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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
  • A Double-Edged Sword

    Brian Dijkema

    As I write this, I'm sitting in the McGill Faculty club in Montreal. McGill, of course, is the heart of the old evangelical establishment in Quebec, and it has plenty of wood paneling, paintings of men with mutton chops, and lovely crown molding to show for it.

  • Draw the Shades on the Fishbowl

    Brian Dijkema

    A mature, responsible, and high-functioning constitutional democracy should not adopt a Facebook-style approach to transparency. In fact, a constitutional democracy which adopts Facebook's approach to transparency will cease to be mature, responsible, and high-functioning.

  • What Lies Beneath Public Discourse

    Brian Dijkema

    The Quebec government's infamous new "charter of values" has placed religion at the centre of our national political discourse. Even the proposed charter is dangerous and annoying, it shows clearly that religious questions are still very much a part of our public discourse.

  • The Back End of the Golden Goose

    Brian Dijkema

    Cardus is on record—in a number of different places—as seeing Canada's natural resources as a tremendous opportunity for our country and its citizens. We've called Canada "a land flowing with milk and honey" and one of our senior fellows went as far as to say that the oil sands in Northern Alberta is "Canada's golden goose" (don't kill it please).

  • The Play-Date Apocalypse is Upon Us

    Brian Dijkema

    Centuries from now, when historians are sifting through the archaeological remains of our great civilization and looking for clues about the cause of its demise, they will come across a Pottery Barn wicker basket of petrified newspapers. At the top of that basket, found on the 34th floor of an ancient Tribeca loft, they will find two articles.

  • Usury and Unity

    Brian Dijkema

    Expulsion of the Money-changers from the Temple. Giotto 1267-1337"I said to him quite bluntly 'we're not in the business of trying to legislate you out of existence, we're trying to compete you out of existence.'" 

  • Sacrifice Binds Us

    Brian Dijkema

    Rusty Reno notes in his opening essay of First Things' June/July issue that "solidarity" is a word that, "for a long time, has been a word of the left: class solidarity, workers' solidarity, solidarity strikes and so forth."

  • Shalom—Now Chestnut-Coloured and With a Hoppy Finish

    Brian Dijkema

    In last week's Comment article, Cardus Senior Fellow Paul Williams noted that "the primary biblical motif for redemption in the economic realm is 'Jubilee'" and that "the social goal of this biblical vision is not economic growth or efficiency but relational peace or shalom."

  • Socialist Acts?

    Brian Dijkema

    The book of Acts does not condone or command socialism because socialism didn't exist in the first century. Socialism is an ideology that arose in response to the social problems brought about by the industrial revolution; the Apostles were preaching the gospel and doing many miraculous things long before Proudhon and Saint-Simon.

  • Engagement > Catharsis

    Brian Dijkema

    @RosieSpec Rosie Grover 25 Jun: Protestors' supplies at #Enbridge pic.twitter.com/25yYifJ7Wv That picture captures why protests against Enbridge's Line 9 pipeline—and many other protests against pipelines in North America—will fail in reaching their broader objective of preventing the shipment—and ultimately the extraction—of oil.

  • Markets in Love?

    Brian Dijkema

    What's love got to do with it? That was the question brewing last week around the fresh pots at the Cardus office. The trigger for the question was the uproar over Justin Trudeau's acceptance of speaking fees from a variety of charities in his position as a Member of Parliament and opposition party leader.

  • Where are the Atheist Churches?

    Brian Dijkema

    In Maclean's, Colby Cosh asks: "What if the 'organized' bit in 'organized religion' is actually the useful half?" Cosh's article was inspired by a University of Saskatchewan paper which found, among other things, that:

  • More is Not Enough

    Brian Dijkema

    More is not enough, and it never will be. This is both a true description of the way markets work, and why those who are concerned about morality in economic behaviour and structures might want to go beyond "more" as a basis for supporting free markets.

  • Le Parti Moustique

    Brian Dijkema

    The Parti Quebecois used to stand for something. These days it seems to take its policy cues from mosquitoes. Its preferred method of governance is to buzz loudly, annoy anyone within range, suck the life out of Quebec, cause welts across the country, and leave people scratching their heads.

  • Bad Medicine For Trade Unions

    Brian Dijkema

    There is nothing like the topic of unions to bring out people's unquestioning love of the state. Whether you're on the right or the left, the problem of unions—whether we want more or less of them, or whether they should have more or less influence—is almost inevitably answered with, "more state involvement please!"

  • Neither Too Simple Nor Too Complex: The Bangladesh Tragedy

    Brian Dijkema

    The tragedy in Bangladesh last week is at once maddeningly complex and very simple. A proper response to this tragedy should keep a tidy mind as to which is which. Let's begin, where we should, with the simplicity. Over four hundred people are dead and thousands are injured. It's a shame that in our rush to get at the complex nature of the context in which these people died, we forget this very simple fact.

  • Playing Peek-a-boo with Political Principles

    Brian Dijkema

    If political principle has left the party, where has it gone? We are now well acquainted with the fact that Canadian political parties have drained the clear water of principle from the House of Commons and left it a swampy cesspool of power and pandering. Ray Pennings notes that "Political parties have become marketing machines with the single-minded purpose of protecting and promoting the brand under which political activists will compete for election." Andrew Coyne, continuing the theme, states: .

  • Keep the Super PACs out of Canada

    Brian Dijkema

    Well, the one on the right was on the left And the one in the middle was on the right And the one on the left was in the middle And the guy in the rear was a [...] If there is one thing on which most Canadians can agree it is that we do not want to be like the United States.

  • Standing Horn to Horn

    Brian Dijkema

    One of the points of collective bargaining—indeed the key point of collective bargaining—is that it is intended to replace the patchwork of individual employment contracts in a workplace with one contract, negotiated by the union, on behalf of all employees.

  • Less Power, More Flourishing

    Brian Dijkema

    Charlie Brown always thinks he's going to kick the ball, but Charlie Brown always ends up falling on his back. He's never really out of the game, and he's always keen to try again—but each time he falls.

  • Green Shoots of Humanity

    Brian Dijkema

    I have very little love for Hugo Chavez, and even less love for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's embattled president. country's social infrastructuredemocratic systemsDeath is death, and grief is grief, even if the life lived was lived badly. It is neither virtuous nor productive to take delight in the pain felt by the people left behind by the wicked—even if they themselves are wicked.

  • Religion and Realism in Canadian Foreign Policy

    Brian Dijkema

    "The manse, it seems, was a formative force in External Affairs as powerful as academia." That is not a quote about Stephen Harper. That is a quote from Denis Stairs referring to Canada's golden boy of foreign policy, Lester B. Pearson. Yes, that Lester Pearson; the same one that won a Nobel Peace prize back in '57.

  • Glorious Adulation

    Brian Dijkema

    Lance Armstrong is a cheater and a liar. Mark McGwire is a cheater. Sammy Sosa is a cheater. Roger Clemens is a cheater. And let's not forget that great Canadian cheat, Ben Johnson. I could go on. The history of sport is full of people who take drugs, lie about their age or gender, and use doctored equipment, pretty much anything short of murder to gain the glory of victory.

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