Ray Pennings  |  April 23, 2014  |  Economy, Legacy

The passing of former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has prompted a bit of an elbowing competition regarding the definition of economic conservatism. The Globe and Mail described Mr. Flaherty as “a tough-talking politician with a heart,” noting that he “changed fiscal conservatism in Canada.” John Robson, a self-described “doctrinaire conservative,” took issue with this in his Sun column.  “But he did not save our economy by running deficits because he was slick enough to fool the rubes with right-wing blather but smart enough not to believe his own rhetoric. Nor, frankly, do I see how it would be an honourable legacy if true.” One ordinarily does not turn to eulogies … MORE »

Brian Dijkema  |  April 17, 2014  |  Culture, Discipline, Markets, Religion

The Lenten season can sometimes make one feel a bit self-absorbed. Do we really have to spend all that time denying ourselves, searching our hearts, repenting, praying? In many ways, you would think that the Christian concern for the self should be right at home in our day, age, and place. If you take North America as the measuring stick, it’s hard to imagine a … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  April 15, 2014  |  Cultural Renewal, Politics, War & Peace

While the rest of Canada must still watch its Ps and Qs vis-à-vis Quebec, this week’s provincial election is much more than a sigh of relief for the country. For the first time since the mid-1960s, for the first time in a half-century that is, the central political question at the heart of our Confederation has been definitively answered. The answer to whether Quebecers want … MORE »

Janet Epp Buckingham  |  April 14, 2014  |  Arts

“Does God have to be a being?” This was a question posed at a recent CBC panel discussion titled “The Public God.” The woman posing the question went on to explain that she thought of god as a form of goodness inherent in the universe. What an impoverished notion of God! The God that is revealed to us in Scripture is the creator of the … MORE »

Michael Van Pelt  |  April 11, 2014  |  Death, Legacy

(Re: Jim Flaherty, 64, dies at Ottawa home one month after resigning as finance minister) I am sad today. I am thinking of Jim’s three young boys (men in their early twenties) who no longer have their father at their side to give them courage and to pass on wisdom and to love them. I am thinking of Christine and the boys three months from … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  April 8, 2014  |  Labour, Leadership, Vocation

Last week, I had the privilege of interviewing Alexandre Havard, the Moscow-based author and founder of the Havard Virtuous Leadership Institute. Havard appeared in Ottawa for a lecture and book signing, during which I conversed with him on what it means for a leader to display magnanimity. Before his public appearance, I sat down with Havard and asked about how employees can respond when their … MORE »

Brian Dijkema  |  April 7, 2014  |  Cities, Justice, Politics, Race, Religion

The bitter, nasty, and bigoted campaign run by the Parti Québécois has ended in complete and abject failure. It says something that Quebeckers, when faced with a PQ party that offered the religious cleansing of the civil service (just for starters), opted instead to run into the arms of a party so deep in charges of corruption it makes the expulsatory end of a sewer … MORE »

Doug Sikkema  |  April 4, 2014  |  Culture, Death, Games, Justice, Literature, Religion

March is a month of anticipation. We await the end of winter with the arrival of spring, the end of Lent with the arrival of Easter, and the end of a sport’s drought with the arrival of NCAA’s March Madness. Ok, well that last one might not include everyone…but it should. I’m interested, though, in how these three are oddly connected because they tell us … MORE »

Supreme Court cases on both sides of the 49th parallel last week focused on what it means to be a Christian organization. America’s and Canada’s highest-ranking jurists are being asked to define the boundaries within which religiously-motivated organizations can behave according to their convictions, even when those convictions may not match mainstream consensus. But legal definitions should not overly influence our perception of Christian (or … MORE »

Doug Sikkema  |  March 28, 2014  |  Arts, Philosophy, Vocation

This week I had the chance to talk about Wendell Berry in a course in International Political Economy taught by former Cardusian Robert Joustra. One aspect of the discussion that arrested my attention had to do with the relationship that the arts might have with economics. It’s easy to talk a good game about the need for a liberal arts approach to education and the … MORE »