History, as they say, repeats – first as tragedy, then farce. Justin Trudeau’s insistence on replicating just about every wrong-headed policy of his father’s, and then some, seems to roll both into one. It’s farcical as spectacle, but tragic for the victims – us. After just four years with junior at the wheel, Canada’s formerly robust public finances, a bequest of Conservative predecessor Stephen Harper and ironically of an earlier Liberal, are already circling the drain. Gwyn Morgan tracks the sad descent of Canada’s financial position and the burden to be borne by “Generation Screwed”.
The C2C Ideas Archive
Whenever an electoral challenger crashes and burns, it’s standard for party to dump leader and start afresh. But the federal Conservatives’ ambiguous results last week make deciding the fate of leader Andrew Scheer anything but a no-brainer. The party added 26 seats and won the popular vote. But it lost ground in Quebec and, above all, Ontario, falling far short of general expectations and the widely expected outcome just 10 days before the October 21 vote. For Grant A. Brown, the verdict is in: Scheer is a congenitally flawed politician and won’t improve with time.
A book’s significance doesn’t always lie in its literary quality. Poor writing, storytelling and plot might be fatal for a novelist, but politicians can often get away with all this and more. Their work’s importance lies in the insight provided into the mind of the person who presumes to rule, or participate in ruling, a country. Brian Giesbrecht finds it is just so with Jody Wilson-Raybould’s From Where I Stand. The public’s heroine in the SNC-Lavalin affair just won re-election as an Independent MP and, for good or ill, is likely to influence Canadian public policy for many years to come.
Promising to upend entire sectors of the economy with no costs or other downsides has become so habitual on the political left that it has almost faded to political background noise. But the costs are real – in few areas more so than “alternative”, “green” or “sustainable” energy. The Green Party’s claim to conjure up millions of jobs by driving down emissions is an instalment in this fantasy genre. James Coggins systematically dissects one aspect of the Green program – its plan to plaster millions of Canadian rooftops with solar panels – and finds it wanting.
Jagmeet Singh is soaring in the polls. He seems nice, and millions agree. The man’s depths remain mysterious, however. The federal NDP leader professes devotion to a Sikh doctrine of “oneness” and says he’s driven by the twin imperatives of courage and belonging. Still he declares entire federal parties unfit to be heard in public and half the human race unqualified to speak on certain issues. Using Jagmeet’s autobiography, Love and Courage, as his vehicle, Gaurav Singhmar draws on his deep understanding of Western and Indic thought to perform a layered and nuanced examination of our would-be prime minister.
Justin Trudeau’s weird propensity to slather his face, his body and even his tongue in brown or black makeup provided ample material for low comedy, high dudgeon and genuine thoughtfulness – a teaching moment, if you will. Instead, the multiple revelations were soon hijacked by fakery: fake anger, fake apologies and fake history. There’s been nary a whisper of humour, save perhaps the wag who dubbed Trudeau Canada’s “Prime Minstrel”. Mainly, there’s been weary resignation and rationalization from Liberal supporters. Peter Shawn Taylor takes a balanced look at an immense and fraught subject – blackface – and explains why Trudeau’s crass campaign to save his neck does damage to culture, history, art and freedom.
The Harper Conservatives’ only major scandal was driven by a sole Senator and those who tried to pay back the piffling $90,000 in question. Yet that misstep plagued them for years and contributed to their 2015 defeat. It seems they’re just not like the Liberals. Those guys know how to do scandal. They think big – the Sponsorship Scandal alone totalled $100 million – their habits are well-honed and their expertise is inter-generational. You could say it’s in their political DNA. Chronicling it all could fill a multi-volume history. Fearless muckraker Ezra Levant has made a start with a new book focused on the most recent phase, the Justin Trudeau years. Barry Cooper reviews Levant’s The Libranos.
Canada is a big, diverse country by virtually any measure, from our no-longer-so-sparse population to our epic geography to the ethnic makeup of our people. Diverse in every way, it seems, except in our elites’ aggressively progressive official-think. Consistent with this is the otherwise bizarre decision to have Monday’s federal leaders’ debate hosted by five decidedly similar female journalists. Mark Milke briefly profiles the five and, more important, advances a positive alternative: five distinguished women diverse in background, hometown and, above all, thought.
Gwyn Morgan spent his working life in the oil and natural gas sector, much of it devoted to nurturing and growing what became Encana Corp. – for a time the nation’s number-one natural gas producer – but he never lost his connection to the family farm in rural Alberta. In this deeply personal retrospective, Morgan writes with empathy about the existential challenges faced by today’s farmers, along with a lengthy look back at the hope and heartbreak, the joy and sorrow of a vanishing way of life.
No sooner had Alberta announced its “fight back” strategy to counter misinformation aimed at the province’s key industry – including a public inquiry into foreign funding of anti-energy groups – than the left counterattacked. Instead of mounting facts and evidence of its own, they accused Alberta’s UCP government of violating the human rights of the progressives’ pantheon of designated victims. These shout-down-discredit-and-destroy tactics are ubiquitous tools of leftists nowadays, but in this instance the target may be tougher than expected. Mark Milke explores the energy war’s competing campaigns for the hearts and souls as much as the minds of Canadians.
