Government

  • Alberta Comes Home

    With its recent election results, writes veteran journalist Peter Menzies, Alberta has ended its four-year hard-left flirtation and returned to being a place of community without collectivism, where all are welcome, and no one asks “Who’s your daddy?”

    The AM signal from Calgary’s Newstalk Radio CHQR stretches across the Prairies as far east as Maple Creek, Saskatchewan.

    And that’s how, driving into the sunset towards Alberta on the evening of its recent election, I first experienced the end of tha...

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  • Engineering SNC Lavalin’s Number

    Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland examines the scandal besetting the Prime Minister’s Office and finds the government’s defence just doesn’t add up so far.

    It’s understandable that attempts to dig out the truth from the SNC-Lavalin uproar have produced more questions than answers. Invariably in these matters, the different players go on offence and defence producing action-reaction, assertion-deflection, appar...

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  • Corruption's True Cost

    The SNC-Lavalin scandal is about much more than bad actors on the political stage. It’s a showcase for corruption’s intrusion into the very way we think, argues Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland.

    A key thing that makes the SNC-Lavalin contretemps such a showcase for corruption is its utter confusion about who did what to whom.

    Since the uproar erupted two weeks ago as a major scoop on the front page of the Globe and Mail, it has beco...

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  • China's Imperial Brutality

    The death sentence handed to a Canadian convicted of drug smuggling reminded the world that China is the world’s top state executioner. But as former MP and veteran human rights observer David Kilgour tells Convivium readers, Beijing’s vicious persecution of its own minority populations rivals Maoist-era inhumanity.

    About 20 million Muslim and Turkic-speaking Uyghurs, who make up the largest community in China’s far-west province of Xinjiang, are facing brutal repression by police and others acting on behalf of the Beijing government.

    After Mao Zedong occupied X...

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  • Giving Thanks, Living Faith

    Father Raymond de Souza sees in the kerfuffle around U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s claim to Native heritage an example of truth being an act of faith for which we should be thankful.

    On this American Thanksgiving, as our neighbours reflect upon the blessings of their bountiful land, and their debt to those who went before them, it is a fitting occasion to ask what we know about our own ancestors. What we know is an act of faith, and tea...

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  • Fulmination Fantasies

    Recent attacks on a Conservative MP’s factual declaration push Canada closer to the dangerous edge where wishes and truth are one and the same, writes Convivium’s Peter Stockland.

    Facts, Flannery O’Connor said, do not change based on our ability to stomach them.

    It’s a reminder that should be immediately revived in the minds of every Canadian who cares about the political sanity of our country. Disregarding established facts w...

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  • Justin's Pipe Smoke

    Prime Minister Trudeau must clear the air with Canadians about his government funding anti-pipeline activists while at the same time violating religious freedoms by denying church charities summer job funding, writes Convivium contributor Don Hutchinson.

    A crowd of nearly 3,000 erupted at the Liberal Party convention in Halifax on April 21 when Justin Trudeau invoked his unending political battle with a Prime Minister now three years in Canada’s past. The Liberal leader lashed out at “Stephen Ha...

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  • Trudeau Versus Trudeau

    In an interview this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about his insistence on proper conduct between the sexes on Parliament Hill and, by extension, among Canadians generally. Peter Stockland examines what it means for a son to grapple with what his father catalyzed.

    Purely as observation, it feels like good fortune to watch this full circle moment when the son must grapple with what the father wrought.

    In an interview this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke eloquently and emphatically about his insistence...

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  • Three Risks For Freedom

    Dead French intellectuals, explosive growth of social media, and busybodies obsessed with “feelings” all put traditional liberties at risk, Janet Epp Buckingham recently told the Parliamentary Forum on Canadian Freedoms

    It is always both fun and risky to make predictions about the future. Things in our world are changing rapidly. Who knows where they will go tomorrow, or next month or next year? Things that seem impossible can suddenly become possible.

    I am going to...

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  • Time to Bury the Bulls of Donation

    Writer Douglas Farrow offers comment and critique on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

    From Tierra del Fuego to Ungava Bay / the history of betrayal continues to today / the spirit of Almighty Voice, the ghost of Anna Mae / call like thunder from the mountains – you can hear them say / It's a stolen lan...

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  • What to do in Post-Truth Politics?

    Given that, I have long advocated the caveat-couched triad – competence, character and convictions – as a test by which to evaluate electoral options. Even those who are competent are more competent at some parts of the job than others. The public character of candidates is often a carefully marketed persona quite different from real character, but I know I have voted for those whose personal lifestyle choices and integrity are very different from that I would agree with. And when it comes to convictions, core beliefs and the manifestation of those in policy, I have disagreed with some aspects of every candidate’s policy proposals.

    There have never been perfect candidates in any election that I’ve ever voted in. The U.S. presidential campaign, now winding down toward November 8, only emphasizes the impossibility of perfectibility – and perhaps adds the rider that some are more imperfe...

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  • Protecting Patients in the Shadows of Euthanasia: 3 Recommendations

    We will all be vulnerable at some time in our lives and this legislation does not and cannot protect us. Even Justice Lynn Smith, the original Carter trial judge, foresaw the inevitability of wrongful deaths when the healthcare system provides state-sanctioned euthanasia. She suggested strong safeguards that should be “scrupulously enforced.” This bill does little toward establishing concrete guidelines, and life-ending decisions will be made for some patients against their explicit wishes as a result.

    Co-authored by Dr. Margaret Cottle and Faye Sonier. Margaret Cottle, MD, CCFP (Palliative Care) is a palliative care physician in Vancouver, BC, and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Uni...

