Parliament’s assisted suicide review is a farce

Why the headlong rush into expansion while so many questions remain?

Parliament’s assisted suicide review is a farceJust six years after legalization, the availability of assisted suicide in Canada is about to expand again. But members of Parliaments and senators who’ll tackle these life-and-death questions don’t have enough time to consider all the weighty matters before them. Much less have they taken stock of how assisted suicide has affected the entire health-care…

What holds Canada together?

It certainly isn't any sense of national purpose

What holds Canada together?As long as I’ve been following politics (which is almost as long as I’ve been alive), the question of what defines Canada has provided unsatisfying answers. Polls typically tell us that some combination of the Charter of Rights, our health care system, and the fact that we are not American top the list. Canadians generally…

Will Canadians stick with Trudeau the changemaker?

For someone who was allegedly not up to the job, Trudeau has made significant achievements in support of his policy agenda

Will Canadians stick with Trudeau the changemaker?The first day of Canada’s Election#44 campaign involved critics accusing Prime Minister Trudeau of selfishly calling an election as a vanity project seeking a majority government. The prime minister naturally rejected that allegation, noting that pivotal decisions need to be made as Canada emerges from the pandemic, suggesting voters’ upcoming decision would be “maybe the…

Religion matters more than ever in the age of COVID-19

Houses of worship are as much an essential service for our physical needs as grocery stores

Religion matters more than ever in the age of COVID-19Springtime – which includes observances like Easter, Passover and Ramadan – seems a good time to bust the popular Canadian myth that religion is a completely private, personal matter with little relevance for broader Canadian society. New evidence from the Angus Reid Institute, in partnership with the think-tank Cardus, indicates the opposite is true: religion…

Hunkering down – reluctantly – for the holidays

The longer the pandemic and the necessity of restrictions drags on, the costlier it becomes for our inner selves

Hunkering down – reluctantly – for the holidaysIf mommy kisses Santa Claus this Christmas, hopefully they’ll be in the same household bubble. After all, COVID-19 means this is going to be a holiday like no other we’ve experienced before. Canadians’ plans for the holiday season are a reminder to all of us – but especially to those making decisions about lockdowns and…

“Medical assistance in dying” worries many Canadians

“Medical assistance in dying” worries many CanadiansJust because politicians and activists are gung-ho about expanding medical assistance in dying (MAID) doesn’t mean all Canadians are so enthusiastic. If anything, Canadians would tell the politicians it’s time to slow down and broaden the discussion on Parliament Hill. A parliamentary committee recently rushed through witness testimony on Bill C-7. The bill would expand…

Think 2020 is tough? 2021 shaping up to be even tougher

The year’s hardships, and concern for what’s next in 2021, can refocus our vision and practices at the personal and social levels

Think 2020 is tough? 2021 shaping up to be even tougherAs we enter the final quarter of this year, many Canadians are likely more than ready to say goodbye and good riddance to 2020, the year of the pandemic. But what if, in some ways at least, 2021 could actually be even more difficult? Consider this: Besides killing nearly 10,000 Canadians and more than one…

What Trump’s leadership style says about us

It’s time to reflect not just on what politics is doing to our democracy but what it’s doing to us

What Trump’s leadership style says about usLet’s begin by wishing U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump a full and speedy recovery following their positive COVID-19 testing. The text below was drafted before this diagnosis was known and reflects on the toxicity of public discourse for which the president is partly culpable. Some of the social media response to…

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,…

Which unprincipled party will you be voting for?

Even overlooking the personal smears, record fudging, or repressing the truth, the parties are filled with contradictions of the things they stand for

Which unprincipled party will you be voting for?If there were any idealism left regarding the virtues of Canadian politics, the current federal election campaign is almost certain to have smashed it. Good governance and the common good were not the winners in last week’s English language debate. Thursday's French language debate was a slight improvement, but a one-off exception hardly undoes the…

Public school monopoly is a disservice to education

A modern, diverse system that meets the needs of a pluralistic society can deliver education in different ways

Public school monopoly is a disservice to educationThe Liberals are making support for public education a litmus test in the federal election campaign. The Liberals aren’t satisfied that Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has dropped the promised he made during the Tory leadership race in 2017 to provide tax credits to parents for costs of non-government-provided education. Various Liberals have spoken out. Katie…

Investing in family and faith to minimize social isolation

Too many of us struggle with being disconnected. New studies show that social institutions help lower loneliness

Investing in family and faith to minimize social isolationSocial isolation and loneliness are among the most important challenges of our times, and governments alone can’t fix them. Frankly, these problems are too big for the politicians. Consider some basic findings from a new Angus Reid Institute study, conducted in partnership with Cardus: Almost one-quarter of Canadians struggle with extreme social isolation and loneliness.…

Where’s the outcry over Quebec’s restrictive Bill 21?

The relatively low value Canadians assign to religious freedom and the tepid opposition to secularism laws are worrisome

Where’s the outcry over Quebec’s restrictive Bill 21?Have we lost all sense of proportion when it comes to our fundamental rights in Canada? Two recent cases suggest we have. Both cases involve the notwithstanding clause in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which allows legislatures to temporarily bypass certain constitutionally-protected rights. Two premiers have sought to invoke the much-discussed clause recently. Yet…

There’s a place for religion in common and public life

At a time of heightened social divisions and isolation, not to mention divisive politics, religious illiteracy is costly

There’s a place for religion in common and public lifeChristmas often brings out the best in Canadians. We dig into our pockets for charity a little more. We volunteer more. And we make more time for friends and family than at other times of the year. But the holiday sometimes brings out our weirder side, too – especially when it comes to Canadian hang-ups…