Business

  • No Easy Solutions for Journalism’s Woes

    Cardus’ Daniel Proussalidis marks National Newspaper week by speaking with independent journalist Jen Gerson on what the future holds for newsgathering in Canada.

    Canada needs journalists – such is the theme of the 80th annual National Newspaper Week, which began Sunday. It’s tough to argue with the claim, frankly. Of course, Canada needs journalists who are free to uncover, discover, and convey news from ...

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  • Driving Ms. Chrystia

    Matthew Lau argues Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s weakness is not her lack of qualifications but her insistence she can steer the economy while wearing sunglasses at night.

    In my wallet is a valid Ontario Class G driver’s license. The license means that the government finds me qualified to operate a motor vehicle, and indeed, I have done so many times. If I proposed, however, to drive the 30 kilometres from my home to Toronto ...

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  • Face Value

    Gillette has tried to make profits from selling social good. But where marketing and politics mingle, there lies danger, warns Peter Stockland.

    It’s tempting to take the week’s “controversy” over the Gillette shaving company’s new advertising campaign at something less than face value.

    For starters, controversy itself is no longer the conversational cutting edge it once was. In this era of f...

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  • Of Flu and The Cuckoo’s Nest

    What does Shoppers Drug Mart have to teach us about the juxtaposition between self sacrifice and self indulgence? Read more to find out!

    Those familiar with my dietary and exercise habits know that preventative health care is not a high priority. An exception, though, is an annual rite of late autumn, the flu shot.

    It’s likely quicker to get the deed done on a routine visit to the doc...

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  • A Moment of Rest

    Photographer Hannah Martin invites the Sacred Spaces viewers into a moment of peace by imagining you could sit in these chairs with this view and just be. 

    Take your mind to this place. Sit in the chair. Look out through the triangular pane. Focus on each tree on the hill across the water. Be in this place for a moment. Find rest and peace, even for just a moment.

    Backeddy Resort and Marina. Sechelt...

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  • Sears Bankruptcy

    What does the closing of Sears mean for the average citizen? Could it mean the loss of yet another physical space that facilitates our common life? 

    We have a Sears at the major mall in Kingston, ON – the Cataraqui Centre. It will close soon I suppose, given the bankruptcy. The same mall saw the closure of Target a few years back, when its Canadian expansion went belly up. Target itself had taken over t...

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  • Proper Property Rights

    Cardus Work and Economics Program Director Brian Dijkema reflects on John Robson's latest National Post Column and the link between property, our work, and our humanity.

    John Robson has just written as fine and concise a moral defence of property rights as I’ve read in some time. In his Nat...

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  • Changing Politics for a Changed Country

    Saying “government should not” is as simplistic as saying “government should” if there is nothing else that follows. Yes, conservatives believe in limited government. But this requires more than arithmetic requiring the size of government. What government should do, it should do well and enough resources need to be dedicated to those tasks.

    Co-authored by Michael Van Pelt (President), and Ray Pennings (Executive Vice-President) of Cardus, a Canadian think ta...

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  • US Supreme Court rules business isn't a religion-free zone

    The controversy is over the contraceptives mandate in the 2010 health care reform law, which requires employers' health plans to cover a wide range of contraceptive drugs and devices, including some the companies and others regard as abortifacients. Churches are exempt from the mandate; after widespread protest, religious nonprofits such as colleges and hospitals were offered an "accommodation": the insurer provides to the organization a health plan excluding objectionable contraceptives and then announces to the employees that those contraceptives will be paid for by the insurer.

    The US Supreme Court yesterday vindicated two Christian-owned companies, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods, that have a pro-life objection to including in their employee health plans certain contraceptive drugs and devices. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ...

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  • What the Government Should Do

    The two leading campaigns are a case study in how politics in Ontario have developed. The choice offered is one side which suggests that government is the key player for "good" in Ontario, while the other side suggest that the markets are the key to making Ontario a better place to live. In many ways, the Ontario election debate is a case study in Cardus's assertion that "the coinage of our contemporary debate is the left or the right—what governments should do and what they shouldn't do." This debate will show very clearly how "we naturally default to fewer and fewer institutions to solve the problems of the day.

    Tonight, the three major parties in Ontario will debate one another in an attempt to persuade voters that their parties should form the next provincial government.

    The two leading campaigns are a case study in how politics in Ontario have developed. ...

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  • Can We Have Subsidiarity Without the Regulation?

    Yet how does this all work? What prevents confusion from reigning? Two things: government regulation and the power of culture. The mirror of the devolution of responsibilities to business, government, educational, and social partners is a huge and rather onerous system of regulations. . . . . . . .

    Germany is a skilled-trades producing machine. But behind this machine is a web of institutions executing different, and distributed, responsibilities so smoothly that it's easy to imagine why the Germans produce Porsches. Their success is fuelled by their ...

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  • The Business of Patronage

    Why? The museum does not cost a dime to enter. It cost a mint to build, and likely costs a mint to maintain, but the visitor need not open her wallet for anything other than to buy a glass of wine to enjoy in the plaza. Anyone—anyone—can come in and enjoy it all. And all of its riches are available not as a result of public largesse, but of private patronage; particularly the patronage of J.

