Canada's Premier Hub For Faith In Common Life

Ray Pennings

Ray Pennings co-founded Cardus in 2000 and currently serves as Executive Vice President, working out of the Ottawa office. Ray has a vast amount of experience in Canadian industrial relations and has been involved in public policy discussions and as a political activist at all levels of government. Ray is a respected voice in Canadian politics, contributing as a commentator, pundit and critic in many of Canada’s leading news outlets and as an advisor and strategist on political campaign teams. Read More ›

Bio last modified December 21st, 2017.
Articles by Ray Pennings
  • Points of Christian Re-Formation

    Ray Pennings

    On Monday night during a panel discussion at McGill University’s Newman Centre in Montreal, Cardus Executive Vice-President Ray Pennings set out five points that he, as a Reformed believer, considers vital if Christians are to re-form a divided Church into unified faith. 

  • Religion's Perception Gap

    Peter Stockland with Ray Pennings

    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. 

  • Contempt of Lethbridge

    Ray Pennings

    Alberta MP Rachael Harder’s mistreatment by Liberals and New Democrats is a sad comment on their misunderstanding of Parliamentary democracy, says Cardus executive vice-president Ray Pennings. 

  • The Age of Hubris

    Ray Pennings

    Cardus Executive Vice President Ray Pennings delivers a thoughtful essay on the Age of Hubris and the way in which dignity and humility serve as essential ingredients to effective disagreement. 

  • Keeping The Faith Local

    Ray Pennings

    With this week’s release of a third set of Angus Reid Institute polling data on the state of faith in Canada at its 150th birthday, Cardus Executive Vice-President Ray Pennings tells Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland there are  signs of local hope, though Canadians of faith must pull up their socks when it comes to the national dimension of religious life

  • Sacred Fire

    Ray Pennings

    Ray Pennings reflects on the sacred in a ceremony and looks forward to how Canada can best flourish over the next 150 years.

  • No Trumping Virtue

    Ray Pennings

    Ray Pennings: The way I read the result is two-fold. One, I actually think this was an anti-establishment, anti-institution vote. I think it's the failure of political parties to elect candidates that reflect the best of democracy. I think even many of those who voted for Trump actually said, "I'm voting against the others.

  • Perpetuating Homeschool Myths

    Ray Pennings

    The Globe and Mail ran a story on the dispute between the Alberta government and the Wisdom Home Schooling Society of Alberta, which has been shut down due to alleged financial irregularities. The story was framed around the story of Bari Miller, a 23-year old Masters student in the University of Ottawa’s political studies program. Ms. Miller was home-educated in the Wisdom program from grades 2-12 and clearly doesn’t think much of what she was taught. The lack of oversight and standards were among the reasons that “at 17, Ms. Miller ran away from home, escaping her mom and the education program she deemed shoddy.” From that single anecdote, the Globe constructed a narrative about homeschooling that goes far beyond any alleged financial irregularities in one particular situation in Alberta.

  • What to do in Post-Truth Politics?

    Ray Pennings

    Given that, I have long advocated the caveat-couched triad – competence, character and convictions – as a test by which to evaluate electoral options. Even those who are competent are more competent at some parts of the job than others. The public character of candidates is often a carefully marketed persona quite different from real character, but I know I have voted for those whose personal lifestyle choices and integrity are very different from that I would agree with. And when it comes to convictions, core beliefs and the manifestation of those in policy, I have disagreed with some aspects of every candidate’s policy proposals.

  • Is the Party Over?

    Ray Pennings

    The 2016 conventions had a different sort of intrigue because the two nominees are as much distinguished by their unpopularity as their credentials. Internal party opponents telegraphed their intentions to disrupt the convention, but the discontent was mostly managed. Outside the conventions, voters may differ as to which is the worst of the choices, but relatively few are celebrating their preferred candidate as a virtuous choice.

  • Palliative Care: Time for a Compassionate Approach

    Ray Pennings

    Palliative Care is commonly but mistakenly understood as medical care provided when death is imminent. A broader understanding of this care as including social, psychosocial, and spiritual dimensions most often delivered outside of the health system needs to be cultivated. The reality has not matched the rhetoric in providing palliative care.

  • Mapping the Progressives Progress

    Ray Pennings

    Redefining Responsible Government. Open Government was the theme of the Canada2020 conference, and constitutes a base of the new progressive agenda. Few can dispute the good of measured transparency, data sharing, and advanced use of technology to engage citizens in public processes. But as one participant insightfully noted near the end of the conference, it is one thing to value openness as part of transparency and providing modern quality service to the citizenry.

  • Paris: Avoiding the Knee-Jerk Reaction

    Ray Pennings

    Islamic Terrorism? | Much is being made as to whether reporters and politicians dare to use the phrase “Islamic terrorist,” for fear of indiscriminately grouping non-violent and violent Muslims into one category. The violent backlash against Muslims (and, sadly, Sikhs and Hindus) in Ontario has already shown the trouble this can perpetuate.

  • How Trudeau’s Election Complicates the Narrative

    Ray Pennings

    There is little doubt that Mr. Trudeau conducted a magnificent campaign which successfully countered the narrative that he was not ready for the job. While the Conservatives spent three years defining him as a lightweight, Mr. Trudeau not only successfully countered that narrative, but he rebuilt a very impressive Liberal party that (re)captured the imaginations and enthusiasm of many Canadians who had grown cynical.

  • A Court of Many Colours

    Ray Pennings

    In the Biblical story of Joseph's coat, Cardus Executive Vice President Ray Pennings finds both justification and a cautionary tale for Canada's ermine-cloaked Supreme Court justices

  • Miracle Worker

    Ray Pennings

    But it’s not only at Easter and in relation to life’s “big questions” that miracles are relevant. If it weren’t for the reality of miracles, I, for one, would find the challenges that confront us each day to be overwhelming and beyond my capacity.  


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