Issues

April 2012

“You can pay me now . . . or pay me later.” We all remember the famous oil filter ads on television. James Hughes, this month’s LRC essayist, takes that theme and applies it thoughtfully to Canada’s social spending. If it costs a whole lot more to keep a homeless shelter going than to provide permanent housing for street people, why do it? Of course the equation is not that simple, and Hughes, a former Deputy Minister of Social Development for New Brunswick, acknowledges what a hard sell this idea is, even if it makes “dollars and sense”.

Beth Haddon, a former broadcasting producer and executive, explores the lucrative and highly disturbing world of kidnapping for ransom when she examines three recent Canadian memoirs written by kidnap victims: activist James Loney, journalist Melissa Fung and diplomat Robert Fowler.

What should you buy? Where should you take your next holiday? Increasingly we turn to the Internet for answers to these questions, but what kind of information does it really give us? The Reputation Society: How Online Opinions Are Reshaping the Offline World is a new book of essays that explores this growing social phenomenon. It’s reviewed for us by Tom Slee, author of No One Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart.

Writing worth reading.

Bronwyn Drainie

Editor