April 2014

What do voters need to make intelligent electoral choices? Inspiring ideas? High-flown rhetoric? Attack ads? Or maybe just a clear-headed look at the numbers that show how well (or how poorly) the country has been performing under the current mandate. Christopher Flavelle, a member of the editorial board of Bloomberg View, makes the case in his feature essay, “Measuring What Matters,” that certain indicators give us the best information we can seek on the government presently in power.

The suburbs have taken a bad rap at least as far back as John Updike, but now there are stirrings of creativity and original thought going on among the strip malls and split-levels. Alison Bain’s new book, Creative Margins: Cultural Production in Canadian Suburbs tracks these new artistic breezes blowing past windswept bus stops, but our reviewer Frances Bula, a BC urban affairs writer, is not entirely convinced.

Chris Turner, whose fierce condemnation of the Harper government’s The War on Science we reviewed in our November 2013 issue, steps up now to review Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie’s  Toxin Toxout, a sequel to their highly successful Slow Death by Rubber Duck. While that first book warned readers of the environmental hazards in our daily lives, this second volume purports to show what ordinary consumers and citizens can do about them.

Finally this month, take a look at Harvey Locke’s engaging and provocative essay about how the rest of us have been reading Albertans wrong for a long, long time.

It’s spring, no matter what the thermometer says!

Bronwyn Drainie