Understanding Wokism
A bright young woman – let’s call her Kylie – heads off to university. She had a great childhood and loves her family, but now learns from her prof that they are oppressors. She meets some other cool students, all members of groups victimized by the evil system of which she and her parents have been active if unwitting parts. Suddenly, Kylie gets it. She’s woke! Her soul lights up. The world must be remade and, now that Kylie is with the enlightened, she will help save the future. It all seems very new and exciting. In fact, it’s deeply reminiscent of something that was done before – nearly two millennia ago – and which the perspective of time has rendered absurd if not exactly comical. Drawing on a solid body of scholarship, Tom Flanagan goes back to ancient Gnosticism to illuminate the derivative nature of today’s wokeness and its connection to Progressive identity politics.
Academic Freedom
Despite all the attention paid to vulnerable groups in Canada these days, there’s one notable minority that garners no attention or concern. Professors and students with a conservative worldview constitute a small percentage at Canada’s universities. But instead of being tolerated, they’re often treated with disdain – if not outright hostility – by administration and their peers. Drawing on ample academic research as well as his own personal experiences at Wilfrid Laurier University, Professor David Millard Haskell reveals what it means to be a conservative on campus in 2021.
The Editors
Celebrating the fact of one’s country’s existence, its survival through the adversities of history and its positive or uplifting attributes is a fact of life the world over, even in tyrannies and oligarchies. Nearly everyone can find something to love about the place they call home. Yet this is apparently not the case for many inhabitants of present-day Canada, who claim that what was once the self-described “greatest country in the world” has suddenly become a systemically racist hell-hole. Despite such pressure from the woke mob and their elite enablers, however, the editors of C2C Journal find much that is not merely defensible about Canada, but praiseworthy and downright glorious.
Narratives and Truth
Covid-19 has been studied exhaustively – or so we all assume – and the scientific verdicts on the key aspects are in and unequivocal – or so we are told. In fact, there are glaring scientific gaps concerning some of the basic questions about Covid-19, and shocking failures to order the highest-quality research into answering them. Instead, the “narrative” dominates: wear your mask! In Part II of this special two-part report, Masha V. Krylova follows the science, exploring more of the research surrounding this key issue and discussing the most recent exhaustive scientific evidence of the transpiring health risks of prolonged mask-wearing.
Cancel Culture
There are those who still love the Canada that is and was. Some are immigrants, and some don’t even live in Canada at all. Like Gourav Jaswal. The Goa, India-based entrepreneur is appalled at our country’s seeming descent into self-loathing. Last month, Jaswal made his case in a major national newspaper. In this follow-up piece he talks about the affecting experience of receiving a torrent of e-mails from patriotic Canadians, and the disturbing fact that virtually all who wrote him feel they are no longer allowed to speak freely in their own country.
Social Media Freedom
Criticism of Bill C-10, the Liberals’ controversial update of federal broadcasting legislation, has so far focused on the threat it may pose to your right to post cat videos on YouTube. As troubling as that may sound, the truth is much, much worse. Former CRTC vice-chair Peter Menzies looks back at the bill’s three-year long gestation and finds a government regulator with an antique worldview determined to enforce its will on a future of infinite possibilities. There’s far more at stake here than your adorable kitten’s latest pratfall.
Pandemic Science and Politics
Unceasingly masked up, we are now marching through the 16th month of the Covid-19 pandemic. With potential new health crises around the corner, it is time to ask whether the public mask mandate is justified. Although media “fact-checkers” would surely say otherwise, as would most political leaders and public health officials, the effectiveness of masking against Covid-19 is not scientifically proven. In Part I of a special two-part report on the science around population-wide mask use, Masha V. Krylova reminds us how it all began in March 2020 and explains that not all “emerging evidence” is of equal scientific quality – nor uniformly conclusive.
