Canada’s Most Dangerous Book: How Quesnel, B.C. Went Crazy Over a Local Woman’s Reading Choices

Tom Flanagan
April 18, 2024
One of the worst aspects of totalitarian societies is the pressure exerted on individuals to betray and ultimately denounce friends, relatives, even their own parents or spouse. This odious practice is now being demanded by some Canadian Indigenous leaders and local activists in a northern B.C. town – under the guise of “reconciliation”. The crime? A prominent local woman purchased an unapproved book and dared to suggest that a few acquaintances read it. Now her husband – the local mayor, who had nothing to do with it – is being pressured not only to resign his office but to denounce his own wife for her thought-crime. That is some reconciliation. Tom Flanagan reports on the insanity gripping Quesnel, B.C.
One of the worst aspects of totalitarian societies is the pressure exerted on individuals to betray and ultimately denounce friends, relatives, even their own parents or spouse. This odious practice is now being demanded by some Canadian Indigenous leaders and local activists in a northern B.C. town – under the guise of “reconciliation”. The crime? A prominent local woman purchased an unapproved book and dared to suggest that a few acquaintances read it. Now her husband – the local mayor, who had nothing to do with it – is being pressured not only to resign his office but to denounce his own wife for her thought-crime. That is some reconciliation. Tom Flanagan reports on the insanity gripping Quesnel, B.C.
The New Racism

Fanon’s Fanboys: How the Violent Decolonization Movement was Brought to Canada

Brock Eldon
April 13, 2024
Tax Policy

Want to Fix Canada’s Screwed-Up Income Tax System? Start By Taxing Families

Peter Shawn Taylor
April 8, 2024
Online Regulation

Fists of Ham: Why the Liberals Keep Trying (and Failing) to Control the Internet

Peter Menzies
April 2, 2024

Current News

With America in decline at home and its influence waning abroad, the question of which nation might be the next global superpower has gained urgency. While the world arguably needs a dominant power to protect global order and prevent regional conflicts from spiralling, this can’t just be any country with sufficient arms and ambition. America’s replacement should be a moral superpower, one that safeguards freedom and enables prosperity for every nation, as the U.S. has done for the last 80 years. In the first installment of this two-part series, Lynne Cohen proposed that India could fulfill that role. She put forth 10 characteristics that together make a moral superpower, and dug into the first five, examining India’s economic and demographic strengths. In this second part, Cohen focusses on politics and power, assessing India’s performance on the final five criteria, starting with perhaps the most important – military might.
It’s more than just dispiriting to behold the Canadian military’s disintegration and the current government’s deliberate neglect of our national defence. It raises the question of who might protect Canada in the future, given we can’t protect ourselves. For decades, the answer was simple: the United States. But with America in turmoil and decline, we can’t take that for granted anymore. Who could step up to become the next global hegemon? Lynne Cohen puts forth a provocative and bold answer: it might just be India. Cohen offers 10 criteria by which to measure the potential for a rising power to be not just expansionist, acquisitive or exploitative, but to become a moral superpower, one dedicated to safeguarding freedom and building prosperity for all. In Part One of this special two-part series, Cohen examines and rates how India has progressed in the first five criteria.
Race and Inequality
Diversity may be our strength. But it is now alarmingly commonplace in Canada to blame any perceived diversity in outcomes between racial groups on vaguely-defined “systemic racism” or “white supremacy”. Case in point: the Federal Housing Advocate’s allegations of rampant racism in Canada’s housing market, and the need to address it with outlandishly disruptive policies. Delving deep into Statistics Canada’s ample supply of race-based data, Peter Shawn Taylor considers the evidence for racism in Canadian housing, education, income and poverty statistics, and finds a more convincing explanation much closer to home.

On Point

Common Sense Climate Action

A Plan for a Catastrophe that Never Comes

Grant A. Brown
February 16, 2019
Canada’s Military

Punching Below Our Weight

Mathew Preston
February 6, 2019

Christianity and Politics, Past and Present

Kyle Jantzen
June 19, 2009

Global Newsstand

The Wall Street Journal
In The Wall Street Journal, Konrad Putzier details the City of St. Louis’s catastrophic “doom loop” of rising crime, fleeing businesses, emptying buildings and worsening decay. The once-vibrant central business district is largely boarded up and the city saw the steepest drop in foot traffic of 66 major North American cities. The halting half-measures Putzier reports on are almost certainly destined to fail.
Law & Liberty
David Krugler in Law & Liberty reviews the recent Steven Spielberg TV series Masters of the Air. The series unflinchingly, if a bit woodenly, portrays Second World War strategic bombing missions carried out by the U.S. Air Force (with a nod to Britain’s Royal Air Force), whose young aircrews withstood horrific casualties to carry on undaunted.
The Times of Israel
In The Times of Israel Cathryn J. Prince tells the story of Jewish authors as the Gaza war continues. When they aren’t confronted with outright hostility – like having their work pulled from prestigious journals – they are told their voices are unmarketable. The censorship and attack on their freedom of expression is felt globally, writes Prince, who urges Jewish writers to louden their voices.

