The Monitor, November/December 2021

The big ideas issue
November 1, 2021
3.83 MB

November can feel like a bleak month. The crisp bright beauty of October fades away and a colder, quieter grey sets in as we prepare for longer, darker nights. On the heels of a particularly uninspired election season, with protests at hospitals across the country and Canada battling a Delta-fuelled fourth wave, this fall seems a little darker than most.

Knowing that uncertain days were ahead, we wanted to offer a counterbalance to the partisan jabs, the daily COVID-19 counts, the doomscrolling. In preparation for this issue, contributing authors were asked for their Big Ideas.

More specifically, Editor Róisin West encouraged them to think of progress as a relay race. No one person or single moment can be responsible for fixing everything. So if this was their moment and the baton was passed to them, what would be their big idea to advance equity and sustainability in Canada? And how can we divorce our thinking about progress from the limited imagination that four year election cycles afford us? We're thrilled to share this collection of ideas for Canada’s future, and we hope that it makes your November a little brighter.

The zero-carbon suburb 
What you see when you look out your front door is a function of history, writes Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood. "Cheap cars and cheap land encouraged a particular model of urban development. Why our cities aren’t moving away from this approach is a more pernicious question and one that’s long frustrated housing advocates and environmentalists alike."

A well-being approach to governance 
The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear the strong connections between health and broader social, economic and political circumstances. Lindsay McLaren believes that it's perfect time for her big idea: a well-being approach to governance that is capable of addressing these connections.

COVID-19 didn’t kill neoliberalism; we must do it ourselves
It is becoming increasingly clear that our 40-year nightmare is not over. It's up to us, argues Ricardo Tranjan, to end it once and for all.