No reason why an activist can’t be a columnist

Yes, it’s possible to be a columnist and activist. So why couldn't the Toronto Star countenance Desmond Cole and his stand on police carding?

No reason why an activist can’t be a columnistI’ve been writing columns since 1996. It’s a craft in which individuals often possess strong opinions, varied interests, articulate ideas and healthy doses of intellectual curiosity. What about activism, in the political sense of otherwise? This particular trait, which seems a logical fit, is now a matter of dispute due to the curious case of…

Cultural appropriation controversy is entirely about free speech

The only route to a better appreciation of the cultures in Canada is through exposure, questioning, expressing opinions – even if those opinions are wrong

Cultural appropriation controversy is entirely about free speechIf there’s ever going to be a watershed moment in protecting free speech in Canada, the recent controversy surrounding cultural appropriation could fit the role. The story began in a rather innocuous manner. Hal Niedzviecki, editor of Write magazine (the quarterly publication of the Writers’ Union of Canada), wrote in a column, “I don’t believe…

Did France put an end to the new nationalism?

Marine Le Pen can still be a huge game-changer in Europe and North America, despite her loss

Did France put an end to the new nationalism?In recent years, Europe and North America have faced a rising political force called the new nationalism. It’s a cobbling of right-leaning and left-leaning parties and politicians with nationalist, populist and anti-establishment views which oppose such things as free trade, globalization, open borders and modern liberal values. Brexit in Britain, Italy’s Five Star Movement and…

Future Tory leader must look to the past for role models

If the next Conservative Party of Canada leader doesn't maintain and build on the Mulroney-Harper legacy, he or she is doomed to failure

Future Tory leader must look to the past for role modelsThe Conservative leadership race was thrown for a loop last week. Businessman and media gadfly Kevin O’Leary unexpectedly dropped out and endorsed former cabinet minister Maxime Bernier. Truth be told, he abandoned his campaign for an odd reason: a lack of support in Quebec. The next federal election is two years away, which would have…

Supply management stands in defiance of fair trade

If Canada eliminated its supply management system and the U.S. opened up the softwood lumber industry, both countries would benefit economically

Supply management stands in defiance of fair tradeU.S. President Donald Trump has attacked Canada’s supply management system. He believes certain American industries, including the dairy sector, have been crushed by Canada’s “wasteful destructive job killing regulations” – and the U.S. “demands fair trade with all of our trading partners … and that includes Canada.” He’s absolutely correct: supply management is an archaic,…

Scott Gilmore (who?) and his meaningless crusade to save conservatism

Claiming that only some Canadian conservatives are on the moral high ground will cause short-term frustration and long-term division

Scott Gilmore (who?) and his meaningless crusade to save conservatismA Conservative Party member recently said he was fed up with the direction of various federal leadership candidates. He wants to lead a discussion about Canadian conservatism’s future and help create a new national party along these lines. Who’s behind this initiative? Scott Gilmore. My, my. There certainly are a lot of crickets this time…

The Merchant of Venom’s Canadian connection

Don Rickles was a master of insult comedy, making jokes about racial and religious groups that would never survive in today’s politically correct world

The Merchant of Venom’s Canadian connectionDon Rickles passed away at the age of 90 on April 6. Rickles was one of the last remaining links to a golden period in his time-honoured industry. He was a master of improvisation and insult comedy, making jokes about racial and religious groups that would never survive in today’s politically correct world. Nevertheless, he once…

Trump a political chameleon unlike any other

Donald Trump's position as a political chameleon is in lockstep with the largest group of political chameleons in his nation: average voters

Trump a political chameleon unlike any otherSolving the puzzle that is U.S. President Donald Trump has been nearly impossible. His March 1 address to Congress was a strong performance on an important political stage. It demonstrated the type of leadership style that many pundits and commentators had hoped Trump would emulate. Perhaps he had finally transformed from the devil incarnate into…

Andrew Potter, Maclean’s and the loss of academic freedom

His departure from McGill was a disgrace to one of Canada’s oldest institutions of higher learning

Andrew Potter, Maclean’s and the loss of academic freedomThere was a time when Canadian universities defended academic freedom with passion, authority and gravitas. Those days are over: hurt feelings and crocodile tears now trump free speech on our university campuses. Here’s a pertinent example. Andrew Potter resigned last week as director of the Institute for the Study of Canada at McGill University, mere…

When you dangle a political carrot, someone will take a bite

Kevin O’Leary was right about voter fraud, but his mudslinging has also opened the door to further Tory leadership campaign nastiness

When you dangle a political carrot, someone will take a biteFinancial commentator Kevin O’Leary isn’t my choice to be the next federal Conservative leader. He’s one of the recognized front-runners but I don’t think he’s a suitable candidate – I have many concerns about his policies, statements, positions and political brand. Regardless, O’Leary and his team deserve full credit for correctly saying that voter fraud was…
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