Injustice

  • Journos Who Soldier On

    Peter Stockland argues that despite the legitimate criticism journalism gets for all its institutional failings, abundant first-rate reporters and writers serve Canadian democracy well.

    Honesty demands acknowledgement.

    In recent weeks I’ve written, and other Convivium.ca writers have contributed, sharp criticism of journalistic performance on a variety of issues.

    It’s true that at the institutional level, corporate providers ...

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  • Unmasking the Match Lighting Mob

    Don Hutchinson asks who has fuelled church burnings across Canada, and notes Indigenous leaders from coast to coast have been most stalwart in condemning the two dozen arson attacks.

    Mainstream media lit a fuse, and churches are burning. Nearly two dozen to date and a greater number have been vandalized with graffiti, paint-dipped handprints, and splatter.

    Some congregations have accepted acts of vandalism as a visual lesson on t...

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  • A COVID Cold Shoulder for Refugees

    Susan Korah reports on the plight of global millions fleeing persecution unnoticed while our attention is fixed on the pandemic.

    They are the wretched of the earth (to use Haitian writer Franz Fanon’s phrase), the world’s homeless wanderers.

    Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees stated recently in his official Twitter account that during the past year when the pand...

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  • Reality in Truth and Reconciliation

    In this homily, Father Cristino Bouvette says the enduring faith of his Indigenous grandmother shows the real peace of Christ heals even the torments of residential schools.

    One of the most consequential conversations I ever had was with my grandmother- whom most of her younger grandchildren affectionately called ‘Kokum’ – the Cree word for grandma – within my first couple of years of seminary studies.

    I had known by then...

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  • Questions Unasked About Indigenous Deaths

    Peter Stockland brings a journalist’s mindset and hometown origins to his analysis of media coverage around the finding of Indigenous children’s bodies in Kamloops, B.C.

    Melissa Mollen-Dupuis and I don’t know each other but we appear to share similar thoughts on the journalism around Kamloops, B.C. and the discovery of an unmarked grave containing remains of Indigenous children.

    In an interview with Montreal’s Le...

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  • A Rude Awokening for Justin Trudeau?

    Peter Stockland reports on the political implications of a speech the former justice minister gave this week castigating the Prime Minister’s “hypocrisy” on Indigenous issues.

    In the year before the pandemic, Jody Wilson-Raybould served as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s worst headache.

    In a speech she gave on Wednesday, the former justice minister and attorney-general showed why she could become the PM’s worst nightmare....

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  • A Plan to Unmake MAiD

    A former veteran Mountie and local coroner has a sure-fire way to protect health care workers from being made to administer MAiD. So why won’t anyone answer Sean Murphy’s call? Peter Stockland reports.

    Sean Murphy has what he considers a clear way through the tangle between the House of Commons and Senate over Liberal government legislation to expand Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD).

    The former veteran Mountie and coroner says the bill’s status w...

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  • How Sanctions Cheat Children

    Leading voices are urging Canada to rethink Middle East sanctions that make daily life a struggle just to get daily bread, Susan Korah reports.

    “Economic sanctions that afflict the poor must be lifted. I stress the word ‘poor,’” Archimandrite (head of a monastery) Georges Masri said in an e-mail from his home base in Syria. He was responding to my request for his views on the unfolding humanitarian...

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  • Silent Witness of a Holocaust Suitcase

    Susan Korah reports on a Canadian family that helped solve the mystery of a teenage girl’s life and death at Auschwitz.

    Hana Brady could be another Anne Frank except she did not leave a diary. 

    But the suitcase that 13-year-old left behind when she died in a gas chamber at Auschwitz concentration camp continues to teach millions of children around the world the import...

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  • Santa Serves the War-Torn, Too

    Saint Nicholas lives in the spirit of all who give gifts and life to those in the darkness of violence and poverty, Susan Korah writes.

    Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.

    Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousan...

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  • Canada's Complicity in Nagorno-Karabakh Bloodshed

    Most Canadians would struggle to find the remote Caucasus region on a map but that doesn’t mean our hands are clean, Susan Korah writes.

    The names Artsakh and Nagorno-Karabakh (as it’s referred to in many news headlines) don’t trip lightly off the tongues of most Canadians. And most would be hard-pressed to locate it on a map of the world. But when a lethal brew of long-simmering ethnic host...

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  • Facing the Root of Racism

    It's human failure that allows racism to run rampant in Canada, writes Peter Stockland, and it's human atonement—rather than erasure—that can build a better future.

    Should Stockwell Day have lost two plum corporate board posts and been kicked off CBC as a commentator this week for disagreeing with the idea that Canadians are racists? No.

    Unlike the disgraced Don Cherry last year, Day did not indulge in a racist ...

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  • Cracks in Canada’s Media Freedom

    The good news, Convivium contributor Susan Korah reports, is Canadian journalists aren’t murdered like their global colleagues. The bad news is subtle intimidation and harassment that lets the powerful keep their secrets.

    The cloud that hovers over Canadian journalists’ freedom to report the truth has a silver lining.

    But even clouds with silver linings sometimes bring rain, and Canadian journalists need to be prepared for the storm that sometimes breaks over their he...

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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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  • God in the Chaos

    Overcoming her doubts about the mission, though not the message, of the Church, the University of Ottawa’s Samantha Dignam discovers at the Urbana18 conference how acknowledging the faults of Christians is key to carrying the Gospel to the world.

    I first heard about Urbana, a triennial global students missions conference, in 2015 when I was a first year International Development student at the University of Ottawa. I heard about it mostly in passing and honestly, I d...

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  • God in the Chaos

    Overcoming her doubts about the mission, though not the message, of the Church, the University of Ottawa’s Samantha Dignam discovers at the Urbana18 conference how acknowledging the faults of Christians is key to carrying the Gospel to the world.

    I first heard about Urbana, a triennial global students missions conference, in 2015 when I was a first year International Development student at the University of Ottawa. I heard about it mostly in passing and honestly, I d...

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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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  • Just Imperfect Justice

    Recent sexual scandals have ensnared those who might be legally innocent but they are just desserts of a time when too many guilty walked free, Father Raymond de Souza writes.

    How should allegations for sexual abuse, harassment or assault be handled outside the criminal justice system? That question is dominating the news, and will have a serious impact on our common life together.

    This week the American Senate is debating...

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  • Beating the Traffick

    During the last years of the Harper era, parliamentarians of all stripes worked in non-partisanship to combat human trafficking. Yet as Montreal writer Deborah Rankin learns from experts, and writes in this two-part Convivium series, all that political energy produced depressingly few benefits for young women trapped in the sex trade. 

     “Nobody should have to be obliged to sell their body in order to meet their needs and aspire to a better future. My rights do not limit me to only survive, but to live with dignity." - Chantal, survivor of sex-trafficking and board member The Way Out

    ...

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Silent Night for Religious Intolerance

    The bad news was the letter concerning the persecution of about 230 million Christians worldwide faced with “daily threats of murder, beating, imprisonment, and torture.” An estimated 400 million more Christians face appalling discrimination in housing and jobs. In poised yet implacable words, these esteemed leaders of their two faiths laid out the case that even in a world awash in the blood of tormented minorities, virtually every credible human rights observer agrees Christians experience religious persecution more than any other faith group on a global scale and in absolute numbers.

    There was good news and bad news around an open letter released in...

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