Browse our Results

Informed Opinions’ “grads” have published hundreds of commentaries in daily newspapers and prominent online sites, generating additional interview requests and exposure as a result. Here are just some of the analyses they’ve contributed as a result of participating in our programs:

Ottawa to respond to details of Ashley Smith inquest on federal prisons

Globe and Mail 10 December 2014

Kim Pate, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, advocates in this story for the elimination of segregation — an issue on which she has led for many years.

The words that were weapons

Ottawa Citizen by Jodi Brunh 8 December 2014

We need to talk. We’ve heard it from First Nations leaders and former prime ministers, from academics, novelists and public intellectuals. If we’re finally to move from conflict to cooperation, non-Aboriginal Canadians need to enter into a deep, difficult dialogue with Aboriginal peoples.

Women can help change the culture on Parliament Hill

Ottawa Citizen by Nancy Peckford and Raylene Lang-Dion

To say it’s been a tough few weeks for Canada’s members of Parliament would be a massive understatement. Already very weary from the gunman who forced his way into the Hall of Honour three weeks ago, the Hill was rocked last week after allegations of serious misconduct came to the fore and two male MPs were suspended from the Liberal caucus.

Canadians should be bolder in supporting charitable causes

Toronto Star by Jess Tomlin and Marcia Cardamore 14 November 2014

Canadians are generous people. In 2010, the vast majority of us – 84 per cent to be exact – collectively donated some $10.6 billion to charitable and not-for-profit organizations. Almost half the Canadian population volunteers their time, energy and expertise to charitable causes.

Young Vancouverites fleeing to more affordable pastures

Metro Vancouver 9 November 2014

Penelope Gurstein, Director of the School of Community and Regional Planning at UBC comments on the the affordability challenges of Vancouver’s real estate market.

Would hearing a candidate’s voice change the way you vote?

CBC Radio 7 November 2014

Molly Babel, UBC Linguistics Professor provides fascinating context about research into the snap judgments we make about people on the basis of their voice on CBC Radio’s The 180.

Gene patent lawsuit aims to clear up confusion in Canada

Toronto Star 3 November 2014

Jehannine Austin,UBC Professor of Genetics offers context to a recent legal challenge to the patenting of genes.

Election results tell tale of two cities

Toronto Star by Kara Santokie 29 October 2014

Are we fed up yet? Between a seemingly interminable campaign season and a record 64-per-cent voter turnout, election-weary Torontonians might be forgiven for being a bit bleary-eyed in the days following, while the reality of an end to the Ford era sinks. But what have we woken up to?

Arresting domestic violence at work

Globe and Mail 21 October 2014

Barb MacQuarrie, community director of the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children at the University of Western Ontario in London, discusses how to put in place violence in the workplace policies and procedures. 

Are race, gender at heart of Chow’s perceived communication problem?

Toronto Star by Sarah Neville 20 October 2014

Whether it’s John Mann’s diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s or Gillian Bennett’s touching suicide letter on, this horrific disease is finally a topic of national conversation.

One step back for women in politics

Ottawa Citizen by Nancy Peckford 16 October 2014

In politics, it is widely accepted that to be successful you have to play the long game. Short term wins don’t always translate. There are bound to be hiccups, setbacks and even big losses among the hard won victories. Staying the course, upping your game and remaining credible are key.

Failing grade for dementia policy

Edmonton Journal by Joanne Cave 22 September 2014

Whether it’s John Mann’s diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s or Gillian Bennett’s touching suicide letter on, this horrific disease is finally a topic of national conversation.

‘This isn’t lingerie football': Sexist or not, Whitecaps video taken down

The Province 17 September 2014

University of British Columbia education professor Lisa Loutzenheiser, University of Victoria political science professor, Janni Aragon, and University of Ottawa law professor, Rakhi Ruparelia — Informed Opinions’ workshop participants all — offer context to the controversy surrounding a soccer team promotion.

Relaunching your career: the return to Bay Street 11 September 2014

Jennifer Reynolds, President and CEO of Women in Capital Markets talks to BNN about WCM’s “Return to Bay Street” program.

Faculty jobs are rare, but Canada still needs its PhDs

Globe and Mail by Allison Sekuler 10 September 2014

It’s now estimated that at most one out of every four PhDs will end up in full-time university faculty positions, with the vast majority of doctoral students finding employment elsewhere.

Let’s open our eyes to students’ distress

University Affairs by Elizabeth Flynn-Dastoor 10 September 2014

Matthew de Grood was known as a good student, heading off to law school, but something was broken in him and it snapped on the night that he stabbed five of his University of Calgary peers to death. I won’t begin to speculate about the specifics of Matthew’s case or whether there is anything that university staff could or should have done. Clearly he was deeply troubled.

After Rana Plaza, what can we do for workers?

