The tragedy of Oscar Wilde

The Anglo-Irish playwright, poet and novelist ended up imprisoned, the casualty of his own foolishness

The tragedy of Oscar WildeOnce upon a time, I had an uncomplicated view of capital punishment. I was against it. Period. And a reading of the poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde could reduce me to tears. Even now, with a much more nuanced view of the subject, the power of the language still moves me.…

What do we gain by including race on Alberta driver’s license?

What do we gain by including race on Alberta driver’s license?Identifying Canadians by race on their everyday documents is divisive and discriminatory In response to the Alberta government’s redesign of driver’s licenses to prevent counterfeiting, the majority of Edmonton Police Commission (EPC) members have weighed in with an additional proposal: That the racial identity of Albertans be included on their driver’s licenses. The EPC’s justification…

What Rishi Sunak’s rise says about skin colour: It’s irrelevant

What Rishi Sunak’s rise says about skin colour: It’s irrelevantClaims of widespread systemic racism in the Anglosphere are overblown As Rishi Sunak settles in as British prime minister, it’s time to revisit claims about racism in the Anglosphere, including the widespread assertions of systemic/institutional racism that now inform and, in many cases, guide public policy, corporate hiring and university staffing and admissions. That includes…

Trudeau government discriminating against oil and gas

Singling out oil and gas doesn’t make sense

Trudeau government discriminating against oil and gasCanada’s strategy to single out greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas industry could make it harder to meet overall reduction targets, according to two leading energy analysts. Neither of Ottawa’s two proposed policies to cap and reduce oil and gas emissions would allow carbon market trading with other industries. That’s a problem, says…

How AI bias impacts women and people of colour the most

We need to have more diversity in the data used in training AI databases

How AI bias impacts women and people of colour the mostArtificial intelligence (AI) offers numerous benefits, but training with robust data is essential to developing quality AI systems. Our underwater database assists in developing recognition systems for ocean/sea search and rescue operations, our dental database helps train new dentists in accurate diagnosis of dental diseases, and our facial recognition database assists law enforcement in the…

Black business grad hopes to one day work internationally

Hanna Daniel has made it her business to foster diversity by empowering others

Black business grad hopes to one day work internationallyLike an itch that needs scratching, when Hanna Daniel sees something that cries out to be done, she doesn’t regard it as optional. So when the business student arrived at the University of Alberta and realized there was no campus group for black students, she got down to the business of starting one. After a…

National research aimed at reforming Canada’s justice system

Experts to examine systemic problems, make evidence-based recommendations

National research aimed at reforming Canada’s justice systemA research team led by a University of Alberta scholar has received nearly $2.5 million in new federal funding for a national research project aimed at reforming the Canadian justice system. The team, headed by sociologist Sandra Bucerius and including the United Way and academic experts on the court and prison systems from across Canada, was awarded a Partnership Grant from…

Group gives black students a voice and a welcoming space

The Black Graduate Students’ Association helps build a more inclusive university for all students

Group gives black students a voice and a welcoming spaceHeather Gray Lamm’s introduction to the Black Graduate Students’ Association came while she was sitting on the floor of the Butterdome at the University of Alberta. Lamm, a new graduate student, was taking a moment amidst the chaos and crowd of orientation to figure out where she was supposed to be. “You’re easily invisible in such…

The high price of falling prey to cancel culture

Cancel culture plays right into the wheelhouse of those who are angry, fearful and manipulative

The high price of falling prey to cancel cultureThe Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘cancel culture’ as “the practice or tendency of engaging in mass cancelling as a way of expressing disapproval and exerting social pressure.” This is nothing new; we see numerous examples of what we now call cancel culture in history. Society cancelled people it disapproved of during witch hunts. The aristocracy was…

It’s time to put the myth of ‘white privilege’ to bed

Institutional, systemic discrimination was attacked root and branch as far back as seven decades ago

It’s time to put the myth of ‘white privilege’ to bedWhen Jordan Peterson recently tweeted out a copy of Home Depot’s ‘white privilege’ memorandum given to its staff, it rightly caused a stir: Yet another corporation’s diversity, equity and inclusion staff parroting a simplistic academic theory. The memo offered the usual assumption that one’s skin colour explains incomes and opportunities, or not. It includes the…
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