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Media and Youth
Social media is widely blamed for poisoning the public conversation on a range of topics – especially politics and contentious social questions. But there’s a possibly even more dangerous force growing on the internet: an online community of YouTubers and livestreamers spouting far-left dogma, praising political violence and denigrating their opponents as evil, far-right fascists. Using fallacious arguments, psychological manipulation and overheated rhetoric, they seek to radicalize young people and convert them to their cause. Millions are tuning in, and mainstream “progressive” politicians are jumping on their bandwagons. Noah Jarvis profiles three of these socialist crusaders and explains why they are such a threat.
Criminal Justice
Shaping criminal charges, bail decisions or prison sentences around an accused person’s political or religious beliefs is utterly odious – a hallmark of tinpot tyrannies and totalitarian hellholes. Such practices have no place in any constitutional nation, let alone a mature democracy that presents itself as a model to the world. But that is increasingly the situation in Canada, writes Gwyn Morgan. Comparing the treatment of protesters accused of minor infractions to those of incorrigible criminals who maim and kill, Morgan finds a yawning mismatch that suggests political motivations are increasingly a factor in today’s criminal justice system.
Cultural Trends
If a given minority is believed to have almost no presence in a particular industry or sector, that might suggest some bias at work. Certainly worth looking into, and potentially trying to rectify. But what if widespread misunderstanding of the essential numbers is distorting public perceptions? And what if the leaders and financiers of said industry – in this case, Canadian literature – are deeply invested in advancing a false narrative? Deciding to find out what is really going on in the world of Canadian books, Winnipeg-based novelist Bob Armstrong painstakingly charted the personal demographics of hundreds of Canadian writers and matched those data against their performance in a range of Canadian literary awards, promotional programs and festivals. His findings did not exactly advance a narrative of oppression.
Indigenous Reconciliation
An avalanche of propaganda today urges Canadians to believe their country perpetrated a genocide against Indigenous people with its residential school system. Some proponents even want to criminalize statements disagreeing with such claims. But doing so will make the search for truth impossible. Digging deep into federal archives, Greg Piasetzki uncovers the complicated and perhaps surprising history of the now-reviled schools. Piasetzki’s careful research reveals not only the deep regard many federal officials had for the wellbeing of Canada’s native children, but also how they actively sought to shut down the entire system as early as the 1940s.
Judaism and Anti-Semitism
Among history’s multiplicity of ethnicities, thousands over the millennia succeeded in carving out their own countries – while thousands more never did. Some conquered, subjugated or even annihilated their neighbours, while others managed to muddle through, and still others fell victim to their tormentors. But no people, notes David Solway, has been universally and eternally persecuted – in every century of its existence, and in every place where its members ventured. None except the Jews – with the only reprieves occurring during the brief times when the Jewish people had a place to call their own. In his review of Solway’s new book, Crossing the Jordan, Tom Flanagan encounters some magical turns of phrase, a stoutly argued case for the indispensable role of Israel, pugnacious assertions about expanding Islam and, above all, a rare prescience about the gathering global threat against the Jewish people.
Future of Science
Time was when nearly everyone – even schoolkids – understood and accepted that geologic time was measured in tens if not hundreds of millions of years, a barely-fathomable vastness that animated our awe over the Age of Dinosaurs or the mysterious arrival of intelligent, upright apes. So how to explain the small but determined scientific movement intent on winning acceptance that geology can now be measured in a comparative blink of an eye, and that humanity has entered a new geological epoch defined by…itself? Applying his professional geologist’s scientific rigour and his amateur cultural historian’s perspective, John Weissenberger urges scientists to maintain a measure of humility, to recall the bitter lessons of past pseudo-scientific fiascos, and to be wary of the pitfalls of activist science pursuing political ends.
Electoral Systems
To hear proponents tell it, proportional representation is the cure for all that ails Canadian democracy. It’s fairer, less divisive, more diverse, makes voters happier and is less prone to “strategic” voting. About the only thing it apparently can’t do is make childbirth painless. But could replacing our traditional first-past-the-post voting system really improve how Canada is governed – and how Canadians feel about their government? In his grand-prize-winning entry to the 1st Annual Patricia Trottier and Gwyn Morgan Student Essay Contest, Nolan Albert weighs the arguments for and against replacing first-past-the-post with proportional representation, and in doing so uncovers the real cause of voter dissatisfaction.
Public Finances
Ottawa’s post-pandemic $300 billion spending orgy was coupled with the pompous claim to “Build Back Better”. As it happened, most of that spending was recklessly borrowed – stoking inflation – while Build Back Better was a dud, was discarded in embarrassment and, if recalled at all today, is told as a sick joke. Far too many planned projects now sink into a quicksand of political haggling, regulatory overkill, mission creep, design complexity and, if built at all, bungled execution. Looking at specific examples, Gwyn Morgan presents the lamentable results: far less is actually getting built across Canada, nearly everything takes forever and – worst of all – costs routinely soar to ludicrous levels. Added to that, Morgan notes, are woke-based criteria being imposed by the Trudeau government that are worsening the vicious cycle.
