Why we need to make room for alternative lenders

Crackdowns fail to recognize that alternative lenders are the last hope for Canadians shut out of the traditional lending market

Why we need to make room for alternative lendersThe media often portray alternative lenders as slippery, unethical loan sharks who exploit the poor. When targeting the sector and not just a few bad apples, such stories are easy, cheap hit jobs. New Brunswick Sen. Pierrette Ringuette, for example, recently described alternative loans to CBC Marketplace as “an abusive financial process that needs to…

Carbon tax will cost British Columbians more

Think you can avoid the carbon tax by riding your bike? Think again

Carbon tax will cost British Columbians moreBritish Columbians are now paying even more to heat, eat and drive to work. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's most recent carbon tax hike has found a willing follower in British Columbia Premier John Horgan. When Team Trudeau was fighting against several provinces at the Supreme Court of Canada, saying he should be able to impose…

Money isn’t the root of all evil. Greed is

How can a Christian support politics and economics that result in a world where over 700 million people live on less than $2 a day?

Money isn’t the root of all evil. Greed isLarry Richards is a friend of mine from high school who has become a very popular speaker among conservative Catholics in North America. I watched one of his social media posts recently and he made a point that few would disagree with, but it’s a message many may not like. Larry pointed out that according…

Poverty often at the root of racism, hate

Teaching critical thinking skills is vital in promoting honest and respectful dialogue. Yet schools are underfunded

Poverty often at the root of racism, hateEarly-20th-century electrical engineer Charles Proteus Steinmetz said, “There are no foolish questions and no man becomes a fool until he stops asking questions.” Steinmetz is right. Asking questions is vital in seeking truth and finding wisdom. Many things are happening in the world where the narrative perpetrated simply doesn’t make sense. We’re told, for example,…

How to support Indigenous entrepreneurs on the road to success

Business leaders should help build up capacity through mentorship and coaching, then start looking to spend at Indigenous suppliers

How to support Indigenous entrepreneurs on the road to successJeff and William approached me in the fall of 2019 about helping with their ecotourism business. They started the business in 2014 and wanted help growing it and getting more clients. They felt if they could share their traditions and culture with the world, they could provide meaningful jobs for the youth of their community.…

COVID-19 puts girls in low- and middle-income countries in peril

COVID-19 puts girls in low- and middle-income countries in perilAn increase in child marriages, unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and sexual violence is likely to be seen for years in low-and middle-income countries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a University of Alberta nursing researcher who is leading an international study to address the problem. “In many countries all the health services…

Time for Canada to lift economic sanctions on Syria, Lebanon

Canada urged to rethink Middle East sanctions that make daily life a struggle just to get daily bread

Time for Canada to lift economic sanctions on Syria, Lebanon“Economic sanctions that afflict the poor must be lifted. I stress the word ‘poor,’” Archimandrite (head of a monastery) Georges Masri said in an e-mail from his home base in Syria. He was responding to my request for his views on the unfolding humanitarian crisis in his country, and whether sanctions have exacerbated it. “The…

Indigenous leaders step up but no applause from environmentalists

First Nations are fighting to determine their own futures. Why are environmental groups standing in the way?

Indigenous leaders step up but no applause from environmentalistsNot enough has been said about the recent memorandum of understanding between the First Nations Climate Initiative table and the First Nations Major Projects Coalition, which represents 70 First Nations from across Canada. In December 2020, the two parties signed an agreement to advance an Indigenous-led, net-zero carbon-emissions policy framework, including nature-based solutions for carbon…

Let charities care for the needy in society

Governments inevitably make a mess of social welfare programs, wasting money, discouraging work and encouraging dependence

Let charities care for the needy in societyLong before the COVID-19 recession, the generosity of Canadians, measured by charitable donations, was already steadily falling. From 2008 to 2018, the percentage of tax-filers donating to charity fell from 24.1 per cent to 19.4 per cent. And the percentage of aggregate income donated to charity fell from 0.62 per cent to 0.54 per cent.…

What Canadians can expect in the coming year

The good news? Pandemic under control. The bad news? Very slow growth, high debt, higher taxes, high unemployment

What Canadians can expect in the coming yearThe future is imaginary, said philosopher Baruch Spinoza. We don’t and can’t know what will happen in the future and last year certainly demonstrated that. Nevertheless, the desire to see what the new year will bring always overcomes the future’s inherent mystery. We peer into our crystal balls and bravely prognosticate, knowing full well that…
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