It’s easy and almost risk-free to beat up on the rich. So, nearly everybody does it while our cultural institutions crank out a never-ending supply of calumnies against the wealthy. Yet it has been rich people or people trying hard to get rich who have showered inventions, improvements and innovations upon the rest of us, from affordable motor cars to smartphones. They’re the reason today’s “poor” have more at their fingertips than many wealthy of yore. Matthew Lau explains why the new wealth taxes being bandied about on both sides of the border are a bad idea for all.
The C2C Ideas Archive
The Liberal government’s relentless assault on the West’s resource economy must have countless older Albertans (and Saskatchewanians) seething at Eastern Canada’s refusal to mature beyond its politics of envy and younger generations mystified that the careers they studied and worked hard to launch are pronounced destined for phase-out by our current prime minister. In this essay, C2C Journal pairs two veterans of the federal-provincial energy wars: oilpatch insider Dave Yager, author of a new book on Alberta’s resource sector and its immense contribution to Canada, and political scientist Barry Cooper, who reviews Yager’s From Miracle to Menace: Alberta, A Carbon Story.
Governments throughout the world have largely eliminated long-term mental health facilities. Instead, they have taken the approach of housing the afflicted and the homeless in communities. A significant number of homeless suffer from drug addiction. To address the addicted homeless epidemic, the B.C. government is building “low barrier” modules which tolerate drug use. For James Percy, the construction of low barrier housing in residential neighbourhoods threatens community standards, underlines the need for more robust and thoughtful governmental policies, and ultimately raises issues about agency and personal responsibility.
In Part I of our special two-part report, published on July 3, C2C Journal’s Mathew Preston looked at the nature and successes of populist movements in Denmark, Italy and Australia. Contrary to the elites and establishments who castigate populism as eruptions of alt-right extremism, Preston illuminated how in embracing policies from across the political spectrum, populism defies ideological lumping. In Part II, Preston profiles additional countries and evaluates just how and why populism got where it is today.
What happens when the federal government gives up on fighting Indigenous land claims in court, foots the bill for new native lawsuits and buys into the legally-toxic idea that historical treaties are not binding contracts but rather agreements to “share the land”? Nothing of benefit to Canada. Under current government “reconciliation” dogma, priceless landmarks such as Ontario’s famed Bruce Peninsula could be seized from public ownership. And the entire concept of private property in Canada may soon find itself in peril. Former Manitoba Provincial Court Judge Brian Giesbrecht reveals the damage being done.
By July 1944, 75 years ago this month, the toughened and blooded I Canadian Corps was considered the most deadly attack force of the Allied Eighth Army grinding its way up Italy against the German Wehrmacht. It had taken less than a year to transform tens of thousands of farm boys and young townies into this fearsome fighting machine. In late May, Chuck Strahl retraced much of the physical route of one Canadian regiment, the Westminsters. The “Westies” took part in nearly all the fighting leading up to the summer of 1944. Strahl was deeply moved not only by the Canadians’ military feats and the fearsome toll, but by the lengths to which Italians have gone never to forget their liberators.
The election of Donald Trump, the vote for Brexit and the eruption of the gilets jaunes movement in France exemplify the global rise of populism. It’s a phenomenon the international commentariat has condemned as a dark and dangerous political disorder arising from the far right end of the political spectrum. In the first of a special two-part series, Matthew Preston examines successful populist movements in Australia, Italy and Denmark. They are more complex and politically diverse, Preston’s reporting reveals, than can be contained in a simplistic left-versus-right, sensible-versus-extreme narrative.
Who’d have thought the rotary-dial phone and kung fu could help save late 22nd-century humanity? These were just a couple of the charming wrinkles in a sci-fi thriller that captivated audiences with its innovative special effects and ambiguous religiosity and mysticism. The oddness of the combination perhaps helps explain The Matrix’s staying power. Aaron Nava first saw the film at age nine, triggering a lifelong devotion that, two decades and many viewings later, continues to nourish his moral reflections.
