver food to customers who have opted to buy their groceries online from Sobeys. At the centre of the fleet is a state-of-the-art distribution…

Canadian kids not making the grade for physical activity

ParticipACTION report shows children aren’t moving enough; families need help supporting healthy behaviour

Canadian kids not making the grade for physical activityCanadian children and youth were given a failing grade for overall 24-hour movement and the slimmest of passes for overall physical activity by the most comprehensive assessment of child and youth physical activity. The 2020 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth was informed by research and expertise from movement researchers across Canada,…

Why we need to learn to live with COVID-19

With a vaccine likely years away and other viral threats emerging every year, shoring up health care for vulnerable groups is critical, say experts

Why we need to learn to live with COVID-19Measles infected people for 1,500 years, killing more than one million people annually during the 20th century alone, before John Enders and Thomas Peebles isolated the virus in 1954 and developed a vaccine nine years later. Four decades onward again, the disease was finally eliminated in North America. But for every disease caused by a…

COVID-19 shows modern politics lacks common sense

Placing trust in the public has become an alien idea. Our governments have become too large and self-serving

COVID-19 shows modern politics lacks common senseIf there is one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us – and it has taught us many things – it’s that partisan politics has completely taken hold of public discourse and, in effect, banned common sense. This truth was made most clear in early May when United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the…

Pink eye may be primary symptom of COVID-19

Ophthalmologists encouraged to take extra precautions while working with patients who have conjunctivitis

Pink eye may be primary symptom of COVID-19A case of pink eye is now reason to be tested for COVID-19, according to University of Alberta researchers. Coughing, fever and difficulty breathing are common symptoms of the illness, but a recent case study involving an Edmonton woman and published in the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology has determined that conjunctivitis and keratoconjunctivitis can also be primary symptoms. In…

Dammit Jim! Where’s the waiter?

The use of robots can make the restaurant sector more robust financially and more secure from a public health perspective

Dammit Jim! Where’s the waiter?Canada’s first server-free restaurant has opened its doors in Toronto. Box’d is a fully-automated restaurant designed for life during a global pandemic. It’s an interesting concept but it makes you wonder what role humans can and should play in the food industry. Being aware of the new risks, we need to boldly move forward to…

Your mother was right – wash your hands

While we wait for science to put a stop to COVID-19, we can all do our part in the simplest of ways

Your mother was right – wash your handsModern medicine has at its disposal a vast array of technologies that can be used to identify, track and predict the risk and potential impact of emerging infectious diseases. Bioassays, genome sequencing and molecular technology can identify a novel pathogen. Computer modelling (in real-time) can provide us with an instant status report showing how much…

Let people make their own risk assessments

We should all take valuable lessons from the way Sweden has handled the COVID-19 crisis

Let people make their own risk assessmentsThe World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes that we have to learn to live with COVID-19. Notwithstanding hope of a vaccine, there is no guarantee. The virus awaits as we step out our door. And it could get worse. In Canada, the virus has been suppressed by a lockdown and strict social distancing, leaving residents at…

Drive-through mask giveaway won’t prevent COVID-19

Alberta’s distribution of single-use protective masks through fast-food outlets is inequitable and ineffective: health policy experts

Drive-through mask giveaway won’t prevent COVID-19By Lorian Hardcastle University of Calgary and Ubaka Ogbogu University of Alberta Standing in front of a counter filled with fresh-baked pastries, Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro kicked off the government’s much-touted mask distribution strategy. Billed as part of the province’s relaunch, the strategy seeks to provide each Albertan with four disposable non-medical masks for…

Assessing the lockdown’s damage

For a healthy working-age person, the risk of dying from COVID-19 is significantly lower than dying by accident or from other diseases

Assessing the lockdown’s damageAfter being locked down since March 16, Canadians are emerging, as if after a hurricane, to assess the damage that has occurred in just 12 weeks. The main victims are, of course, the patients and valiant front-line workers who have succumbed to COVID-19. But shutting down the economy has ravaged businesses, jobs and savings, while…

Hosting NHL playoffs could help Edmonton attract investment

Marketing wins outweigh limited economic benefits for city, province and Oilers, according to U of A sports management researchers

Hosting NHL playoffs could help Edmonton attract investmentIf Edmonton is selected as one of the two host cities for the 2020 National Hockey League playoffs, the big winners will be the province's health-care system and its ability to attract talent, according to a pair of University of Alberta sports management researchers. However, with no fans in the stands and participants all but…

Invest in social infrastructure rather than handouts

It not only generates jobs in the short term, but results in greater productivity, employment and tax dollars in the future

Invest in social infrastructure rather than handoutsHow the economy will be rebuilt in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is a major concern for us all. There are many unknowns, making the near future and the years ahead even murkier than usual. So uncertain is Canada’s federal government about economic and financial prospects that it’s not producing a budget, or even…

Ontario should cut government jobs to end cycle of debt

The Ontario government must take decisive action to get the budget under control when the COVID-19 crisis has passed

Ontario should cut government jobs to end cycle of debtOntario is the most indebted sub-sovereign borrower in the world. Interim financial results for the 2019-20 fiscal year show that the Ontario government ran a $9.2-billion deficit. According to estimates from economists, the deficit is likely to more than triple, largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic lockdown, to around $29.3 billion…

Digital links offer meaningful Indigenous reconciliation

We can adapt the newest technologies to improve the quality of life in the most remote of First Nations communities

Digital links offer meaningful Indigenous reconciliationImproved technology may be the key to improving Indigenous communities in remote regions. Perhaps the next stage in Indigenous reconciliation is a form of digital reconciliation that helps bring these communities much closer to the mainstream economy and society through technology. In fact, observers are seeing the potential of technology intended to assist mainly isolated…
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