The Ontario government’s Putting Consumers First Act (Bill 59) takes some positive steps on payday loans, but also leaves out several important measures that could help consumers. While it is good to see that Bill 59 tries to reduce repeat borrowing from payday lenders and ease repayment of loans with usurious interest rates, the bill is too focused on regulation. Brian Dijkema, Work & Economics Program Director at public policy think tank Cardus, told a legislative committee that consumers attracted to payday loans need alternative options.
Professor Tom Farr's clearly written paper traces for the reader the development of the idea of religious freedom in the American context from the founding days of the republic during the Enlightenment through to our times in which the very acceptance of religious freedom as a core principle in our society is under threat.
Farr argues persuasively that the United States' founding fathers created a system of religious freedom based on the free exercise principle that was genuinely new. This system recognized a public faith, one that reflected the interior faith lives of citizens in how they conducted themselves religiously in the public space. This was possible due to the conception held by the vast majority of Americans that they were a religious people, yet this historic understanding has shifted fundamentally. Farr buttresses this civic understanding of religious freedom with the Catholic understanding of religious freedom and its insistence on human dignity and conscience leading to an exploration of how religious freedom is exercised by faithful individuals and those self-same individuals existing as and operating within communities of faith.
Farr offers a clear warning around the growing intolerance for religious freedom in the United States in the face of non-discrimination laws and a rejection of religious freedom as being intrinsically bound up in the common good. This state of affairs has led to a collective forgetting of what religious freedom means. It is an amnesia that is hindering the United States' ability to engage religion when it confronts it in the world of international affairs.
Jonathan Schwarz and David Sikkink investigate if high schools in the United States foster behavior, attitudes, and identities that support volunteering and giving among their graduates.
It makes sense that most of our public debate about infrastructure spending focuses on revenue. Where will we get the money? Who will pay? How? Which tax structures will be needed to build our bridges? Should we borrow to pay for our water treatment plants and subway lines? If so, how much?
But too heavy a focus on revenue can lead us to neglect sound public policy focused on cost containment.
This paper is intended as a reminder and a spur. A reminder of the practices and data that allow governments to invest responsibly and in the public interest. And a spur to government, industry, labour, and others to consider that fair, open, and competitive tendering lightens that burden on this generation and the next.
In examining the impact of recent judicial rulings on cases under Section 2a of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that enshrines freedom of conscience and religion, Faisal Bhabha draws our attention to how individuals' religious expression has been and is being accommodated within Canadian jurisprudence. Bhabha argues that the Supreme Court of Canada is striving in its decisions to reflect the multicultural nature of Canadian society by striking a balance between competing interests. In so doing, Bhabha posits, the Court is shifting from a posture of strong rights articulation to a weak rights application. The paper also highlights the emerging challenge of 'faithism'—a new form of discrimination increasingly manifested by public sceptics who ascribe negative characteristics or flawed values to people who profess a religious faith—and the impact that such discrimination can have on Canada's multicultural and multi-faith reality.
As we at Cardus continue to advance our efforts to better comprehend, reveal, and reflect on our common life, freedom of religion or conscience looms large. This freedom enables us to live fully as we are and are called to be. It bears witness to the fact that we as human beings have a metaphysical need to make sense of our world and to encounter God.
Beyond the legal framings of religious freedom contained in international human rights covenants is a freedom to contemplate who I am: Who I am in relationship to you; who I am in relationship to the created world; and who I am in relationship to God or to a particular philosophy. The ability to freely and both publicly and privately act on that metaphysical need is foundational to our democracy, our common life together, and indeed to our capacity to recognize and actively embrace the dignity each one of us bears. Without the guarantee of this freedom we are no less free in our interior life, but when freedom of religion is threatened or ignored, the living out of our public lives of faith can be undermined, sometimes gravely so.
Jonathan Schwarz and David Sikkink examine if religious school attendance has a direct, independent effect on adults' orientation toward science.
As Canada is experiencing a demographic shift towards an aging society, the growing demand on natural caregivers will require the mobilization of community support systems. This paper acknowledges the current federal and provincial caregiver policies, then explores innovative international initiatives that build on community connectivity to support natural caregivers and those they care for. The initiatives are consistent with a public health approach and move towards the creation of a culture of care.
As governments and individuals struggle to make informed and well-considered public policy decisions on the issue of healthcare it is becoming increasingly important that they take into account the state of Canadian marriages. Marriage is Good for Your Health examines more than 50 published, empirical studies on the correlation between marital status and health. An overwhelming majority of the studies indicates that married couples are happier, healthier, and live longer than those who are not married. Moreover, there is strong research to back the conclusion that the quality of a marriage is a critical variable in the health benefits that couples enjoy.
One in three of working Canadians said they are dissatisfied with their work-life balance. Yet eighty-five percent said a satisfactory work-life balance is very important to them – so what gives? Canadians' Work-Life Balance is the fifth of five parts in the Canada Family Life project and is based on data from Nanos Research.
How do millennial Canadians perceive the role of marriage in family life and its function in society? Canadian Millennials and the Value of Marriage is the fourth of five parts in the Canada Family Life project and is based on data from Nanos Research.
The evidence from studying quotas show neutral or negative results, both for women's advancement and company performance.
Helping families, combating social isolation, building strong communities: It's all in a day's work for Jennifer Francis, executive director of Safe Families Canada. Andrea Mrozek, program director of Cardus Family, talks with her about the charity she founded in Canada, and the needs and challenges they face.
Churches and faith communities of various traditions have a great deal to offer to society and to the common good. Typically, these contributions have focused on qualitative contributions that congregations make to the cultural, spiritual, and social well-being of the communities that surround them. Few studies, however, have assessed these contributions in quantitative monetary terms. Even fewer, qualitative or quantitative, have begun to explore how these realities might create a space for faith communities at the social policy table. Welcome to the Halo Project.