Health Care Politics
Health care waiting lists are growing, Canada’s population is gradually aging and the public health system routinely proclaims itself stretched beyond capacity and short of funds. Private health care has been declared legal by the nation’s highest court. So why are some provinces going out of their way to impair the few private-sector alternatives that are providing great care at a bearable price and, thereby, also easing pressure on the public system? Joanna Baron chronicles the B.C. NDP government’s strange legal crusade to crush the respected Cambie Surgery Centre – a case just days away from going before what could be its life-or-death appeal hearing.
Indigenous Policy
Citizenship is a two-way street. Belonging to a nation-state entails certain rights and benefits as well as concomitant responsibilities, including an obligation of loyalty. It is not something to be handed out on a whim. Yet that’s precisely what Canada’s Supreme Court has done with its recent Desautel ruling – granting the advantages of Canadian citizenship to American Indigenous people with no connection or loyalty to this country. Lawyer Peter Best traces the origin of this bizarre judicial fabulation and its potentially disastrous consequences for all Canadians, including the Aboriginal community.
State of Family
It is almost inarguable that the once-rich and strong tapestry of family life has become seriously frayed, worn and patchy. Divorce is rampant – if marriage occurs at all – and dads have fallen into serious disrepute. Most would agree that it is children who suffer the most as a result. But why did all this happen, and where did it begin? Taking a wide view that ranges from Dostoevsky via Nietzsche to Kate Millett, David Solway traces the crisis centuries back to its spiritual roots as a rebellion against fatherhood – and lays the blame squarely at the feet of modern-day ideologues who seem intent on kicking fatherhood into oblivion.
Balancing Human Rights
Activists have persuaded much of B.C.’s court system to force everyone in court proceedings to declare their preferred pronouns and to use the preferred pronouns declared by others – even if this distorts their view of reality or undermines their case. To do otherwise, the woke advocates assert, is to deny transgendered people’s very existence. Applying the clear-eyed view of an escapee from a country whose regime actually does deny people’s right to exist, lawyer Shahdin Farsai warns that B.C.’s courts aren’t just upending pronouns – but may be undermining ancient rights and their own reputation for impartiality.
Family policy
The Trudeau government’s $30 billion plan to transform childcare nationwide is focused on more than just families. It also wanders into an ideological battlefield by declaring the non-profit sector preferable to private operators. Ottawa is thus ignoring the vital role played by childcare owners in expanding supply and meeting the diverse needs of working parents. In a deep dive into Canada’s complex childcare system, Peter Shawn Taylor talks to several remarkable female entrepreneurs and other key figures to reveal the reality and necessity of for-profit childcare. 
China Policy
Going along to get along is an all-too-common human impulse. When the issue involves the world’s largest country wielding its standard foreign policy combination of limitless economic opportunity and menacing physical intimidation, that impulse can become irresistible. Some even attempt to elevate accommodation into a virtue. Not Michael Chong. His parents experienced the horrors of both fascism and communism first-hand. Today, Chong is not about to bow down to a new variant on an old tyranny: China’s Communist regime. Veteran journalist Doug Firby recently interviewed Chong, and below are the best portions of their conversation.
Conflicts on Campus
Students in the humanities and social sciences are frequently pressured to sign “anti-colonial” or “anti-racist” statements demanding measures like increasing “diversity” in campus hiring, intensifying the reporting of “racism” on campus, or “decolonizing” the curriculum. Based on his two decades of field research and teaching of university students, anthropologist Samuel Veissière urges students to resist the often-intense pressure to simply knuckle under, and instead to become independently informed and make up their own minds. While his beloved discipline harbours admitted failures, Veissière mounts a strong case that anthropology is fundamentally premised upon curiosity, respectful engagement and a healthy mix of allyship and non-intervention in the lives of people different from ourselves.
Free Speech Curtailed
Social activists and politicians love to create solutions to problems. And if there are no problems to solve? They can create those too. So it is with Canada’s hate crime and hate speech laws. Statistical evidence simply does not support claims that Canada is a seething cauldron of hate, that the problem is growing rapidly or that new technology is to blame. Nonetheless, as Bradford H.B. reports, the federal Liberals are about to burden the country with a new online hate speech law – something that could have grave consequences for what we can and cannot say.
