Articles by Peter Stockland
June 4, 2019
Thursday marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day. But, writes Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland, there is urgency this time we remember: we are at risk of forgetting the sacrifice that earned the freedom we still enjoy today.
They gave us, as free gift, the very understanding of the world that drove them, in courage and persistence and the great faith of duty, to defeat the most diabolical military juggernaut of all time It’s an urgency born of the practical fact of life that the surviving combatants being feted for their heroism during what became the liberation of France, and ultimately Europe, are extremely unlikely to be on earth for an 80th commemoration
May 28, 2019
More than 1,500 Ontario doctors object to a College edict privileging abortion and MAiD over conscience rights, arguing the order is the moral equivalent of requiring doctors to perform the acts, writes Peter Stockland. The ruling threatens Charter guarantees that every Canadian has the fundamental right think and believe freely.
Canadian Physicians for Life, the Christian Medical Dental Association, the Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians’ Societies, and several individual doctors have been locked in a legal dispute with the College of Physician and Surgeons of Ontario The groups, collectively representing more than ...
May 15, 2019
If Donald Trump alleged he ate a million ice cream cones, fact-checkers everywhere would have a field day investigating the statement. But when it comes to claims of environmental issues of global proportions, no one seems to bat an eye, writes Peter Stockland.
Asking that, oh, a UN report prophesying imminent global extinction of a million species be subjected to genuine skepticism is not, then, to summarily dismiss it as bunk Much more simply, it’s to point to the fact that the figure 1,000,000, whether we’re talking species or ice cream cones, is a rela...
May 7, 2019
Quebec’s secularism bill is a governmental attempt to coerce the religiosity out of public workers, writes publisher Peter Stockland.
Farrow, who attended the rally to show the English Speaking Catholic Council’s support but do not address demonstrators, said ultimately Bill 21 is an attack on collective freedom to live freely in Quebec and in Canada Farrow points out the blurring of aggressiveness and absurdity in that vision by ...
April 24, 2019
In an interview with Irish politician Rose Conway-Walsh, Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland gleans from the 1916 Easter Rising universal lessons for renewing the architecture of pluralist society.
Out the Easter Rising’s collapse came a century’s history that included a war of independence, a civil war, the British government’s division of Ireland backed by threats of full-scale military invasion, anti-Catholic pogroms in the Protestant north, and ultimately the murderous 30-year “Troubles” t...
April 18, 2019
In the example of the new life given his Quebec parish church, Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland witnesses the living hope that makes Christians an Easter people.
This Easter, in our little Resurrection parish, we will join with the universal Church in that timeless Christian moment of Resurrection, though we will do so in a new way for us, joining in a bilingual combined Mass with our Polish fellow Catholics On Palm Sunday, at Resurrection of Our Lord church...
April 15, 2019
Isolation and emotional homelessness are rarely discussed, but they are the prevalent hurdle faced by those experiencing homelessness.
And then I come across Dave Heath’s inescapable photograph of Erin Freed’s face on a 1963 New York street, and look at those long-ago eyes of a pre-school shy child already filled with the pervasive pain of rejection, the deep well of all who suffer the inhuman violation that is emotional homelessne...
April 8, 2019
Since early February, Canadians have been deluged daily with rhetoric and reportage about the SNC-Lavalin affair. But Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland argues that for all the words, no one yet knows why.
Pellerin’s “why” is directed specifically to the bizarre episode of Canada’s prime minister threatening defamation action against Canada’s Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition for his remarks about SNC-Lavalin If, God forbid for the Liberal Party of Canada, he does follow through and the matter ...
April 1, 2019
Now that Jody Wilson-Raybould is being criticized for recording a phone conversation, Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland raises an eyebrow at the conveniently-timed pot-stirring by critics. Based on what we currently know, he writes, Wilson-Raybould did nothing wrong. What is wrong is a prime minister's mood trying to direct an attorney general's actions.
The worst of the lot was yesterday’s CBC interview in which federal Labour Minister Patty Hajdu was allowed to disparage Wilson-Raybould as “deceptive and unethical” for taping the country’s top bureaucrat during a December 18, 2018 phone conversation about SNC-Lavalin’s criminal bribery woes In the...
March 25, 2019
The SNC-Lavalin affair isn’t just about choosing the next prime minister, noted the Opposition leader at a conservative gathering this weekend. What it's really about is protecting the very concrete, very practical division of responsibilities that comprise our legal system.
Andrew Scheer contributed significantly to Canadian political life by telling a weekend conservative gathering the SNC-Lavalin affair isn’t just about choosing between Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer Even factoring out partisan electoral rhetoric, Canadians have come to discuss SNC-Lavalin as very ...
March 20, 2019
In part two of Convivium’s series on homelessness, addiction and mental illness, Peter Stockland speaks with a woman who was hours away from being out on the streets and homeless. Now, Christina is on her way to recovery from a lifetime of alcoholism.
Christina makes the point that what is “saving my life” since she was brought into the Oxford House program is not just being spared sleeping on the floor of a detox centre This is part two of Convivium's series on homelessness, addiction, and mental illness Those who met her as she was being releas...
