Making a commitment to common humanity

We may have different opinions, alliances, ideals, languages, skin colours, gender preferences. These are simply characteristics that add variety to life

Making a commitment to common humanityGroundbreaking American anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” In many ways, this is a call to action for all of us, regardless of our political or economic perspectives. We have the power to change the…

Democracy can’t afford to stifle dissent and discussion

Protesters have silenced free speech through a combination of media pressure, inflated security costs claims, boycotts, riots and violence

Democracy can’t afford to stifle dissent and discussionThe Cancel Culture has claimed another victim. Renowned poet George Elliott Clarke has backed out of giving the University of Regina’s Woodrow Lloyd Lecture over accusations from Indigenous activists that he associates with another poet with a criminal background. His talk was to have been titled ‘Truth and Reconciliation;’ versus the ‘Murdered and Missing’: Examining…

UNDRIP is the slow drip eroding Canadians’ rights

There are good reasons why other countries and previous Canadian governments have consistently refused to fully implement the UN declaration on Indigenous rights

UNDRIP is the slow drip eroding Canadians’ rightsBritish Columbia has become the first province to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). And except for the opposition of a determined group of Conservative senators, the federal government would have adopted UNDRIP as actionable law before last fall’s federal election. Re-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already announced…

Intolerance is the new tolerance

New tolerance demands that we accept either the most popular view or the view of the most vocal group or shut up

Intolerance is the new tolerance“I am intolerant of intolerance” has become something of a mantra for suppressing unpopular opinions. Today’s “new tolerance”, as it is called in academic circles, is redefining our understanding of tolerance and shaping our behaviour in public spaces, but it is no friend to the exercise of conscience and freedom of speech. In the past,…

We’re all equal but this doesn’t mean we’re all the same

May we always have the freedom to ask the difficult questions and the courage to seek the difficult answers

We’re all equal but this doesn’t mean we’re all the sameOver the years, I’ve found that being authentic is one of the most important qualities I need to display with my students. From time to time, this requires me to admit that I’m wrong. I once corrected a student who was putting on a stereotypical Indigenous accent. His reply was, “I’m part Indigenous, this is…

Thank you, Mr. Trump, for rousing us

Trump has inadvertently mobilized the American public and people around the world who believe in the rights of the common citizen

Thank you, Mr. Trump, for rousing usOur news feeds have been overwhelmed in recent weeks with the impeachment hearings of American President Donald Trump. Trump is charged with violating American laws, primarily the U.S. constitution. With regard to many of the accusations, Trump supporters point out that he’s not doing anything recent Democrat and Republican presidents haven’t also done. For the…

Canadians among the few privileged to vote

Be grateful you live in a nation in which you are free to raise your voice without fear of retribution or persecution

Canadians among the few privileged to voteWhen an election rolls around, I get emails, Facebook messages, phone calls, and the occasional text message or two. Questions range from a forthright “Who should I vote for?” to “Where can I even go to get information?” My personal favourite communiques are ones like a four-letter, “HELP!” We live in an age of information…

Silver lining: NBA boss shows how to handle China

By supporting cherished freedom of expression, Silver may have cost the league billions of dollars. It's a rare and welcome example of standing true to your principles

Silver lining: NBA boss shows how to handle ChinaWhat more do people want from National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver? It seems nearly everyone – from the far right of the political spectrum to the far left – is upset with the NBA’s response to China’s hissy fit over Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey's support of Hong Kong protesters. Just days before…

Motorists most consistently persecuted group in Canada

I ride a bicycle as often as I can, but that doesn’t mean I feel compelled to paint myself silver, wear funny clothes, and block traffic

Motorists most consistently persecuted group in CanadaNo one can argue that bicycles are increasingly becoming a major part of the urban landscape. I like bikes: I own two and consider the Tour de France to be one of the greatest athletic events of all time. But did you know that riding in a pack like they do in the Tour de…

Questioning government is fundamental to democracy

Freedom of speech, freedom of the press and academic freedom are core principles in the functioning of a democracy. Yet today those who embrace these ideals are seen as anti-American

Questioning government is fundamental to democracyJewish-American songwriter Bob Dylan tells us, “Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings.” We put democracy in peril when we equate questioning government policy with being unpatriotic or even racist. This is why the current situation in the United States is so puzzling. They actually established the international standard for good government…
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