Canada’s donor base needs a government boost

A temporary dollar-for-dollar matching program is affordable – and necessary for the health of the charitable sector

Canada’s donor base needs a government boostWhen it comes to shoring up Canada’s troubled charitable sector, we’ve heard good words. “I appreciate the need to protect the entire (charitable) sector to keep it resilient, to make sure that it thrives and doesn't collapse and comes out strong after COVID-19 is over,” federal Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen told the Canadian Press…

Government must extend a helping hand to charitable sector

Fewer Canadians (and fewer businesses) are in a position to give to charity, even as more of us need help from the sector

Government must extend a helping hand to charitable sectorIt didn’t take long for the federal government to help grieving families when an Iranian missile brought down a Ukraine passenger plane in January. There were 57 Canadians and 29 permanent residents among the 176 who died in the crash. Very quickly, Canada’s government set up a $1.5-million donation-matching program for a special charity created…

The value of the marriage bond in times of crisis

The value of the marriage bond in times of crisisHeadlines warn that Canadian family courts will be overwhelmed with couples seeking post-COVID-19 divorces. But Canadian marriages won’t just survive the COVID-19 crisis. They’ll thrive. Here’s why: Most couples will lean into their relationships, not pull back. The lockdown has caused significant stress on families around finances, educating children and caring for family members while…

Don’t let COVID-19 permanently change Canada

The speed of the spread and the rise of the body count prove something menacing has us at its mercy. How we deal with it is crucial

Don’t let COVID-19 permanently change CanadaThe Quebec government recently ordered the province’s cathedrals of commerce – also known as shopping malls – to close. The edict followed another imperative obliging all places of religious worship to lock their doors. Yet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau subsequently suggested Canadians might not have seen anything yet when it comes to draconian measures to…

Finding a workable path to Indigenous reconciliation

Taking shortcuts becomes a fast track to ending the conversation and starting the shouting. We need to build a workable partnership

Finding a workable path to Indigenous reconciliationCanadians have been swept over the roaring information waterfall and plunged into a kind of suspended frenzy, from the ‘crisis’ of Indigenous railway blockades to the fresh hell of a spreading global virus most of us had never heard of when 2020 began. One immediate effect is a dizzying distractedness that makes coherent political response…

Palliative care suffers because of MAID

Delta Hospice Society has been locked in a lengthy fight with the health authority and the B.C. government, and has now lost its funding

Palliative care suffers because of MAIDDirectors of a Vancouver-area hospice are considering their legal options after the B.C. government abruptly yanked its funding because it doesn’t permit medical assistance in dying (MAID) on the premises. And an Ottawa lawyer engaged by the Delta Hospice Society says B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix is simply wrong to claim the facility’s refusal to…

Health authority threatens to shut down hospice for not providing assisted suicide

Health authority threatens to shut down hospice for not providing assisted suicideOver the past three decades, a small palliative care hospice in suburban Vancouver has raised millions of dollars and provided hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours to benefit British Columbia’s health system. Now, the Delta Hospice Society must drop its refusal to provide medical assistance in dying (MAID) for qualifying patients in its care. Or…

Closed secularism breeds intolerance

Divorcing a spiritual practice from its religious meaning is problematic and a forcible whitewashing of something deeply and fundamentally complex

Closed secularism breeds intoleranceBy David Hunt and Brian Dijkema Cardus Most court decisions are a zero-sum game. One side’s win is the other’s loss. But this was not the result recently at the B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo. Both sides, and the public, lost in Servatius versus Alberni School District No. 70. One side wanted smudging ceremonies and…

Cats turns literary genius into lumpy kitty litter

The movie offers a fun-house-mirror examination of our souls and why we've allowed this kind of cultural plundering to go on for years

Cats turns literary genius into lumpy kitty litterCats the movie is worse than bad. It is offal. Its director, Tom Hooper, utterly guts the gentle soul of T.S. Eliot’s classic Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, from which the film is drawn. What’s been dropped at the paying public’s shoes is a cinematic blood sample so horrifying it could make Old Possum’s…

Sorry is more than just a word: show that you mean it

Contrition that’s merely on the lips changes nothing in the heart or, for that matter, around the waistline, within the workplace, inside troubled relationships

Sorry is more than just a word: show that you mean itIt’s traditional to head into a new year full of resolve fuelled by last year’s regret. Our commitment to renewed discipline, diets and dream-achieving over the coming 12 months is all too often driven by short-term overindulgence during Christmas festivities. More importantly, there’s a lingering sense of another year lost by not doing what we…

A respectful Canada has room for disagreement

Closing politics and public life to those who are religious leaves us with a less tolerant society that brings fundamental freedoms into question

A respectful Canada has room for disagreementDisagreement is normal, if not necessary, in a healthy democracy. Being intolerant and disrespectful toward those with whom we disagree, however, is fatal to that democracy. Historically, Canadians have had the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (and the Bill of Rights before it) for protection. That’s especially important for racial, religious, political or sexual minorities,…

The invaluable power of healthy skepticism

Usain Bolt became the fastest human being ever by eating – wait for it – Chicken McNuggets, not following the latest health care fad

The invaluable power of healthy skepticismKicking off her wonderful book from earlier this year, Christie Aschwanden asks a seven-word question that might help us recover some sanity for our hyper-affluent, marketing-mad society. “Do any of these products actually work?” Aschwanden asks in the introduction of Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn From the Strange…

Religion should have a place in the political realm

It would be a gross violation of religious freedom if we allowed beliefs to become a test for fitness for office. Yet Andrew Scheer faced a barrage of criticism

Religion should have a place in the political realmCanada’s public square is an increasingly closed space, at least for voices of faith. This is dangerous – and not just for the faithful. The 2019 federal election campaign and its aftermath make clear that there are new boundaries to what can and can’t be said publicly. Moreover, the boundaries now cover what can and…

An election result that reflects the country and its mood

An election result that reflects the country and its moodFittingly, it fell to one of Canada’s finest expatriate essayists to succinctly describe with characteristic understatement the 2019 federal election. “There is no place in a democracy for gangster government,” Adam Gopnik wrote in The New Yorker the morning after Canadians went to the polls. “That reminder made Monday night a truly worthwhile Canadian initiative.”…

Canadians among the few privileged to vote

Be grateful you live in a nation in which you are free to raise your voice without fear of retribution or persecution

Canadians among the few privileged to voteWhen an election rolls around, I get emails, Facebook messages, phone calls, and the occasional text message or two. Questions range from a forthright “Who should I vote for?” to “Where can I even go to get information?” My personal favourite communiques are ones like a four-letter, “HELP!” We live in an age of information…
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