The Plague-Ground: Will how you voted determine if you live or die?

I’ve not written about Donald Trump because bashing my head against the wall is not one of my top self-care activities. Besides, reading about Donald Trump is crazy-making enough, in the way a bad drug or an old flame can be. But ages ago…

The Plague-Ground - What are you doing at 12 noon on Sunday?

GO TO YOUR PORCH OR BALCONY. Like you, I’ve sung O Canada hundreds of times. Like you, I can remember nearly none of them. But there are two that have stuck with me over the years, both joyous, chest-thumping occasions when our voices…

The Plague-Ground - They are not failed versions of us

“Never in our lives have we experienced such a global phenomenon. It's almost uplifting to know that virtually everyone on earth is sharing the same concerns and uncertainties, with all focused on the well-being of their families and communities.…

The Plague-Ground - Does Our Future Already Exist on Fogo Island?

As we sit at home watching our hair grow uncut, we’re deluged with ideas for how to rebuild a fairer, kinder world once life on earth returns to normal. Let me add this idea: Talk to Zita Cobb. She was born 62 years ago in Joe Batt’s…

The Plague-Ground - Are Your Lungs Older Than Your Denial?

Mine sure are. They’re 70 years old. My wife Jean’s are seven years older. This puts us both in the high-risk category for dying from COVID-19 if we test positive. So our roulette is different. Of the 65 Canadians who have died so far…

The Plague-Ground - Women’s Faces in Urgent Places

I think one reason Canada’s doing ‘okay’ in beating back COVID-19 is that we have so many women in charge of fighting it. Half of Canada’s 10 chief provincial medical officers are women, as is Canada’s chief medical officer, Dr.…

The Plague-Ground - “Not much use being anything else.”

Many years ago, I interviewed a medic who flew with Ornge, Ontario’s air ambulance service. My job was to write up a personal profile of him for the Ornge website. In our brief phone call, he taught me a lesson in life and leadership that…

The Plague-Ground - THERE AIN'T NO MUSIC UNLESS THE WORDS SING.

Raise your hand if you don't like music. Good. Not one person raised their hand. It’s amazing that 100% of us can agree on one single thing these days (even staying away from each other, as these darkly funny appeals from Italian mayors…

The Plague-Ground - COMFORTS AND JOYS

  COVID-19 isn't the only thing going viral. It took just a week for us to be swamped with astounding new ways to help us cope with the dark days ahead. We can learn to cook everything in our fridge just by taking a picture of…

THE PLAGUE GROUND - A MOMENT OF DESPAIR

“We’re all going to die!” No one I know is actually saying that, or even screaming it. But today I’m feeling it. I catch a story out of New York about a young man dying, and quickly shut it off. I talk on the phone with a…

THE PLAGUE-GROUND - PRACTICE SOCIAL TIGHTENING

My 39-year-old step-daughter dropped off some toilet paper at our condo this morning. While we don’t need toilet paper, I was touched by her gesture. In return, I gave her one of our three tubes of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. Before last…

THE PLAGUE-GROUND

This morning, I went into my Home Hardware on the Danforth searching for a metal box I could hide my secret stash of end-of-the-world cash in. They were out. But what they did have fresh in was a shipment of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. So…

Circumnavigating Manhattan by kayak

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One island, 49 kilometres, 10 hours: This epic tour of New York City’s most populous borough is a marathon of sights and sounds — and dangers My wife Jean and I have kayaked on Ontario’s Georgian Bay for years, often sleeping on rocks…

Where can women of colour be women of power?

Counting the commentaries on International Women’s Day last Friday could fool us into thinking women are breaking the glass ceilings in the corridors of power. This may be true for white women, although their advance is slow and halting.…

Canadian airlines should make Indigenous landing announcements

Last May my wife and I flew from Broome, on the west coast of Australia, to Sydney. Just before landing, the flight attendant made this announcement: “Qantas acknowledges the First Nations peoples of Australia as the continuing custodians…
Rather than saying “women now hold 16.4 per cent of all board seats…” on TSX trade companies, we should be saying: “…..men continue to hold 83.6 per cent of all board seats,” writes Bob Ramsay. (FRANK GUNN / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

A new way of looking at how men dominate the business world

They say a problem redefined is a problem half-solved. Nowhere is this truer than with the problem of women on boards and in corner offices. The problem, of course, is that while there are scads of women qualified for these positions, far…

New Ways to Travel

Lecture Delivered by Bob Ramsay University Lecture Series University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies November, 2018 This lecture is not called New Places to Travel, but rather New Ways to Travel. By that I mean new ways…

Private foundations would benefit by having diverse leadership

“Male, pale and stale.” Is this the fate of the foundations that give out billions to Canadians? This summer, Britain’s Association of Charitable Foundations revealed the race, age and gender of the board members of the nation’s…