The right of women to choose their own futures

Saudi Arabia’s anti-women laws require a swift dose of economic freedom, and they’re not alone

The right of women to choose their own futuresThe Canada-Saudi Arabia diplomatic dispute appears to have calmed – for now – but the issue at the heart of the dispute remains. The dispute peaked in August after Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted her support for women’s rights activist Samar Badawi. That prompted Saudi Arabia to pull its students from Canadian colleges and universities…

Healthy nations need healthy boundaries

If the world has anything to teach Canada, it’s not how to treat migrants. It’s how to deliver health care for its own

Healthy nations need healthy boundariesAre you a big-hearted person who likes to help everyone? If so, you probably suffered a phase where you offered too much of yourself: heart, time and money. Then you realized if you gave out too much, you would just plain give out. Despite your best efforts, there would always be more people in need…

Canada’s persistent apartheid system

Canadians passionately denounced South Africa while not noticing that we had an apartheid system of our own. It's still here

Canada’s persistent apartheid systemWinnipeg’s Canadian Museum for Human Rights is commemorating Nelson Mandela’s long struggle against the white South African apartheid regime. Mandela, who died in 2013 at age 95, was imprisoned for 27 years because of his defiance of the regime and his determination to end apartheid. That apartheid regime divided people into racial categories and issued…

Medically assisted dying cases need stronger review to safeguard us all

The act of ending the life of another person raises fundamental questions of human dignity and rights

Medically assisted dying cases need stronger review to safeguard us allIn the early days of Canada’s public conversation about medical assistance in dying (MAID), Dr. Jeff Blackmer, then vice-president of the Canadian Medical Association, expressed the gravitas of the policy choices that lay ahead as “no less than a sea change” to the ethos and culture of the medical profession. That was in 2016, after…

The Saudi-Canada spat and the New World Order of Oil

What's been billed as a clash over human rights is really all about oil and the Saudis keeping Canada in its place

The Saudi-Canada spat and the New World Order of OilCall it the clash of the oil titans. And it all started with a tweet. In one corner we have Saudi Arabia, the undisputed oil heavyweight of the world. It produces 11 million barrels per day (bpd) and is the planet’s largest oil exporter by far. In the other corner to challenge the champ, we…

Denying TWU’s bid for a law school was the right decision

But why were so many provincial law societies silent in the face of clear LGBTQ discrimination?

Denying TWU’s bid for a law school was the right decisionIn a society that prizes the rights and freedoms guaranteed to us by our Constitution, sorting through what to do when rights collide can be challenging. The Supreme Court of Canada recently dealt with that very issue. The Supreme Court protected the dignity of LGBTQ people in Canada and the integrity of the legal profession…

Compelled speech compromises basic rights

If the Canada Summer Jobs precedent holds, soon other government agencies will mix public funds and political preferences

Compelled speech compromises basic rightsIn a crucial free speech ruling recently, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the constitution in that country prohibits forcing people to say what they don’t believe. Here in Canada, a young Ottawa lawyer upped the ante recently by filing a Federal Court lawsuit arguing that our Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the right…

Tent cities aren’t the problem, just a symptom

We need to address contributing factors to homelessness, including mental illness, addictions and poverty

Tent cities aren’t the problem, just a symptomTonight, an increasing number of Canadians face the prospect of sleeping in a tent – not to welcome the summer camping season but as a last resort. Unlike regulated campgrounds, tent cities are without electricity, water and often bathrooms. These makeshift encampments appear to be on the rise with Winnipeg and Nanaimo, B.C., being two…

Is western civilization worth defending?

The science, culture and philosophy of the West have been embraced around the world. And millions still flock to our shores

Is western civilization worth defending?“An anthropologist is someone who respects the distinctive values of every culture but his own. We in the West are all anthropologists now.” – Roger Kimball, The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of America Soon after arriving at McGill University in 1968 from a year of ethnographic field research in Iran,…

NFL puts greed ahead of freedom of expression, again

NFL owners are rich, not necessarily smart. Forcing players to stand at attention during the national anthem undermines basic rights

NFL puts greed ahead of freedom of expression, again“Being rich doesn’t mean you’re smart, honest or fair. It just means you're rich.” That’s how John Feinstein ended his column about how former San Francisco 49er Eric Reid is getting punished by rich National Football League owners – in the same way former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is – for kneeling during the playing…

Entertainment as diversity propaganda

Television has taken it upon itself to correct social wrongs. But it doesn't fairly represent the mosaic of our society

Entertainment as diversity propagandaTelevision programs not only entertain, they also influence our ideas about society and culture. These messages aren’t meant to solely and accurately reflect social reality – they’re also meant to shape that reality. People and their actions and opinions are presented as if they’re typical and to be emulated. These programs offer a view of…

No-go zones around abortion clinics are unconstitutional

Free societies don’t dictate the correct answers to difficult questions, nor protect people from discomfort over their choices

No-go zones around abortion clinics are unconstitutionalAlberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman recently claimed that banning peaceful anti-abortion protests near abortion clinics is not about freedom of expression. Yet she has also expressed confidence that her new law would withstand a constitutional challenge. By speaking of a constitutional challenge, it seems that she knows that this new law tramples on free expression…

Emerging from a world of suffering with hope

We can’t wallow in despair. We need to look at what we and others are doing right and emulate what works

Emerging from a world of suffering with hopeDespite what we see in our daily newsfeeds, life on Earth is actually improving. On a global level, we see significant drops in child mortality and increases in life expectancy. According to the World Health Organization, more than one billion people have gained access to safer drinking water since 1990. We also see amazing innovations…

Painting a masterpiece: the art of dissent in search of truth

Freedom of expression in the arts is as fragile as freedom of the press, and it’s just as vital to human rights as freedom of thought

Painting a masterpiece: the art of dissent in search of truthUkrainian businessman and philanthropist Victor Pinchuk said, “Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.” Art has been a part of the human experience as long as there have been people. It’s served many purposes, from the practical to the philosophical. Great pieces of art offer an expression of beauty and human creativity.…

When inclusivity runs counter to simple common sense

Inclusion is a virtue, but not when it erodes the boundaries of taste, truth and common sense

When inclusivity runs counter to simple common senseSometimes you have to wonder what’s going through another person’s mind – or whether anything’s going on in there at all. The latest entry in the what’s-he-thinking? ledger belongs to the teachers at Archbishop Denis O’Connor Catholic High School in Ajax, Ont. To celebrate Black History Month, the school’s black history committee suggested students and…
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