Brian Dijkema

Brian Dijkema is the Vice President of External Affairs with Cardus, and an editor of 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.

Bio last updated November 26th, 2021.

Brian Dijkema

Articles by Brian Dijkema

  • Another Look at the Lending Market

    Anticipating next week’s Cardus study on pay day loans, and a vote by the city of Kitchener to regulate the sector, Convivium’s Rebecca Darwent talks to Cardus Work and Economics Program Director Brian Dijkema about helping low-income Canadians gain fair and equal access to credit.  

    There appears to be a shrinking of the small-dollar credit market, just based on the number of stores that have closed and that no longer offer payday loans I think part of the challenge is that even credit unions, these community banks which are supposed to be high in relationships, understand that...

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  • The NDP’s Anti-Labour Paradox

    Cardus’ director of Work and Economics made waves on Canada’s West Coast this month with a report critiquing the B.C. government’s move to let only unionized construction companies bid for major infrastructure projects. But, Brian Dijkema tells Convivum, the policy will cost taxpayers billions, punish workers, and risk damage to democracy itself.

    By picking and choosing one labour model, they have given a leg up to companies that use that labour model, and in so doing have given a preferential option to certain types of capital, which is not what you would typically expect from a government that is pro-labour The reality is there's been trem...

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  • Springing the Debt Trap

    This week, Cardus Work and Economics gave municipalities in Ontario data-driven advice about handling new powers over the debt trap that is the payday loan industry. Convivium’s Peter Stockland spoke with program director Brian Dijkema about helping cities help the working poor.

    If it is under-utilized advertising space anyway, why wouldn’t municipalities make a deal with credit unions and alternatives to market this product? Why not help them cover one of the major overhead costs? Some libertarians don't like this idea because they think it interferes with the market, but ...

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  • The White-Collar Pickle

    The switch of highly educated professionals to making a risky living selling small batches of craft products has its roots in work that is its own reward, writes Brian Dijkema, a Hamilton-based beekeeper who is also Cardus Program Director for Work and Economics.

    There are all kinds of interesting matters to contemplate in the article ­­– on the relationship between wealth and craft, on what sustains production of a $10 pickle, the difference in attentiveness required for mass production and small batches – but what I find most interesting, in light of the S...

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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.

    An account of the link between property, our work, and our humanity is incomplete without a conception of the obligations that come with property rights (and other rights, of course) and a moral case for the social nature of our humanity But to leave it there ends up silently suggesting that the sha...

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  • Give It Up For Lent

    Program Director of Cardus Work and Economics Brian Dijkema reflects on the true nature of Lent. 

    The first is Mammon enthroned – full of shimmer, robed in silk, crowned with gold, and holding money bags The Archbishop of Canterbury’s latest book, Dethroning Mammon, asks you to move your body to a new beat, to break out of the trance and tune your ear to something sweeter ...

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  • Freedom’s Fullest Function

    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.

    To use the words of our friend Milton Friedman, “There is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits Auden paints a picture of creation as vocation – an experience which causes us to “ignore the appetitive godde...

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  • Workers Present

    Cardus Work and Economics Program Director Brian Dijkema reflects on the opportunity that construction season provides us to celebrate the "vast array of talents and skills that it takes to keep a country and its economy functioning." 

    Construction work is happening all over the country, in Edmonton, Vancouver, and Cardus’s hometown The morning host of CHOM in Montreal sent me this picture of their response to construction ...

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  • Common Good & The Classroom

    Even when closing schools seems an economic no-brainer, communities should fight back.

    The Toronto District School Board comprises 560 schools that are attended by almost 290,000 students Rather than shutting down schools, good systems should be finding innovative ways to increase school choice in and out of the public system And once every three years, the wide variety of students mu...

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  • La Verdadera Libertad

    But it’s also raised a lot of important questions: will the easing of the relationship actually lead to the introduction of free markets in Cuba? And will those lead to democracy? It’s entirely possible, likely even, that Cuba will embrace the markets as a means to raise its GDP ...

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  • Expand the Inner Circles

    Which causes me to ask: what type of advice would someone like Jacobs or George offer to those who doesn't share their faith commitments, and by extension, don't participate in a religious community like church? I realize that these are not their primary audience, but what "different body, with diff...

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  • What the Government Should Do

    What I will be listening for in this debate is hints from various parties about whether or not they recognize this as a problem, and whether or not there are nascent ideas—however small and insignificant at present—about how government can enable, rather than absorb, the civil society that is needed...

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  • Regimes of Tolerance

    What is at stake is whether we are willing to place one civil society association's regime of tolerance (TWU) against another's (LSUC and NSBS) It's likely that this attempt to target their intolerance on particular individuals will be headed to the Supreme Court, which will be faced with the decisi...

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  • It Really Is All About You

    Perhaps it's because, in its obsession and support for the individual, our modern age is willing to diminish the self, the emergence of which owes a great deal of debt to Christianity Why is it then that Christians and others who take religion seriously find themselves so at odds with much of what g...

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  • Turn your back to them

    And so, the two greatest heroes of most nationalist movements—the peasant and the poet—both share a deep and abiding sense that the modern state is not real Is the Québécois quest for sovereignty a properly modest aspiration fuelled by evident injustices of Canadian federalism or a spiritually disto...

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  • An Enabling Economy

    We quickly learned that our approach to creating social programs and charitable environments for people with disabilities isn't going to work in a developing community ...

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  • Listen to Sally Singh!

    But what if, by gouging money out of political life, you end up with a limping political system? That's the argument made yesterday by Michael Den Tandt in the National Post This is a problem for Whyte and Den Tandt because it means that successful politicians can manipulate an ignorant electorate t...

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