The Toronto Star by Ananya Mukherjee and Darryl Reed 31 August 2014

This Labour Day let us support not only the rights of garment workers around the world, but also their vision.

Violence against indigenous women

Toronto Star 26 August 2014

Sociology professor Carmela Murdocca on why Prime Minister Stephen Harper was wrong to say that the problem of missing and murdered aboriginal women is not a ‘sociological phenomenon.’

Follow-up scarce for those with concussions

Toronto Star by Sarah Neville 23 August 2014

I thought of Sid the Kid when I first woke up in St. Michael’s Hospital, unable to sit up without vomiting. After his infamous blows to the head on the ice, I wondered, did he experience extreme vertigo and fatigue, memory loss and mood swings? Did he…

Silencing charities isn’t the answer

Edmonton Journal by Joanne Cave 22 August 2014

It’s a scary time to work for a Canadian charity. If the fear of imminent funding cuts, reliance on unpaid interns and volunteers to keep the organization afloat and pressure to turn every project into a self-sustaining social entrepreneurship venture wasn’t enough … you have a thorough, multi-year audit of your political activities to look forward to.

Building Toronto to meet the needs of all its residents

Toronto Star by Kara Santokie 17 August 2014

Torontonians treat any hint of higher taxes like bad medicine but expect infrastructure and services that make Toronto a world-class city.

The courts and the veil: Justice for some? by Natasha Bakht and Jordan Palmer 31 July 2014

They say justice delayed is justice denied. No one knows that better than ‘NS’, a Muslim woman forced to remove her niqab (full-face veil) in order to testify against two relatives she alleges sexually assaulted her as a child.

Risky play and skinned knees are key to health child development

Toronto Star 29 July 2014

UBC psychology professor Mariana Brussoni adds value to a Toronto Star feature story about why it’s good to encourage your kids to take risk — even if they do skin their knees.

Access to birth control isn’t just about doctors

Ottawa Citizen by Kelly Grindrod and Sherilyn Houle 25 July 2014

Earlier this summer, a debate was sparked by the experience of Kate Desjardins, an Ottawa woman who went to a walk-in clinic to renew her birth control prescription. She was handed a letter informing her that three of the clinic physicians were not prescribing birth control because of their “religious values.”

Do people with accents face discrimination?

CBC Radio 25 July 2014

UBC linguistics professor Molly Babel provides CBC Radio listeners with research-informed insights on how we make social judgments about people who speak with different accents on The Current:

The Chaplain: Sky Pilot of the Prison System

CBC Radio 15 June 2014

Kate Johnson, former chaplain of the Pittsburgh Institution, a minimum security prison north of Kingston, Ontario, provides insight on the chaplain’s role in prisons.

Computer modelling vaults construction industry into future

Vancouver Sun 27 June 2014

Sheryl Staub-French, a professor of civil engineering at the University of B.C, shares her expertise on BIM (building information modelling)

The Agenda with Steve Paikin: Your Vote 2014: Ontario Leaders’ Debate

University of Waterloo Political Science professor Dr. Sarah Esselment takes part in a panel discussing the Ontario Leaders’ Debate.

Shun shrimp that hasn’t been sustainably sourced

The Vancouver Sun Sarah Foster 5 June 2014

It’s a small thing. It’s an easy thing. And it’s arguably the best thing we can do to make a difference to the oceans.

Sarah Foster also discusses how buying and eating sustainably sourced shrimp is critical for the health of our oceans 3 June 2014

She has done two interviews on the topic on CKNW’s Simi Sara Show and with 24 Hours

Vancouver women aren’t accepting street harassment as normal

SFU women’s studies Prof. Tiffany Muller Myrdahl offers context to street harassment and the Hollaback movement designed to counter it. The Province 23 May 2014

Rare seahorse spotted in Nova Scotian waters

UBC researcher and director of Project Seahorse Amanda Vincent discusses the recent discovery of a rare seahorse in Atlantic Canada. CBC 22 May 2014

Equal Voice goes to Washington, D.C.

The Hill Times by Raylene-Lang-Dion 19 May 2014

In the global ranking of countries based on the percentage of elected women to national legislatures, Canada places 55th and the United States 84th.

The fabric of our community

Kingston Whig Standard by Bev Chambers 15 May 2014

Twice a month the girls at Girls Inc Limstone in Kingston work on a quilt depicting their dreams. Volunteers from the intergenerational program Friendship Blooms are teaching the young women the skills of designing the quilt blocks.

‘Add women and stir politics?’ No thank you

The Toronto Star by Kara Santokie 14 May 2014

What do butts, language learning, thighs, problem-solving, squats, map-reading and sexual harassment all have in common?

When and why genetic counselling is essential

Radio Interview on VoiceAmerica with Dr. Jehannine Austin 12 May 2014

Dr. Jehannine Austin is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada, a Research Scientist at the BC Mental Health and Addictions Institute, and graduate advisor for the UBC Genetic Counseling program. She discusses the role of genetic counseling in helping individuals, families, and future generations with the challenges.

