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Dear Mr. Quinn, My name is Brian Harskamp and I am one of the kids who benefited from the annual $358 million “subsidy” for private schools you mentioned in your recent Globe and Mail column “Vancouver public schools face closure, yet we fund private school education.” I thought I would tell you a little bit about myself. I come from Surrey, not West Vancouver or … MORE »

Virtually no one in Canada can drive to the cottage or campsite without coming across a sign like this: It’s cliché to say that Canada has two seasons: winter and construction. But Montreal this summer seems to have taken this truism to a whole new level. Based on a picture tweeted by Toula Drimonis this morning, there’s an almost 100% chance that you’ll see the … MORE »

Faye Sonier  |  June 28, 2016  |  Death, Ethics, Health, Policy

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in Carter vs. Canada that euthanasia and assisted suicide needed to be decriminalized in some circumstances. The Liberal government responded to this decision by introducing Bill C-14, which put some guidelines around the administration of these procedures. Now that Bill C-14 has passed, what can Canadians expect in a post-Carter world? For a glimpse into our future we can … MORE »

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 … 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 »