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.

    Does Context Matter? Guest: Vince Taylor, author of “Beyond the Blindfold: Harnessing the Secret Power of Context”

    Does Context Matter? Guest: Vince Taylor, author of “Beyond the Blindfold: Harnessing the Secret Power of Context”

    Does context matter? It’s an odd question to ask, especially of yourself. After all, isn't your point of view yours and therefore it’s correct? So who cares? Well, Vince Taylor cares. He cares so much he wrote a book about his journey of self-discovery.


     


    Taylor says, “Before I really understood context, I understood nothing.” If you sit back for a moment and think about Taylor’s assertion, it seems implausible that you could be so far off base because you haven’t taken the time to consider the context. According to him, “Context is the most powerful, naturally occurring interruption of the conscious mind I have ever experienced – a neural concoction so influential that even the best and brightest suffer from incredible and inexplicable bias. The result is that now, to consider my opinions ‘right’ and other opinions ‘wrong’ has become preposterous and embarrassing.”


     


    In fact, he was so moved by what he learned, he spent ten years writing a book that, should you read it and absorb the messages, you too will challenge yourself and your perspectives and biases. And if you decide to travel on that journey – one that Dr Scott Peck calls the “Road Less Traveled” – well, put on your seatbelt and wear a helmet because the road is bumpy and long.


     


    Stuart McNish invited Vince Taylor, author of “Beyond the Blindfold: Harnessing the Secret Power of Context,” to join him for a conversation that matters about a path to enlightenment that is humbling and rewarding.



    Please become a Patreon subscriber and support the production of this program, with a $1 pledge https://goo.gl/ypXyDs  Watch this episode on YouTube and on CHEKNews

    • 29 min
    Will the cruise ships ever come back to BC? - Guest Ian Robertson

    Will the cruise ships ever come back to BC? - Guest Ian Robertson

    Ep 356 - Will the cruise ships ever come back?


    Guest: Ian Robertson


     


    Where have all the cruise ships gone?


     


    They were a long time coming.  It’s important to remember they didn’t come here by chance.


     


    In the 1980s, the Honourable Grace McCarthy set her sights on building a sustainable tourism business and she knew the growing Alaska cruise ship industry was a perfect fit. She worked with the Feds and built Canada Place in Vancouver, not just as a convention centre but also as a world class cruise ship terminal that would bring millions of passengers and their money to Vancouver.


     


    In the 1990s, the focus expanded to include rebuilding Ballantyne Pier and to include Victoria. And it worked brilliantly. Central to the success of the campaign is a provision in the Jones Act called the Passenger Vehicle Services Act, which requires ships carrying passengers to stop at a foreign port between two US ports.


     


    This provision meant Vancouver and Victoria were perfectly located in the Alaska cruise ship industry. Ships could travel from Alaska to British Columbia and back again, or Alaska, BC and Seattle and back again. In 2018, “Cruising in Alaska” reported “about 3.8 million port-of-call cruise passenger visits, or approximately 61%, of all port-of-call cruise visits in the United States,” making Alaska the number one cruise destination.


     


    Over the last three and a half decades, Canadian governments appear to have taken the industry for granted, so much so that when Alaska reached out to Premier Horgan and Prime Minister Trudeau to find a way around the Canadian government's COVID closed-border rules, neither leader even returned the call or email. 


     


    Rather than sit by and do nothing, Senator Mike Lee of Utah introduced three bills (that weren’t approved) to repeal the PVSA, saying it is blatantly “Canada First” and it needs to go. Then Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski introduced a bill that was passed and now allows cruise ships to bypass Canada while our border remains closed.


     


    Stuart McNish invited Ian Robertson, the CEO at the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, to have a Conversation That Matters about why taking the cruise ship industry for granted is a bad idea.


     


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    • 23 min
    Is Cattle Ranching Sustainable? - Cherie Copithorne-Barnes

    Is Cattle Ranching Sustainable? - Cherie Copithorne-Barnes

    Ep 355 - Is cattle ranching sustainable?


    Guest - Cherie Copithorne-Barnes


    We need protein – plain and simple, we need it. And we need protein from nutrient rich sources. Beef, chicken, pork are all nutrient rich and when cooked, these are the foods that propelled the development of the human brain. They remain important to our brain health and the replacement of protein in our bodies that is continuously breaking down.


    Alberta cattle rancher Cherie Copithorne-Barnes says, “Cows are an exceptional source of protein. They eat plant matter and bio-pack it into nutrient rich food for us.”


    Today, there are approximately 70 million cows in North America. That’s down by close to 50 million cows from a peak in the 1970s.  These are large grazing animals that we eat. 50 million cows is still a lot of animals eating a lot of grass and grains and barley. They take up a lot of space and they burp methane.


    “Yes,” says Copithorne-Barnes. “And they play a vital role in the health of marginal agricultural lands – land that you cannot grow anything else on,” to which Copithorne-Barnes points out, at over 1,300 metres above sea level in Alberta, no other agricultural product will grow and produce food humans can eat.


    The question then is, are cows bad for us? Bad for the environment? Or are they good for the environment and good for us? And that begs the question – is cattle ranching sustainable?


    Stuart McNish invited fourth generation rancher Cherie Copithorne-Barnes to join him for this episode of Conversations That Matter, Food for Thought to ask her about beef.


    Please become a Patreon subscriber and support the production of this program, with a $1 pledge https://goo.gl/ypXyDs

    • 23 min
    Setting the Standard for Renewable Cities

    Setting the Standard for Renewable Cities

    Ep 354 - Setting the Standard for Renewable Cities


    Guest - Dr Walter Mérida


     


    As much of the world switches over to electric transportation, the “What about this?” and “What about that?” questions are popping up from those people who are saying, “Not possible.”


     


    On the other side of that discussion is Dr. Walter Mérida, who prefers to ask “What if?”, as in “What if there was a way to integrate all of our disparate urban infrastructure systems to create a cohesive, comprehensive, and connected platform – driven by low or no-carbon technologies?”


     


    Dr Mérida isn’t just asking – he’s doing. His labs, which are energy innovation hubs, recently secured $23 million in public and private funding to convert a city-sized block on the University of British Columbia campus into a smart energy district.


     


    The plan is to build an advanced solar array on top of a parking lot next to a substation. The parking lot will be retrofitted with bidirectional electric vehicle charging stations. That means these stations are equipped so that when vehicles plug in, the stored energy in the battery is sent into the grid and back again. In other words, reversible EV charging.


     


    Reversible EVs have passive energy in a sitting car that can be used by active participants in a smart energy storage network. Electricity is used on demand and will be directed to an electrolyzer to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, supplying the refuelling station for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. 


     


    The hydrogen produced by this process is 100 percent renewable or “green hydrogen.” A secure 5G wireless technology platform will connect the system’s components to each other and to other on-campus systems and assets for optimal productivity and efficiency. It’s a complicated system, one that is needed to realize renewable cities. 


     


    Stuart McNish invited Dr Walter Mérida to join him for a Conversation That Matters about the complex and achievable process of integrating renewable energy into the transportation and energy grid we need to successfully transition to electrified transportation.


     


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    • 23 min
    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.



    Please become a Patreon subscriber and support the production of this program, with a $1 pledge https://goo.gl/ypXyDs

    • 23 min
    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.  







    Please become a Patreon subscriber and support the production of this program, with a $1 pledge https://goo.gl/ypXyDs 

    • 23 min

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