Where is the willingness to suffer for your beliefs?

Thoreau, Gandhi and King understood that going to jail was a reasonable price to pay for protest. Why don’t we accept that today?

Where is the willingness to suffer for your beliefs?In 1849, American philosopher Henry David Thoreau was angry at his government’s actions in the Mexican-American War and at the continued legality of slavery in the United States. He published an essay entitled Civil Disobedience, in which he stated that that the evils of war and slavery should be confronted by citizens through withholding their…

Just do the right thing – no matter what

You may never know the outcome of your actions. But you can know with certainty the results of doing nothing

Just do the right thing – no matter whatIn studying the history of social change, I’m moved by the number of great people who died never knowing the full extent of their contribution to a better world. Three examples from the 20th century are Raphael Lemkin, Peter Bryce and Viola Desmond. Lemkin was a brilliant lawyer and professor. He was also a Polish…

Wet’suwet’en protests throw us all into chaos

While the project is a win for the province, the country, the environment and B.C.’s First Nations, these hereditary chiefs don’t see it that way

Wet’suwet’en protests throw us all into chaosSupport continues for the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation blocking authorized construction of a natural gas pipeline in northern British Columbia. In spite of court injunctions and government pronouncements telling them to desist, they seem prepared for a long and protracted struggle, “having no intention of allowing Wet’suwet’en sovereignty to be violated.” This…

Wet’suwet’en protests create a national tipping point

Wet’suwet’en protests create a national tipping pointOver the past two weeks, my wife and I have twice encountered Wet’suwet’en protesters in the B.C. Lower Mainland. I wondered what the hell was being accomplished if people like me were getting angry? The first encounter saw us turned away from the 9 a.m. ferry from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay – we had  important…

How politicians manipulate our decision making

The recent federal election offered us a lesson on how the manipulation of a narrative can have dramatic impact on how we think and behave

How politicians manipulate our decision makingLike many Canadians, I was amused and entertained (and appalled) by the recent Canadian election. But beyond the entertainment factor, there was a lesson here about human behaviour which we need to take to heart. The spate of scandals (#MeToo, political interference in the legal system, racism, lapses in ethical behaviour, the Norman Affair)  surrounding…

Ontario justice delays create injustices

Wait times for court proceedings to help children escape physical or psychological harm are far too long. Society is failing to protect these vulnerable citizens

Ontario justice delays create injusticesIn her recent report, Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk took aim at the inefficiencies and backlogs in the province’s justice system. She also cited a lack of accountability and transparency in obtaining critical information from the judiciary and government, thus preventing her office from conducting a thorough audit. Five days later, Ontario Attorney General Doug…

Patients deserve access to timely medical care

The B.C. government’s claim in the court challenge to medicare that waiting lists don’t harm patients is nothing short of ridiculous

Patients deserve access to timely medical careAfter years of political debate and public frustration, it seems the future of Canadian health care may now depend on the outcome of a decade-long legal battle that’s now in the hands of a B.C. Supreme Court justice. The plaintiffs are Dr. Brian Day, the private Cambie Surgery Centre and four British Columbians who have…

We must fight crime at its social roots

The rash of liquor store robberies in Winnipeg says more about underlying social problems than it does about the effectiveness of police

We must fight crime at its social rootsWinnipeg has experienced a rash of liquor store swarmings involving masked individuals who have become increasingly accustomed to little or no resistance. The best deterrent to crime is not the severity of sentence or punishment, but the certainty of detection and apprehension. An even better and common-sense response would be to mitigate the underlying precursors…
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