Government

  • The Political Spell COVID Casts

    The Ontario government’s methods to combat COVID-19 risks re-educating citizens in the Machiavellian art of compliance, political theorist Travis Smith writes.

    Stuck inside these four walls

    Sent inside forever

    Never seeing no one nice again

    Like you, Mama

    –Paul McCartney, “Band on the Run”

    Then I better stay in my room

    ...

    Read more...

  • Protecting Freedom From COVID-19

    There’s no question the pandemic is real and really deadly but we must never forget that liberty, too, can suffer the painful demise of simply being forgotten, Peter Stockland argues.

    The thought occurred to me two Saturdays ago that freedom might end, or at least subservience begin, not with a bang or even a whimper but with a smart phone signal.

    The catalyst was two blats from my iPhone that sounded like Amber Alerts except they...

    Read more...

  • Great Reset? Or Grand Unravelling?

    Prime Minister Trudeau has mused that COVID-19 will allow for Canadian society to “re-set” on a number of fronts. Peter Menzies says we’ll have to avoid coming apart at the seams first.

    Last week’s unravelling of the so-called Atlantic bubble should erase any lingering romantic thoughts that Canadians are united in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Since July 3, the nation’s four Atlantic provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, New Br...

    Read more...

  • Why Not a Notwithstanding Pause for MAiD?

    Don Hutchinson argues the Trudeau government should consider the Constitution’s Section 33 opt out rather than rush to pass expanded medically assisted dying legislation under a court-imposed deadline.

    At the Trudeau Government’s request, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights has deemed a bill to be of such priority that it be fast-tracked through the evaluation process: Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medica...

    Read more...

  • Addressing Canada’s MAiD Concerns

    Medically assisted death advocates inside and outside Parliament are gung-ho to expand it. But Cardus’ Ray Pennings says national poll numbers show Canadians want MPs to curb their enthusiasm.

    Just 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...

    Read more...

  • The Chief Gave Life To Rights

    Canada’s political amnesia leaves Prime Minister John Diefenbaker almost forgotten. Jonathon Van Maren discovers lost letters that affirm how fiercely Dief fought for human rights from womb to tomb.  

    “I am Canadian,” John G. Diefenbaker famously declared, “free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage...

    Read more...

  • Progress Against MAiD

    Catherine Frazee, a long-time disability Rights activist and Ontario’s former Chief Commissioner of Human Rights, talked to MPs about pending MAiD expansion recently. It wasn’t enough to make her give up hope, Peter Stockland reports.

    A powerful impetus behind the Liberal government’s push to jam expanded medical aid in dying through Parliament has been the force of proponents arguing it is progressive legislation.

    Yet Catherine Frazee, who testified last week before the Commons c...

    Read more...

  • Is Politics Putting POGG on Ice?

    Canada’s Constitution gives paramountcy to peace, order and good government (POGG), but Don Hutchinson argues bills on conversion therapy and medically assisted death prioritize progressive expediency.

    As the Second Session of the 43rd Parliament started last month, the Trudeau Government promoted two bills as high priority in the legislative queue. Both make use of the Criminal Code to tread the constitutional line between federal and provincial jurisdic...

    Read more...

  • Justin Trudeau's Words to the Wise

    The Prime Minister got it right the first time on the limits of free speech. His mistake was backing down in the face of vociferous criticism, Peter Stockland writes.

    As a Westerner who’s lived in Quebec for 20 years, one of my great challenges is using the proper noun Trudeau and the adjective “correct” in the same sentence.

    It was so with the father. So it is also with the son. Yet right is right. It must be sai...

    Read more...

  • For Whom the Polls Toll

    Fixated as Canadians are on soundings of popular opinion that foretell who will govern us next, Don Hutchinson writes, the only poll that counts is in the booth where we mark our ballots on Election Day.

    Polling doesn’t have the sex appeal of commercials about beer, pickup trucks or electric cars, but it does attract the attention of millions of Canadians. Whether pick-one-from-this-list junk polling on television, radio and social media, or more extensive ...

    Read more...

  • Crescendo of Critics Denounce MAiD Legislation

    Experts in law, medicine and disability advocacy are joining the chorus calling for the withdrawal of the Liberal government’s bill to expand medically administered death, Peter Stockland writes.

    Doctors, lawyers and disability rights advocates are mobilizing against the federal Liberal government’s expansion of Medical Aid in Dying, warning it will open the door to “State-sponsored termination” of vulnerable Canadians.

    “Suddenly, a lethal in...

    Read more...

  • Faith Leaders Fight Back Against Expanding MAiD

    The Liberal government’s proposed Bill C-7 has drawn multifaith ire across Canada and a sharply-worded public call to immediately halt the legislation, Peter Stockland reports.

