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, there is more involved in the delivery of education than reducing educational models to financial equations. Let us reconsider some of the conclusions that are wrongly taken for granted in this discussion. First assumption: The public school system is the glue that holds our democratic … 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 »

Caleb Heerema  |  October 3, 2014  |  Education, Subsidiarity

An interesting part of Cardus*U is attending weekly workshops animated by high-profile guests. This past week’s session on strategic planning for creating sustainable, significant change was led by Peter O’Donnell, founder and president of Healthy Futures Group. I was surprised by his story of the Regent Park neighbourhood and how much it reminded me of one of my favourite movies. Regent Park is a neighborhood … MORE »

There was a certain look students had when they would come to my office a few days into a new semester to confess that they were “dropping down” from University Prep English. Rather than soaring on to academia after their senior year, they were now trundling towards community college or—worse yet, they thought—the workplace. Some shifted nervously in their seat, some avoided eye contact, but … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  September 26, 2014  |  Faith, Media, Politics

As is so often the case in Canadian politics these days, Preston Manning said it most eloquently. “You integrated faith with things the world tries to keep separate,” the former Reform Party leader and now silver eminence of the conservative movement said this week. “You are salt and light. You are a blessing.” The subject of his praise was Link Byfield, former publisher of Alberta … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  September 23, 2014  |  Books, Culture, Philosophy, Religion

When ought we to share what we believe, and when are we just picking a fight? At the Transatlantic Christian Council in Washington, D.C., this month, Ray Pennings asked Os Guinness about this topic. Guinness is the author of nearly two dozen books, most recently The Global Public Square: Religious Freedom and the Making of a World Safe for Diversity and Renaissance: The Power of … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  September 19, 2014  |  Foreign Policy, Justice, Politics

When both sides in the Scottish referendum vote praise the contest as democracy’s finest hour, something is being said about politics that really matters. All that really needs to be said is being said about the necessity of democratic politics being the default politics for the human condition. For all its susceptibility to majoritarian overreach and its constant vulnerability to oligarchic manipulation, the enduring strength … MORE »