Peter Stockland  |  October 31, 2014  |  Family, Finance, Politics

The greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali, was reportedly once asked how he managed to avoid the bar fighters and street corner challengers who were the bane of his trade. “I don’t fight crazy people,” Ali is said to have replied. “And anyone who wants to fight me is crazy.” Canada’s opposition leaders might have woken up today hearing a small inside voice asking if they now count among the crazy people for wanting to fight Stephen Harper. We don’t know if he will ever be considered Canada’s greatest prime minister—only history will judge and there’s a long line of coulda-been contenders—but Harper is certainly proving one of the … MORE »

Doug Sikkema  |  October 30, 2014  |  Arts, Culture, Literature

How might we imagine something new? How might we even begin? This question has been on my mind since I read Jonathan Kay’s extraordinary piece on Jang Jin-Sung, a defector from one of the last remaining dictatorships of Orwell’s darkest nightmares: North Korea. Before escaping south, Jang worked as a poet laureate of sorts for the Kim dynasty; that is, he worked in Section 5 … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  October 27, 2014  |  Death, Institutions, Politics

Normalcy seemed to make a quick Canadian comeback last week when CBC Radio convened a media panel to discuss how well the media covered the Oct. 22 attack on Parliament Hill. The consensus was that CBC did a brilliant job, which seems true but signaled something more. When our village solipsists feel free to turn the public conversation back to themselves again, you sense the … MORE »

Janice Tolkamp  |  October 24, 2014  |  Arts, Cities, Cultural Renewal, Education

This summer I had the privilege to admire some very famous works of art in person. Michelangelo’s David was definitely one of the more iconic. Turning the corner into the gallery, it was pretty hard to miss the 14-foot, shiny marble human figure, even from a distance: it was big, it was polished, it was impressively executed. But it was actually walking through the room … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  October 23, 2014  |  Death, Leadership, War & Peace

Toronto Liberal MP John McKay was, at that moment, the admirable embodiment of the honest politicians who lead us. “That is an excellent question,” he said. “I have absolutely no idea what the answer is.” We were standing at the corner of Metcalfe and Albert streets in Ottawa, a few hundred metres south from where a gunman was shot dead in the Hall of Honour … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  October 21, 2014  |  Economy, Education, Politics

In Ontario, the education debate has been crippled by certain assumptions that might be toppled by a closer examination of the issues at hand. These assumptions were brought to mind by the Fraser Institute’s analysis last month that adopting the B.C. model of education financing would provide greater value to the Ontario taxpayer. But, as critics (including the Ontario government) are quick to point out, … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  October 16, 2014  |  Death, Law

This week’s Supreme Court hearing on euthanasia was about life and death, of course, but it is equally about a powerful clash of institutions. While the so-called Carter case was argued on the merits of discovering in the Canadian constitution a right to what might be called concierge service suicide, the heart of the discussion was really the balance of power between the courts and … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  October 16, 2014  |  Arts, Politics, Pontificating, Religion

When first alerted to this story by social media, I checked Snopes to ensure it wasn’t a hoax. The city of Houston has issued subpoenas asking five pastors to provide attorney’s with copies of “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.” … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  October 10, 2014  |  Culture, Networking, Religion, Think Tanks

“Very often,” says Acton Institute co-founder Father Robert A. Sirico, “even believers and even people who would agree on certain cultural issues speak past each other, or they hone in on parts of the debate and make that as though it were the whole debate.” How can we better engage across cultures? At the Transatlantic Christian Council last month, Cardus executive vice president Ray Pennings … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  October 7, 2014  |  Culture, Foreign Policy, Politics

Any Cardus supporters attending Hillary Clinton’s speech to Canada’s self-proclaimed leading progressive think tank might have simultaneously felt at sea and at home. There was the former American first lady addressing an Ottawa luncheon crowd at the Canada 2020 event in the gushing tones of progressive politics: a glorious future awaits all who eagerly rush forward to embrace the times. Yet very early in her … MORE »