Issues

September 2011

Every time there’s a garbage strike or a transit strike the question resurfaces: should we be privatizing public services in Canada? The answers, which involve medical and educational programmes as much as garbage and buses, are complex and deserve serious scrutiny, which is what they get from Tony Dean in this month’s feature essay, “Is Public Service Delivery Obsolete?” Professor Dean brings his experience as former head of the Ontario Public Service to bear on a controversial dilemma.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan was the result of a long and complicated set of political, cultural and economic decisions that left the Canadian-designed heavy water reactor CANDU out in the cold, although it has long been a preferred technology in other Asian countries such as Korea, China and India. Japan-based Canadian journalist Andrew Horvat tells this fascinating and sobering tale in his essay, “No CANDU.”

If public discourse has seemed more paranoid than usual over the past decade, it has been. Jonathan Kay’s Among the Truthers: A Journey into the Growing Conspiracist Underground of 9/11 Truthers, Birthers, Armageddonites, Vaccine Hysterics, Hollywood Know-Nothings and Internet Addicts lays the whole conspiracist landscape out for public inspection and entertainment. Paul Wells, noted Maclean’s columnist, reviews the book with tongue firmly in cheek and without the aid of his tinfoil hat.

The truth is definitely out there . . . somewhere.

Bronwyn Drainie

Editor