Articles by Peter Stockland
January 7, 2020
The less-than-purrfect Cats movie presents an underlying problem with the way in which our entertainment industry claws at art and replaces it with something in-fur-ior.
But the real agony of Cats is unravelling the yarn’s deepest mystery: Why on earth am I here in the first place? The movie itself brashly seeks to suck completely dry what Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘80s stage version has milked for decades from Eliot's original book
December 18, 2019
Humanity's hunger for humour comes from our deep belief that the absurdity and darkness of the world can be absorbed, transformed, and sanctified, writes Peter Stockland.
Humour is, at heart, a crucial form of the three supernatural virtues: faith, hope and charity A long-ago friend of mine had a combination mantra that doubled as a HazMat level warning: “The humour must come out ...
December 12, 2019
The Conservative leader couldn’t secure electoral gains he’d already made. But his ouster signals a serious threat to democratic difference and dissent, Peter Stockland writes.
In the end, it’s probably just as well for both the Conservative party and Canadians that leader Andrew Scheer resigned today Beyond the relief of being spared watching a party leader’s political blood spilled repeatedly during the three-month eternity of inevitable knifings before the Conservative’...
December 6, 2019
After this week’s Munk Debate in Toronto, Peter Stockland wonders if the somewhat positive conversation on capitalism would have yielded the same response in a different crowd.
How is it, Van Pelt demanded at a post-debate breakfast Thursday morning, that about 3,000 self-evidently upscale Torontonians could settle into the uber-comfy seats of elegance-personified Roy Thomson Hall for the event, and by evening’s end fully 45 per cent of them voted in favour of a motion tha...
November 29, 2019
The routine offense-apology-criticism as a response to issues of political correctness does not answer the deeper problems that could be addressed simply by slowing down and asking key questions, Peter Stockland writes.
Anyone in the university administration had actually grown up or lived in a paper mill town and so was able to reasonably adjudicate from lived experience whether the words were a fair and current representation? Those words were: “The only way out of a paper mill town is through a university door ...
November 19, 2019
Usain Bolt reportedly ate chicken nuggets before breaking Olympic world records. Peter Stockland commends Good to Go, Christie Aschwanden’s book, which encourages healthy scepticism in face of health science, expressing that the whole of a person merits one’s full focus – not just data, protein powders or pre-run Mickey D's.
While there is obviously a great deal of laudable work done in correlating food intake with good health, Aschwanden traces brilliantly how it has become a nexus where “science” is turned into just another helpmate for marketing “I discovered that it’s not enough to ask, ‘Does this thing work?’ First...
November 14, 2019
The “you people” phrase Cherry used links to a myriad of sordid dimensions in Canadian history and memory, writes Peter Stockland, bringing us back to numerous occasions of discrimination.
The test? Who among settled Canadians would, while of sound mind, spit the phrase “you people” directly in the faces of any group of newly arrived Canadians? Indeed, who even witnessing such an unacceptable insult being delivered, would not wish consequence for the person responsible, perhaps even o...
November 12, 2019
Although he has long been known to ruffle feathers, Don Cherry took things a step too far in his remarks this weekend, writes Peter Stockland.
Such an attitude is exactly what Don Cherry manifested in his underlying comments, and particularly in his egregious use of “you people” as a slur against those who choose not to, or simply don’t know they’re expected to, wear poppies to honour those who fought wars for our freedom Equally true, Che...
November 5, 2019
A delegation from Ottawa’s Kehillat Beth Israel Congregation takes a Torah to Tanzania today, a community endeavour connecting Jewish faithful across the globe.
When a delegation from Ottawa’s Kehillat Beth Israel Congregation takes a Torah to Tanzania today, the ornate scroll will have its own centre seat on the overseas flight from Toronto For the Rabbi and Richard Marceau, a member of Kehillat Beth Israel as well as general counsel and vice-president for...
October 31, 2019
With the 2019 federal vote being dubbed Canada’s climate change election, Convivium’s Peter Stockland says all sides must change rhetorical theatrics into serious reasonable solutions.
Two tip-offs of that are a) the declaration that “the science is settled” on climate change and b) the caustically derisive snorts that such a claim invariably evokes from those opposed Beyond that, even if it were possible for science to fully settle, how is it that in the space of the fewest of ye...
October 24, 2019
The election results demonstrate Canada’s strength in democracy, writes Convivium’s Peter Stockland, citing an Adam Gopnik analysis in the New Yorker crediting a spectrum of parties reflecting the mood and interests of the country.
Yet here, too, Gopnik turns to the institutionally rooted strength of Canadian liberal democracy as a safeguard against worst case scenarios of Quebec nationalism reverting to revival of outright sovereignty, or of any Western separatist movement gaining serious traction That tradition, Gopnik concl...
October 9, 2019
Convivium’s Peter Stockland checks out the innovative independent school in rural Eastern Ontario that was denied a chance to pay top dollar for an empty public school building.
