Regulators vs. Markets
Canadian entrepreneurs used to build over 75,000 apartment units per year. Then came rent control, tax changes and other government intrusions, and they all-but abandoned the rental housing market. Now, with rental housing once again in short supply, the private sector has returned – pouring its own capital into improving and expanding Canada’s long-ignored stock of apartment buildings. Rather than celebrating this flood of new investment, however, a federally-funded cadre of housing activists is working overtime to prevent it. Peter Shawn Taylor examines the strange, Soviet-style demands of the Federal Housing Advocate and the harm such policies will do to Canada’s tenants.
Emergencies Act Inquiry
The Freedom Convoy became not just a conveyance to bring protesters to Ottawa but, for whatever reason, a kind of magnet for lies. Falsehoods, misdirection and dissembling proliferated about everything from alleged racism and violence to whether or not downtown Ottawa was actually “occupied” or “blockaded” to the technicalities of who even wanted the Emergencies Act and who actually ordered the freezing of bank accounts. Now, writes Jim Mason, it’s time for the truth – all of it, every material piece. In Mason’s view, the commission of inquiry needs to look back well beyond the Convoy’s arrival and assess decisions and claims by the Trudeau government that, Mason argues, set the conditions for the Convoy itself.
New World Order
If the “so-called” Great Reset is a conspiracy theory infecting fevered minds on the far right, why did the founder of the World Economic Forum write a book of that title? Why does his book set forth the goals and means by which it is to be achieved? And why, as revealed two weeks ago, is Canada’s Liberal government paying the WEF to help develop a digital identification – one of the Great Reset’s desired tools? As our elites and mainstream media continue pretending none of this is happening, many conservative thinkers have been asking such questions. Margret Kopala surveys and comments on the 18 essays making up Against the Great Reset, published three days ago.
Health Care Special Series
Canadians have grown acutely aware that their health care system is failing. Provincial governments, unfortunately, perpetually balk at serious reforms. Thankfully, a few frustrated patients and private health care providers are trying to clear a path via the courts. Christine Van Geyn explores the latest developments in the Cambie Surgery Centre’s challenge of B.C.’s health care law. The province’s Court of Appeal recently ruled that while the NDP government’s restrictions are shortening patients’ lives and even getting them killed, this is consistent with Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The litigants are now preparing to challenge this grotesque reasoning in the Supreme Court of Canada, Van Geyn explains in Part 1 of a special series on health care. In Part 2, Lynne Cohen seeks to unravel why Canada’s government-directed system is doing so badly.
Energy and Climate Politics
Who would have imagined that Western countries’ increasingly fanatical efforts to phase out fossil fuels would leave two dictators essentially in control of both global energy security and the supply of manufactured goods? As Gwyn Morgan sees it, Western elites’ unreflective zeal is steering us not towards utopia but instead on a descent into a kind of New World Disorder. Not everyone, however, is suffering nor displeased at the worsening global chaos. In the dark halls and tortured minds of the world’s biggest dictators, Morgan shows, the West’s fantasy of “net zero” is something akin to “net awesome.”
Perils of “Presentism”
In normal times, it would be a relatively simple matter to agree on clear and factual information about the people, places and events that shaped our country’s history. But these are not normal times. In our angry and judgmental woke world, the past must be repeatedly condemned, if not erased altogether. The latest example of this skewed and politicized process comes from the federal government’s ongoing review of the plaques and official designations that commemorate Canada’s most important historical figures and sites. Taking a close look at some of the giants from our past, historian Larry Ostola considers this latest threat to Canada’s collective memory and how his discipline has been led astray by “presentism.”
Freedom of Expression
The Liberal government insists its new online streaming law, Bill C-11, is simply an effort to make big international digital players – the likes of Amazon, TikTok and Spotify – contribute to Canadian culture. It is not an attempt to control or censor the internet. So why does it make virtually all audio and visual content online subject to federal regulation? Fin DePencier exposes the doublespeak within and surrounding the legislation (currently before the Senate) and the grave threat it poses to freedom of expression in Canada, and details the damage it could do to the new generation of online creators who have prospered without the heavy hand of government interference.
Environmental policy
Plenty of new public policies, at least to hear their opponents tell it, are destined to end in calamity or failure. But how many can be proven so based on their proponents’ own evidence? Surely such a thing requires a special, perverse kind of political genius. Peter Shawn Taylor takes a close look at the barrage of official reports and analyses released ahead of the Liberals’ ban on single-use plastic items. It turns out the disappearance of disposable plastic bags, straws and cutlery will not be as easy on the economy – or as good for the environment – as the Trudeau government would have you believe.
