Archive: March, 2012

Book Review: The Cure For Everything by Timothy Caulfield

Building on District Priority #4 (Promote health and wellness for all students and staff) and our Ward F&H gathering (Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities) I had a chance to sit down with Timothy Caulfield, a local Ward F resident, parent, lawyer, academic, and author of the book “The Cure for Everything” (available online or at your local bookstore:,,9780670065233,00.html)
Tim has seemingly boundless energy and gets to do some really neat work on everything from yoga to genetics. I read his book recently and I quite enjoyed it. Unlike other diet books, TCFE is a narrative journey through a personal health and wellness journey with a collection of funny anecdotes, scientific findings, and interesting recommendations.
It’s not a gimmicky “lose weight through X-fad” book, but rather an important reflection on what it means to be healthy and an analysis of some of the misinformation and myths that sabotage good intentions. Without giving out too many spoilers, Caulfield has some surprising findings on the most effective exercises, tough diet advice, and challenges yoga, genetic testing, and various other wellness trends. It’s done so in a fun and accessible and the book made for a short read.
The book is targeted at an adult audience but many of the lessons are important for children and families. I wish I had read this book when I was in high school, especially the bits about the best exercise. Topics range from stories about the psychology of eating, how we make decisions, and how vulnerable we are to placebos and marketing manipulation.
Tim and I talked about the importance of wellness education in our schools.
One of the important points Tim raises in the book is we as a society need to recalibrate our relationships with eating. Many of us are overeating and have no conception of how many calories are in many of our portions, and the madison avenue forces of advertising and marketing have very effectively upsold more eating and more portion sizes to us. Do children know where food comes from? Are they exposed to what proper portions are? And can they share these lessons with their family?
His book reinforces the need for daily physical activity for our students and the importance of playing hard– vigorous exercise is where the most effective gains are.
Check out the book and the video above. I’d be interested to know your thoughts so please comment below!

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EPSB Advocacy Priorities & Public Education Forum


(1 Kingsway Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5H 4G9 (Edmonton Public School Board Offices))

On April 4 our school board is hosting an Education Forum with representatives from all political parties. Lesley Macdonald will moderate the evening, and I encourage you to attend and bring a friend!

Whether or not you are able to attend, you can submit questions for the forum by visiting: To attend, register by March 30: If unable to attend personally, you can view the webcast of the forum at:”/edmontonpublicschools

It’s looking like it could be one of the most competitive races Alberta has seen in a long, long time.

So when the candidates come to knocking on your door, ask their opinion on some of these important issues.

Our four key advocacy priorities for the election period are:

1)      Adequate, sustainable, predictable funding for public education —  In terms of predictability, the recent three-year commitment by the Province is a great start.  Meeting the needs of all students continues to be complex, challenging, and rewarding work.  It requires, however, enough funding to build staff capacity and supply the supports and resources needed in the classroom to meet the varying needs of students (from gifted and talented students to FNMI students to English Language Learners to special education students, etc.).

2)      Funding for public education needs to be viewed an investment, not an expense — investing today will lead Alberta to greater prosperity in the future. It will also reduce crime and unemployment in the future.

3)      More flexibility in both infrastructure funding and formulas is needed – this would enable us to create meaningful long-term partnerships  and better allow our schools to operate as community hubs.

4)      Mandated Half-Day Kindergarten for all students AND fully funded Full-Day Kindergarten for students with socio-economic vulnerabilities  — because early learning is critical to students’ lifelong success and we want to ensure all kids are “ready to learn” when they hit Grade 1.

The Provincial Election is Coming! Which candidates overlap Ward F schools and neighbourhoods??

As you know, Public School Wards are huge! Between 9 Trustees we represent 20-30 communities each. We also collaborate with with many other elected officials who we share representation with.

My ward, Ward F overlaps 4 provincial districts, and thus I’m quite excited for this upcoming provincial election.

As your Public School Trustee, I’ve been seeking opportunities to meet with these individuals and share with them the challenges and opportunities related to public education in our communities. Through our provincial education partners, the Alberta School Board Associaiton (ASBA) and the Public School Boards’ Association of Alberta, we have also sought out opportunities to connect with all of the parties before the provincial election.

Thanks to for the help tracking down the candidates! Here are a list of candidates running for office that overlap Ward F:

Edmonton-Centre Incumbent: Laurie Blakeman (LIB)

LIB: Laurie Blakeman (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube)

NDP: Nadine Bailey (FacebookTwitter)

PC: Akash Khokhar (Facebook)

WR: Barb de Groot

Edmonton-Riverview Incumbent: Kevin Taft (LIB)

LIB: Arif Khan (Facebook, Twitter)

NDP: Lori Sigurdson (Facebook, Twitter)

PCSteve Young (Facebook, Twitter)

WR: John Corie (Facebook, Twitter)

Edmonton-Strathcona Incumbent: Rachel Notley (NDP)

NDP: Rachel Notley (Facebook, Twitter)

PC: Emerson Mayers

WR: Meagen LeFave (Facebook)

Edmonton-Whitemud Incumbent: Dave Hancock (PC)

AP: Julia Necheff (Twitter)

LIB: Rick Szostak

NDP: Jim Graves

PC: Dave Hancock (Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube)

WR: Ian Crawford (Facebook, Twitter)

As always, if I missed someone, fire me a note at