Markets or Monopolies?
That Canada’s health care system is ailing is no longer news. That it is not only victim but perpetrator – killing patients through indifference and neglect – is also increasingly understood. But is Canada’s publicly funded and operated monopoly health care system an economy of sorts, a set of relationships that can be understood in economic terms, and one that might lend itself to reform by applying economic principles? In the second of three prize-winning entries from the 1st Annual Patricia Trottier and Gwyn Morgan Student Essay Contest to be published by C2C Journal, Alicia Kardos answers a resounding “Yes”. Drawing on key ideas and principles of the genius from Kirkcaldy, Scotland, Kardos envisions an overhauled health care system in which incentives are rational, self-interest is rewarded and the consumer – the patient – is king.
Politicized Culture
The shocking eruptions of Jew-hatred following the Hamas atrocity against Israel in October swept through streets, squares and universities, threatening individuals, businesses and communities in dozens of countries including Canada. That the evil phenomenon might soon fall upon the cultural scene seemed inevitable. The responses of cultural organizations weren’t inevitable, however, but a series of choices. And so with a pair of West Coast theatres recently facing the choice of proceeding with a long-scheduled, highly acclaimed play in which Jews are not portrayed as villains, or submitting to the bullying of pro-Hamas activists and a tendentious Palestinian graffiti artist. Examining the situation, Michael Posner finds one work dedicated to uncovering universal truths and shared humanity, the other employing untruth to advance a particularist political agenda.
Future of Media
Yes, social media companies have succeeded in grabbing the vast bulk of advertising dollars that once supported Canada’s legacy news industry. But is offering a better product to eager consumers really “stealing”, as media companies and politicians now allege? And should new media titans Meta/Facebook and Google be forced to compensate their old-school competitors for failing to adapt to changing realities? In the first of three prize-winning entries from the 1st Annual Patricia Trottier and Gwyn Morgan Student Essay Contest to be published by C2C Journal, Clayton DeMaine examines the Justin Trudeau government’s much-fought-over Online News Act, its devastating impact on Canada’s news business and how the imbroglio is affecting his own dreams of becoming a journalist.
Government control
Low prices and high volumes can be a successful business model in the right hands. Just think Costco or Walmart. But should anyone trust government to pull off such a strategy? As the early returns on the Trudeau Liberals’ $10-a-day childcare program reveal, Ottawa is utterly incapable of delivering on such a promise. While offering childcare at a fraction of its true cost has led to a massive increase in demand, the country is now beset by disastrous childcare shortages and ever-lengthening waiting lists. In fact, more parents are looking after their own kids at home now than was the case in 2019. As Matthew Lau reports, there’s a solution to Canada’s childcare supply woes, but the Liberals refuse to consider it.
Origins of Covid-19
The idea that the virus that caused Covid-19 leaked out of a laboratory in Wuhan, China rather than being passed from an animal to a person at a Chinese market has gained more and more support. Remarkable as that is, more worrisome is evidence that the secretive lab was designed to develop and tinker with dangerous viruses to make them more virulent and contagious — ostensibly in the name of medical research. Still more disturbing are the links between the Chinese facility and American scientists, government agencies and NGOs, and the possibility that the road to the pandemic actually began decades ago with efforts to weaponize medicine. Margret Kopala unpacks this tawdry tale and notes warnings from those at the centre of the story that another and possibly even worse pandemic is likely.
Opioid Crisis
Almost as many Canadians have been lost to drug overdoses in the last seven years as were killed in combat throughout the Second World War. Yet governments, health care professionals and addiction experts continue to quarrel over virtually every aspect of the opioid crisis – its causes, possible remedies and even whether addicts should be regarded as passive victims or accountable moral agents. And amidst this dithering and experimentation, the horrific death toll mounts. In search of hope, veteran researcher Susan Martinuk takes a close look at life in Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside and compares it to the decidedly different approach taken by Alberta’s UCP government.
Value of Leisure
As mid-winter takes hold, millions of Canadians are planning a getaway to someplace warm or mapping out a bucket-list trip for next summer. Travel has long provided both an escape from everyday life and a way to experience different cultures. Now it’s under attack from the “ethical tourism” movement that sees travel as shallow and destructive. It wants tourism curtailed in the name of social justice, postcolonial redress and ecological mindfulness. Some environmental think-tanks and at least one “ethical” tour operator even advocate “carbon passports” that would minimize the amount of travel people are allowed each year. Drawing on his personal journeys in Southeast Asia, Brock Eldon takes apart this phenomenon and makes the case for the beauty, tradition and economic value brought to the world through the mutual engagement enabled by tourism. Wanderlust is a deep human impulse, Eldon observes, part of what sustains us, carrying the promise of enlightenment and the spark of joy.

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