The New Racism
One Ontario school board’s draft lesson plan declares, “Racism is ordinary, the ‘normal’ way that society does business.” Another claims white supremacy is woven directly into its own practices and policies. Such evidence reveals how quickly and unquestioningly critical race theory has become normalized throughout Canadian society in education, politics and culture. Borys M. Kowalsky takes a close look at the origins of this radical woke ideology and details the revolutionary threat it poses to the values of liberal democracy. Can it be stopped?
Rescuing Education
“When a clown enters the palace, he does not become king. The palace becomes a circus.” That ancient Turkish proverb applies equally well to North America’s current education system. Here smugly ignorant “students” collide with dogma-driven “educators” fixated on ideological indoctrination. The result is a fetid system that’s no longer capable of nurturing literate citizens, but instead is focused on cranking out institutional foot soldiers for the cultural revolution. Having spent most of his career working in this decaying palace, David Solway has every reason to be bitter. Yet his own experiences tutoring the seemingly unteachable, changes afoot in the educational firmament and the growing alarm of parents have him hoping still.
Pandemic Fallout
Scientists may never trace the origin of our sudden contagion of shameless posing, credit-grabbing and self-pity – yet this strange syndrome proliferated throughout the pandemic. And it lingers still. The most recent outbreak can be found within the leadership of those who suffered the least during Covid-19 – unionized public sector workers. Now these unions are demanding extra compensation for… well, it’s not clear for what exactly. As the demands from this comfortable class grow, the gap between them and the rest of the economy becomes ever-wider. Gwyn Morgan lays out the facts and fundamental injustice of the expanding gulf in compensation between Canada’s public and private sectors – and the harm it is doing to societal cohesion.
Indigenous Reconciliation
Canadians seem to think they know all about their country’s discredited Indian Residential Schools. They’ve certainly been made painfully aware by governments, Indigenous organizations and leaders, academia and the mainstream media of the official narrative – a litany of sheer horror. But what was life at and around these schools actually like? At a time when “lived experience” is all the rage, the voices of the dwindling surviving number of the many thousands of people who once worked in them have fallen silent. Rodney Clifton is one, and his lived experience includes falling in love with and marrying a Siksika woman. In this clear-eyed and deeply humane account, Clifton bares his heart in recounting his times working as a young man in the residential schools system in Alberta and the Far North.
Crisis in News Media
Democracy, Churchill once famously said, is the worst form of government – except for all the rest. Objectivity may have a similar relationship to journalism. It’s hard to achieve, bothersome, limiting, at-times disingenuous and often plain boring – but what are the alternatives? We are now seeing what happens when a discipline dominated by practitioners who reject the very idea of objective truth discard journalism’s formerly animating idea. Newspaper publishing veteran Peter Menzies links the traditional news media’s advanced state of decay to its willful abandonment of objectivity. Yet Menzies also finds glimmerings of a renewed commitment to objectivity in some unlikely places.
Federal Leadership Race
What sort of politician deliberately avoids learning economics while purporting to personify fiscal responsibility? Harbours socially liberal to left-leaning views but can’t bring themselves to join the Liberals or NDP? Disdains principled members of their own party more than politicians on the other team? And loses election after election while insisting their never-changing approach is the sure path back to office? Why, a Progressive Conservative, that’s who. Drawing on his over 40 years in and around politics, John Weissenberger offers a rollicking overview of the alternately odd, amusing, infuriating and just plain self-defeating bundle of contradictions that are Canada’s Red Tories.
Crisis in Education
Of the many inspiring quotations seen on grade school classroom walls, “Be the change you want to see in the world” is among the most popular. Curiously enough, the educational establishment almost always opposes any changes to its own status quo. Case in point: the uproar over Alberta’s plans to remake its public-school curriculum by putting greater emphasis on facts and memorization. Such a “content-rich” learning approach conflicts sharply with the “child-centred” beliefs long cherished by educrats. But there’s more at stake here than competing classroom methods, reports Lorrie Clark. Up for grabs is the very way in which a society creates and nurtures its citizenry.
