Rachel Haliburton

B0NNRP Syringe and a bottle of morphine

Assisted Suicide: A Slippery Slope?

August 19, 2020 at 2:49 pm

In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada decriminalized the prohibition on assisted suicide, a decision which led to the legalization of assisted suicide (when an individual ends her own life with the help of another, usually a physician) and voluntary active euthanasia (when someone gives permission to another person –Read More

Impossible Whopper. (Photo by Sarah Stierch, CC BY 4.0 Missvain / CC BY https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Can You Have Your Meat and Eat It Too?

June 10, 2020 at 1:04 pm

When I was young, there was a saying that was often used to describe someone who wanted to do two incompatible things simultaneously: “She wants to have her cake and eat it too!” The moral of the saying was that we often have to make difficult choices: we can’t preserveRead More

Beach garbage, Hawaii. (Photo by Justin Dolske from Cupertino, USA / CC BY-SA https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0 )

Platitudes Won’t Solve the Problem of Plastic Waste

May 13, 2020 at 12:17 pm

I have long prided myself on my conscientious recycling and composting habits. Anything that is recyclable goes into my blue boxes, and anything that is compostable goes into my green bin. Consequently, while I often put out more than one blue box on garbage day, I usually have only aRead...

Walking the Walk on Public Health Rules

Walking the Walk on Public Health Rules

April 22, 2020 at 11:16 am

I am writing this column on Sunday, April 19, which, coincidentally, is also Easter Sunday for Orthodox Christians. Last week, another Easter Sunday, did not feel festive, and nor does this one. My street, as I look out my window, is completely deserted. There are cars in the driveways, butRead More

Photo by Philafrenzy / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

When Everything is a Moral Dilemma

April 15, 2020 at 11:02 am

I had a strange nightmare last night. It began in a perfectly ordinary way, with me pushing a shopping cart down the aisles of a grocery store and loading my cart with the kinds of items I usually buy: some cheese, some cherry tomatoes, some fish and so on. ThisRead More

Wood Green free speech area. 28 September 2019. (Photo by Philafrenzy / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

Go Ahead — Change Your Mind

April 8, 2020 at 2:46 pm

Last fall, Canadians were treated to the unedifying spectacle of a federal election (or, as Frank magazine amusingly put it, “a running of the reptiles.”) I think it’s safe to say that, whatever our particular political beliefs, and our relief or disappointment with the election results, all of our politicalRead...

Emery Barnes Park Playground, Vancouver, during coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by GoToVan from Vancouver, Canada / CC BY SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Preliminary Thoughts on a Pandemic

March 25, 2020 at 1:21 pm

There’s a passage in Emily St. John Mandel’s wonderful (and surprisingly not too depressing) book, Station Eleven, about the world before, during, and after a pandemic which I want to quote at length because it captures better than anything else I know how I am feeling right now. It goesRead More

Students reading in class, Leflore County Schools. (Carl Albert Research and Studies Center, Congressional Collection / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Educated for Life?

March 8, 2020 at 12:35 pm

As of this writing, elementary and high school teachers in Ontario are embroiled in an escalating dispute with Premier Doug Ford’s government. Teachers have held a number of one-day strikes and, I understand, have many more planned. While the government has been putting forward a narrative that consists of theRead More

Are We All Climate Change Deniers?

Are We All Climate Change Deniers?

February 12, 2020 at 12:47 pm

Last month, I discussed the work of an ex-student of mine, Caitlin Heppner, who recently defended a very interesting thesis on the epistemological dimensions of climate science. Caitlin explored both the question of why some people might be skeptical about the validity of the science and the motives of theRead More

Why Do Climate Skeptics Distrust the Science?

Why Do Climate Skeptics Distrust the Science?

January 15, 2020 at 1:32 pm

Last month, I argued that, when we think in Marxist terms about the contradictions of capitalism, perhaps the most striking and important contradiction of all is that to make the goods bought and sold to keep the capitalist machine running we are destroying the very planet we depend upon forRead More