March 18, 2019
It’s more than a quarter century since Brian Mulroney stepped down as Prime Minister yet his commitment to institution building remains unrivaled by all but our greatest leaders, Peter Stockland contends.
Far more importantly, there was an inescapable moment when the old political pro’s remarks merited acknowledgement, graciously or grudgingly, of the particular greatness of Brian Mulroney’s political vision for Canada I mean, rather, that as a genuine Canadian elder statesman, as our old political p...
March 11, 2019
Since December, Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland has been exploring the ins and outs of homelessness which, with its related social ills, costs Canada at least $33.5 billion annually. Here is the first of a series of reports from the frontlines and the research centres grappling with one of the country’s most compelling issues.
Combining tax data and public accounts records, Turner and Krecsy put the country’s annual funding for homelessness and its related traumas such as poverty, mental illness, addiction, domestic violence at $27 billion Another $6.5 billion a year is spent on social assistance programs, health care, an...
March 8, 2019
Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland examines the scandal besetting the Prime Minister’s Office and finds the government’s defence just doesn’t add up so far.
The very reason the PMO offered to help the then Attorney General with the SNC-Lavalin file, Butts said, was to ensure there was adequate consideration of public policy vis-à-vis 9,000 potential lost jobs Given that, here is a key question that arose for me during a week of the watching the affair u...
February 28, 2019
The quality of Jody Wilson-Raybould's presence before the justice committee was completely hers. But the system had room for it to happen. The media functioned as it should, as the democratic watchdog. In this, there is hope, writes Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland.
I’m in no way shy to acknowledge much of it was attributable to Wilson-Raybould’s remarkable personal presence as an Indigenous woman, levelly speaking to her peers as an MP, and implacably challenging the highest levels of political power in this country I cannot remember feeling more proud to be C...
February 22, 2019
After encountering glimpses of what Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland calls invisible mending on the Montreal Metro, he sees how it illuminates not just the outward world, but the tiniest stitching of our hearts with every detail of what we know is love.
In the middle of a freezing February, in a week of flaming government scandal, in a tunnel of the Montreal Metro, I encountered a homeless man facing a conundrum of flowers It’s called Weave: The Social Fabric Project, which Brooks started in 2018 as a contribution to the social isolation he encount...
February 11, 2019
Allegations of political interference in the prosecution of engineering giant SNC-Lavalin cast a shadow over the Trudeau cabinet’s ability to function in solidarity and confidence, argues Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland.
A mere 40 months ago, fresh from winning a massive majority government, at the swearing in of his first cabinet, Prime Minister Trudeau declared that the very structure of his government mirrored the progress of the earth around the sun Revelations, or unproven accusations if you prefer, that the Pr...
February 8, 2019
The role of history is to remind us that the truth can only emerge from what has come before us. Where we were still matters, writes Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland, if only so we can more truly understand where we are.
It’s a reason that starts with asking “why” that particular bit of false history was passed along as easily as such claims tend to pass from the lips of Donald Trump? Why, the question has to be asked, was it repeated without being challenged when it was so obviously historical impossible? Here’s th...
January 21, 2019
The New England Patriots won yet another glorious football victory on the 100th anniversary of the first Irish republican parliament being founded. Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland argues the apparent coincidence is providential proof of the power and necessity of great institutions.
The New England Patriots, and the Irish parliament that was forged by that blessed land’s patriotic sons and daughters, stand as vivid examples, past and present, of the necessity for institutions that simultaneously ground and advance the best of which human beings are capable What the first Irish ...
January 18, 2019
Gillette has tried to make profits from selling social good. But where marketing and politics mingle, there lies danger, warns Peter Stockland.
That’s doubly true when the source of the purported controversy is some corporate behemoth funding a mega-million dollars advertising campaign explicitly to draw attention to its product It’s tempting to take the week’s “controversy” over the Gillette shaving company’s new advertising campaign at so...
January 14, 2019
Legal changes around drinking and driving (supported by Mothers Against Drunk Driving) passed in 2018 criminalize Canadians who've done nothing wrong, say some defence lawyers in Ontario. Convivium publisher Peter Stockland sees this as part of a larger trend of groups that initially come into existence to gain a given end soon end up making their continued existence the reason they continue to exist..
A possible scenario the criminal lawyers depict is Constable Flatfoot following someone home from a bar or restaurant, waiting outside the person’s house until the right amount of time has elapsed, and then forcing the suspect to take a breath test without any reasonable grounds to indicate they wer...
January 8, 2019
What place could, within its very silence, make room for the act of reading and absorbing the divinity of words?
Once a place where the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, the Grey Nun’s, worshipped, prayed, confessed their sins, read the Divine Word for almost 150 years, it has been transformed yet meticulously preserved as a reading room of Concordia University where, at any given hour of the day, students obser...
December 28, 2018
In a conversation about his 2018 book Superhero Ethics, author Travis Smith guides Convivium’s Peter Stockland past the classical, Biblical and liberal-democratic sources of comic book characters, ending up at the existential chasm in the immortal words of Bruce Springsteen: “Hey, what else can we do now?”
Superhero comics confusingly combine a tragicomic premise—the good guys always win, and innocent bystanders get saved, but human beings and the world never get any better—with a modern romantic-rationalistic confidence in progress A cynical person might say that the creators of superhero stories exp...