    There is no other way to describe it: the Getty is a gift. My wife and I just returned from a vacation to southern California and one of the places we visited was the J. Paul Getty museum. There is a lot you can say about the place—its use of outdoor space ...

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  • The Cardus Travelling Circus

    Sure, sure. Cardus believes cities can be much better than they are now. We believe a more cooperative labour environment would seriously raise the dignity and fairness of our workplaces. We think private education is good for everyone. Ideas matter when they get legs.

    "How and where ideas have consequence is as much a matter of who uses them, as what they say." —Michael Van Pelt and Robert Joustra, in Comment (2008)...

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  • Simon Says: Faith is Great for Business

    Max Weber credited the Protestant ethic with giving rise to capitalism. Now it sometimes seems as if it is the Buddhist ethic that is keeping capitalism going. The Protestants stressed rational calculation and self-restraint. The Buddhists stress the importance of "mindfulness"—taking time out from the hurly-burly of daily activities to relax and meditate. In today's corporate world you are more likely to hear about mindfulness than self-restraint. 

    When I read the headline "Western Capitalism is Looking for Inspiration in Eastern Mysticism" in The Economist...

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  • Everybody and Nobody

    Let's take the example of neighbourhoods. Steven Johnson, guest on the show and author of the book Emergence, proposes that neighbourhoods are organically created by a series of small accidents, what he calls 'swerve'. For example, imagine you are walking to the grocery store to grab a few ingredients for dinner and you pass by a restaurant that just opened.

    In one of the very first episodes of RadioLab, Jad Abumrad, Robert Krulwich, and their team tackle the topic of Emergence. Emergence is the way in which smal...

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  • After the Scrutiny, What Good Remains?

    But institutions of faith are hardly unique in showing concern about their employees' off-duty conduct, or their students' sexual behaviours. And employees (or students) at such institutions are hardly the only ones who agree to restrictions on their personal autonomy.

    Considerable ink has been spilled and breath expended over whether or not faith-based institutions (Loyola High School; Trinity Western ...

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  • Draw the Shades on the Fishbowl

    In an age of selfies at funerals and a Twitter stream of non-events, fighting against transparency seems counterintuitive. But let me make a case for maintaining a wall of privacy over portions of the spending of public officials.

    A mature, responsible, and high-functioning constitutional democracy should not adopt a Facebook-style approach to transparency. In fact, a constitutional democracy which adopts Facebook's approach to transparency will cease to be mature, responsible, and h...

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  • Mixing Journalism and Politics

    It's not that it can't be done successfully. Some have—René Lévesque was a prominent journalist before making his mark as Quebec Premier. So was Ralph Klein in Alberta. Disagree with their politics if you will, but you can't dismiss their political achievements. Some have failed: Garth Turner, Michael Ignatieff, and Mike Duffy are ready examples that political success is hardly automatic.

    The nomination of two profile journalists as candidates in the Toronto Centre by-election has revived the debate about whether journalists should enter politics.

    It's not that it can't be done successfully. Some have—René Lévesque was a ...

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  • Imposing On Whom?

    For a democracy to flourish, governments must respect the fundamental freedoms of its citizens, four of which are outlined in section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The first one, freedom of religion, and the fourth one, freedom of association, are especially important in the discussion surrounding the recent decision by Christian Horizons to open its employment to any and all.

    Editor's Note: Just before last week's blog on institutional religious freedom from Stanley Carlson-Thies, related ...

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  • Usury and Unity

    The sting and force of the words are palpable, aren't they? The quote above comes from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, from a conversation with the head of payday loan company called Wonga.

    [caption id="attachment_2248" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Expulsion of the Money-changers from the Temple. Giotto 1267-1337"]...

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  • Socialist Acts?

    I've read The Communist Manifesto, large chunks of Capital, and a bunch of other Marxist material, and compared to the power of the Holy Ghost, the spectre of communism looks like Caspar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    The book of Acts does not condone or command socialism because socialism didn't exist in the first century. Socialism is an ideology that arose in response to the social problems brought about by the industrial revolution; the Apostles were preaching the go...

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  • Engagement > Catharsis

    That picture captures why protests against Enbridge's Line 9 pipeline—and many other protests against pipelines in North America—will fail in reaching their broader objective of preventing the shipment—and ultimately the extraction—of oil. That picture, with its collection of simple, everyday goods does more to undermine the protestors' cause than any number of arrests.

    @RosieSpec Rosie Grover 25 Jun: Protestors' supplies at #Enbridge pic.t...

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  • Markets in Love?

    Of particular concern to my colleagues was the suggestion in Andrew Coyne's (recommended) column that, "It's not necessarily wrong to charge a fee, but it's not as right as donating it."

    What's love got to do with it? That was the question brewing last week around the fresh pots at the Cardus office. The trigger for the question was the uproar over Justin Trudeau's acc...

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