In few areas do our opinions veer as wildly based purely on our point of view as on the topic of traffic. As pedestrians, we cast the stink-eye at any encroaching driver – even while jaywalking blithely towards a “Don’t Walk” light. As residents, we yell “Slow down!” at every second passing motorist. But once behind the wheel, we fume as traffic crawls, gratuitous signage proliferates and every errand or commute lengthens. This inner fragmentation is like a bright green light for municipal politicians and bureaucrats bent on making life miserable for motorists, for we become all-but incapable of resistance. Peter Shawn Taylor illuminates the campaign in cities across Canada to deliberately clog our streets in the name of safety.
When an out-of-control wildfire threatens everything you hold dear and public officials order you to flee because, they claim, there’s nothing anyone can do − what’s your response? Do you meekly submit? Or do you call you neighbours and try to protect what’s yours? And when politicians publicly denounce you, officials callously demand your dental records so they can identify your charred remains afterwards, police threaten to take away your children and then try to starve your whole community into submission – what then?
These were the terrible choices faced last summer by the “Southsiders” of François Lake, B.C. Their decisions may surprise, or even shock you. But their determination should awe you, their courage inspire you, and the final outcome make you think twice the next time government officials demand you place your fate in their hands. In this meticulously reported exclusive, Jason Unrau brings you the epic tale of how the François Lake Southsiders had to face down not only 100-foot-high wildfire flames, but also the equally towering arrogance and indifference of the public agencies that should have been protecting and supporting them.
The UN wants the world’s “migrants” – 258 million of them, by its own count – free to move about the world, presumably from poor countries to rich countries. It demands that those rich hosts not only open their arms, but make all their generous social programs instantly available. And, to help this process along, that countries clamp down on any “intolerance” – policing public speech, news media and even academic research. In short, it wants to shut down debate about immigration. In Part II of this special two-part report, with a federal election just weeks away, Lloyd W. Robertson illustrates the importance of talking about immigration while we still can.
The voracious need for self-abasement among Western elites appears to have outstripped the supply of victimized groups that can become the focus of grovelling, apology and pay-offs. That is one way to read the federal Liberals’ latest apology, which goes beyond merely stretching reality, distorting facts or ignoring historical context. Peter Shawn Taylor reports on how last month’s $20 million payoff to Canada’s Inuit for an alleged sled-dog slaughter half a century ago that never actually happened simply stands the truth on its head.
Imagine a world in which “migrants” can pick up and move to whatever country they choose, whenever the spirit moves them, in unlimited numbers. That’s the plan behind the UN’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. While that may seem far-fetched amidst increasing resistance to illegal immigration in many countries, the UN has a plan for that too. It wants to shut down discussions about immigration that lead to the “wrong” conclusions. On the eve of Canada’s federal election campaign, Lloyd W. Robertson explains why we need to talk a lot more about immigration. Part I of a special two-part report.
Former judges, senior-most political and government officials, members of Toronto’s upper-crust – who won’t Justin Trudeau ensnare in the thorny thickets of his arrogance and zeal to remain the unblemished hero of his own story? If there was anyone left in Canada convinced the Prime Minister and his helpers hadn’t done wrong in the SNC-Lavalin prosecution scandal, Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion’s report should dispel their illusions. Grant Brown plumbed the depths of Dion’s report and here evaluates some of the most repulsively riveting aspects of the sordid saga.
Putting numbers to nearly everything is the postmodern world’s way of separating facts and knowledge from mere opinion or superstition. This not merely reflects a cramped view of knowledge, it is false and immensely damaging to rational inquiry, discussion and the dissemination of knowledge. David Solway mounts a counter-argument for quality over mere quantity. Although nominally about the social sciences and aimed at its practitioners, Solway’s essay serves up food for thought for any consumer, customer or target of the social sciences: students, their parents, business people, employers, government officials, voters. In short, all of us.
No matter how much abuse the Laurentian Elite has heaped upon Alberta, the province has seemed willing to just take it. Yet in this relationship, the perpetrator never even tearfully apologizes nor promises to change, but simply rolls out new outrages using new rationales. Albertans’ habitual responses – grumbling, asking for a fairer deal and working ever-harder to bear the costs of Confederation – have failed again and again, argues Leon Craig. He thinks it’s high times for a new approach. In this impassioned, open letter to Jason Kenney, Craig urges Alberta’s new Premier to get their beloved province ready to go it alone.
Connecting remote northern communities to the outside world at a bearable cost and in a way that’s acceptable to northern residents has bedeviled generations. In recent years, especially, politics has often gotten in the way of and diverted attention from practical solutions. Something needs to be done, however. Josh Dehaas reports on a new way of using older technology that could, if it works, revolutionize northern transportation, doing for 21st century Indigenous residents what the canoe, kayak and bush plane did for their forebears.
It’s been said many times that one should never let facts get in the way of a good story. Let’s hope facts still can get in the way of a winning election campaign if that campaign is founded on distortion, exaggeration, tendentious claims, ruinous policies and utopian futility. Using facts from credible organizations, Gwyn Morgan takes a verbal stiletto to the fear-based federal Liberal election campaign that’s coming our way in a few weeks.
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 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.
Precision of language is critical in government documents. Take the report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), which claimed “Indigenous women and girls now make up almost 25 percent of homicide victims.” Turns out the Statistics Canada report on which this claim was based indicates 25 percent of female homicide victims were Indigenous women, a much smaller number. If the MMIW report’s authors can’t even transcribe a simple government statistic, what business have they bandying about the charge of “genocide”? Hymie Rubinstein looks at historical examples of real genocides, reminding us that the abuse of language has consequences.
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.