“Keep wage increases below inflation.” The politics of central banks

The Bank of Canada, and other central banks, are ‘aggressively raising interest rates’, ostensibly to stifle inflation. For the same reason, the Bank of Canada’s Governor, Tiff Maklen, recently said that employers should resist labour and supply contracts based on high inflation expectations: i.e. employers shouldn’t raise wages, nor pay their suppliers, in line withContinue reading ““Keep wage increases below inflation.” The politics of central banks”

Back to the office: is proximity bias actually a bias?

As organizations sort out new workplace arrangements – hybrid?; all-office? all-remote? – an interesting sub-genre of article has appeared about ‘proximity bias’. Proximity bias is defined as follows: An unconscious tendency to favor the people we’re physically closer to. In flexible working environments, proximity bias heightens the risk that in-office workers will receive preferential treatmentContinue reading “Back to the office: is proximity bias actually a bias?”

An elderly multi-millionaire dies in her castle

It is never a happy occasion when someone dies, and I therefore wish to extend my condolences to Queen Elizabeth II’s family. Monarchy, inheritance and meritocracy Turning now to the institution of monarchy, the overly saccharine treatment of Queen Elizabeth’s inevitable death, after a very long and cosseted life, is depressing. I agree with manyContinue reading “An elderly multi-millionaire dies in her castle”

Fund the neighbourhood police – and get them to police our cycle lanes!

In a recent blog I argued that more bike lanes – whilst a temporary solution to the immediate danger that car-culture poses for cyclists – are not really a solution that will encourage more cycling. The reason for this is that car-culture has permeated all types of mobility: the bullying and danger that cars inflictContinue reading “Fund the neighbourhood police – and get them to police our cycle lanes!”

More bike lanes are not a solution for cyclist safety

Over the last few years the City of Montreal has made a concerted effort to improve the number and quality of its bike lanes, including a couple of bike ‘highways’ that allow for safer cross-town trips. This effort is in keeping with the interesting research undertaken by Philippe Apparicio and his team: they have measuredContinue reading “More bike lanes are not a solution for cyclist safety”

EDI – of generations, taxonomies and justice

Who is responsible and who should pay? Whilst the sins of parents are often visited upon their children, this has typically been viewed as unfair: it is not because one’s mother is a murderer (for instance), that one should be punished for murder. As individuals we are responsible for our own choices and behaviors, butContinue reading “EDI – of generations, taxonomies and justice”

Montreal’s light-rail saga: avoiding bad planning is not good planning

Latest developments Over the last few days it has been announced that the Eastern portion of Montreal’s light rail system, planned with no community, regional or urban planning input by Québec’s finance-driven pension fund, is being suspended. Responsibility for designing and planning has now been handed to elected officials and to the various transport agenciesContinue reading “Montreal’s light-rail saga: avoiding bad planning is not good planning”

K is for Kanada’s Kovid testing and Kafka

Describing Canada’s current COVID testing for international travelers as Kafkaesque is an overstatement, but only because the system smacks more of Monty Python. This is what happened when I returned to Canada on Thursday 21st April. Return to Canada: Thursday No Covid tests are currently required for fully vaccinated travelers, but a test may beContinue reading “K is for Kanada’s Kovid testing and Kafka”

The geopolitics of regional development: climate and commodities

Canada’s regions are global Local and regional development, to the extent urbanites thinks about them, are usually considered minor affairs, principally driven by forests, farmers, fish, free-range chickens, and the occasional oil-well or mine. Indeed, in an “urban era“, it is easy to forget that, in Canada, about 18% of the population still lives inContinue reading “The geopolitics of regional development: climate and commodities”