100 episodes

Conversations That Matter is a weekly news series hosted by veteran Canadian journalist Stuart McNish. He sits down with thought leaders from around the globe to dig into the issues that matter to Canadians.

Conversations That Matter Stuart McNish, Veteran Canadian Newsman

    • News
    • 4.3 • 7 Ratings

Conversations That Matter is a weekly news series hosted by veteran Canadian journalist Stuart McNish. He sits down with thought leaders from around the globe to dig into the issues that matter to Canadians.

    Cannabis as Medicine - John Tse

    Cannabis as Medicine - John Tse

    Ep 353 - Cannabis as Medicine


    Guest - John Tse


     


    The idea of lighting up a doobie for medicinal purposes sounds fantastic. I’m stressed; I’ll take a toke, right on! I’m in pain; I’ll toke a little more, fantastic! I can’t sleep; yeah you got– you’re just a few tokes away for a night of bliss.


     


    The problem, according to pharmacists and medical cannabis practitioner John Tse, is “cannabis as a medication doesn’t work that way – medical cannabis is not inhaled and the prescribing of it is complicated.”


     


    Medical cannabis has many potentials and potential pitfalls. Tse says, “The study of cannabis and health is so new that it’s early days in our understanding of the chemical properties and the way our bodies respond. And just like any other drug, how those chemicals act and react in your body is different from how they will react in others.”


     


    The science of pharmacogenomics adds insights into how cannabis interacts with your body. However, the data is still limited, and then add in the fact the study of cannabis is even newer because up until Canada made it legal, research was illegal. In other words, we know a sliver of the scientific information we need.


     


    And what about drug interactions? How does cannabis react with a statin you’re taking for your heart or your diabetes medication? And should you use CBD, CBG or CBN? Or should you consume cannabis with THC? Then how do you dose and how often?


     


    Stuart McNish invited John Tse to join him for a Conversation That Matters about how and when to use cannabis as medicine.



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    Can Granville St be Re-Imagined? - Chris Fair

    Can Granville St be Re-Imagined? - Chris Fair

    Ep 352 - Can Granville St be Re-Imagined?


    Guest - Chris Fair


     


    Granville Street – at least the part of it that is within the downtown area – was redesigned in 1974 and it was “supposed to reflect Vancouver’s unique identity, character and sense of place,” according to Heritage Vancouver. 


     


    The street, unfortunately, is a mishmash of planning over the decades that don’t always work as well as hoped for. And let’s face it, the street is supposed to be a pedestrian mall where people want to be. They want to eat, shop, and be entertained in a lively and friendly space.


     


    One element of a pedestrian mall is to be pedestrian. Granville Street is kinda pedestrian and kinda not. It’s really a transportation corridor that begrudgingly accommodates foot traffic and cyclists along with hundreds of buses and taxis and police cars. In other words, it is not even close to a true pedestrian mall.


     


    The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association says, “It’s sorta working but with adjustments, it can be fantastic. We did it in 2010 for the Olympics and it was great. Let’s do it again.” To that end, DVBIA hired Resonance Consultancy to re-imagine Granville Street. The company is a Vancouver success story – the team has worked with huge international players who sought to and accomplished stunning upgrades and turnarounds around the world.


     


    Stuart McNish invited Chris Fair, the CEO and the 2013 Place Brand Thought Leader, to join him for a Conversation That Matters about Re-Imagining Granville Street.  







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    • 23 min
    Let‘s Talk GMO

    Let‘s Talk GMO

    Ep 351 - Let’s Talk GMOs with a GMO Scientist


    Guest - Dr Larry Gilbertson


     


    Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, otherwise known as CRISPR. It's a word many people know is associated with genetic engineering – the genetic engineering of food. But what most of us don't know is, what exactly is genetic engineering?


     


    The science of adjusting the genetic makeup of plants has been in process for thousands of years. From the time humans transitioned from hunter-gatherers to farmers, we've been tinkering with food. This plant has those characteristics and if we wed them to this one, will it grow better in this environment? Will it taste better? Will it be drought resistant? Will it be disease tolerant? And so on. 


     


    By the middle of the last century, scientists were rapidly moving toward sequencing the genomes of everything, including people. Genetics now play a vitally important role in innovations in medicine, trees, food, and so on. And somewhere along the way, genetics and food got a bad rap, so much so that many people are openly campaigning against bioengineering of plants. 


     


    Stuart McNish wanted to ask someone who actually does this type of work, what they do, why they do it, and can we trust them and the foods they produce.  He invited Larry Gilbertson of Bayer Crop Sciences to join him for a Conversation That Matters  about innovations in plant biotechnology. 



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    • 27 min
    BC Mining Leading the World - Adam Pankratz

    BC Mining Leading the World - Adam Pankratz

    Ep 350 -   BC Mining leading the World!