National Politics
Was the nadir of the Trudeau government’s foreign policy when the prime minister beclowned himself in donning an Indian folk costume while on an official state visit? Or when he declared Europe’s acute energy supply crisis would be solved through more wind and solar power? Each became emblematic of the sad slide in Canada’s international credibility. So it has been encouraging to see all the Conservative Party leadership candidates thinking seriously about foreign and defence policy. While they differ in detail and disagree about significant aspects, it seems certain whoever wins the race will put the Liberals on notice that under a Conservative prime minister, there’d be no more Mr. Dress-Up. Mathew Preston reviews and compares each candidate’s positions – and agrees it’s time for Canada to put its Big Boy Pants back on.
Canadian Values
Tolerance is one of Canada’s greatest virtues. For this reason, any accusation that our country is riven with hatred is profoundly troubling to all fair-minded Canadians. One of the loudest voices levelling accusations of systemic hate is the Muslim Association of Canada; it’s also a major beneficiary of government anti-hate funding. But can a group that has invited speakers who approve of the death penalty for gays or the extermination of the Jews and that denounces nearly any criticism of its positions as “Islamophobia” really be defending the Canadian values of (in its own words) “justice, mercy, peace, respect, security, equity, dignity and equality”? Frédéric Bastien takes a close look.
National Politics
The knives are out for Pierre Poilievre. Virtually everything about him displeases not only the hard-left but soft conservatives and ostensibly well-meaning centrists who believe – or claim – that he is an ideologue (or opportunist) mesmerized by (or perhaps merely exploiting) populism, a word raised in their minds to the power of incantation signalling everything bad in the human soul. Samuel Routley conducts a detached and good-faith evaluation of Poilievre’s policies, style, messaging and background, setting the Conservative leadership candidate’s meteoric rise against the context of an increasingly disgruntled electorate with a potential “change” election on the horizon.
Indigenous Reconciliation
Whether you consider him a patriot or traitor, Louis Riel’s two rebellions in the 1800s were grounded in practical matters of geography and political representation – with the overarching goal of bettering the lives of the Métis people Riel claimed to represent. But today, a nasty dispute among Métis organizations is fixated on internal power struggles and matters of racial identity rather than greater prosperity and respect for all. At the centre is a multi-million-dollar lawsuit that turns on competing definitions of Canada’s mixed-race Métis and arguments over who should represent them. Peter Best explores the legal origins of this fruitless struggle and what it might hold for Canadian taxpayers of all races and combinations.
The New Racism
If the first precept of medicine is to do no harm, then surely that same principle should hold for education as well. And yet the growing determination among school boards and teachers’ organizations to force critical race theory into the classroom threatens great harm to the children they’ve been entrusted to teach, as well as to the targets of critical race theory and society at large. David Millard Haskell offers a first-hand account of what happens when this socially-divisive and fact-blind Marxist ideology infects a major school board in southwestern Ontario. It’s an education in chaos.
Freedom of Conscience
A successful society depends on the contributions of many unelected civic-minded individuals who feel a duty to serve others. But who would put their name forward for such public service if they knew it was likely to unleash a torrent of politically-motivated abuse? Case in point: Collin May, recently appointed chief of the Alberta Human Rights Commission. Despite being eminently suited for the job, May was last week accused of “overt racism” and faced calls to resign because of a book review he wrote for C2C Journal 13 years ago. It’s an accusation built on a blatant misreading of the text and disregard for historical truth. The editors of C2C Journal examine the toxic implications of this “attack first, ask questions never” approach to public discourse.
Energy and Food Supply
It has been said that in the “progressive” mind, intentions matter far more than practical realities. Passion and commitment drive everything, and utopia shimmers on a distant horizon. Who can be against “saving the plant”? The journey may seem pleasant enough for a while, especially in advanced and basically well-run countries whose systems were built with “design margin,” robust enough to absorb some bad contingencies. But that can only carry a country – or a global economy – so far. Gwyn Morgan lays out the awful humanitarian results when unworkable government policies driven by decades of green ideology are compounded by war and geopolitics.
Following the Science
Can an advanced present-day society not only be wrong, but do all in its power to avoid being right? Can it basically lose its collective mind? Psychologist Mattias Desmet believes it can, and has assembled the intellectual framework to evaluate a societal descent in which overweening governments not only robbed people of their freedoms, but the people gladly colluded in the process. In Desmet’s view, whole populations have fallen into the grip of a “group hypnosis that destroys ethical awareness,” one that also envelopes society’s (allegedly) best and (ostensibly) brightest, and one whose worst effects could still lie ahead. In her review of Desmet’s important new book, Margret Kopala explores how we got here and where we may yet go.
