Breaching the fine line between teaching and brainwashing

Being a teacher means making sure your students are exposed to more than one perspective

Breaching the fine line between teaching and brainwashingThere’s a fine line between teaching and brainwashing. Teaching informs students about the world around them and helps them become critical thinkers. In contrast, brainwashing provides students with heavily skewed information that leads to one predetermined conclusion. It’s easy to mix these two things up if we aren’t careful. People who work in schools are…

The digital age means we have no more secrets

Our personal information has become open access. And electronic security is a cat-and-mouse game, a cycle that never ends

The digital age means we have no more secretsIn the span of 40 years, Canadian society has gone from paper files in cabinets, to electronic storage of everything from medical records to what you had in your coffee at Starbucks this morning. Our lives have become itemized and catalogued into easily-accessed databases filled with our intimate details. We have, in fact, willingly surrendered…

A fundamental flaw at the centre of the Truth and Reconciliation report

The commission seems to have begun its work with a conclusion in mind, then spent six years and more than $60 million amassing evidence to support it

A fundamental flaw at the centre of the Truth and Reconciliation reportThis close to Christmas is a good time to test our knowledge of Christianity and Christian charity. So ponder this: When Christian churches founded schools in Canada, what names did they use? Perhaps you think these schools were named after saints, days in the Christian calendar and important church leaders. If so, give yourself part…

How to bring peace to Palestine

If we want peace and a better future for Palestinians, we must hold Palestinian officials accountable for their anti-peace actions

How to bring peace to PalestineThe Canadian government is sending $25 million of taxpayers’ money to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which is uniquely dedicated to supporting Palestine refugees. But does Canada’s financial aid advance the cause of peace or impede it? Some observers say that UNRWA actively supports Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood movement dedicated to the destruction…

When a kiss is just a kiss

Fairy tales impart pro-social values and are full of lessons for the young. We do our children no favours when we read lust and sexual assault into them

When a kiss is just a kissIn Casablanca, the greatest movie ever made, Dooley Wilson (as Sam) sings: “You must remember this/ A kiss is just a kiss/ A sigh is just a sigh.” Sarah Hall of North Shields, England, would disagree. For her, a kiss, such as that bestowed by the handsome prince on Sleeping Beauty, teaches impressionable youngsters that…

The renewable energy movement ignores real world problems

The energy revolution has brought conventional utilities to the brink, only to discover that solar and wind power can’t be relied on

The renewable energy movement ignores real world problemsAustralia’s new National Energy Guarantee (NEG) has a sad, dangerous resemblance to Canadian policy. It’s a desperate attempt to make renewable energy projects viable when they’re not. The idea is to always have ‘dispatchable power’ – alternative sources – available to relieve brownouts and blackouts that result from an increasing dependency on renewable power. The…

The battle against Airbnb flies in the face of freedom of choice

Everyday people who want to make money from their homes are opposed by unions protecting their members from competition

The battle against Airbnb flies in the face of freedom of choice“There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation,” Pierre Trudeau, then justice minister of Canada, famously said in 1967. Fifty years later, this statement is no longer true. People who are straight, gay, transgendered or otherwise can’t necessarily get a room for the night from anyone willing to rent. No, when…

Turning recycled value into wasteful municipal spending

Winnipeg's decision to go with new curbside collection providers ramps up unnecessary costs for taxpayers as the market for recyclables softens

Turning recycled value into wasteful municipal spendingThe City of Winnipeg’s intended austerity budget predictably nickels and dimes ratepayers, with rate increases and service cuts in response to lower than expected provincial transfers. But city council has thrown away tens of millions of dollars in available savings on garbage collections and recycling. In September 2016, independent pollsters found that 93 per cent…

Communism’s pernicious influence persists despite the best evidence

On the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, some romantics still embrace the fallacies of communism and its sister socialism

Communism’s pernicious influence persists despite the best evidenceA number of Canadian newspapers recently noted the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. The attention was misplaced and lacked perspective. In 1917, a small band of fierce, committed and violent extremists seized control of the Tsarist Russian Empire. They then created the much more oppressive and murderous Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. After the success…

How alcohol is killing Aboriginal Canadians

In his important book Firewater, Harold Johnson talks about the enormous problem of alcohol abuse that plagues so many Indigenous communities

How alcohol is killing Aboriginal CanadiansWhat is the ’60s Scoop and why should a conversation about it still matter to Canadians today? The ’60s Scoop has been much in the news recently, and I expect we’ll hear much more about it in the coming weeks and years. I’m guessing there are already plans to make it the subject of the…