    Guest - Adam Pankratz







    For generations, mining operations across British Columbia have provided high-paying jobs and economic activity in every region of the province. According to the Mining Association of BC, “mining continues to be vital to the provincial economy and standard of living. BC’s minerals and metals are key ingredients in clean energy technologies and are helping the world transition to a cleaner, lower carbon economy.” The Association goes on to point out that “BC’s mines and smelters support more than 35,000 workers across the province from Campbell River to Cranbrook, and from Victoria to Vanderhoof.” 


     


    BC’s Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation forecast the total value of mine production in the province to exceed $9.2 billion for 2020 and that was before copper and gold prices rose. The province is endowed with a vast array of minerals and deposits; it is Canada’s largest coal producer, a leader in the production of copper and the only producer of molybdenum. As well, there is significant production of gold, silver, lead and zinc – just some of the more than 30 industrial minerals produced in BC.


     


    Adam Pankratz, Adjunct Professor of Strategy and Business Economics at UBC’s Sauder School of Business says, “BC isn’t home to many world company headquarters except when it comes to mining.” Pankrantz says the province and Vancouver in particular are centres of excellence in every aspect of mining. The Mining Association confirmed this in a recent report, stating, “Most of the major players operating in the province are either BC-based or Canadian companies. Over time, this has led to the Lower Mainland becoming a global mining centre, with one of the largest concentrations of industry-related professionals in the world.” 


     


    Stuart McNish invited Adam Pankratz of the Sauder School of Business to join him for a Conversation That Matters about mining in BC.



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    • 23 min
    Let‘s Talk about CRISPR People - Henry T. Greely

    Let‘s Talk about CRISPR People - Henry T. Greely

    Ep 349 -   Let’s Talk About CRISPR People


    Guest - Henry T. Greely


     


    The science and ethics of editing human DNA went on high alert in November of 2018 when it was revealed that two babies had been born after their embryos were CRISPed. Professor Henry T. Greely, the Director of the Stanford Center for Law and the Biosciences, was notified and within minutes of the news, he was drawn into an ethical debate that we all must consider. Greely asks and attempts to answer the question, “Is it ethical to mess with human embryos?” 


     


    In his new book “CRISPR People,” he says, “Things are about to get interesting. This is an experiment that feels like a cross between bad fiction and reckless fiasco, shrouded in a deep fog of secrets.” The experiment in question took place in China by scientist He Jiankui, who attempted to edit the CCR-5, a gene known to be important in providing a gateway for HIV to infect some human cells.


     


    Greely says, “The goal of the experiment was to make the gene inoperative and thus deprive HIV of that gateway for infection. The two edited embryos, of non-identical twin sisters, were transferred into their mother’s uterus sometime in late March or early April 2018. Sometime in October, somewhere in China, they were born.” On the surface, a noble idea – the reality of the experiment is nothing short of an attempt to win the Nobel Prize.


     


    Dr. He forged documents giving him permission to conduct the experiment and now he is in prison in China. His imprisonment has frustrated many who want to know more about his experiment, which appears to have been an exercise in his own aggrandizement.


     


    Stuart McNish invited Henry Greely to join us for a Conversation That Matters about human germline editing.



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    • 23 min
    Addressing Anti-Asian Racism - Franco Ng

    Addressing Anti-Asian Racism - Franco Ng

    Ep 348 -   Addressing Anti-Asian Racism


    Guest - Franco Ng


     


    Anti-Asian racism is increasing. Over the past 12 months, reports of discriminatory incidents in Canada have more than tripled, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Toronto and U of T’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. And the reason for the increase, according to the authors of the report, is COVID-19.


     


    Anti-Asian racism unfortunately is not new to Canada. People of Chinese discent have experienced racism, segregation, intimidation, violence and murder because they were Chinese. The Canadian government officially introduced the Chinese Immigration Act in 1885, which imposed a heavy head tax on anyone from China. Then in 1923, the Act banned Chinese Immigrants from entering Canada.


     


    The Act was repealed in 1947 when Chinese people were allowed to become Canadian citizens. Despite citizenship rights, it wasn’t until 1962 that immigrants from China were allowed into the country. In other words, as a country we have been hostile, disrespectful and physically aggressive towards people from China.


     


    Over the past 60 years, anti-Asian discrimination was fading. In fact, most young women and men of Asian ancestry or new immigrants rarely experience racism. Then COVID-19 dramatically changed the way Asian people are being treated.


     


    My guest today, Franco Ng, is one of a group of young people who says part of the problem is their generation needs to step up and get involved. Co-chair of the Youth Forum for Asian Representation Lauren Tse says, “A lack of Asian representation across all spectrums of Canadian government has hindered the ability for the community to effectively address the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes.”


     


    Stuart McNish invited Franco Ng, one of the driving forces behind the Forum, to join us for a Conversation That Matter about addressing anti-Asian racism.



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    • 23 min

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