Articles by Peter Stockland
March 22, 2018
Conservative MPs took one as a team fighting the government’s “values test” in the Canada Summer Jobs debacle. Then the Tories seemed to forget why continuing the fight still matters, writes Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland.
Yet what, if anything, gets lost when the run of day issues crowd out a government act that converges against freedom of speech, freedom of conscience and, especially, freedom of religion? An interesting answer to that comes from Carl Hétu, who was in the public gallery for Monday night’s vote on the Conservative motion Watching the vote on the Conservative motion, he saw evidence of the rise in Canada of a variation on anti religious freedom ideology that he’s witnessed under oppressive regimes globally “I think this vote, and the (values attestation) itself, are evidence that there are people at the government level motivated by (anti-faith) ideology
March 9, 2018
This week’s legal decision over telling children about the Easter Bunny may seem like mere whimsy. In reality, Convivium’s Peter Stockland writes, it’s about barring the State from forcing us to lie.
Whatever fueled the placement worker’s conduct overall – and by extension the enabling behaviour of the Hamilton Children’s Aid Society – Justice Goodman found the effect was serious violation of the Baars’ Charter rights to religious freedom and freedom of expression Much of the media coverage of t...
February 28, 2018
This week’s federal budget has admirable elements but also goes a long way to show the Liberal government’s shortcomings, Cardus experts tell Convivium.
The real intention of the budget, Mrozek says, is to pressure more women into joining the work force to enrich the federal tax base and fund billions in new government programs Dijkema does applaud a number of initiatives in Morneau’s newest budget, including the new Canadian Workers Benefit, increa...
February 27, 2018
Finance Minister Bill Morneau handed down a 2018 budget today that spends billions in new money Canada doesn’t have, and raises the national debt to almost $700 billion. But no worries, writes Convivium’s Peter Stockland. It’s also got a gendered analysis. And it puts people first.
For whether we call today’s document a budget or a social engineering blueprint, it is what federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau rose in the House of Commons to declare: “A plan that puts people first For example, increasing by $1.4 billion the amount available to women entrepreneurs through the Bu...
February 26, 2018
Tomorrow’s federal budget will reportedly hand millions in tax subsidies to Canada’s newspaper companies. Convivium’s Peter Stockland contends that will be the day their music dies.
It’s the cold reality that has made the dividing line with journalism, again especially newspaper journalism, so crucial not only to democracy, but to our social order Some entity, some organization, some private business will be scooping up public cash to continue publishing something that has the ...
February 23, 2018
Milton Friesen, program director of Cardus Social Cities, will deliver a lecture this evening at McMaster University’s Divinity College on Religion And Science: Conspiring Together For God. As Milton tells Convivium’s Peter Stockland, he intends it as a catalyst to a much broader and deeper conversation about the institutional responsibilities of faith and science in Canada’s common life.
What’s interesting is that many people such as (the late) Christopher Hitchens mock and deride religious beliefs, yet science itself has a public image problem when it denigrates religious belief and institutions and marginalizes them, then turns around and asks the public for support Yet the scienc...
February 20, 2018
Cardus Family has unearthed a startling new statistic: fewer than two-thirds of Canadian children now have married parents. Program director Andrea Mrozek and senior researcher Peter Jon Mitchell tell Convivium how they discovered the number, and what it means for Canadian family life.
PJM: The original (2017 census) report did look at the living arrangements of children, and broke down intact and non-intact families, but it didn't actually look at marriage: which kids were in married parent families, which kids were in common law families It’s a trend that’s been followed since 1...
February 15, 2018
Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has been criticized for intervening in the manslaughter trial of a Saskatchewan farmer. Convivium’s Peter Stockland argues the real damage will come if judicial reforms she’s promising have already been rejected by the Supreme Court of Canada.
As Justice Moldaver puts it eloquently in words that apply equally to a white Saskatchewan farmer like Gerald Stanley or to any Indigenous person in Canada: “The accused’s right to be tried by a jury of his peers is a right aimed at securing a fair adjudicative process….The right is held by the accu...
February 8, 2018
Prime Minister Trudeau says his “peoplekind” clanger was only a dumb joke. The problem for the PM is that no one laughed. And then everyone did.
Had the prime minister given proper attention to the groups incensed at the Summer Jobs program’s ideological “attestation” provision, there would have been no question about it in Edmonton, therefore no joke, and so no dumb harm done, this week at least Graciousness bids us accept Prime Minister Tr...
February 2, 2018
As the federal government digs in its heels on rule changes in the suddenly controversial Canada Summer Jobs program, a pro-life group is counting the benefits of being excluded.
The furor that Prime Minister Trudeau initially dismissed as a minor “kerfuffle” involving only a few religious groups has, Van Maren says, brought CCBR a fresh wave of volunteers, and an extremely positive response to its door knocking work across Canada So while Van Maren isn’t a expecting a job-f...
