The endless cycle of seasons has trained us well, and Canadians know to take all the necessary precautions to adjust to Old Man Winter. We swap out all seasonal tires for winter rubber, and switch off outside water sources. It's our own little insurance policy. Why don't we treat our health in the same manner?
Despite a falling crime rate, policing costs have nearly doubled in Canada over the past 25 years. In this context, it makes absolutely no sense to soak up police officers' time with tasks that should not logically be included in their job descriptions. Why not refocus the work of police officers on their essential duties, and employ other categories of personnel for auxiliary or administrative tasks?
The reality is that in Toronto, as in most police services across the continent, the vast majority of serving police officers are exceptional public servants. The bad news is that reality is entirely irrelevant. People don't form judgments or base their decisions and actions on reality. They base them on their perceptions. And a fast-growing segment of society in Toronto, in Chicago, in New York City, in Ferguson, in cities and towns across North America, perceive their police services to be acting for their own benefit -- not society's.
The neighbourhoods outside of Paris, where the longtime Muslim European residents live have become a security problem. They have become slums which the central government actively avoids. Due to a lack of government involvement, a growing detachment from the State grows within the local Muslim youth. In these lost neighbourhoods, the terrorists of today and tomorrow are raised. These are the areas were ISIS operatives look to recruit new foreign fighters.
Women's organizations, governments and United Nations entities celebrated the 15th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325. This landmark resolution stated that women's participation, security and protection were essential in the prevention and resolution of armed conflict. This resolution was much heralded at the time and was followed by seven additional resolutions on women, peace and security. However, civil society organizations have observed again and again that these strong words have not been translated into action.
Under privacy by design, technology companies must account for human values when creating their systems and ensure they have engineered for maximum individual privacy in every step of their process. It's a costly and time-consuming measure, but it's one of the only measures standing in the way of a digital Wild West.
With all the wild rumours circulating about Facebook, it's sometimes hard to know what to believe. Will we start to charge people money to use our service? No. Do you have to copy and paste that scary legal message your friends are sharing? No, that's just a good old fashioned Internet hoax. But there are a few steps you can take on Facebook to protect your personal information, and we're more than happy to share.
The Harper government's attempt to frighten voters should be recognized for what it is -- baseless propaganda designed to woo votes in the midst of an election. While there will undoubtedly be some undesirables in the refugee crowd, our immigration processes are perfectly capable of flagging and filtering out those risks. Canadian lives will not be threatened if we let in Syrian refugees. The irony, however, is that the lives of Canadians and our European friends may well be threatened if we do not. The tide of undocumented refugees will continue to flow into Europe if we fail to provide an alternative exit to those refugees still struggling to survive in camps in Turkey and elsewhere in the Middle East.
History shows how energy and foreign policy issues have been closely intertwined. There is little doubt that this relationship will continue to strengthen in line with increased instability in the international political system. I do not need to say more than Ukraine/Russia and the Middle East to underline this point. For Norway, energy diplomacy is higher than ever on the priority scale. This recognizes that to understand and act in a rapidly changing energy world, there is a need to understand how market and foreign policy factors interact.
So when we discuss our "security" over the next few months, let's not forget that it really doesn't matter how much the RCMP can find out about me at the push of a button, or how mad our foreign policy makes a regional band of over-armed zealots, if the natural security underwriting all of our health and wealth is left unguarded.
Developing skills in engineering, software development, analytics, security, behavioural economics, psychology, sales or digital marketing was a great first step towards that fulfilling in-demand career. Understanding how to apply those skills to help transform industries increases your employability and makes you an attractive candidate for the best employers of today and tomorrow.
A scientist, or any knowledgeable person, will tell you climate change is a serious threat for Canada and the world. But the RCMP has a different take. A secret report by the national police force, obtained by Greenpeace, both minimizes the threat of global warming and conjures a spectre of threats posed by people who rightly call for sanity in dealing with problems caused by burning fossil fuels.
The leading smartphone companies recently launched new models, which typically receive a great deal of attention and reviews -- both positive and negative. Businesses professionals are excited but also confused and overwhelmed because they want the best phone that satisfies their checklist of needs at work and at home. How does one make sense of the plethora of features in new smartphone models?
Consider what is happening in Syria even as we read these words. Aid agencies have become so desperate for help that they repeatedly call upon the affluent West to step up and assist the 9.3 million people living at risk, and the 3.5 million Syrians living under siege. Surely these people matter to us, right?
Yes, the Canadian story in Afghanistan is mixed, with closure hard to come by for those soldiers not only involved in security details, but development projects like protecting schools, building damns, and conducting civilian peace efforts in villages. But what shouldn't be in doubt is our government's promise and dedication to those military personnel.