The C2C Ideas Archive

Dialing up a New Cold War

Huawei makes great smartphones with the potential to be weapons of cyberwar between China and the West. That may partly explain why Canada arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou for possible extradition to the U.S. As Mathew Preston reports, we’re being forced to take sides.

An Act to Prevent New Pipelines in Canada

The current Canadian government claims the assessment process for deciding the fate of major natural resource projects including pipelines will be much improved if Bill C-69 becomes law. Andrew Roman has studied the proposed legislation in depth and arrived at the opposite conclusion. Considering all the new opportunities the law creates for litigation by environmental advocacy and Aboriginal opponents – including a special new right of First Nations to present evidence in secret – Ottawa’s claim brings to mind the words of the old Scottish proverb: if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

How to Take Back the Charter

Canadian conservatives blame the 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms every time the courts render a Charter decision they don’t like, which is most of them. But the Charter’s not the main problem, writes Ben Woodfinden, and even if it were, it’s almost impossible to change. If you want to stop activist judges from using the Charter to enact progressive policy, the solution is to develop an “originalist” legal movement in Canada that will eventually produce judges who bring diversity of thought to constitutional cases, interpreting the Charter with restraint and respect for the supremacy of Parliament – just as its Framers intended.

Canada’s Mexican Migrant Problem

The number of Mexican visitors to Canada claiming asylum from rising criminal violence in their home country is way up since the Trudeau government dropped the visa requirement in 2016. That move may have helped Canada-Mexico relations but it puts domestic security at grave risk because it makes it easier for Mexico’s powerful drug cartels to expand their operations in Canada. As criminal violence spirals out of control in Mexico and the evidence of it spilling into Canada mounts, Greg Purdy contends a review of the visa-free policy is urgently needed.

Lament for a National Champion

Gwyn Morgan retired as CEO of Encana Corp. in 2006 after building it into Canada’s largest energy company and the largest of all Canadian companies by stock market value. It was the defacto flagship of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s vision of Canada as an “global energy superpower”. Now, a dozen years later, that dream lies in the ruins of current national energy policy, and Morgan’s successors have effectively moved Encana to the U.S. to escape Canada’s self-destructive business climate.

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.

We Have Met the Carbon Enemy and He is Us

Steve Larke and Adam Le Dain hold up the mirror to our digital culture and reveal the breathtaking hypocrisy of everyone who condemns carbon energy while using all the technologies that increase hydrocarbon demand. If they really want to save the planet, they would give up their smart phones, forsake air travel, and stop buying cool stuff on Amazon that has to be delivered from all over the world – or acknowledge they won’t do any of that and instead support responsible energy resource development in Canada.

You Call This ‘Healing’?

Canadians got a glimpse inside the country’s racially segregated justice system this fall when they learned that one of the perpetrators of a hideous child rape-murder had been quietly transferred from a prison to an Aboriginal “healing lodge”. The public outcry forced Ottawa to put Terri-Lynne McClintic back behind bars, but raised all kinds of questions about Canada’s efforts to reduce the “overrepresentation” of Aboriginal Canadians in jail. The obvious big one is, are they working. And the answer, reports Josh Dehaas, is no.

The Dominion of (West) Canada?

Blocking pipelines to “phase out” energy production from Alberta’s oilsands has nothing to do with saving the planet. It’s about Eastern Canada screwing the West to take the Rest. Always has been, always will be, unless…

The Trump Awakening

The dream of globalization keeps getting interrupted by the reality of stubborn human cultural differences. It occurred again recently when a naïve American tourist defied warnings against visiting an island in the Indian Ocean inhabited by a primitive tribe, and was killed by their arrows. It also occurred when Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. Canadians are conditioned to see such things as unfortunate bumps on the inevitable road to global homogeneity. Our American cousins are not so sanguine; that’s why they elected Trump. Maybe we can learn something from them about life in the real world, writes Lloyd W. Robertson.

Put down that legal joint and put your hands up

Canadian stoners are already longing for the good old days of criminalized cannabis where it was easy to get excellent weed at a fair price with decent customer service and low risk of getting busted. Now that it’s ‘legal’ they’re confused and fearful about where they can smoke, what they can grow, how much they can carry, and how long they must wait after toking before they can drive or go to work. And that’s only if they can find any. Legalization is working for some, though: the former cops and politicians who used to prosecute potheads and are now dealing the stuff. Karen Selick reports.

If you liked Duffy and Gomeshi, you’re gonna love this

Oh man, what a movie this is going to be. It’s got money, power, and political intrigue. The central characters include a top-rank naval commander facing de facto treason charges and a criminal defence lawyer who’s so good she even got Jian Gomeshi off. They’re up against some big dogs in the Liberal cabinet, including PMJT himself, over a scandal about procuring…a ship. And the climax is set to occur in the middle of next year’s election campaign! Paul Stanway reports.