January 30, 2018
Beth Green, program director for Cardus Education, walks Convivium’s Peter Stockland through a new study showing why school matters as much as home and church in building a bedrock foundation for religious faith
When somebody comes through the front door in your church, they have been formed by these multiple pathways, and supporting them in their spiritual and religious maturity and growth means having some awareness at the denominational and congregational level, about specifics of what people learn about...
January 19, 2018
In an interview this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about his insistence on proper conduct between the sexes on Parliament Hill and, by extension, among Canadians generally. Peter Stockland examines what it means for a son to grapple with what his father catalyzed.
What limitations does he face as the son of the father who catalyzed the abolition of age-old understandings handed down from the God of Abraham? And what are we to do with the legacy of the former Prime Minister Trudeau who left us the ill fortune of having to just stand and watch this very difficu...
January 10, 2018
Convivium’s Peter Stockland learns why a major Christian evangelical group and a gay rights network are both denouncing the “ideological silencing” behind changes to a federal student employment initiative
Yet different as the two associations clearly are, they have independently, and in strikingly similar ways, raised alarms over what would seem at first blush to be the most innocuous federal government initiative imaginable – the Canada Summer Jobs Program “It confirms the group think within governm...
January 4, 2018
Once primarily a tradition of older students helping young students having academic difficulties, tutoring has exploded into a billion dollar profession in Canada. Estimates show a third of Canadian parents will turn to tutoring for their children. In cross-country conversation with educational experts, Convivium's Peter Stockland explores how the change might alter our very concept of schooling.
“You have parents paying [tutors] out of their own pockets so their children can learn what they aren’t learning in school, and you don’t want to know how many there are, or why? What that tells me is, you don’t want to admit you have a problem But with what she dismisses as “postmodern” educational...
December 29, 2017
Next week, the campus evangelical group Catholic Christian Outreach begins a cross-country veneration of bones from Saint Francis Xavier. Convivium’s Peter Stockland asks CCO co-founder Angèle Regnier why.
It was during a trip to Rome and the Gesù several years ago with Ottawa Archbishop Terence Prendergast that Regnier first raised the idea of bringing the saint’s arm and hand to Canada to help CCO with its evangelizing work Regnier is emphatic that without the help of Prendergast and his fellow Jesu...
December 8, 2017
A government push to stop Quebec businesses from politely using a French-English greeting for customers is more than just another example of the province's language wars. Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland argues the move interferes with Quebec's social architecture.
The first is the way language, almost 40 years after Bill 101 gave French-speaking Quebecers their majoritarian due, continues to be manipulated to foment tension and discord for shabby political gain Like the family that shouts at the dinner table because shouting is the only way to be heard, Quebe...
December 1, 2017
The fate of Trinity Western University’s proposed law school now lies in the hands of nine Supreme Court of Canada justices. As Convivium publisher Peter Stockland explains, the justices will render their decision in the wake of a clash between paradoxical arguments.
For example, Guy Pratte, the lawyer representing the Ontario law society, argued intensely that his client was, in fact, bound by law to deny accreditation to Trinity Western law school A canvass of existing law, he said, makes it clear nothing – including the legal obligations of the Ontario law so...
November 30, 2017
Trinity Western University has had the first of its two days in court over its multi-year struggle to open a law school. Convivium publisher Peter Stockland recounts how the lawyer for the private, Christian school withstood a barrage of skeptical questions from Supreme Court of Canada justices.
In making the argument Boonstra found himself answering pointed questions from Justice Richard Wagner, who opened and closed the day’s hearing by asking what kind of message the law societies would be sending to Canadian society if they were to accept licensing of lawyers trained at a school that di...
November 27, 2017
Tomorrow, Prime Minister Trudeau offers an unprecedented apology to persecuted members of sexual minorities. On Thursday, Trinity Western University is before the Supreme Court of Canada arguing for its religious freedom. Having previously presented TWU's perspective, Convivium asks lawyers Mark Berlin and Douglas Judson about sexual politics and the law.
Trudeau’s apology and the pardons will form the political, and to some extent even the legal, atmosphere in which Trinity will appeal a recent Ontario court decision future graduates of its law school He senses strongly that an affirmation of the Ontario Appeal Court decision will have much longer t...
November 16, 2017
With today's release of the fourth major Angus Reid Institute polls on the state of religion in Canada, Cardus Executive Vice-President Ray Pennings says the biggest identifiable gap is between Canadians' positive lived experiences of faith and their negative perceptions arising from narratives about spiritual belief.
What I find interesting about all of these questions is that when you take a look at the intensity of anti-faith feelings in the group of non-believers, or even their feelings about Islam, people of faith are far more positive about those who are Muslim than non-believers are I think it’s also a sen...
October 31, 2017
Convivium's Publisher Peter Stockland reports on the inaugural Ross and Davis Mitchell Prize for Faith and Writing Reception and the presentation of $25,000 dollars in prize money to emerging voices in the Canadian literary sphere.
In announcing that the Mitchell Prize will next be awarded in 2019, Cardus President Michael Van Pelt said the Hamilton-based think tank (which produces Convivium.ca) became convinced as the Faith in Canada 150 initiative unfurled that language, poetry, story, and literature have a key role to play ...