Do you ever feel that “progressive” politics is mainly about denying basic realities? Cities are great economic engines, but their dynamism rests on a foundation of natural advantages that, writes James R. Coggins, we would be fools to ignore and self-destructive to deny. Vancouver’s left-leaning political establishment, however, seems hell-bent on constructing a utopia of parallel realities that, Coggins argues, spit in the eye of Vancouver’s economic drivers and, if not confronted, can only lead to a great city’s decline.
As if being denounced by his political opponents, vilified by the mainstream media and thrown under the bus by his leader weren’t enough. Now Michael Cooper, the Conservative MP who dared to be outraged at a Muslim activist’s attempts to blame violent attacks on conservatives, and call him out for it, must also endure the crocodile tears of Andrew Coyne. In purporting to coach Cooper on a better approach, Coyne confirms his spot as Canada’s most condescending commentator, writes Grant A. Brown. If we want to understand evil, argues Brown, we have to study its source code, even if that means defying the government’s and the left’s attempts to obfuscate and misdirect.
$92 million and thousands of pages later, and what have we got? An outrageous debasement of the word “genocide” to describe 32 murders per year of Indigenous females, complete disregard for Indigenous male murder victims, the prospect that Canada will be trashed on the world stage, and demand for still more “redress” and “compensation.” Anthropologist Hymie Rubenstein unpacks the tortured thinking of the National Inquiry on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls and uses the profound witness of actual genocides to refute its awful claims.
Canadians are inveterate travellers, but they don’t go abroad merely to appreciate the Louvre’s great art, find their true purpose through a swami in India, build houses for the poor in Nicaragua or get sloshed poolside in Cabo. For all-too-many, it’s about maintaining their ability to walk or even saving their life. C2C Journal’s George Koch looks into “medical tourism”, evaluating the statistics and asking how we might keep more health care dollars at home.
Smear, denounce, attack, delegitimize and wreck their career. The twisted toolbox of today’s left – including here in Canada – should be growing familiar to conservatives, for victims in virtually all walks of life topple almost daily. One of the latest is sociologist Ricardo Duchesne, long of the University of New Brunswick but, as of last week, no longer. David Solway illuminates the sordid saga of a solid researcher and author becoming the left’s racist du jour.
Politicians of both left and right used to agree a nation’s immigration policies should advance the interests of nation and people. That was yesterday. A new morality has taken hold throughout the West, advancing open borders as a moral imperative and equating patriotism with racism. Progressives have all-but abandoned the interests of working men and women. Bradley Betters scrutinizes this strange metamorphosis and examines the radical implications of a morality that subordinates a nation’s interests to a universalist ethic.
The future belongs to Canada. And it seems it always will, at least going by the many failed predictions of Canada’s imminent emergence as a praised and respected world-class nation. That’s because it’s not really about Canada in the global community, it’s all about us and our insecurities, writes Benjamin L. Woodfinden. That’s also why Woodfinden expects prodigious commentator, author and former news media magnate Conrad Black’s prescription to transform Canada into a “laboratory” – though a “sensible” one – for great new policies, or at least policies Black thinks are new and great, to go the way of similarly grandiose historical attempts.
Facts may be stubborn things. But they don’t stand a chance in court given the Canadian legal system’s current obsession with Indigenous spirituality and myth. Decisive historical evidence and centuries of legal doctrine were recently rejected by an Ontario judge evidently bewitched by Indigenous creationism and a federal government apparently intent on surrender. Drawing on their knowledge of the Indigenous file, Robert MacBain and Peter Shawn Taylor reveal the deep flaws of Restoule v. Canada, and the enormous financial and political damage it could do.