Monetary Policy
With Canada’s inflation rate officially hitting 7.7 percent, the cost of living has become the dominant political and economic issue of 2022. But where on the ideological spectrum should Canadians seek solace? On the right, the prescription is clear: inflation is always a monetary affliction that can only be cured by higher interest rates, complemented by reduced government spending and lower taxes. On the left: take your pick, as economic interventionists offer up a wide variety of causes and cures. Philip Cross sorts through the competing explanations and looks to the lessons of history for guidance on bringing Canada’s inflation rate to heel.
Reforming Health Care
Canada is among the few countries where it is illegal for people to use their own financial resources to look after their own health and pay for life-saving treatments. Instead, governments allegedly do all this for ”free” – but then ration access to health care when demand for services exceeds supply. The result is an overloaded system with millions of Canadians languishing on waiting lists for services that, in many instances, fall below international standards. Brian Day charts what happens when an innovative company tries to ease some of these pressures and provide more timely health care. In short, governments don’t like it when you make them look stupid.
“Decolonizing” History
History was once a collection of facts, relics and other evidence organized in ways that illuminated our past and explained our present. And museums were where we kept much of that history safe, accessible and easily enjoyed. But that’s so yesterday. Today, Canada’s museums are accused – often by their own staff and leaders – of perpetrating “Euro-centric ableist narratives of patriarchy, exploitation, colonization and heteronormativity” and must therefore be comprehensively dismantled. Larry Ostola examines the mysterious disappearance of Toronto’s popular Fort York Guard, a long-time tourist attraction, as museums across the country descend into identity politics madness.
Market Forces
The laws of economics are crystal clear about what happens when prices fall dramatically. Demand rises in step. Such will be the inevitable result of Canada’s new national childcare program as parents respond to heavily-subsidized fees that will eventually drop to a mere $10 per day. But unless the supply of childcare spaces increases in equally dramatic fashion, chaos awaits. Talking to daycare operators across the country, Peter Shawn Taylor charts the troubled rollout of Ottawa’s new childcare policy, the role played by the Trudeau government’s open hostility towards the private sector and what the future holds for Canadian families.
State of Academia
As a lifelong academic, political scientist Barry Cooper believed the university had the means – and the duty – to lead government and society in the quality of reasoning it brought to bear on difficult issues. Like Covid-19. Instead, Cooper’s document-based review of the University of Calgary administration’s decisions and statements during the pandemic suggests that, far from carefully weighing evidence and reaching balanced (or even courageous) decisions, the leadership was governed by emotion, driven by impulse and willingly subject to the shifting whims of medical bureaucrats. Logic, evidence, rational risk assessment and even basic humanity were cast aside. Whatever one might think of the resulting policies, the paper trail Cooper examines is shocking for its banal thinking, atrocious writing, pompous condescension and immature emotionalism.
Is Truth Dead?
“As a valued customer, a dedicated member of our expert team will be with you very shortly.” All of us encounter variations on this ubiquitous line – at minimum insincere, exaggerated and misleading, if not deliberately false. Many of us barely even notice, while nearly all have given up fighting it. But what does it actually take to inure a culture to misdirection, deception and falsehood – to lying? What is the motive source that would seek such comprehensive degradation? And where might it lead? David Solway explores how lying has become institutionalized into a structural component of cultural and political life, seeing its origins in deep recesses of human nature, its contours outlined by theologians of ancient times – and its dreadful potential exploited and put to unprecedented uses today.
Energy Politics
Perhaps the Liberal Party of Canada’s new tagline could become a play on an old song, something like “Up, up and awaaaaay, in our magical, our magical balloon.” As they waft ever-higher, the rest of us will be left behind to deal with the remains. The Liberals’ magical thinking, notes Gwyn Morgan, largely revolves around the fantasy that Canada’s transition to “net zero” can simply be declared, demanded and decreed while Canada’s oil and natural gas sector is regulated out of existence. This is worse than naïve, Morgan argues, it is colossally irresponsible, already doing real damage by indirectly enriching Russia’s war machine. And if not reversed soon it portends even worse for Canadians and others around the world. Morgan offers a bracing list of facts to puncture the Liberal airship.

Social Media

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.