Stories

A World ‘Crashing in’ on Canada

Paul Bunner
November 30, 2014
Stories

A World ‘Crashing in’ on Canada

Paul Bunner
November 30, 2014
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

Winter 2014-cover-Foreign Policy

The idea that the world is “crashing in” on Canada comes from the University of Toronto geopolitics expert Janice Gross Stein, in a quote given to Michael Taube for an article in this edition of C2C Journal. It seems a particularly apt metaphor to describe the tumultuous events of the last year, including the murders of two Canadian soldiers and the shoot-out on Parliament Hill involving domestic jihadist wannabes inspired by the Middle East’s most virulent radical Islamist movement yet. There is also the bloody conflict in Eastern Ukraine orchestrated by Russian empire revivalist Vladimir Putin, the dreadful Ebola outbreak in West Africa that threatened to infect our hemisphere, the huge democracy protests in Hong Kong where some 300,000 Canadians live, and a fitful global economy that has had unnerving impacts on oil prices and our Canadian petro-dollar.

When we were developing the theme for the Winter edition of C2C a couple of months ago, the global pot was boiling furiously and these stories owned the news cycle. Some of them are merely simmering now, allowing trivial stories like the spectacular fall of the CBC’s unfathomably popular radio host Jian Ghomeshi to compete for headlines.

The what-fresh-hell-is-this approach to journalism is a perilous one, for when the sky stops falling and the sun comes out, even temporarily, one can look like Chicken Little flapping around with its head cut off. Or worse, like global warming doomsayers on a planet that has seen no appreciable increase in aggregate global temperatures for 17 years.

But even if unsustainable paranoia was part of the inspiration for this magazine, it produced a clutch of very well-conceived and executed essays examining some of today’s biggest challenges to Canadian security and foreign policy. They are weighted, inevitably, towards what is surely the single biggest current threat to global security, Islamofascism.

Patrick Keeney takes us deep into the “Captive Mind,” where communism was once seen as the gateway to a secular materialist utopia, and where Islam is now held up as a “religion of peace.” Robert Joustra agrees radical Islamism is a dangerous religious phenomenon, and thus approves of what he calls the “religious turn” in Canadian foreign policy. The aforementioned Michael Taube’s piece examines the potential for security and foreign policy to frame the ballot in next year’s federal election. It’s uncommon but not unheard of in Canadian political history, and current polling indicates these issues are exceptionally high on the public agenda.

Jeffrey Collins looks at national security through the prism of military procurement, which has stalled as Ottawa made post-Great Recession deficit reductions and pre-2015 election tax breaks its top budget priorities. George Koch and John Weissenberger agree Canada needs to upgrade its military assets as part of a resolute western response to modern Russian aggression, which is no different from ancient Russian aggression, and is only ever contained by acting in kind.

Paul Robinson responds to all this fearmongering with a welter of data indicating that by almost every measure, our world is a safer, stabler, and more secure place than it has been in a long time. But John Thompson looks just over the horizon and sees declining global food reserves and spiking prices as harbingers of a hunger-driven international security crisis that could make our current travails look insignificant – and create enormous opportunities for Canada to prosper through increased demand for our agricultural products, along with all our other resources.

Thompson’s piece picks up the thread that runs through most of the articles in this edition of C2C Journal; the idea that Canada today is occupying a bigger and bolder space on the world stage. It’s partly because our population is growing, as is the strategic importance of our human and natural resources. Some would say it’s also because of the forthright ambition of the Harper Conservative government to “punch above our weight” on matters of international security and trade. Another school of thought, articulated by members of the traditional Canadian intelligentsia who might otherwise be described as “former friends of Jian Ghomeshi,” holds that the Harper government’s illiberal bravado is marginalizing our international influence. Maybe so, but the clear trend is that for good or ill, Canada’s getting bigger as the world gets smaller.

Love C2C Journal? Here's how you can help us grow.

More for you

The First-Past-the-Post Way of Voting is Better-than-the-Rest

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.

The Runaway Costs of Government Construction Projects

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.

Adam Smith’s “Saline Solution” for Canada’s Health Care System

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.

More from this author

Good News From C2C Journal

C2C Journal is pleased to announce that thanks to the loyal and generous support of our readers, contributors and donors, the Journal is immediately increasing volume and frequency of original stories and essays, expanding staff, unveiling a redesigned website, and launching a sustained social media marketing push on multi-media platforms. Editor Paul Bunner has the details.

One step forward, two steps back for freedom

When he wasn’t kayaking on or swimming in the North Saskatchewan River near his home in Edmonton, C2C Journal editor Paul Bunner spent some of his summer fighting two battles for little freedoms in his local community. He won one and lost one. Although he’s a veteran political activist at the federal and provincial level, Bunner contends that the lifeblood of democracy must be nurtured at the foundations of society if it is to flourish at the top.

The Last Front Page

The rapidly shrinking newspaper business raises all kinds of questions. What will we wrap fish guts in? How will we light backyard fires? And where will we get reasonably accurate and important stories about what’s going on in our community, our country, and the world? The internet? Where global editor-bots decide what’s news? Where politicians can lie with impunity? Where fake news outsells real news? The short answer is yes. The longer and more encouraging answer is in the Spring edition of C2C Journal, which launches today with editor Paul Bunner’s lead editorial and career newspaperman Paul Stanway’s lament for the ink-stained wretches of yesterday’s news.

Share This Story

Donate

Subscribe to the C2C Weekly
It's Free!

* indicates required
Interests
By providing your email you consent to receive news and updates from C2C Journal. You may unsubscribe at any time.