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My exposure to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) began in 2001 as a newly elected municipal councillor in Vegreville, Alberta and the physical infrastructure advocacy that FCM has built a solid reputation on was quickly apparent. Fast forward to today. I was an invited workshop moderator at the Sustainable Communities Conference organized by FCM and sponsored by one of their internal programs, the Green … MORE »

Euthanasia? Assisted suicide? There’s an app for that. Or there soon might be, the executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association told a joint Senate-Commons committee this week. The committee is studying legislative responses to replace the Criminal Code prohibition on helping someone end his or her life. That provision was struck down, of course, exactly a year ago by the Supreme Court of … MORE »

A “must read” story for all Canadians is Jane Taber’s recent Globe and Mail piece on making legislatures more family friendly. Like all really good journalism, it is most compelling for the follow up questions that it provokes and pushes forward as much as for the existing circumstance it describes. Taber begins with the example of a 28-year-old government MLA in Alberta who, about to … MORE »

Thirty-five years ago, bankruptcies of two major daily newspapers prompted such concern across Canada that a royal commission was struck to inquire into the future of the industry. This month alone, four major English-language metro papers, one small city paper as old as Confederation itself and another that had been in circulation for 141 years, and the print version of Montreal’s La Presse, effectively ceased … MORE »

Written by Beth Green (Cardus Program Director, Education), and Ben Woodfinden. Parents and children should be at the heart of education, not teachers or cumbersome regulation. National School Choice Week, spearheaded by our neighbour to the south, offers a chance to highlight examples of school diversity already on offer in Canada’s provinces and to renew the call for a national conversation on parental choice. A … MORE »

Waggish Ottawa columnist John Robson observes in the National Post that Prime Minister Trudeau’s maiden speech to the Davos Economic Forum left out much while not leaving out nearly enough. Our prime minister’s oration this week to the world’s richest at their annual gathering in Switzerland was top heavy with platitudes, Robson notes, while substance was left cold, curled and alone on the cutting room … MORE »

An early surprise of 2016 has to be the failure of Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s ghost to streak across the sky ululating at the damage done last week to his beloved Canadian constitution. Even minus the inspiration of Trudeau père in spiritus, however, Canadians who care at all about our constitutional democracy, and about the rule of law, should be deeply alarmed by what was done … MORE »

John Sikkema  |  January 8, 2016  |  Ethics, Government, Institutions, Law

Written by John Sikkema (CLF Associate Counsel), and Derek Ross (CLF Executive Director). In its report released in December, the Provincial-Territorial Expert Advisory Group On Physician-Assisted Dying recommends that assisted suicide and euthanasia be publicly funded and available for the non-terminally ill, the mentally ill, and for minors. Their Report says that its recommendations “were developed in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Carter.” … MORE »

The Charitable Giving by Individuals report by Martin Turcotte of Statistics Canada is a comprehensive and important summary that makes use of the 2013 General Social Survey data to outline a picture of individual charitable giving in Canada. The word charity suffers many misconceptions. On balance, it has had a long history of association with sacrificing oneself for the sake of others, an antidote to … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  December 24, 2015  |  Charity, Faith, Holidays, Wisdom

This blog was adapted from Peter Stockland’s regular column in the Catholic Register. In the final week before Christmas, I was in an Ottawa sandwich shop having coffee with two photographer friends when a man behind us pitched himself into our conversation. One friend and I raised our eyebrows at the intrusion but the other friend turned to answer him. It took about 10 words … MORE »