Upcoming events: Healthcare panel, poetry reading, & more Canadian films

An item from one of our fellow Canadian organizations in the Bay Area.

Note that due to the pandemic, these fellow Canadian organization have move their programming online – which would allow our members not in the Bay Area to take advantage of some of these opportunities.

Canadian Studies Announcements
In this issue:
  • Former program manager Elliott Smith takes to life on the high seas
  • In the News: Minimum wage increase won’t cost jobs, says affiliate David Card
  • Upcoming event: Is Canada’s healthcare system a model for the US?
  • External event: Poetry reading by affiliate Cecil Giscombe
  • External event: Canadian films at the Sonoma International Film Festival
Checking In: Former Canadian Studies Program Manager Elliott Smith Weighs Anchor on an Exciting New Career
Former Canadian Studies Program manager Elliott Smith has made some surprising professional moves in recent months – what one might even call a “sea-change”. Since leaving UC Berkeley last spring, Elliott has swapped the life of a land-lubber for a maritime existence in the US Merchant Marine. We caught up with him for a brief chat before he embarks on his new career. Please join us in wishing him good luck and smooth sailing!
“After 15 years working in higher education at Western Washington and Berkeley, I made a career switch. I used my downtime during the pandemic to acquire a United States Merchant Mariner Credential. I am going into the maritime industry. I recently passed tests for shipboard firefighting and ocean survival skills, and completed the final basic training steps necessary to work aboard ships sailing internationally.
“One of the things I most enjoyed about working for Canadian Studies at Cal was the ‘always be learning’ mentality cultivated by Professor Bloemraad. I plan to take that spirit into my new industry, and will keep the Canadian Studies community updated on my career growth and development. As a Seattle-based international mariner, I will almost certainly be assigned to the ‘inside passage’ route through British Columbia into Alaska often. I will make sure to share pictures with the Canadian Studies community of beautiful British Columbia whenever I can!”
In the News
Raising the Minimum Wage Won’t Cost Jobs, Says Canadian Studies Affiliate Economist David Card
A recent Berkeley News article asked several distinguished faculty economists about proposals to raise the US minimum wage to $15 – among them, Canadian Studies affiliate David Card. In 1993, Professor Card was one of the first to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy that increasing the minimum wage would lead to widespread job loss. Citing data from a study he did of New Jersey, Card found that not only was there no job loss when the state raised the minimum wage, in some cases employment even rose.
Card’s conclusions drew fierce criticism at the time, but are today increasingly accepted by a new generation of economists, including Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman. However, Card says that the field has been slow to change, and that the current debate is rooted in dated theories: “{Economists} want to hold on to these models, even though they know full well that there are problems with them.”
Upcoming Event
Panel Discussion: The Canadian Healthcare System: A Model for the US?
April 6 | 12:30 p.m. | RSVP here
Most Canadians are proud of their national healthcare system, widely considered one of the best in the world. But when it comes to US healthcare reform, the Canadian example is much more divisive. A growing number of Americans view Canada as a model for a potential US single-payer system. However, for many others a “Canadian” system conjures images of long waits and rationing. Join Canadian Studies for a special panel exploring how Canada’s healthcare system really works, and why its perception in the US is so polarized.
Gregory Marchildon is a professor of comparative healthcare at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. He specializes in Canada’s healthcare system and has written extensively on comparative policy.
Amanda Aronczyk is a journalist and co-host of the NPR show Planet Money. Her 2020 episode “Frame Canada” investigated the US insurance lobby’s long-running PR campaign to block major healthcare reform by discrediting Canada’s healthcare system.
Daniel Béland is the director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and James McGill Professor in the Department of Political Science at McGill University. He studies social policy and health care reform, and their relationship to fiscal policy.
Affiliate/External Events
Poetry and Memoir Reading by Cecil S. Giscombe
March 23 | 7:00 p.m. | Watch here
Canadian Studies affiliate Cecil S. Giscombe – a poet, essayist, teacher, traveler, and professor of writing and literature at UC Berkeley – will headline Washington State University’s Visiting Writers Series with a live reading on March 23.
The event begins at 7 p.m. on YouTube live and is free and open to the public.
Sonoma International Film Festival
March 24-28 | Buy tickets here
The Sonoma International Film Festival will be showcasing a number of independent Canadian films during its run from March 24-28. Selections include Death of a Ladies’ Man; Nadia, Butterfly; Escape from Extinction; First We Eat; and The New Corporation. All films will be available to stream online. View the entire film guide and order tickets here.
Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308
Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720

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