More than just a Spectator to world events

The long-running weekly publication offers depth, broad perspective on a variety of issues, and doesn’t shy away from controversy

More than just a Spectator to world eventsThe Spectator is a United Kingdom weekly first published in 1828. This purportedly makes it the longest-running magazine of its kind in the English-speaking world. And while the primary focus is current affairs, the Spectator’s subject matter ranges further than that. There’s lively coverage of books, music, film, TV, food and travel. From time to…

Labels just hurtful in search for Middle East peace

Trudeau insinuated that if you support the rights of Palestinians, you must be anti-Semitic

Labels just hurtful in search for Middle East peaceI like to think I’m not easily offended, but a recent speech by Justin Trudeau at the Yom Hashoah Virtual Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemoration pierced my spirit. In this ceremony, Holocaust survivors and their descendants not only remembered the crimes committed against the Jewish people, they celebrated who they are and the beautiful traditions that…

Giving voice to our concerns and desires validates democracy

Democracy in action illustrates how important it is for Canadians to talk with their government officials on all levels

Giving voice to our concerns and desires validates democracyOne of the most important tasks I have as a public school educator is empowering my students to take an active role in the Canadian political process. And if I’m going to ask my students to be active citizens, I need to model the desired behaviour. I’ve honestly been very impressed with the responses I’ve…

The arc of the moral universe will bend toward justice

Amidst acts of nationalism and racism, it can be difficult to see the fundamental goodness of humanity – but it’s there

Nov. 9 marked 80 years since Kristallnacht, loosely translated as “the Night of the Broken Glass.” On this horrendous night, rampaging Nazis destroyed Jewish businesses, synagogues, homes and other properties in what was then German territory. There were many deaths and arrests of innocent people in this precursor to the Holocaust. It would nice to…

The politics of blame: modern progressives vs old-school liberals

Modern progressives see proof of social oppression around every corner. They believe society in general is to blame

The politics of blame: modern progressives vs old-school liberalsThe breaking point for me was Pittsburgh. This murderous act of anti-Semitic horror, when combined with the relentless breakdown in social civility, has made me face an unpalatable truth: something has gone very wrong with modern society. Our entire civilization is speeding to toward fragmentation and decay – Brexit, Donald Trump, warring political partisanship, rising…

Did Canada expel Russian diplomats for a false reason?

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland plays fast and loose with the facts if she believes her grandfather wasn't a Nazi collaborator

Did Canada expel Russian diplomats for a false reason?We live in a world where “fake news” is used with near-reckless abandon. But there are moments when real news gets lumped into this category. It blurs fact and fiction, and changes a narrative not for the better but for the worse. Here’s a recent example. Canada recently tossed out four Russian diplomats and refused…

Why Doug Ford had to drop Tanya Granic Allen

The Ontario PC leader once opened his arms to the controversial candidate. Now dumping her is the only choice

Why Doug Ford had to drop Tanya Granic AllenDid Ontario PC leader Doug Ford make the right decision in removing Tanya Granic Allen as a party candidate in the upcoming provincial election? It’s a question some Ontario conservatives have been asking for a few days. While there’s no easy answer, let’s see if we can reach a conclusion. Granic Allen is the 37-year-old…

A neo-Nazi taunts Jews in Nova Scotia, with government help

Notorious art thief John Mark Tillmann managed to get two levels of government to rename a waterway just to torment Jewish neighbours

A neo-Nazi taunts Jews in Nova Scotia, with government helpShould the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia name something after a neo-Nazi? It’s not a hypothetical question. Fall River, N.S., (pop. 11,526) is a community in Halifax’s regional municipality. By all accounts, it’s a lovely spot and the locals are nice. If you go hiking on a trail in the area, you may spot…

Tackling conflict in the Middle East cauldron

The importance of human dignity, forgiveness of our enemies, destroying prejudice and living together in peace

Tackling conflict in the Middle East cauldronAs a third-generation Arab-Canadian, I’ve long been troubled by the conflicts in the Middle East. When I read about riots, fighting, hatred and killing in the land of my ancestors, I experience an odd mix of emotions. Sadness, anger and love all broil inside me, demanding to be heard. My Syrian grandfather left Aleppo and…

The lasting – and troubling – legacy of Martin Luther

It’s now 500 years since Luther threw down the gauntlet, taking on the power of the papacy in an era predating the separation of church and state

The lasting – and troubling – legacy of Martin LutherWhen I was a child in 1950s Catholic Ireland, Martin Luther had a nasty reputation. If not viewed as the devil incarnate, he was certainly seen as a deeply dodgy fellow. And it wasn’t uncommon to hear the tale of his alleged “bad death” put forward as proof of his iniquity. The whole story, of…