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Brian Dijkema

Brian Dijkema is Program Director, Work and Economics at Cardus and senior editor with Comment. Prior to joining Cardus, Brian worked for almost a decade in labour relations in Canada after completing his master's degree with Cardus Senior Fellow, Jonathan Chaplin. He has also done work on international human rights, with a focus on labour, economic, and social rights in Latin America and China. Read More ›

Articles by Brian Dijkema
  • Freedom’s Fullest Function

    Brian Dijkema

    During a recent debate evening at our Ottawa office on the resolution that “the sole purpose of business is to maximize profit,” Cardus’ Director of Work and Economics, Brian Dijkema, eloquently argued the “nay” position.

  • Workers Present

    Brian Dijkema

    Virtually no one in Canada can drive to the cottage or campsite without coming across a sign like this: It’s cliché to say that Canada has two seasons: winter and construction. But Montreal this summer seems to have taken this truism to a whole new level. Based on a picture tweeted by Toula Drimonis this morning, there’s an almost 100% chance that you’ll see the same “workers present” sign in French.

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

    Brian Dijkema

    In the throne speech this month, Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell announced the Notley government’s intention to “protect Albertans who are experiencing economic distress from being preyed upon by unscrupulous lenders” and the government’s intention to “introduce an Act to End Predatory Lending.”

  • La Verdadera Libertad

    Brian Dijkema

    Well, nobody saw that coming. Yesterday’s announcement of the major thaw in U.S.-Cuban relations was both surprising and a major step forward in establishing good relations between states in the Americas. By establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba, the U.S. has lanced a boil which has plagued the two nations for fifty years.

  • Expand the Inner Circles

    Brian Dijkema

    Earlier this month, Robert George offered a bit of advice to young scholars. That advice, in a nutshell, is to be very wary of applause. "In the end," he says, "what matters is not winning approval or gaining celebrity. Your mission and vocation is to seek the truth and to speak the truth as God gives you to grasp it." His advice to young scholars wishing to guard against that temptation is to "constantly tend to the garden of one's interior life," and he particularly recommends prayers as the primary gardening tool.

  • What the Government Should Do

    Brian Dijkema

    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. 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.

  • Regimes of Tolerance

    Brian Dijkema

    If law societies are, so to speak, the marrow which supplies blood to our legal system—a society which has, as its very raison d'etre the "duty to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law"—it would appear that certain provincial limbs in Canada are suffering from leukemia.

  • It Really Is All About You

    Brian Dijkema

    The Lenten season can sometimes make one feel a bit self-absorbed. Do we really have to spend all that time denying ourselves, searching our hearts, repenting, praying? In many ways, you would think that the Christian concern for the self should be right at home in our day, age, and place. If you take North America as the measuring stick, it's hard to imagine a time more obsessed with the individual.

  • Turn your back to them

    Brian Dijkema

    The bitter, nasty, and bigoted campaign run by the Parti Québécois has ended in complete and abject failure. It says something that Quebeckers, when faced with a PQ party that offered the religious cleansing of the civil service (just for starters), opted instead to run into the arms of a party so deep in charges of corruption it makes the expulsatory end of a sewer rat smell like a spring daisy.

  • The Other Side of the Economics Coin

    Brian Dijkema

    Breaking news, folks: economics is about justice. In an astonishing break from the economics party line, Harvard economics professor Greg Mankiw pulled back the curtain on the inner workings of his profession and told all. "Our recommendations," he shares, "are based not only on our understanding of how the world works, but also on our judgments about what makes a good society."

  • An Enabling Economy

    Brian Dijkema

    Last week, Cardus's program director for Work and Economics, Brian Dijkema, sat down with the CEO of Christian Horizons, Janet Nolan, to talk about labour shortages, productivity, and the surprising economic and community benefits that come when disabled people are freed to work.

  • Sacrifice: A Measure of Success

    Brian Dijkema

    One of the best stories of the women's gold medal victory last week was Meaghan Mikkelson, who despite playing with a broken hand, played almost 22 minutes of the final, spent two minutes in the box for roughing, and registered an assist on the goal that started the golden comeback.

  • The Business of Patronage

    Brian Dijkema

    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 as living space, the buckets of natural light which seem to pour sun everywhere, the beauty and contrast of its gardens, the quality of its exhibits, the beauty of the buildings themselves—but it's harder to describe the sense of gratitude that I felt at the Getty.

  • Hammering at the Big Questions

    Brian Dijkema

    We often hear big questions asked about architecture. What worldview shaped that art museum, or this cathedral? Why are those gargoyles there? Why is the McMaster Children's hospital such a brutal, hideous, disgusting piece of grey matter? Did anyone give any thought to the relationship between an ugly building and its effects on healing?

  • Listen to Sally Singh!

    Brian Dijkema

    Politics and money make us cringe. We can occasionally talk about politics without eliciting winces from those we're talking to, and people love to talk about money—especially if it's about the prospect of making it, or even more if it's about someone else's money.

  • Canadian Christmas in the Reflektive Age

    Brian Dijkema

    Christmas in Palestine looked nothing—nothing—like the way we picture Christmas today. There was no snow, there were no jingle bells, no jolly fat men, and definitely no turkey. And it’s likely that, in a town where hordes were coming in to register with the empire, the night was not silent.

  • Seeking Empty Stomachs

    Brian Dijkema

    There is nothing like a mass orgy of consumption to turn the stomach. And now that “Black Friday” has made its way into Canada, we’re in for regular bouts of November nausea. So, to those who prefer a calm stomach to one churned by the useless product of the day, allow me to offer an ancient prescription.

  • Simon Says: Faith is Great for Business

    Brian Dijkema

    When I read the headline "Western Capitalism is Looking for Inspiration in Eastern Mysticism" in The Economist, my first thought was: you're looking in the wrong place, Western Capitalism. The article opens with this doozy:

  • Remembering How?

    Brian Dijkema

    Perhaps we seek to remember by means that are not helpful. We can try to remember by way of the glory or the courage of war, or indeed by the horrors. We can remember viscerally—feeling the planes rumble overhead, hearing the cannons fired, seeing the veterans in their dwindling numbers.

  • Law Good, Virtue Better

    Brian Dijkema

    What does the public do when the laws cannot do anything? What does the public do when there are, in fact, no laws relevant to the issue of the day? These, and not whether or not Toronto's image is going to suffer, are the questions that I'm asking as Canadians continue to wallow in the griping mire of news stories about a mayor who admits to smoking an illegal drug while in office, and yet will not resign.

  • Contingency in Politics

    Brian Dijkema

    Politicians are masters at defining issues in black and white terms. As political operatives from Karl Rove to Brian Topp are aware, the ability to define an issue in a way that presents your party in stark contrast with the other (your party being on the side of angels, of course) is a winning formula.

  • Pomp and Pluralism

    Brian Dijkema

    Pomp, pageantry, press, parliament, pandemonium! Throne speeches might be light on actual content, but they never fail to show that our political institutions—for all their failures—are worthy of respect and reflection.

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