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Ray Pennings  |  May 31, 2016  |  Death, Ethics, Family, Government, Health

A February 2015 Nanos Poll of Canadian public opinion suggested that 73% of Canadians were concerned that they will not receive the comfort and support they would hope to receive if they or a loved one was facing a life threatening illness and nearing death. This is consistent with other studies that have shown although 75% of Canadians want to die at home, 70% actually die in an acute care hospital bed. In April 2016, an expert multi-disciplinary roundtable, which included palliative care specialists, community organizers, policy implementers, academics and innovators, were convened by Pallium Canada ( and Cardus to explore ways to catalyze change. Three documents have come out … MORE »

“Who lobbies for the lobbyists? Should we credit the Association of Good People Who Just Want to Serve? People for the Ethical Treatment of Former Hill Staffers?” I won’t lobby for lobbyists. But I will take issue with Andrew Coyne, in the National Post last week, painting unfairly an important vocation. Arguing in favour of limits on lobbying opportunities for those exiting political office, Coyne … MORE »

In the express aisle checkout at my local independent grocer in Ottawa, a sign popped up this week asking for donations to the Red Cross to help with the Fort McMurray catastrophe. Facebook, now the universal street corner/pool room/beauty salon for the exchange of news and gossip, is filled with opinion, thoughts, prayers and updates on the apocalyptic wildfire destroying the Alberta city and driving … MORE »

[This review was originally published in Convivium Magazine and in Books and Culture.] It’s a curious irony that the champions of scientism are some of the most vocal advocates of change and progress yet they so rarely change or progress. They’ve said almost nothing new in over a century. Reading Eric Dietrich’s Excellent Beauty: The Naturalness of Religion and the Unnaturalness of the World, I … MORE »

It’s a paradox of politics when one of Canada’s self-identified progressive governments risks a major regressive step in preparing our children for the future. Nor is the conundrum of Alberta’s NDP government debating dismantling its highly innovative choice-based education system baffling only to Canadian pedagogues. The resurgent spouting of old school dogma about the infallibility of State-centered instruction has left even international experts such as … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  April 13, 2016  |  Government, Leadership, Politics

Showing the pride and impenetrably thick hide of the best political performers, NDP leader Tom Mulcair ignored his own deep wounds to savage the Liberal government in the Commons this week. He was fresh from crippling betrayal by his party at a weekend convention in Edmonton. Yet Mulcair was still at his finest going after Prime Minister Trudeau over an incipient “scandal” around Justice Minister … MORE »

I was in Halifax last week for the appeal hearing on Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society v. Trinity Western University et al. The hearing, which went from Wednesday through to Friday, included three main parties, ten interveners, five Court of Appeal judges and twenty lawyers. The combined hourly rate for all lawyers attending was, I suspect, between $7,000 and $10,000 per hour. Think about that: $10,000 … MORE »

Progressive politics is clearly on a roll in Canada. In fact, some pundits say it has already “run the table,” and question whether it has run out of new places to go. That is a matter for those who scan the political heavens to decide. Here on earth, New Democrats are going to Edmonton this weekend for their federal convention. The Liberals, meanwhile, are bound … MORE »

At the recent Broadbent Institute conference in Ottawa, progressive icon Gloria Steinem dropped a clanger that rates high among the fatuous pensées of this addled decade. “The power of the State,” Steinem opined, “stops at the skin.” Even in this moment of Donald Trump turning political speech into Mad Hatter word balloons, Steinem’s nine-word pronouncement can only leave us gasping: “What, Tom Fool, does that … MORE »

In the throne speech this month, Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell announced the Notley government’s intention to “protect Albertans who are experiencing economic distress from being preyed upon by unscrupulous lenders” and the government’s intention to “introduce an Act to End Predatory Lending.” The idea is sound. As noted in a recent report by Cardus, Banking on the Margins, payday lenders and the loans themselves are … MORE »