October 31, 2013

All in the (very scary) Community

An ode to Bishop's University - where Halloween is a national holiday! 

Even outside of political campaigns, not for profit groups can play an important role in shaping public policy, as well as provide services in areas ignored by governments and businesses. In order to provide this community volunteer perspective, I conducted a Q&A session with fellow Bishop's University grad and fellow Toronto resident, Emma Stainton - a National Accounts Relationship Manager with RBC Global Asset Management.

October 19, 2013

Building Healthy Communities: A Q&A with Peggy Nash

In order to live healthy lives, citizens need to be given the appropriate tools to participate in community building. Elected officials such as city councillors and members of provincial and federal parliaments can help facilitate this process. 

Drew Williams of HEAL4Life and I had an energetic discussion on civic engagement with Peggy Nash, Member of Parliament for Parkdale-High-Park. 

Peggy is a lifelong community activist who started as an airline union organizer and was North America’s first woman to lead negotiations with the automotive industry before becoming MP from 2006 to 2008 and again since 2011.

September 04, 2013

A Quick Guide to Political Campaigns

At one point or another, you may have considered getting more involved in politics, but may not know where to start. 

While I have followed politics since my teenage years, it wasn't until February 2012 when I became seriously involved. At the time, I was fairly new to Toronto proper and the NDP was holding a leadership race to replace the late Jack Layton. I was curious to meet my elected officials and it turned out the MP for my riding, Peggy Nash, was a leadership candidate. 

July 31, 2013

Why Must We Think Long Term?

To follow up on the Q&A session with Marty the Health Guy, I came across a book called “Above the Board” by Patrizia Porrini, Lorene Hiris, and Gina Poncini. Marty’s views on the ineffectiveness of legislation were confirmed by this book from a business ethics perspective. In addition to the importance of ethics and long term thinking, this post will discuss their application to Toronto’s ongoing transit debate.

July 11, 2013

The Role of Business in Promoting Health

Behind the mic with Marty "The Healthy Guy" Menard... 

Individuals, community organizations, and governments all have roles to play in improving political health. However, one cannot underestimate the role of business either. This post will not be focused on the pros and cons of capitalism, but rather on areas where businesses can contribute better than governments

To help make this case, I have done a Q&A with Marty the Health Guy – owner of Elite PersonalTraining Studio and spokesperson for BestLifeRewarded – in response to his podcast on Incentivizing Health with former CFL linebacker & University of Toronto Clinical Researcher Marc Mitchell dated May 11, 2013.

June 12, 2013

Linking Social Justice to Political Health

We are aware of how sufficient numbers of citizens and their perseverance can lead to real political change; as well as the need for effective leadership to provide a clear vision. For certain influential leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement, Nelson Mandela with the fight to end apartheid, and Tommy Douglas who established Medicare in Canada, this vision adopts a particular form of social justice. Recently, I finished reading “A Healthy Society” by Ryan Meili, a Saskatchewan doctor, which provided a short but well-rounded primer on this subject.

May 13, 2013

The Need for Tone at the Top

In my previous post, “Political Health in Action,” I provided examples on how grassroots movements are effective in influencing change and therefore, a key component of political health. However, political leaders need to set good examples as well, for they can be a source of inspiration for others to follow

Not to mention, good political leaders need to reach out to their adversaries and grassroots organizations to ensure policy is drafted in the interests of all stakeholders. But what happens when political leadership is absent from a critical issue?

April 22, 2013

Political Health in Action

At the beginning of the month, I outlined the three principles of political health, those being citizen participation, social justice, and institutional integrity. Of these three, citizen participation is by far the most important, yet the most neglected.

Too many people in Western society tend to believe our opinions do not matter and/or we do not have much time to be informed of current affairs, let alone take action. These beliefs could not be further from the truth, and I will briefly describe some examples and a few action items on what you can do to improve your political health.

April 02, 2013

The Premise for Political Health

Greetings, Heal4Lifer's! 

Welcome to my first post discussing political health. 

Before proceeding, I would like to provide a bit about myself. I’m from Moncton, New Brunswick, a BBA graduate from Bishop’s University in 2008, and a Certified Management Accountant residing in Toronto. 

My active living passion since my childhood is cycling, whether it was for doing errands around town, long distance bike rides during the weekend, or training for the upcoming Ride for Heart on June 2, 2013. My other passion is politics, in which I pursued a political studies minor in university and have been active with a local riding association in various capacities since last year.