The Sorriest Prime Minister Canada’s Ever Had

A Google search of “Justin Trudeau apology” produces over 600,000 hits. Since we published James Coggins’ story “Who Are Government Apologies Really For?” last fall, the prime minister has issued two more apologies for things other governments did; to the Inuit for Ottawa’s handling of tuberculosis in the mid-20th century; and to Indigenous alumni of residential schools in Newfoundland and Labrador. That raises his total to six, the most ever by a PM.

How lower taxes could lower emissions

Canada’s federal government insists the only way to reduce carbon emissions is by putting a price on them. But it will take a helluva price to coerce Canadians to reduce their driving enough to make a dent in transportation emissions, which are a huge contributor. That’s why the provinces are revolting against Ottawa and the 2019 federal election is shaping up as a referendum on carbon taxation. Gwyn Morgan has a radically better idea that would massively reduce emissions without punishing consumers: incent Canadians to convert their vehicles from gasoline and diesel to far cleaner-burning natural gas by making NGV fuel tax-free. Lower Taxes for Lower Emissions sure sounds like a better campaign slogan than Pay Up or Park Your Car.

A century of remembrance

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Despite the passage of time, the events of that terrible human tragedy still have the power to horrify, inspire, and unleash our tears. Lest we forget the sacrifices of the Canadians who fought and died in that war and all the military conflicts that have tested our nation’s mettle, C2C Journal is marking Armistice Day with an essay by John Weissenberger that is bookended by the stories of the first and last Canadians who died in the Great War.

Socialist workers dystopia

Bribing voters with their own, other people’s, or borrowed money has a long history in Canada. The latest example is the Liberal government’s plan to price “pollution” in provinces without a carbon tax by making the tax rebate bigger than the tax itself. Another form of vote-buying, writes Matthew Lau, is labour regulation that forces employers to pay workers higher wages and provide greater benefits. When Ontario’s late Wynne government did this, it predictably hurt job growth. So the bribe failed, and the Ford government is now partially deregulating the labour market to make workers, and the provincial economy, more competitive.

Strange Bedfellows in the Oil Patch

The idea of transitioning from a fossil-fuel economy to one based on “renewables” has gone mainstream. Yet oil and natural gas remain crucial and there’s growing anxiety about how the obstacles to energy and other natural resource development threaten Canada’s long-term economic prospects. The country must come together, Nigel Hannaford argues, if it’s to avoid a self-inflicted catastrophe.

The Royal Canadian Air Procurement Farce

Military procurement is to Canada’s federal government as sewer upgrades are to municipal governments: a hugely expensive necessity that doesn’t win any votes. That’s why the RCAF is getting by with patched-up, near-obsolete CF-18s and a handful of used fighter jets from Australia as Ottawa’s posturing and procrastinating over their replacement enters its third decade. Meanwhile, military tensions between the world’s major powers are growing, which leaves weakly-armed and weak-willed countries like Canada increasingly useless and vulnerable. The ill-starred F-35 stealth fighter remains the best bet to restore our military capability while providing top-flight aerospace jobs, writes Mathew Preston, but “whipping out” the F-35 or any new warplanes is not a priority for Justin Trudeau’s feminist-pacifist administration.

The Age of Disruption

What does it mean to be living in a so-called “age of disruption”? Barry Cooper, reviewing Stephen Harper’s Right Here, Right Now: Political Leadership in the Age of Disruption, argues that our current disruption arises from the collapse of the USSR and the ensuing extinguishment of the ideals of the French Revolution. Harper’s recognition of this, argues Cooper, is evidence of “inspired political understanding.”

Canada’s Stockholm syndrome

Canada has been singularly successful in offering up its natural resource sector to its enemies. In the 1980s and 90s, foreign-funded eco- and aboriginal activists teamed up with Canadian politicians, public sector unions, and even some corporate sell-outs to bully the B.C. forest industry into submission.

Three judges, 75 whales, 117 native bands

What does it take to stop a multi-billion-dollar energy project that will create thousands of jobs and billions in tax revenues for Canadians? The answer is the headline on this story.

The only thing we have to fear is everything

Border security, terrorism, rising crime, Donald Trump, guns, trade wars; these are just a few of the anxieties afflicting Canadians. Well, pass the Zoloft, writes Jason Unrau. We’re going to need it to get through the coming year as politicians of all stripes and their media enablers ratchet up their fearmongering on these and other real and invented terrors in the runup to next October’s federal election.

The wrath of pygmies

Historical cleansing in the name of ethnocentric injustice is all the rage in Canada today. We’re arresting, trying and punishing historical figures for crimes against modern interpretations of their words and actions. First among the fallen icons is the country’s founding prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, recently banished from a pedestal outside Victoria City Hall to a dingy civic warehouse where he awaits final sentencing. But John Robson has a message for those who deposed the Old Chieftain; you are not worthy to stand in the shadow of his statue.

