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…

New vision for CRTC is dangerously radical

Critics believe recommendations have the very real potential to limit how freely Canadians can access the Internet and what content they’ll be able to find when they do

New vision for CRTC is dangerously radicalConcern is growing over proposed changes to the federal approach to governing broadcasting in Canada. After two days of almost baffling silence following the release of a report calling for sweeping changes to how – and over what – the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) exercises its regulatory powers, pundits and politicians are starting…

Health authority threatens to shut down hospice for not providing assisted suicide

Health authority threatens to shut down hospice for not providing assisted suicideOver the past three decades, a small palliative care hospice in suburban Vancouver has raised millions of dollars and provided hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours to benefit British Columbia’s health system. Now, the Delta Hospice Society must drop its refusal to provide medical assistance in dying (MAID) for qualifying patients in its care. Or…

Cats turns literary genius into lumpy kitty litter

The movie offers a fun-house-mirror examination of our souls and why we've allowed this kind of cultural plundering to go on for years

Cats turns literary genius into lumpy kitty litterCats the movie is worse than bad. It is offal. Its director, Tom Hooper, utterly guts the gentle soul of T.S. Eliot’s classic Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, from which the film is drawn. What’s been dropped at the paying public’s shoes is a cinematic blood sample so horrifying it could make Old Possum’s…

Scheer’s departure shows political dissent has been crushed

Neither the Conservatives nor Scheer displayed the remotest capacity to fight back by hammering home the counter message about a Liberal Party in disarray

Scheer’s departure shows political dissent has been crushedIn the end, it’s probably just as well for both the Conservative Party and Canadians that leader Andrew Scheer resigned. Drawing, quartering and hanging might have been all the rage in the Elizabethan era. But it is, to paraphrase a certain prime minister, 2019, and no one gains today by having public political execution preceded…

Compelled speech compromises basic rights

If the Canada Summer Jobs precedent holds, soon other government agencies will mix public funds and political preferences

Compelled speech compromises basic rightsIn a crucial free speech ruling recently, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the constitution in that country prohibits forcing people to say what they don’t believe. Here in Canada, a young Ottawa lawyer upped the ante recently by filing a Federal Court lawsuit arguing that our Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the right…

Systemic racism or a protected, impartial process?

The Gerald Stanley-Colten Boushie case has touched off a firestorm that reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of how our legal system works

Systemic racism or a protected, impartial process?Reaction to the Gerald Stanley-Colten Boushie verdict continues to roil in Canada’s legal system. The latest stir of the pot comes from the Canadian Council of Criminal Defence Lawyers. The council sent a tart reproach this week to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould for their responses to the acquittal of Stanley,…

A refugee reaches out to help Fort McMurray’s displaced

Part of Basel Abou Hamrah' desire to help is prompted by a need to give back to Canadians who helped him

A refugee reaches out to help Fort McMurray’s displacedFor Basel Abou Hamrah, the difference between an evacuee and a refugee is a simple matter of months and of who is helping whom. Four months ago, on New Year’s Eve, the 27-year-old Syrian accountant arrived in Edmonton as one of the refugees being helped to resettle here from that wartorn country. Last week, he…
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