Closing the gender gap, breaking the glass ceiling and achieving pay equity are well-worn buzzwords denoting social engineering obsessions across many fields. They often fall short, however, without the imposition of hiring quotas. The RCMP finds itself facing this dilemma. While decades of coaxing have brought several thousand females into its ranks, Josh Dehaas’s research reveals the gentle approach has stopped moving the needle. For now at least, the RCMP and its female Commissioner are sticking stoutly to merit in hiring.
The Daughters of the Vote’s most recent get-together in Ottawa in April descended into a toxic mix of identity politics, name-calling and virtue-signalling. Although we are mistaken to see women as the redeeming angels of popular myth, writes Tasha Kheiriddin, we still need their unique voice and political talent. Fortunately, Canada has a long tradition of capable female politicians to serve as models for our aspiring leaders of both sexes.
With every serious but hardly unprecedented weather event getting blamed on human-driven climate change, including in histrionic government press releases, some suspect the federal Liberals are laying the groundwork for a viciously moralistic election campaign. Gwyn Morgan is one, but he still sees a practical way out of the mess for Canadians and, perhaps, for the federal opposition as well.
Disasters – natural or otherwise – have a way of bringing out extremes in human behaviour and emotions. And so it was with the Easter Week fire at Cathédrale Notre-Dame in Paris: from the Catholic priest who risked his life to save irreplaceable relics and artwork, to French businessmen pledging grandiose sums for rebuilding, to the almost psychotic architecture some proposed for the restoration. For Patrick Keeney, the near-catastrophe triggered deep reflection on our era’s tense relationship between science and spirituality.
Raising Canada’s carbon emissions could be a good thing – if it drove far bigger cuts to emissions elsewhere in the world. Rather than fixating on forcing domestic emissions reductions and thereby beggaring Canadian industries, Michael Binnion wants Canadian climate change policy to look at the big picture. Doing so, he explains, could not only generate jobs and wealth at home but maximize the worldwide environmental benefits.
Official regret – often delivered with a perfectly moistened eye and quavering voice – has been expressed by our prime minister for a seemingly endless parade of old injustices. Native schoolchildren, gays and lesbians, Sikh immigrants, Jewish refugees, six British Columbia chiefs hanged following the Chilcotin War and Inuit populations suffering from tuberculosis have all received a mea culpa from Ottawa. But does such federal self-abasement correspond to what actually happened? Peter Shawn Taylor casts a gimlet eye at Mexico’s efforts to blame 16th century Spain for present-day complaints and finds that the truth sometimes comes down on the side of colonialism.
Earth Day triggered the usual round of apocalyptic warnings and crazed publicity stunts, this time accompanied by the sad sight of schoolchildren warning adults that the world is doomed and today’s kids are destined for an early death. The facts, however, speak powerfully in the opposite direction, writes Josh Dehaas. He too endured eco-brainwashing as a schoolkid but eventually grew out of it, living proof the affliction is survivable.
Mark Milke had a ringside seat in the Alberta election as the lead architect of the United Conservative Party platform. What he saw was a startling disconnect between media coverage and the issues that mattered most to Albertans. The economic focus of UCP policy earned the party a million votes and a huge majority. Through bias, ignorance, or both, the media often missed the story.
During his decades of involvement in Canada’s conservative movement, Gerry Nicholls has seen the right lose cultural influence and suffer more electoral losses than wins. Yet even as leftist smear-and-fear campaigns reach new heights of slander, Nicholls is heartened by this month’s big victory for the united right in Alberta, and hopeful for a larger conservative political and cultural renaissance in Canada and beyond.
As billions of people in developing countries demand more of everything, especially cheap energy, Canada can help meet the need and improve the global environment by exporting liquefied natural gas. So why are some Canadians trying to thwart the idea, insisting we fight climate change all by ourselves? Not only would this further hobble our economy but, Steve Larke and Adam LeDain contend, exporting LNG represents the much stronger environmental and moral case.
