Feature

Canada’s STEM Education Gap: The Need for More Science-Based Professionals 

Gwyn Morgan
November 25, 2022
Society’s overall respect and admiration for science and scientists has probably never been greater. Why, then, do relatively few young Canadians seemingly want to become scientists? Why are so many schoolkids unwilling or unable to dig into the foundational learning needed to position themselves for an adulthood focused on a scientific career? Especially in an era when the economy is generating job opportunities by the tens of thousands for graduates with scientific training. Gwyn Morgan outlines the nation’s growing shortfall of STEM-trained professionals and looks into some ways to start overcoming the troubling inability of the education system to motivate Canada’s kids to focus on science.
Feature
Society’s overall respect and admiration for science and scientists has probably never been greater. Why, then, do relatively few young Canadians seemingly want to become scientists? Why are so many schoolkids unwilling or unable to dig into the foundational learning needed to position themselves for an adulthood focused on a scientific career? Especially in an era when the economy is generating job opportunities by the tens of thousands for graduates with scientific training. Gwyn Morgan outlines the nation’s growing shortfall of STEM-trained professionals and looks into some ways to start overcoming the troubling inability of the education system to motivate Canada’s kids to focus on science.
Race-Based Law

Why Doesn’t the Charter Apply to All Canadians?

Peter Best
Natural vs. Processed Foods

The Fake Meat Fiasco: So Much for Plant-based Protein Alternatives

Doug Firby
Who Makes the Law?

Doug Ford’s Use of the “Notwithstanding” Clause: Keeping Ontario’s Schools Open

Grant A. Brown

Current News

Canada’s Labour Shortage
Canadians have grown familiar with the frequently rocky post-pandemic service quality in the restaurant, hospitality and retail sectors. As well as standard refrains like “We’re short-staffed,” “We can’t find good people,” or “We can’t match the wages of other industries.” Less visible than these inconveniences is a potentially far greater problem lurking in the manufacturing, natural resources, transportation and other sectors: an acute shortage of certified trades workers. Giving three cheers to Canada’s hard-working tradespeople, Gwyn Morgan charts the growth of the economy-threatening shortage, surveys the damage it is wreaking, looks at some of its avoidable causes, and proposes some remedies.
Regulators vs. Markets
Canadian entrepreneurs used to build over 75,000 apartment units per year. Then came rent control, tax changes and other government intrusions, and they all-but abandoned the rental housing market. Now, with rental housing once again in short supply, the private sector has returned – pouring its own capital into improving and expanding Canada’s long-ignored stock of apartment buildings. Rather than celebrating this flood of new investment, however, a federally-funded cadre of housing activists is working overtime to prevent it. Peter Shawn Taylor examines the strange, Soviet-style demands of the Federal Housing Advocate and the harm such policies will do to Canada’s tenants.
Emergencies Act Inquiry
The Freedom Convoy became not just a conveyance to bring protesters to Ottawa but, for whatever reason, a kind of magnet for lies. Falsehoods, misdirection and dissembling proliferated about everything from alleged racism and violence to whether or not downtown Ottawa was actually “occupied” or “blockaded” to the technicalities of who even wanted the Emergencies Act and who actually ordered the freezing of bank accounts. Now, writes Jim Mason, it’s time for the truth – all of it, every material piece. In Mason’s view, the commission of inquiry needs to look back well beyond the Convoy’s arrival and assess decisions and claims by the Trudeau government that, Mason argues, set the conditions for the Convoy itself.

On Point

Pensions and Politics

The Creeping Politicization of Pension Management

George Koch
Borders

Immigration and the National Interest

Bradley Betters
Canada & The World

Cream puff diplomacy

Gerry Bowler
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Global Newsstand

Imprimis
In a speech transcribed by Imprimis, Hillsdale College president Larry P. Arnn warns how the bureaucracy in wielding its formidable administrative rule-making power is undermining the natural parent-child relationships through the education system. Conservatives are finally hitting back and, in the U.S. at least, achieving great success.
National Review
As established conservative political alliances fractured under Trumpist disruption, traditional conservative advocacy of limited government faded from prominence. National Review editor Philip Klein argues that allowing the left to balloon the size of government and pile on debt will make America a hostile place to conservatives. The idea of small government, Klein argues, must become cool again.
American Greatness
Crypto-investment darling Sam Bankman-Fried stands exposed at having stolen, wasted or lost billions of dollars, his FTX empire lying in ruins. Victor Davis Hanson in American Greatness portrays Bankman-Fried as a peak case of how faux progressive utopians make themselves cultural heroes by “saying the right shibboleths” and giving generously to the right causes – prominently including the Democratic Party.