Hey Rob Ford! Toronto women don’t need fixing by Kara Santokie 8 May 2014

Does Mayor Rob Ford have a problem with women? Toronto women don’t need fixing, but the Mayor certainly does.

Smart cities in Canada need dynamic data

Huffington Post by Giovanna Mingarelli 9 May 2014

For the first time in history more than half the world’s population live in towns and cities. As cities become crucial to the planet’s health, it’s more important than ever to design, build and enrich the places in which we live, work and play.

Ironies and issues float to surface after great flood

The Calgary Herald by Cathy Ryan and Jerry Osborn 1 May 2014

Just as floods are inevitable, so too is the pattern of the aftermath. Complaints against insurance companies, complaints against the government, folks wanting to be considered to be on the floodway (so they can get bought out), folks wanting to be considered to be off the floodway (so they can stay put), general resistance to floodplain regulation, pressure to solve problems with engineering solutions, accrual of political capital by quick action on highly visible projects — these stories have played out many times in North America.

Vaccines work; remember that fact

The Vancouver Sun by Georgia Perona-Wright and Pauline Johnson 6 May 2014

If you could take a shot that would prevent cancer, would you? Would you give it to your child?

What needs to be done to end homelessness

The Vancouver Sun by Penny Gurstein 2 May 2014

Let’s not make homelessness a political football. Now that we know that the number of homeless has risen, despite Vancouver’s efforts to end it by 2015, it is time to take a hard look at what can be done. Homelessness is a consequence of our overheated housing market.

Respect for women in the House of Commons matters

The Ottawa Citizen by Nancy Peckford and Raylene Lang-Dion 30 April 2014

Let’s say you’ve just won a hard-fought election campaign. During it, you studied the issues of concern to constituents, demonstrated your mastery in all-candidates debates and effectively convinced thousands of voters that you had the integrity and smarts to represent them. Arriving at the House of Commons, one of the first things one of your new male colleagues says to you is what a “fine body” you have.

No one will be untouched by climate change

The Hill Times by Diane Beckett 7 April 2014 Scientists, world leaders, business people speak with one voice.

The privilege of colour-blindness

The Ottawa Citizen by Rakhi Ruparelia 11 March 2014 Have you ever thought about what it means to be white?

Women and girls aren’t just tools for development

The Toronto Star and the Vancouver Sun by Jessica Tomlin 6 March 2014

As we mark another International Women’s Day this Saturday, it is tempting to celebrate the fact that women in the developing world are viewed as catalysts for change in their communities.

Girls need role models beyond world of sports

The Calgary Herald by Brandi Chuchman 7 March 2014

Hockey has Hayley Wickenheiser. Cross-country skiing has Becky Scott. Freestyle skiing had Sarah Burke. Canadian idols in their respective sports, these women have each inspired a generation.

No to sex-tests for females Olympians

Winnipeg Free Press by Sarah Teetzel 6 February 2014

With the Canadian Olympic Committee very close to finalizing its roster of athletes who will represent Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Olympic fever builds in Canada. Yet the athletes face pressures and uncertainty unheard of for previous generations of Olympians.

The other notwithstanding clause

The Ottawa Citizen by Kerri Froc 5 February 2014

It seems obvious that there will be constitutional challenges to Quebec’s proposed Charter of Values, which prohibits “conspicuous” religious symbols for provincial civil servants and contains other requirements purportedly relating to the removal of religion from the provision of government services (and even some non-governmental services, like daycares.).

In the economics of biodiversity, money does grow on trees

The Edmonton Journal by Jana Vamosi 4 February 2014

How many species are enough to support human life? We don’t know yet. But we need to find out.

Help prostitutes by fighting racism

The National Post by Sarah M. Mah 8 January 2014

News reports on the recent Supreme Court decision tossing out laws on prostitution focused on women’s inequality, but missed a fundamental fact: prostitution is also about racism.

Toast to those who showed courage in public life

The Ottawa Citizen by Jodi Bruhn 29 December 2013

Former Senate staffer Chris Montgomery has it. So does Edmonton-St. Albert MP Brent Rathgeber. Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page has it in spades. It’s called courage, and there’s mounting evidence that Canadians crave it in their public officials.

Unique genetic counselling program helps empower people with mental health disorders

The Vancouver Sun by Tiffany Crawford 26 December 2013

Article profiles the research of UBC professor and Informed Opinions graduate Jehannine Austin.

Trinity Western University — Discrimination on campus

The National Post by IO Grad Angela Cameron, Clayton Ruby, Angela Chaisson, Mark L. Berlin, Amy Sakalauskas, Jena McGill, Robert Peterson and Mathieu Bouchard 20 December 2013

What is the appropriate role of a law school in directing its students’ consensual sexual activity? We would argue none. Which is why the decisions by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and the B.C. Minister of Education to approve Trinity Western University’s (TWU) proposed law school are both legally incorrect and unjust.