Elder Care
Nearly all our food comes from privately-owned farms and businesses. The same goes for our clothes, homes and vehicles – all manufactured and sold with the expectation of a profit. So why the animosity shown entrepreneurs who choose to operate nursing homes and other care facilities? Peter Shawn Taylor reviews two recent Ontario government investigations into the performance of the province’s nursing home sector during Covid-19 and finds a surprising vote of confidence for the contribution made by the private sector in caring for the province’s seniors.
Centralism vs. Federalism
Canada’s constitutional deck – or at least the cards our Supreme Court justices keep drawing – seems increasingly loaded towards centralism, with established provincial jurisdiction and clear division of power becoming quaint habits of a bygone era. Last month’s carbon tax ruling threatens to supercharge that trend, cementing federal dominance and relegating provinces to the level of glorified municipalities carrying out Ottawa’s wishes. Constitutional scholar F.L. (Ted) Morton reminds us that previous provincial premiers overcame seemingly crushing legal defeats through imaginative policy ideas and determined inter-provincial cooperation.
Book Reviews
Shocking events that plunge a country into chaos or destroy a beloved leader are hard for anyone to process. The evil done is so towering it bends the human psyche to accept that the evildoer is utterly banal, a loner walking in ordinary shoes. The cause simply must befit the outcome; thus can a conspiracy theory be hatched. At other times, the cold hope of political or financial gain or simple mischief might be the source. There certainly is no shortage of conspiracy theories. Mark Milke revisits one of history’s most famous political assassinations and the conspiracy theories it spawned to illuminate the ongoing danger this toxic tendency poses to us all.
Private Sector Innovation
If a system always claims to be “at capacity”, announces it’s “nearing the breaking point” every time anything unexpected occurs, perennially frets about “staff burn-out”, and blames patients themselves for the crime of getting sick, then maybe it’s time to change the system. So it has been with Canada’s health care system and Covid-19. Whether there are 50 people in hospital or 500, it’s always too many, and we’re continually on the cusp of cancelled cancer treatments and delayed organ transplants. Seeing opportunity and hope in crisis, Andy Crooks envisions harnessing the efficiency and drive of the private sector to break the bureaucratic stranglehold and deliver world-class health care.
Fighting Cancel Culture
Politics may divide us, but what brings us together? With traditional cultural institutions such as religion in decline, sports and entertainment were filling the breach – generating a set of shared experiences crucial to a cohesive society. Lately, however, these pastimes have become poisoned with the same partisan rancour and division familiar to politics and the news media. But as conservative entertainers find themselves cancelled by corporate wokeism, their fans are finding new ways to push back. As right and left seek their own separate sources of entertainment, Aaron Nava ponders whether our future might even include a common culture.
Stories
Federal equalization has become a decades-long windfall for Quebec and an unending slow bleed for Alberta – that much is well-known. But the constitutionally enshrined policy has not merely levelled the playing field for Canada’s “have-not” provinces, it has enabled some of them to fund better public services than “rich” provinces. And, further, to hide billions in revenue that should be used to assess whether they even qualify for equalization. Tom Flanagan sets out the perverse incentives and bizarre outcomes baked into Canada’s equalization policy. More important, Flanagan lays out a plausible scenario for how Alberta could soon break the constitutional logjam.
Stories
In 2017, everyone had an opinion about Lindsay Shepherd, the young Wilfrid Laurier University grad student who went public with the school administration’s attempt to punish her for showing a video of Jordan Peterson to a class of first-year students. Was she a brave defender of open inquiry values? An opportunistic glory-hound? Or a deliberate purveyor of bigotry? After having her story told (and mis-told) repeatedly by others, Shepherd now looks to set the record straight. Veteran journalist Paul Stanway examines her newly-released memoirs and discovers a woman no one should ever underestimate.