Last month’s Manning Networking Conference in Ottawa included a panel discussion on the question, “Can Canadian History be Saved from the Mob?” In her opening remarks panelist Barbara Kay examined how mobs subvert history to demonize the Jews, a process echoed in the growing demonization of Canada’s colonial past and foundational values.
Like many young people, Johnathan Strathdee got his progressive ideals from the public education system. In high school he learned that capitalism is unfair, oppression is endemic, and environmental catastrophe is imminent. Then he read Plato and learned that the world is not so simple.
Tom Flanagan’s new book The Wealth of First Nations comes at a time when more and more Indigenous leaders and communities are embracing the market economy, resource development, and entrepreneurship. Across every social and economic metric, the Makers are outperforming the Takers, which points the way to less dependence, more integration, and even, perhaps, true reconciliation.
The federal carbon tax came into effect this week in Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan. It may soon be imposed in Alberta, depending on the outcome of this month’s election. Starting with Saskatchewan, the provinces are taking Ottawa to court over who has the right to regulate greenhouse gases under Canada’s constitution. The much larger question is how the case will affect the balance of powers within the federation.
The Mueller report icing the Russian collusion charges did not end Trump Derangement Syndrome. You can still trigger an argument just by wearing a red baseball cap with a certain caption on it. But a new book about the Trump era so far, by American conservative scholar Victor Davis Hanson, is mercifully TDS-free. Hanson’s bias in The Case for Trump is that whatever the failings of the disruptor, the Deep State needed disrupting. As the SNC scandal lifts the veil on Canada’s own Deep State, Barry Cooper wonders if it will be the harbinger of our own disruptor.
Slowly Canadians are awakening to the fact that their country’s oil and gas industry, an essential part of the national economy, has been targeted for destruction by an alliance of American money and Canadian eco-activists. Together they have blocked pipelines, swung elections, and installed their agents in positions of power, including the office of the prime minister. B.C. researcher Vivian Krause, who exposed this decade-long campaign and the tens of millions of U.S. dollars that financed it, deserves to be recognized as a “true Canadian patriot.”
For those who seek to divide and conquer Western culture, the ends always justify the means. Hence the rise of “hate crime hoaxes,” exaggerated or invented incidents of racism. Recent fake villains include the Covington high school kids in the U.S., and, here in Canada, a Fort McMurray minor hockey team. There are fake victims too, notably actor Jussie Smollett in his worst performance yet. Making up stories to ignite race war takes a special kind of evil. Believing those stories, as so many in the media and positions of authority are wont to do, abets it.
2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the election of Prime Minister Joe Clark. “Joe Who?” millions will ask. Don’t worry. That’s what he was called in 1979 too. There is a modest effort underway to try burnish his legacy by Central Canada’s few remaining Red Tories. It includes a play which portrays Clark as more honest than Brian Mulroney, much nicer than Stephen Harper, and less vulgar than Pierre Trudeau. 1979 had a Clark-like run – i.e. short – on a Toronto stage in January. Neil Hrab attended and found the play marred by earnest overreach, rather like the man.
Most of the media coverage of the SNC-Lavalin affair followed the same script: Jody Wilson-Raybould tried to uphold the rule of law and Justin Trudeau fired her for doing so. This story was one of very few to challenge the conventional wisdom about Wilson-Raybould’s motives and objectives. Judging from the traffic and feedback Brian Giesbrecht’s piece is getting, a lot of Canadians share the concern that the former Attorney-General had another agenda, and it put the advancement of Indigenous rights, claims and sovereignty ahead of the rule of law.
Dalhousie University interim president Peter MacKinnon is a rare bird – a blue-chip member of the Canadian academic establishment who is standing up for free expression against campus social justice bullies. The mob is trying to get him fired, writes Josh Dehaas, because of the politically incorrect opinions expressed in his new book University Commons Divided. But MacKinnon has the stature and courage needed to take them on and, perhaps, the ideas needed to restore true academic freedom on the nation’s university campuses.