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September 2020 Issue

Page 1 | Thirteen Things That Can’t Be Said About Aboriginal Law And Policy In Canada
Page 7 | The WE Charity Scandal: One of Many
Page 14 | Escaping The Echo Chamber
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Page 1 | Thirteen Things That Can’t Be Said About Aboriginal Law And Policy In Canada
Page 7 | The WE Charity Scandal: One of Many
Page 14 | Escaping The Echo Chamber

Stories

New World Order
If the “so-called” Great Reset is a conspiracy theory infecting fevered minds on the far right, why did the founder of the World Economic Forum write a book of that title? Why does his book set forth the goals and means by which it is to be achieved? And why, as revealed two weeks ago, is Canada’s Liberal government paying the WEF to help develop a digital identification – one of the Great Reset’s desired tools? As our elites and mainstream media continue pretending none of this is happening, many conservative thinkers have been asking such questions. Margret Kopala surveys and comments on the 18 essays making up Against the Great Reset, published three days ago.
Health Care Special Series
Canadians have grown acutely aware that their health care system is failing. Provincial governments, unfortunately, perpetually balk at serious reforms. Thankfully, a few frustrated patients and private health care providers are trying to clear a path via the courts. Christine Van Geyn explores the latest developments in the Cambie Surgery Centre’s challenge of B.C.’s health care law. The province’s Court of Appeal recently ruled that while the NDP government’s restrictions are shortening patients’ lives and even getting them killed, this is consistent with Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The litigants are now preparing to challenge this grotesque reasoning in the Supreme Court of Canada, Van Geyn explains in Part 1 of a special series on health care. In Part 2, Lynne Cohen seeks to unravel why Canada’s government-directed system is doing so badly.
Energy and Climate Politics
Who would have imagined that Western countries’ increasingly fanatical efforts to phase out fossil fuels would leave two dictators essentially in control of both global energy security and the supply of manufactured goods? As Gwyn Morgan sees it, Western elites’ unreflective zeal is steering us not towards utopia but instead on a descent into a kind of New World Disorder. Not everyone, however, is suffering nor displeased at the worsening global chaos. In the dark halls and tortured minds of the world’s biggest dictators, Morgan shows, the West’s fantasy of “net zero” is something akin to “net awesome.”
Perils of “Presentism”
In normal times, it would be a relatively simple matter to agree on clear and factual information about the people, places and events that shaped our country’s history. But these are not normal times. In our angry and judgmental woke world, the past must be repeatedly condemned, if not erased altogether. The latest example of this skewed and politicized process comes from the federal government’s ongoing review of the plaques and official designations that commemorate Canada’s most important historical figures and sites. Taking a close look at some of the giants from our past, historian Larry Ostola considers this latest threat to Canada’s collective memory and how his discipline has been led astray by “presentism.”
Freedom of Expression
The Liberal government insists its new online streaming law, Bill C-11, is simply an effort to make big international digital players – the likes of Amazon, TikTok and Spotify – contribute to Canadian culture. It is not an attempt to control or censor the internet. So why does it make virtually all audio and visual content online subject to federal regulation? Fin DePencier exposes the doublespeak within and surrounding the legislation (currently before the Senate) and the grave threat it poses to freedom of expression in Canada, and details the damage it could do to the new generation of online creators who have prospered without the heavy hand of government interference.
Environmental policy
Plenty of new public policies, at least to hear their opponents tell it, are destined to end in calamity or failure. But how many can be proven so based on their proponents’ own evidence? Surely such a thing requires a special, perverse kind of political genius. Peter Shawn Taylor takes a close look at the barrage of official reports and analyses released ahead of the Liberals’ ban on single-use plastic items. It turns out the disappearance of disposable plastic bags, straws and cutlery will not be as easy on the economy – or as good for the environment – as the Trudeau government would have you believe.
The New Racism
One Ontario school board’s draft lesson plan declares, “Racism is ordinary, the ‘normal’ way that society does business.” Another claims white supremacy is woven directly into its own practices and policies. Such evidence reveals how quickly and unquestioningly critical race theory has become normalized throughout Canadian society in education, politics and culture. Borys M. Kowalsky takes a close look at the origins of this radical woke ideology and details the revolutionary threat it poses to the values of liberal democracy. Can it be stopped?
Rescuing Education