Political Leadership
Canada’s Conservatives drew a bigger share of the popular vote than the Liberals in the last federal election. Today the Liberal government is mired in scandal, more-than-merely-runaway spending and a horrifically underperforming Covid-19 vaccine acquisition program. Yet the government’s popularity remains solidly ahead of the Official Opposition’s. New Conservative leader Erin O’Toole promises a new approach, better policies and a different-looking party, but so far most Canadians don’t understand or don’t like what he’s offering. Gwyn Morgan thinks he knows why, and employs a pointed format to offer an alternative pitch from O’Toole to those millions of orphaned Canadian voters.
Saving Humour
When the New York Times admonishes the unmistakeably satirical Babylon Bee for spreading “misinformation”, it’s likely a sign that humour is dying – or being killed off. Similarly when the formerly-fearless Bill Maher laments how it’s no longer safe to tell a joke at a party lest one be overheard by a Woke listener and ruined. And even more so when politicians threaten to ban internet memes that lampoon the elites. The eminently serious David Solway reminds us of the essential contribution of humour and laughter to the well-balanced and healthy life – of individual and culture – and points to the civilizational wreckage were levity stamped out. And before it’s too late, suggests we all head out for some subversive “gynecandrical” dancing.
Labour pains
Surely everyone can agree on the necessities of the democratic process – engaged voters, secret ballots and no dirty tricks. So why are these rules, considered essential to picking governments, frequently ignored when it comes to picking unions across Canada? While most provinces require a mandatory vote to determine if workers wish to join a union, some omit this crucial step. Giving voice to a group of concerned small-business owners and their workers, Peter Shawn Taylor reveals how “card-check” union certification is abusing workplace democracy in Ontario’s vital construction sector.
Positive vs. Negative Liberties
Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees liberty to all, but neglects to explain what the word really means. Is it the freedom to be left alone, as classical scholars understood it? Or the right to demand that government provide you with the ability to fulfil your own needs and wants, as the progressive definition holds? John Sikkema reports on a case that brings these two competing meanings into sharp conflict – a recent lawsuit against the New Brunswick government that makes bold claims about one of the most contentious issues of our time.
Comparing Four States
Randomized control trials may be the gold standard for generating scientific evidence, but such precision isn’t always possible. Natural experiments – such as comparing similarly-situated jurisdictions responding to the same crisis through different policy choices – offer the next best thing and sometimes the only thing. Using two carefully selected pairs of U.S. states, Masha V. Krylova examines key Covid-19 metrics across a year of hard and softer pandemic response policies. The results of her meticulously researched natural experiment provide important evidence on the efficacy of lockdowns and how we should tackle future pandemics.
Politics of Division
More information is generally a good thing, especially when it comes to government statistics. Better data should lead to better decisions and better outcomes. But is this always so? Consider Statistics Canada’s recent dive into race-based labour-market data. Philip Cross, former chief economic analyst at Statcan, and Peter Shawn Taylor observe that reporting on unemployment rates across 12 racial categories will do nothing to reduce inequality or make Canada a fairer place to live. It’s far more likely to stoke claims of systemic racism, further polarize society and distract from the task of economic recovery.
Death of Books?
Books – what are they good for, anyway? They’re bulky, they gather dust, they get frayed, they offer little that can’t be rendered digitally. Yet in the past, wars were fought over the people’s right to read, and spreading literacy became among society’s foremost social goals. Time was when some even risked prison to get their clutches on books they craved. Today, some see signs we’re about to turn our back on all of that. Patrick Keeney considers this civilization-threatening subject in his light-hearted meditation on his own voluminous collection of volumes.
Illiberalism on Campus
The closing of the campus mind is proceeding apace. Today more than two-thirds of right-leaning academics across North America consider themselves caught in a hostile workplace. While several Canadian provincial governments have unveiled policies to officially protect free speech at post-secondary institutions, Ian Brodie believes that the nature of the university governance model and sheer resistance doom this top-down model to failure. A new approach is needed. Otherwise, predicts Brodie, the “progressive” left’s campaign to impose its upside-down definitions of diversity and tolerance will continue to rack up wins.

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.