The past isn’t a script set down in stone

Vandalizing public spaces under the delusion that such acts make yesterday a better today is sad-sack politics that fosters democratic weakness

The past isn’t a script set down in stoneFor her book Talking Stones: The Politics of Memorialization in Post-Conflict Northern Ireland, Elisabetta Viggiani mapped 157 publicly visible sites of Troubles commemoration in Belfast. Broken down, the city’s memorials alone offer a ratio of one wall plaque, garden, public tableau or statue for every 25 of the 4,000 or so people killed by the…

Canada must boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

Canada must boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter OlympicsJust before Parliament adjourned in June 2008 for summer break, the Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada released a report called Broken Promises: The Protestant Experience with Religious Freedom in China in Advance of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. I was the chair of the commission and was present when the…

Finding ways to help victims of Beirut blast

Several trustworthy and reputable humanitarian organizations are working diligently, providing desperately-needed assistance

Finding ways to help victims of Beirut blastThe cataclysmic explosion that shook Beirut to its foundations in early August, leaving 157 people dead, 5,000 injured, and 300,000 homeless, was the coup de grâce for a country that has been bleeding for years under crushing burdens. The explosion seems like the denouement to the unfolding tragedy of Lebanon, a country where high unemployment,…

Pandemic policy is mob policy

No matter how economically suicidal certain policies may appear, fear wins the battle for hearts and minds

Pandemic policy is mob policyPandemic public policy is now a field unto itself, saturated with experts, desperately low on data, yet with dangerously high stakes, at least politically. Take the case of New Zealand. Here’s a prime minister and a country that has done, according to the chattering classes, everything right. A serious, long-term lockdown, early on, entirely stamped…

Canada’s donor base needs a government boost

A temporary dollar-for-dollar matching program is affordable – and necessary for the health of the charitable sector

Canada’s donor base needs a government boostWhen it comes to shoring up Canada’s troubled charitable sector, we’ve heard good words. “I appreciate the need to protect the entire (charitable) sector to keep it resilient, to make sure that it thrives and doesn't collapse and comes out strong after COVID-19 is over,” federal Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen told the Canadian Press…

Government must extend a helping hand to charitable sector

Fewer Canadians (and fewer businesses) are in a position to give to charity, even as more of us need help from the sector

Government must extend a helping hand to charitable sectorIt didn’t take long for the federal government to help grieving families when an Iranian missile brought down a Ukraine passenger plane in January. There were 57 Canadians and 29 permanent residents among the 176 who died in the crash. Very quickly, Canada’s government set up a $1.5-million donation-matching program for a special charity created…

The value of the marriage bond in times of crisis

The value of the marriage bond in times of crisisHeadlines warn that Canadian family courts will be overwhelmed with couples seeking post-COVID-19 divorces. But Canadian marriages won’t just survive the COVID-19 crisis. They’ll thrive. Here’s why: Most couples will lean into their relationships, not pull back. The lockdown has caused significant stress on families around finances, educating children and caring for family members while…

Don’t let COVID-19 permanently change Canada

The speed of the spread and the rise of the body count prove something menacing has us at its mercy. How we deal with it is crucial

Don’t let COVID-19 permanently change CanadaThe Quebec government recently ordered the province’s cathedrals of commerce – also known as shopping malls – to close. The edict followed another imperative obliging all places of religious worship to lock their doors. Yet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau subsequently suggested Canadians might not have seen anything yet when it comes to draconian measures to…

Finding a workable path to Indigenous reconciliation

Taking shortcuts becomes a fast track to ending the conversation and starting the shouting. We need to build a workable partnership

Finding a workable path to Indigenous reconciliationCanadians have been swept over the roaring information waterfall and plunged into a kind of suspended frenzy, from the ‘crisis’ of Indigenous railway blockades to the fresh hell of a spreading global virus most of us had never heard of when 2020 began. One immediate effect is a dizzying distractedness that makes coherent political response…

Palliative care suffers because of MAID

Delta Hospice Society has been locked in a lengthy fight with the health authority and the B.C. government, and has now lost its funding

Palliative care suffers because of MAIDDirectors of a Vancouver-area hospice are considering their legal options after the B.C. government abruptly yanked its funding because it doesn’t permit medical assistance in dying (MAID) on the premises. And an Ottawa lawyer engaged by the Delta Hospice Society says B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix is simply wrong to claim the facility’s refusal to…
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