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  • Elections are About the Electorate

    For 90 minutes, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump engaged the world from video split screen boxes. They were impeded, it appeared, from seeing each other much less encountering anything resembling an electorate. Indeed, the “studio audience” present as off screen props were sternly admonished to keep their agreement to remain silent. As the essayist Gene Seymour points out in a finely written piece for the fall issue of Bookforum, the Trump-Clinton horror show is the predictable effect of a political media culture – or mediatized political culture – that began more than 50 years ago. In the ensuing half-century, Seymour argues, it has become obsessively compulsively disordered about reporting the minutiae of leaders’ lives and images. The offsetting syndrome has been a perverse journalistic amnesia that elections are actually about the electorate, and the electorate comprises millions of individual voters.

    Viewers of this week’s presidential debate might well have wondered where the voters went.

    For 90 minutes, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump engaged the world from video split screen boxes. They were impeded, it appeared, from seeing each other much l...

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  • Is the Party Over?

    The 2016 conventions had a different sort of intrigue because the two nominees are as much distinguished by their unpopularity as their credentials. Internal party opponents telegraphed their intentions to disrupt the convention, but the discontent was mostly managed. Outside the conventions, voters may differ as to which is the worst of the choices, but relatively few are celebrating their preferred candidate as a virtuous choice.

    For political junkies, presidential nominating conventions are destination television. It’s ritualistic theatre as, almost without exception in living memory, the presumptive nominee has been confirmed. Yes, officially winning a nomination warrants “Breakin...

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  • Gun Control: Right Trumps Rights

    “The NRA has achieved its victories not by threats of insurrection but through the classic methods of democracy: debate, dialogue, lobbying and electioneering. Its source of strength lies not in the weapons its members own or carry, but in the votes they cast and the arguments they make,” he adds.

    David Cole makes a convincing case, worth bearing in mind as the presidential race erupts, that American gun violence is at heart a function of democracy at its best. “The NRA may ...

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  • ‘Inclusion’ to the Exclusion of Religious Freedom

    It’s worth, though, heeding the emerging voices warning us that freedom’s loss is as much, perhaps even more, a function of shifts in language almost too subtle for timely detection. In an exclusive interview with the Catholic Register, Canada’s former Ambassador for Religious Freedom – and now most welcome new colleague at Cardus – noted that his former bailiwick has been recast by the Liberal government into a muddle called the Office of Freedom, Human Rights and Inclusion.

    We’ve become habituated to associating loss of freedom with decisive, often violent, acts.

    It’s worth, though, heeding the emerging voices warning us that freedom’s loss is as much, perhaps even more, a function of shifts in language almost too subtl...

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  • Palliative Care: Time for a Compassionate Approach

    Palliative Care is commonly but mistakenly understood as medical care provided when death is imminent. A broader understanding of this care as including social, psychosocial, and spiritual dimensions most often delivered outside of the health system needs to be cultivated. The reality has not matched the rhetoric in providing palliative care.

    A February 2015 Nanos Poll of Canadian public opinion suggested that 73% of Canadians were concerned that they will not receive the comfort and support they would hope to receive if they or a loved one was facing a life threatening illness and nearing death...

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  • Fire in Fort McMurray: A Proper Response

    In the express aisle checkout at my local independent grocer in Ottawa, a sign popped up this week asking for donations to the Red Cross to help with the Fort McMurray catastrophe. Facebook, now the universal street corner/pool room/beauty salon for the exc...

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  • Tom Mulcair: The New Democrat Nobody Knew

    Showing the pride and impenetrably thick hide of the best political performers, NDP leader Tom Mulcair ignored his own deep wounds to savage the Liberal government in the Commons this week. He was fresh from crippling betrayal by his party at a weekend conv...

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  • Mapping the Progressives Progress

    Redefining Responsible Government. Open Government was the theme of the Canada2020 conference, and constitutes a base of the new progressive agenda. Few can dispute the good of measured transparency, data sharing, and advanced use of technology to engage citizens in public processes. But as one participant insightfully noted near the end of the conference, it is one thing to value openness as part of transparency and providing modern quality service to the citizenry.

    Progressive politics is clearly on a roll in Canada. In fact, some pundits say it has already “run the table,” and question whether it has run out of new places to go. That is a matter for those who scan the political heavens to decide. Here on earth, New D...

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  • Just Bring in the Skin

    At the recent Broadbent Institute conference in Ottawa, progressive icon Gloria Steinem dropped a clanger that rates high among the fatuous pensées of this addled decade. “The power of the State,” Steinem opined, “stops at the skin.” Even in this moment of ...

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  • Which NDP will introduce the "Act to End Predatory Lending"?

    The idea is sound. As noted in a recent report by Cardus, Banking on the Margins, payday lenders and the loans themselves are structured in such a way as to encourage their customers to become dependent. The loans, while quick and easy, do not build credit, and they require customers to pay back the original amount borrowed plus substantial interest in one lump sum. Too often this results in adding a significant deluge of spending for people who are already struggling to maintain a responsible cash-flow. An unemployed construction worker from Fort McMurray who has trouble making ends meet one week can be crippled by the automatic withdrawal of his previous week’s shortage plus interest rates that, in Alberta at an annual rate of 839% on a ten-day term, are the second highest in the country. And, as our research suggests, the struggle doesn’t stay with the individual. The lack of funds and the increase in debt are linked to mounting costs to families, significant physical and mental health problems, increased criminal activity, and a host of other problems which ultimately strain society – and often the government.

    In the throne speech this month, Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell announced the Notley government’s intention to “protect Albertans who are experiencing economic d...

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