Articles by Peter Stockland
July 16, 2019
Watching the Château Laurier fiasco from a comfortable distance, Peter Stockland sees parallels between Ottawa’s architectural debacle and the history of Belfast’s city hall.
Belfast, Northern Ireland – It’s intriguing to watch across an ocean as turbulence continues to cycle in Ottawa over the state and fate of the national capital’s Château Laurier Hotel In September that year, tens of thousands of so-called unionists, implacably opposed to Home Rule, signed a “Solemn League and Covenant” issued at Belfast City Hall pledging to use “all means which may be found necessary” to oppose legislated freedom for Ireland In one of those coincidences that make even history shake its gray head, the Titanic sinking was such a monumental event that it even delayed by six weeks the opening of the Château Laurier in a former lumber town called Ottawa Like Belfast City Hall, it too squats in hyper-inflated toadal gloat at the end of Wellington Street
July 8, 2019
In this week's essay from Northern Ireland, Convivium's Peter Stockland encounters a young man whose grandfather was murdered on Bloody Sunday 1972 and waits to hear loyalist-unionist drums beat again in Belfast this Friday, July 12.
Fast forward with a bullet to a bloody Sunday in 1972, and two men named Paddy being shot in the streets of Derry, Northern Ireland, because British soldiers present to ensure peace lost control and opened fire They, in turn, would assassinate our own father of Confederation, Thomas d’Arcy McGee and...
June 28, 2019
Publisher Peter Stockland has set his sails across the ocean to Belfast and tells of his reason for doing so – to participate in grasping the knowledge of Ireland's history and grappling with our own.
But the Canadian question that overwhelmed me on Moore Street in Dublin that day two years ago led me to enroll in the Irish Studies program at Concordia University in Montreal last fall For a Canadian, the question as to why Irish history has been so violent has to be followed by the question as to...
June 19, 2019
Quebec’s law banning public displays of religious symbols has affronted advocates of religious freedom across Canada. But Convivium’s Peter Stockland reports on plans by Montreal Catholics to turn the secularist tide and create strong communities of faith.
“It’s not saying ‘well, how can we make parishes more like the government?’ It’s not saying ‘how can we make the government more like the parish?’ It’s saying ‘okay, what are the particular gifts and skills in this faith community, and how can we use them to help people in need in the parish in a wa...
June 12, 2019
The mania for cranking every political message up to 11 is drowning out our democratic capacity to speak moderately, listen perceptively, and care about what our neighbours are saying, argues Convivium's Peter Stockland.
So: one act of malfeasant hooting is amplified by media caterwauling into distortion beyond measure of the bare fact that Michael Cooper is but a 35-year-old excitable boy in his first term as an MP from small-town Alberta In fairness, those who produced the inquiry report might have had an honest b...
June 10, 2019
Last week, Cardus Religious Freedom Institute launched its newest project, Faith in the Future. Convivium's Peter Stockland sits down with program director Andrew Bennett and researcher Aaron Neil to discuss the team's aspirations and plans as it kicks off.
I think it points to an opportunity to advance the broader mandate of what we're doing at the institute, to re-present to people the importance of public faith and the importance of religious freedom and what better way to do that then through these young leaders of faith who want to live that out I...
June 5, 2019
Father Tony Van Hee is an 83-year-old Roman Catholic Priest who was arrested in 2018 outside an abortion clinic in Ottawa. He has launched a Charter challenge against the restriction on free speech making it an offense to even protest the Bubble Zone legislation itself.
The fact Ottawa police arrested and charged Father Van Hee despite his having avoided those behaviours – including expressing disapproval – shows the law is “overbroad” and therefore clearly violates Charter guarantees of free speech, the Charter challenge says The Charter challenge filed in Superio...
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 thei...
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...