What the World Needs Now: Indigenous Rights, Health Care, and Transition Pathways to Net Zero

Watch our November 2021 faculty panel discussion with three SPPA faculty members on the importance of good public policy to help solve the crucial issues of the world today.

James Meadowcroft
In our rapidly changing world, economic, social and technological changes are affecting sectors and regions across Canada. The Transition Accelerator is a pan-Canadian charity that works with groups across the country to direct these disruptions to solve business and social challenges while building viable transition pathways to a net zero future. Our current priorities are Canada’s hydrogen economy, electric vehicle market penetration, building decarbonization and electrification, and grid integration.

Photo of Katherine MinichKatherine Minich
Indigenous rights tested in the Supreme Court make their way (or not) into nation-to-nation government relationships between the Crown and Indigenous peoples. While Indigenous rights play a part in federal and provincial responses to things like fishing, waterway transportation, land access they are also becoming important to policy formulation in emerging policy areas like climate change, freshwater and more. The calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are changing how some professions and organizations communicate and engage with Indigenous communities. However, Indigenous Rights and the TRC are tools not endpoints in healthy political, social and cultural participation of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. This discussion will look at the importance of using historical analysis and cultural frameworks to carefully examine policy challenges and opportunities.

Photo of Marc-Andre GagnonMarc-André Gagnon
Pandemics (plague, smallpox, cholera, flu, cholera, HIV/AIDS) have a role in shaping today’s modern states. COVID-19 has made us question many things that were taken for granted in both health policy and pharmaceutical policy. It forced the adaptation of the health care systems, of the research and development capacities for treatments and vaccines, and forced the questioning of the articulation between the public and private sectors to tackle the pandemic. However, COVID-19 is not the first pandemic and will certainly not be the last. Pandemic conditions involve massive uncertainty, yet political decisions must still be made. By focusing on public policy around pharmaceuticals, this discussion will explore the main policy challenges faced by the Canadian state during the pandemic.