The unravelling of our nation

From the homeless crisis to Quebec's Bill 62 to the murder of 4,232 First Nation women, the signs are everywhere

The unravelling of our nationWhen do you cease to be a country? When do you stop being a people, a nation? Former governor general and Liberal cabinet minister Romeo LeBlanc had an answer. “When children sleep on the streets,” he said to us once. “When they have nothing to eat. That is when you are no longer a country,…

A respectful protest turns into political football

If NFL owners cave in to public pressure and ban taking a knee, they will only be seen as kneeling to Trump

A respectful protest turns into political footballNFL players kneeling during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner is an issue that should have fizzled out in the United States, and probably would have except for the nation’s president. It started in August 2016, when NFL player Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the playing of the American anthem. He did it…

Kudos to Toronto, but independent schools still face discrimination

Subjecting parents choosing such schools for their children to extra costs is discriminatory

Kudos to Toronto, but independent schools still face discriminationBy Derek J. Allison Deani Van Pelt and Beth Green Cardus You could call it a step forward in fairness for Canadians who send their kids to independent schools. The Toronto Board of Health recently recommended the extension of its student nutrition programs to qualified independent schools. That means more than 300 independent schools could…

The German election earthquake

The AfD has its share of political troglodytes but they are not Nazis

The German election earthquakeBy all accounts, Germany’s elections on Sunday turned out exactly as expected. Angela Merkel cruised to an easy victory. Her fourth term puts her on track to be the longest serving chancellor in the post-Second World War period and second only to Otto von Bismarck as Germany’s longest serving leader. Beneath the surface, however, the…

Is justice pricing really justice or just plain hate?

This isn’t a time for Canadians to be segregating each other, or rushing to put themselves and their neighbours into hyphenated categories

Is justice pricing really justice or just plain hate?The attempt by a Victoria, B.C., promoter to institute “justice pricing” for a movie series has attracted considerable attention, most of it hostile. The Made You Look Media company had decreed that to view their latest offering at the Roxy Theatre, the “general admission price of $10 (would) be doubled to $20 for all white…

Committed citizens can change the world

While Colin Kaepernick still doesn't have a job in the NFL, history suggests his protest for minority rights will ultimately be successful

Committed citizens can change the world“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has,” said anthropologist Margaret Mead. History shows the tremendous power and depth of Mead’s words. All advances in human rights have resulted from a small group of people who had the courage to take a…

Hasty conclusions about the past can result in lost opportunities

Monuments often reveal important stories, but can gloss over details. Unless we examine the facts closely, we can end up with a sanitized view of history

Hasty conclusions about the past can result in lost opportunities“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?” Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius said. We study history in part to understand the mistakes made in the past so we don’t repeat them. If we can truly learn…

Bending the arc of the moral universe toward justice

When we’re able to see beyond the lies of hatred, racism and segregation, we see the enriching power of diversity

Bending the arc of the moral universe toward justiceThe racism and violence in today’s world can be horrifying. So it’s important to look at the wider scope of history. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” Perhaps many of us are disturbed by the racist words and actions today because they’re…

Statues tell a story that people need to hear

You could fill volumes with the uncomfortable statements uttered in the past by people whom we now revere, from Abraham Lincoln to Mahatma Gandhi

Statues tell a story that people need to hearFrantic officials in the American south are joining with the Taliban and Islamic State as the latest group to destroy memorials to the past. Specifically, they are tearing down statues in praise of the Confederacy. We might well examine the racist speech of Civil War-era politicians to see what motivates the iconoclasts of today to…

Out of the closet, slowly and cautiously

Britain’s 1957 Wolfenden Report was the first step towards changing legal and social perspectives on homosexuality in the English-speaking world

Out of the closet, slowly and cautiouslyIn August 1954, the British government tasked a committee to look into the law on both homosexual offences and prostitution. Chaired by Sir John Wolfenden, the committee set to work on Sept. 15, 1954, and its recommendations were published just under three years later. Known to history as the Wolfenden Report, it’s remembered as an…