“When a clown enters the palace, he does not become king. The palace becomes a circus.” That ancient Turkish proverb applies equally well to North America’s current education system. Here smugly ignorant “students” collide with dogma-driven “educators” fixated on ideological indoctrination. The result is a fetid system that’s no longer capable of nurturing literate citizens, but instead is focused on cranking out institutional foot soldiers for the cultural revolution. Having spent most of his career working in this decaying palace, David Solway has every reason to be bitter. Yet his own experiences tutoring the seemingly unteachable, changes afoot in the educational firmament and the growing alarm of parents have him hoping still.
Pandemic Fallout
Scientists may never trace the origin of our sudden contagion of shameless posing, credit-grabbing and self-pity – yet this strange syndrome proliferated throughout the pandemic. And it lingers still. The most recent outbreak can be found within the leadership of those who suffered the least during Covid-19 – unionized public sector workers. Now these unions are demanding extra compensation for… well, it’s not clear for what exactly. As the demands from this comfortable class grow, the gap between them and the rest of the economy becomes ever-wider. Gwyn Morgan lays out the facts and fundamental injustice of the expanding gulf in compensation between Canada’s public and private sectors – and the harm it is doing to societal cohesion.
Indigenous Reconciliation
Canadians seem to think they know all about their country’s discredited Indian Residential Schools. They’ve certainly been made painfully aware by governments, Indigenous organizations and leaders, academia and the mainstream media of the official narrative – a litany of sheer horror. But what was life at and around these schools actually like? At a time when “lived experience” is all the rage, the voices of the dwindling surviving number of the many thousands of people who once worked in them have fallen silent. Rodney Clifton is one, and his lived experience includes falling in love with and marrying a Siksika woman. In this clear-eyed and deeply humane account, Clifton bares his heart in recounting his times working as a young man in the residential schools system in Alberta and the Far North.
Crisis in News Media
Democracy, Churchill once famously said, is the worst form of government – except for all the rest. Objectivity may have a similar relationship to journalism. It’s hard to achieve, bothersome, limiting, at-times disingenuous and often plain boring – but what are the alternatives? We are now seeing what happens when a discipline dominated by practitioners who reject the very idea of objective truth discard journalism’s formerly animating idea. Newspaper publishing veteran Peter Menzies links the traditional news media’s advanced state of decay to its willful abandonment of objectivity. Yet Menzies also finds glimmerings of a renewed commitment to objectivity in some unlikely places.
Federal Leadership Race
What sort of politician deliberately avoids learning economics while purporting to personify fiscal responsibility? Harbours socially liberal to left-leaning views but can’t bring themselves to join the Liberals or NDP? Disdains principled members of their own party more than politicians on the other team? And loses election after election while insisting their never-changing approach is the sure path back to office? Why, a Progressive Conservative, that’s who. Drawing on his over 40 years in and around politics, John Weissenberger offers a rollicking overview of the alternately odd, amusing, infuriating and just plain self-defeating bundle of contradictions that are Canada’s Red Tories.
Crisis in Education
Of the many inspiring quotations seen on grade school classroom walls, “Be the change you want to see in the world” is among the most popular. Curiously enough, the educational establishment almost always opposes any changes to its own status quo. Case in point: the uproar over Alberta’s plans to remake its public-school curriculum by putting greater emphasis on facts and memorization. Such a “content-rich” learning approach conflicts sharply with the “child-centred” beliefs long cherished by educrats. But there’s more at stake here than competing classroom methods, reports Lorrie Clark. Up for grabs is the very way in which a society creates and nurtures its citizenry.
National Politics
Was the nadir of the Trudeau government’s foreign policy when the prime minister beclowned himself in donning an Indian folk costume while on an official state visit? Or when he declared Europe’s acute energy supply crisis would be solved through more wind and solar power? Each became emblematic of the sad slide in Canada’s international credibility. So it has been encouraging to see all the Conservative Party leadership candidates thinking seriously about foreign and defence policy. While they differ in detail and disagree about significant aspects, it seems certain whoever wins the race will put the Liberals on notice that under a Conservative prime minister, there’d be no more Mr. Dress-Up. Mathew Preston reviews and compares each candidate’s positions – and agrees it’s time for Canada to put its Big Boy Pants back on.
Canadian Values
Tolerance is one of Canada’s greatest virtues. For this reason, any accusation that our country is riven with hatred is profoundly troubling to all fair-minded Canadians. One of the loudest voices levelling accusations of systemic hate is the Muslim Association of Canada; it’s also a major beneficiary of government anti-hate funding. But can a group that has invited speakers who approve of the death penalty for gays or the extermination of the Jews and that denounces nearly any criticism of its positions as “Islamophobia” really be defending the Canadian values of (in its own words) “justice, mercy, peace, respect, security, equity, dignity and equality”? Frédéric Bastien takes a close look.

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