    More than 50 leaders across the faith spectrum warn the Liberal government’s changes to Medical Aid in Dying legislation will pressure vulnerable Canadians to opt for “lethal procedures” over living with illness or disability.

    Equally alarming, says ...

    Read more...

  • Testing COVID for Positives

    Cardus Executive Vice-President Ray Pennings says 2020’s hardships, and concern for what’s next in 2021, can refocus our vision and practices at the personal and social levels.

    As 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...

    Read more...

  • What Donald Trump Says About Us

    In his October 3 Insights newsletter, Cardus Executive Vice-President Ray Pennings warns that even as we disdain the President’s politics of authoritarian preening, we must look for them in ourselves.

    Let’s begin by wishing the U.S. President and First Lady 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 Presiden...

    Read more...

  • Trumping the Will To Power

    Leading into the 2020 US Presidential debate, Father Tim McCauley sees in the U.S. President a Nietzchean superman wanna be taking advantage of a context where truth is understood as subjective.

    The President of the United States is often touted as the most powerful person in the world. But what kind of power? Is it military might? Or the power to do good in promoting democracy and human rights throughout the world? And how does Trump himself under...

    Read more...

  • Steady As She Goes

    What Canadians heard in Wednesday’s throne speech might not be exactly what the government intended or even exactly what they said. Communication is difficult, especially when swimming in COVID-infested political waters, Ray Pennings writes.

    Maybe Prime Minister Trudeau was smiling under his mask as the governor general delivered the throne speech on Wednesday. But if he was smiling, it would suggest he didn’t realize he was swimming into turbulent waters, the din of which could easily drown ou...

    Read more...

  • Throne Speech is a Matter of Confidence

    Convivium contributor Don Hutchinson sets up resumption of Parliament by explaining the historical significance of the Speech from the Throne – and its potential political pitfalls for Justin Trudeau.

    The Speech from the Throne is a key moment in the life of any government. Today’s will be no less important for the minority Trudeau Government, which will seek to balance the confidence of the House of Commons and the confidence of the Canadian people in i...

    Read more...

  • Hamilton is in the House

    Russell Kuykendall says the musical dismissed by some as white bread civics lite brings hip hop attitude to U.S. constitutional history.

    The musical Hamilton poses the question of how the American Revolution might have unfolded had the principals been people of colour. All principal roles portraying Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Burr, Lafayette, Laurens and the Schuyler sisters ar...

    Read more...

  • 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 ...

    Read more...

  • Can We Talk?

    Will the strong showing of Leslyn Lewis in the Tory leadership race revitalize a socially conservative conversation in Canada? Peter Stockland isn’t placing a bet on it.

    Theoretically, a political culture wedded to the indisputable premise that Black lives matter might have room for the hypothesis that it’s worth at least discussing whether, as most social conservatives firmly believe, unborn lives count.

    Such a disc...

    Read more...

  • Making Book on Chrystia Freeland

    Newly minted Conservative leader Erin O’Toole’s best bet for sussing out his Liberal foes is putting his money down on the newly appointed Finance Minister’s eight-year-old manifesto, Robert Joustra writes.

    It’s not often a new Minister of Finance has written a prize-winning economic manifesto. Chrystia Freeland, in her 2012 book Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Globa...

    Read more...

  • The Cardinal’s Diplomatic Dressing Down

    Quebec’s mistreatment of faith groups during the COVID lockdown drew a Cardinal’s ire in words high on diplomacy and inspiring, says Canada’s former ambassador to the Vatican. Peter Stockland reports.

    Near the end of June, I pulled into our parish parking lot full of gumption at the resumption of Masses after four months of COVID-forced church closures. 

    A small circle of my fellow faithful had already gathered around Father Piotr Miodek as he sto...

    Read more...

  • Kiwi COVID Containment Bears Bad Fruit

    New Zealand is feted for its pandemic lockdown, but Robert Joustra says the awkward truth of Auckland’s approach is it raises irrational fear even as we’re being fleeced economically.

    Pandemic public policy is now a field unto itself, saturated with experts, desperately low on data, yet with dangerously high stakes, at least politically. 

    Take the case of New Zealand. Here is a prime minister and a country that has done, according...

    Read more...

  • Liberalism’s Moody Blues

    Anne Applebaum’s new book eulogizes the global ruin of classical liberalism as an empty table at a dinner party that former friends refuse to attend, reviewer Robert Joustra writes.

    “Is friendship possible,” Romanian writer Mihail Sebastian wondered in 1937, “with people who have in common a whole series of alien ideas and feelings – so alien that I have only to walk in the door and they suddenly fall silent for shame and embarrassment...

    Read more...