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.

Bio last updated October 12th, 2021.

Ray Pennings

Articles by Ray Pennings

  • Royal Confusion

    The prank involved two Australian DJs who called the King Edward VII hospital ("renowned for its discretion and privacy") impersonating members of the royal family to inquire about the condition of Kate However, the good news has been confused by a radio prank gone badly and a response that betrays ...

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  • The Fine Print Matters!

    All of this is a very circuitous way to get to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his current legal troubles Most of us feel like helpless spectators to this sorry spectacle, but it does remind us that the fine print, usually overlooked as inconsequential, is in fact important and should be taken seriously ...

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  • Dissecting Democracy's Verdict

    The then-opposition party Canadian Alliance expected this by-election to be its breakthrough in Ontario and poured all sorts of resources into the campaign, only to finish a distant third behind the Progressive Conservatives who won the seat and the Liberals who finished second The Conservatives won...

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  • Families and their Worldviews

    A clear pattern of response emerged: those in the "faithful" category would put the religious objective first, the emotive response second, and the remaining three in various orders below Both groups of parents' aspirations were "that their children will become adults who are honest and truthful, wh...

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  • Paying Attention to the Courts

    Lawyers like Arvay are pivotal players to whom we owe our rights, Harris argues, citing as evidence Arvay forgoing many legal fees (following the Conservatives' cancellation of the Court Challenges program) as "a practical kindness" to a gay bookshop owner out of principled support for the cause ...

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  • Day-After Musings

    There are many on all sides of the political spectrum in the United States this afternoon who feel less than enthusiastic about the results, or worried about their country's future The contrast between their experiences and my own is eye-opening: they attended the first church service of their lives...

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  • Intuition Trumps Strategy

    Is this the contemporary state of values in public life? The best McGrath could do was appeal to Jack Layton's farewell letter, his "let's get along moment" in Canadian politics, and reframe Haidt's thesis in social democratic language Haidt's politics are probably dissimilar from mine, but I apprec...

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  • Strength Isn't What it Seems

    There are times when the failure to exercise the authority of position is indeed a sign of weakness There are, however, also times when the exercise of authority, just because you can—yielding to short-term impulses over long-term interests—is equally a sign of weakness ...

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  • Anti-Bullying and Over-Correcting

    That is not to say that every Catholic (or any other religious school) consistently lives out its principles and that the bullying problem doesn't exist there I have more confidence in the protection of a gay Catholic student in a Catholic school that lives its principles than I do in the protection...

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  • Sesame Street Politics

    The voters and pundits, you see, thought the campaign had moved to Sesame Street and gave Mr On the other, it reflects the reality of modern politics: few voters have the patience or perseverance to sort through the spin and counter-spin of campaign claims ...

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  • Private Schools, Public Education

    The graduate data from non-government school sectors in Canada are evidence that public education—education in the public interest and for the common good—is also being provided outside of the publicly funded education system ...

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  • The Commons Truth

    The less information the public is working with, the more reductionistic the political debate becomes, not only because the politicians can more easily get away with it but also because the information needs to be more simply packaged ...

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  • The Conversation: Private Education, Public Interest

    Cardus director of research Ray Pennings discusses a new study of private education and the public interest.

    RP: Well, I think, to answer the second part first, in terms of faith, believing in and participating in our common life together, I think you mentioned it earlier, graduates of non-government schools become as much a part of public life as do graduates of government-funded schools What the data sho...

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  • Evil Explained Away

    In a public discourse that cringes from the language of good and evil, and which places objective reason as the anchoring foundation for sorting through the questions of how we live together, this is all unsettling As I noted in a Globe op-ed on this case last year, the Christ-less Christianity Brei...

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  • Reinvigorating Unions

    The proposed new union will dedicate 10% of its revenue to new organizing (compared with the present 2-7% for the CAW and 8% for the CEP) and will focus much of its resources towards broadening the reach of the labour movement We form our union in the determination that equality and social justice w...

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  • The Limits of Our Merit

    In the next few weeks, a story will emerge in real time, of some person whose name I don't know today, playing a sport the rules of which I cannot tell you, that will teach me something about what it means to be human Combine that hard work with some physical and mental aptitude for a particular spo...

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  • Engaging Those Who Disagree

    Doesn't our modern ethos often place "rural values" closer to what's religious than "big city values"? Before critiquing urbanists for ignoring religion, then, there is good reason to remind the religious that perhaps they have not taken cities as seriously as they should, especially in an increasin...

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  • Marrying Yourself

    There was a time when our understanding of love and its various dimensions could be best described by three Greek words that are commonly translated as "love" I contend that almost every use of that word in the dozen or so stories I read regarding these narcissism ceremonies is a misuse ...

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  • Graduation Wishes

    We are not told if Bezalel put his craftsmanship to work in helping build the golden calf or not, but we do know that whatever his role, God, in his sovereignty, would call and equip him, lead him to repentance, and fill him with His grace Fifteen minutes isn't a lot of time but the Exodus 31 accoun...

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  • Church Meetings Matter

    The world is a different place as a result of such meetings and impacts many, including those who would prefer to have no regard for church life Still, the continued existence of an institution existing not for the benefit of her members but in order to provide a tangible witness to the reality of a...

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  • The Loudest Exclamation: Humility

    Christian public theology rejects the hubris of worldly wisdom which implies that if God should only be listened to if his input fits into our existing frameworks of solutions There is much good work that is taking place today of first-rate Christian scholarship—and, I might add, also in public theo...

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