Law societies must show more courage on Trinity Western application

The Globe and Mail by Elaine Craig 18 December 2013

Moments of success in the pursuit of social justice and a better society are often motivated by the bravery, commitment, and ethical vision of particular individuals or institutions. The advancement of equality requires this kind of leadership.

Are battered women justified in killing in self-defence? You decide

The National PostThe Windsor Star and The Ottawa Citizen by Elizabeth Sheehy 17 December 2013

Are battered women justified in killing their abusers in self-defence — even when those abusers are unconscious? In 1982, after a lengthy murder trial, a Nova Scotia jury of Jane Stafford’s peers effectively said “yes,” and acquitted her of murder. Elizabeth Sheehy’s op ed about the issues addressed in her new book led to more than two dozen local, national and international broadcast interviews, including appearances on CTV’s Canada AM and CBC Radio’s “The Current.” Watch Elizabeth Sheehy’s appearance on Canada AM.  

Please don’t tell my daughter she’s beautiful

The Ottawa Citizen by Claire Bellefeuille 11 December 2013

I’m dreading Christmas, and it’s not because of my inability to stay away from the canapés at holiday functions.

Battered women morally entitled to kill abusers, U of O professor asserts

The Ottawa Citizen by Don Butler 10 December 2013

Article features informed opinions of respected University of Ottawa law professor and IO Grad Elizabeth Sheehy whose new book, Defending Battered Women on Trial, will be published Dec. 15 by UBC Press. Elizabeth Sheehy appeared on CBC Radio’s The Current 18 December 2013. Listen now.  

Uncertainty about treatment and rights increases suffering

The Ottawa Citizen by Hilary Young 7 November 2013

The Supreme Court of Canada recently ruled in the case of Hassan Rasouli, a Toronto man who has been on life support since 2010. His doctors consider continued life support to be futile, even harmful to Rasouli. His wife, Parichehr Salasel — herself a physician — refused consent to withdrawing treatment both because of her medical assessment and her husband’s values regarding the sanctity of life.

Let’s bring Ottawa’s political staffers out of the shadows with a code of conduct

The Globe and Mail by Anna Lennox Esselment 28 October 2013

A number of recent government controversies have highlighted the role of the “political staffer,” such as the current Senate scandal, the gas plant cancellations in Ontario, the B.C. Liberals’ “ethnic outreach strategy,” and various interferences in freedom of information requests.

Youth, Digital Infrastructure and the Future Success of Mongolia

The Huffington Post by Giovanna Mingarelli 23 October 2013

It was my last night in the capital city of Ulanbaataar (UB) during my first visit to Mongolia. I had spent an evening at a private reception generously hosted by the President of Mongolia, Elbegdorj Tsakhia, taking part in some of Mongolia’s older traditions — like trying my hand at the Mongolian bow and enjoying a bowl of fermented mare’s milk.

Female senators shake up Washington

The Ottawa Citizen by Nancy Peckford and Raylene Lang-Dion 23 October 2013

As the world watched last week to see if the fragile negotiations inside the United States Senate would finally stick and avert the irreparable harm forecasted to the global economy in the event of a U.S. loan default, Time Magazine reported that “Women are the only adults left in Washington.” Really?

Too few female CEOs? Universities must step in

The Globe and Mail by Barbara Orser 10 October 2013

In the introductory lecture of my entrepreneurship class, I present students with two scenarios. In the first, each student is described as having a brilliant idea for a new business. Optimism and experience leads them to believe that it is a ‘sure fire’ winner. A question is posed: “Who is willing to pursue business start-up?” Hands are raised.

Some leeway needed to keep the Boathouse afloat

The Waterloo Record by Cindy Ward 20 September 2013

Kevin Doyle, the recent tenant of the Boathouse in Victoria Park, has been in the media of late for not paying five months in rent arrears to the City of Kitchener.

Are love, money and glory building blocks to a better world?

The Huffington Post by Giovanna Mingarelli 8 September 2013

Albert Einstein was once asked by a journalist about his formula for success, and he said: “If A is success, I should say the formula is A = X + Y + Z, X being work, Y being play and Z is keeping your mouth shut.”

Quebec women may back values charter: survey

The Montreal Gazette by Brenda O’Neill and Elisabeth Gidengil 4 September 2013

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois’s suggestion that the Charter of Quebec Values due to be tabled next week will assert the equality of women and men is one that may resonate with many Quebec women. Although it remains to be seen what exactly will be banned in the proposed bill, reports suggest it will include religious headgear and other visible religious symbols, in a range of institutions including day-care centres and government offices.

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