There’s an inherent injustice, he says, born of an inability to see that both the public school system and independent schools are in the business of, as Deani Van Pelt says, satisfying the hunger for the best education possible Where, that is, money spent must be raised by the school itself not, Fe...
October 7, 2019
Fr. Robert Assaly is the first married Catholic priest in the Montreal archdiocese, ordained this past September. Publisher Peter Stockland sits down with Fr. Assaly to discuss this calling from fatherhood to priesthood.
With his family of six children, it’s a natural fatherly thing for the first married Catholic priest in the Montreal archdiocese to say In 2015, he and Nancy were formally received into the Catholic Church Montreal has endured a vocational crisis for decades, though Assaly says that’s a problem that...
October 3, 2019
Graydon Nicholas, the first Indigenous lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick, has spent a lifetime setting an example for reconciliation, writes Peter Stockland.
Thomas University or in his role as Supreme Warden of the Knights of Columbus, Nicholas has maintained that process of continuous humility by challenging fallacies between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, particularly those of faith Chabot first encountered Nicholas several years ago through in...
September 27, 2019
Convivium’s Rebecca Darwent and Peter Stockland tag along with protesters in Ottawa and Montreal respectively. They find the mood, far from one of crisis and despair, is like a playful walk in the park.
But what happens after, when the signs are thrown away and the crowds dismissed? Instagram feeds of teens and young adults will fill up over the next few days with quasi-hopeful messages because crowds gathered for… something (Does anyone know?) The civic duty of posting a photo on social media, lo...
September 23, 2019
Publisher Peter Stockland calls for an end to the vile tactics of the election campaign, citing the words in a eulogy Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave at his father’s funeral to “never attack the individual.”
Above all, we need our leaders to do what former Prime Minister Trudeau did for eight-year-old future Prime Minister Trudeau: Restore the human to the political Where every leader, including Prime Minister Trudeau himself should look, is to the oration he gave at his own father’s funeral on Oct ...
September 17, 2019
Peter Jon Mitchell, acting director of Cardus Family, details a new report showing how federal and provincial child care policies distort the way Canadians care for their kids.
Are people paying attention to this and saying, "Okay, we need to take child care into account as a serious election issue?" That means there's 40 per cent out there who aren't in a daycare and the ones in child care are in diverse forms of care PS: You chose to look at the federal child care appro...
September 11, 2019
As a very tight federal election race kicks off today, we look to the importance of democracy and debate in a time of political cynicism.
based communications strategist Laura Williams has just published a short essay containing six words that should be inked under every Canadian’s eyelids as the federal election begins today In her essay posted on the web site of the Foundation for Economic Education, Williams invokes that truth for ...
September 4, 2019
The differences between Andrew Scheer and John F. Kennedy may be stark. But last month's anti-religious assaults against Scheer hold a troubling similarity to what Kennedy experienced 60 years ago.
It’s an escalation that must deeply concern all Canadians, not merely adherents to all religious traditions, including those in communion with the Roman Catholic Church Then they were disallowed from using democratic means to persuade their fellow citizens that Catholic doctrine, limited in the publ...
August 30, 2019
Canada’s labour policies are leaving millions behind and risk Trump-style revenge politics spilling over the border, warns a new Macdonald-Laurier Institute study.
That’s why, Speer also cautions from a purely secular think tank perspective, it’s worrisome that an increasing portion of our robust economy and rising incomes are, in reality, driven by government transfers, not real work for earned wages What better time to drive that point home than during a fed...
August 23, 2019
Publisher Peter Stockland argues the “revelation” that Conservative leader Andrew Scheer opposed same-sex marriage is more than a mere political dirty trick. It muddies democracy itself by denying all sides of the debate their place in history and memory.
But arguably, Scheer’s contention in his speech that the existential continuum of marriage could never include same-sex marriage was a mere channeling of the Supreme Court decision By the time Andrew Scheer gave his speech in 2005, those activists had not yet succeeded in changing his mind, or the m...
August 20, 2019
Looking to the new Elections Canada rules that require jumping through hoops just to debate climate change, as well as a Convivium run-in with trying to advertise a story on Facebook, Peter Stockland questions how far our democratic babysitting has gone.
My friend, former colleague and Convivium contributor Peter Menzies writes on Troy Media today that the uproar over Elections Canada and climate change must be seen as well-intentioned rules being administered at peak persnickety A clear sign of what’s coming is the blow-back that erupted this week ...
August 9, 2019
Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition stands unsurprised at this week's news of Dr. Ellen Wiebe's exoneration after she administered death to a patient in a facility where Medical Aid in Dying is prohibited.
As he moved toward leadership of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Schadenberg was surprised by how few of those in his community were able to see the juggernaut of medical killing bearing down on Canada After 20 years of watching the MAiD juggernaut gain increasing power until it has the means t...
August 2, 2019
Think of it this way: for the last 30 years of the 20th century, citizens of Belfast, Derry, and other Northern Ireland cities, negotiated various aspects of their lives around police and military checkpoints, demands for ID cards, and flashlights shone in their eyes at night Why? Because beyond the...