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Naomi Biesheuvel  |  July 24, 2015  |  Inequality, Transit, Transportation

I did something today that I didn’t think I’d ever do: I got a learner’s permit. I’ve been steadfast for nearly 20 years in my views that driving is overrated and overpriced, so those who know me well are pretty surprised that I’m taking steps to get behind the wheel. But those who don’t are mostly astonished when I say that I’ve never driven a … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  July 13, 2015  |  Transportation

A man has reportedly been busted for driving with a carload of mannequins on Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway. He was, it seems, surreptitiously using the stand-ins to make it appear he had multiple passengers in his vehicle, thereby justifying his use of the reserved HOV lane. In a rather curious touch, he put an old Montreal Expos cap on one mannequin’s head, which just might have … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  July 2, 2015  |  Culture, Holidays, Politics

If Canada Day on Parliament Hill was a dry run for the nation’s 2017 birthday party, we might be in for some soggy cake icing and spluttering candles. Regular downpours in the morning and afternoon were responsible for dampening much of the fun both on the Hill and in what is known as the parliamentary precinct along Wellington Street. Those who did turn out in … MORE »

James K.A. Smith  |  June 23, 2015  |  Faith, Holidays, Parenting

In memory of Franz Wright. Father’s Day is easy for me: I have none. They all left. So I don’t have to find an awkward card amidst the cloying selection on offer. I don’t have to make the clichéd choice between necktie or power tool. I don’t have to endure the awkwardness of a largely wordless afternoon in the presence of my progenitor, or remember … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  June 22, 2015  |  Arts, Faith, Literature

Only a forgetful silence has marked this June’s centenary of the greatest of all Canadian-born novelists. Yet those who care to remedy such a state of affairs still have time before Saul Bellow’s birth month is out to read his astonishing 1976 Nobel Prize Lecture. They have the rest of their lives to marvel that one born into the industrial air of Lachine, Quebec, and … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  June 19, 2015  |  Politics

This post is a continuation from yesterday. To read lessons 1-5, click here. “I found it very difficult,” explains Ray Pennings, “to vote for party whose leaders I viewed as either lacking character or incompetent, regardless of the platform.” Which shows that… Campaigns matter.   Alberta is simply the latest example. B.C. observers will recall an even more dramatic example last year in which the conventional … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  June 18, 2015  |  Politics

I thought I knew something about politics. I was involved in my first political campaign at 14 and, 35 years later, have been through the roller coaster of numerous elections as a candidate, campaign manager) and pundit.  Then came the recent vote in Alberta. The devastation of a 44-year-old Conservative dynasty by Rachel Notley’s New Democrats overturned much of what I thought knew—what most of … MORE »

Naomi Biesheuvel  |  June 9, 2015  |  Cultural Renewal, Inequality, Legacy

I’ve been climbing up 500 stairs that lead from downtown Hamilton to the top of the Niagara escarpment for the last year. This, the longest climb along the mountain brow, has become familiar routine. But one day in May, as I reached the bottom of the stairs, I noticed something unusual. A different woman’s name was written on each of the steps. I looked down … MORE »

Christian Vandergeest  |  June 8, 2015  |  Education, Justice, Law

Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin once wrote that “a multicultural, multireligious society can only work if people of all groups understand and tolerate each other.” But when one party’s rights start to bump up against another’s in that society, what does that understanding and tolerance look like? It’s at this point that the question at hand becomes one of balance. Last week saw four … MORE »

Doug Sikkema  |  June 5, 2015  |  Nature, Philosophy

It’s World Environment Day, but rather than join the cacophony of usual suspects clamouring for increased sustainability, decreased reliance on pollution-increasing energy sources, and other predictable (and good) messages from your local, neighbourhood eco-warrior, I wonder if I could trace a more intriguing line of thought. I wonder if I could briefly try to unpack what the natural world might be for many in our … MORE »