Canada’s identity forged by struggle that created shared values

Trudeau is wrong – it's not just diversity that makes us strong, it’s how our diverse parts find so much in common

Canada’s identity forged by struggle that created shared values“Be proud of your heritage – be passionate about your country,” was the motto of The Ukrainian Voice, a Winnipeg-based newspaper that recently ceased operations. First published in 1910, it was the leading advocate for Ukrainians in Canada. In this digital age, it couldn’t survive. Read by many in its day, it will be missed.…

The abysmal scorecard of socialist revolutions

Real communism has failed repeatedly to provide better living conditions. Why do countries like Venezuela persist?

The abysmal scorecard of socialist revolutionsNineteen years ago, ex-general Hugo Chavez came into power in Venezuela, vowing that a “Bolivarian revolution” based on communist principles would improve the lives of his people. Today, millions of Venezuelans are fleeing their homes looking for food, medicine or employment in neighbouring countries. Inflation is out of control. In a country with perhaps the…

Restricting Toronto mayoral debaters is wrong

Fair and equitable election coverage is necessary to maintain broadcast licences, not to mention Canadian democracy

Restricting Toronto mayoral debaters is wrongYou’ve heard of stage diving and photo bombing, but Faith Goldy has pulled a new one: stage storming. “Good morning, sorry to interrupt, I must have missed my invitation in the mail,” she said, having taken the stage to a Toronto mayoral election debate to which she was not invited. The candidate was armed with…

Kinsey’s pseudo-science refashioned our sexual behaviour

It took decades to fully expose the deep and systemic problems with the studies. By then it was too late

Kinsey’s pseudo-science refashioned our sexual behaviourTV personality Phil Donahue once said, “Kinsey was to sexuality what Freud was to psychiatry, what Madame Curie was to radiation, what Einstein was to physics.” Alfred Kinsey was the person primarily responsible for turning western society from Christian sexual morals to amoral behaviour more in line with his tastes. Biographer James H. Jones believes…

Building Internet walls to protect data could penalize users

There are billions of Internet users and every corporation has a virtual finger in the pie. But privacy laws differ widely

Building Internet walls to protect data could penalize usersGeneral data protection regulations (GDPR) sound like something that the average person needs to know nothing about. On the contrary, these rules affect us on a day-to-day basis. For the last 20 years, most jurisdictions have had similar requirements regarding corporations maintaining the privacy of their consumers’ data. The differences were more to do with…

Canada’s multiculturalism model stands the test

But we need to avoid repeating the mistakes so common in western Europe when it comes to immigration

Canada’s multiculturalism model stands the testCanada’s multiculturalism policy came together largely in response to the strong separatist movement that took hold in Quebec during the 1970s. Those were the days of the firebrand Réne Lévesque and the extreme Rose brothers, Paul and Jacques. Pierre Trudeau’s Liberal government developed its multiculturalism policy to demonstrate that all races, religions and ethnic groups…

A bad rap: one singer’s misplaced perspective on treaty rights

The federal government now spends approximately $100,000 per year on each First Nations family

A bad rap: one singer’s misplaced perspective on treaty rightsAs a regular attendee of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, I’ve had the good fortune to watch and hear a wide variety of interesting musicians over the years. One such performance was that of an Indigenous rapper. His main theme in a number of his songs was treaty rights. Basically, he powerfully denounced the government and…

The twisted logic of a sex orientation pioneer

Karl-Maria Kertbeny had much to say about sexual orientation and his views helped shape modern convention, for better or worse

The twisted logic of a sex orientation pioneerIt would be hard to think of a period in human history where social attitudes have changed at the dizzying speed of today. In the past few decades, traditional sexual mores have been severely eroded, long-established concepts of marriage declared to be bigoted, basic concepts of male and female repudiated, and gender identities fragmented into…

Jean Chretien tried to end Canada’s apartheid system

As a cabinet minister under Pierre Trudeau, his bold plan would have improved the lives of Indigenous Canadians. It was doomed

Jean Chretien tried to end Canada’s apartheid systemFormer prime minister Jean Chrétien, now 84, sounded just like the feisty street fighter he once was during a recent CBC Radio interview. But his tenacity wasn't enough to win one of Canada’s gravest – and enduring – fights. From a very young backbencher, through many cabinet posts, and finally to a prime minister who only…

Death and taxes: the fundamental unfairness of taxing estates

We already have too many taxes in Canada. And they tend to be unfair, inefficient and oppressive. We don't need another

Death and taxes: the fundamental unfairness of taxing estatesA long-dead and largely unlamented tax has recently been rediscovered and embraced by certain people: the death tax, or estate tax. But inheritance taxes were abolished in Canada in 1971 by the Liberal government when a capital gains tax was introduced. In Canada, estates are already taxed on the difference between the market value of…

We shouldn’t teach ethnic languages in public schools

Teaching such languages is better done by parents and ethnic associations. Schools must focus on core subjects

We shouldn’t teach ethnic languages in public schoolsThe Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called upon governments to make the teaching of Indigenous languages in public schools a priority. No one would disagree with the idea of having more Indigenous people become familiar with their ancestral languages. Many Canadians want their children to learn their ethnic languages. Parents with Scottish roots might…

The Liberal government’s tax plan a failure

Politicians treat successful Canadians as natural resources to be annually harvested and squeezed for as much money as possible

The Liberal government’s tax plan a failureA few years ago, the federal Liberals told Canadians that they would help the middle class by raising taxes on the rich. According to the early evidence, the plan has flopped. This was entirely predictable. In 2015, the C.D. Howe Institute (formerly chaired by the current federal finance minister) called the policy a “losing proposition.”…

Is intolerance doing permanent damage to artistic integrity?

Special interest groups demanding a say in casting choices flies in the face of diversity and freedom of expression

Is intolerance doing permanent damage to artistic integrity?Visiting the Globe Theatre in London, England, is an unforgettable experience. When viewing the modest grounds and realizing that the ‘groundlings’ – the people in the cheap seats – were sometimes privileged to see original Shakespeare plays, it brings home the long and important history of the performing arts. On our tour of the theatre,…

Waiting for enlightenment in fundamentalist Islamic law

Religious authorities still hold on to their power, insisting that completely outdated concepts must stay

Waiting for enlightenment in fundamentalist Islamic lawShariah law is based on the Qur’an and the Hadith, the collections of sayings attributed to Mohammed. Islamic fundamentalists believe that Shariah courts should decide virtually all disputes, based on that law. Such courts are a fixture in Islamic countries, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. Some fundamentalists even want to see them established in North…

Deliver Canada Post from its old-fashioned business model

To maximize the value, viability and utility of the post office, it should be permitted free rein. That may mean selling it

Deliver Canada Post from its old-fashioned business modelOne new CEO opening will top most stress-filled leadership positions: Canada’s chief mail delivery officer. There are many iconic symbols of Canada but – if it ever was one – Canada Post certainly has long ceded that status. The Crown corporation predates Confederation but hasn’t endeared itself to anybody for generations. Although the Canada Post…
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