How Duty to Consult became a Veto

The ever-shifting scope of the constitutional “duty to consult” with aboriginal groups increasingly thwarts development in Canada, including resource projects critical to the country’s economic growth and prosperity. The recent court decision against the Trans Mountain pipeline is the highest-profile recent example. University of Calgary professor emeritus Tom Flanagan tracks the jurisprudence that elevated this legal concept into a de facto aboriginal veto and suggests ways that governments, with the support of pro-development aboriginal groups, could move to clearly define and limit its power.

Ford goes nuclear, sky falls in Toronto

Progressives agree populism is deplorable, responsible for electing xenophobic governments in parts of Europe, the Brexit mess, and that Twit in the White House. But what about Ontario Conservative Premier Doug Ford? He’s “for the people” too, like other populists claim to be, but instead of picking fights with immigrants and launching trade wars, he’s lowering the cost of beer and energy and trying to shrink Toronto’s bloated City Council. The left and the courts are pushing back hard, but Ford still looks like Canada’s best bet to rescue populism from the pit of elite condescension. Jason Tucker reports.

Ford Nation: populism done right

Progressives agree populism is deplorable, responsible for electing xenophobic governments in parts of Europe, the Brexit mess, and that Twit in the White House. But what about Ontario Conservative Premier Doug Ford? He’s “for the people” too, like other populists claim to be, but instead of picking fights with immigrants and launching trade wars, he’s lowering the cost of beer and energy and trying to shrink Toronto’s bloated City Council. The left and the courts are pushing back hard, but Ford still looks like Canada’s best bet to rescue populism from the pit of elite condescension. Jason Tucker reports.

Cream puff diplomacy

The term “gunboat diplomacy” was coined in 1850 when Britain dispatched the Royal Navy to defend a British citizen living in Greece. Last month, Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland dispatched a tweet to defend Saudi Arabian women’s rights activists who happen to have a Canadian relative. Unlike the Greeks, the Saudis were not intimidated, and they fired back with trade and diplomatic weapons that cost Canada dearly. Gerry Bowler has some advice for Freeland, who apparently could use it: either ditch the impotent virtue signalling or hit the Saudis where it hurts by replacing their oil exports to Canada with homegrown western crude.

Welcome to Canada, not

One of the really great things about Donald Trump, if you’re Justin Trudeau, is he makes you look so nice by comparison. Especially on immigration. It’s widely understood that Trump is banning Muslims and separating children from their parents and holding them in cages, while Trudeau is tweeting “Welcome to Canada” and deploring family separation. But the truth about “how we do things in Canada” ain’t so nice, writes Hymie Rubenstein, and by any fair current and historical comparison, the U.S. treats immigrants better than we do

Collateral damage of the ‘greenest city’

The City of Vancouver officially aspires to be “the greenest city in the world”. But if it could see beyond the tip of its upturned nose, it would realize that its transit and land-use policies are dumping its traffic and pollution problems on neighbouring cities and towns in the Fraser Valley. James Coggins, eyewitness to the environmental carnage wreaked by Vancouver’s selfish green virtuousness, reports.

Robin Hood on steroids

Canada’s national equalization program is supposed to transfer wealth from richer provinces to poorer ones so the latter can have “reasonably comparable” public services at roughly similar levels of taxation. In practice, reports University of Calgary Master of Public Policy student Jake Fuss, the program enables “have-not” provinces to provide better public services than the “have” provinces who subsidize them. Robin Hood supported wealth redistribution too, but even he never intended to make the poor richer than the rich.

They desire a smugger country

The Order of Canada was founded in 1967 as a classic Canadian compromise between the aristocratic traditions of Mother Britain and the hyper-egalitarianism of our American neighbours. Ostensibly untainted by class or politics, it was intended to honour citizens from all walks of life who made significant contributions to the country simply because they “desire a better country”. But as Brian Fawcett explains in his review of a new book about the history of the OC, there is growing evidence that it has evolved into a smug, liberal, elitist club to which conservatives generally need not apply.

Standing Rock of the North

If you live in Burnaby, B.C., or are planning a visit in the next few months, consider taking some time to visit “Camp Cloud”, the ramshackle village created to protest the Trans-Mountain pipeline. Best to go soon, before it mutates into something like the massive, filthy, dangerous protest favella that grew up around a North Dakota pipeline project in 2016. U.S. President Donald Trump ended the “Standing Rock Resistance” with bulldozers and the National Guard soon after he took office in 2017. There are many similarities between the Dakota Access and Trans-Mountain pipeline stories, except we don’t yet know the ending of the latter. George Koch previews what may be in store for Burnaby with a detailed account of the anarchy that descended on Morton County, North Dakota.

Jihadi Jacks ’N Jills

We know for sure that well over a 100 Canadians have served with Islamist terrorist groups overseas. We know that at least 60 have come home. And we know that exactly one has been convicted and jailed. This suggests one of two things: either the federal government’s “deradicalization” strategy, which emphasizes support and counselling over investigation and prosecution, is working like a charm; or it’s only a matter of time before an unreconstructed jihadist goes postal or radicalizes his friends to do so. Anthony Furey considers the odds.

Dogma in the Church

The opposite of free speech is compelled speech, which last year was enshrined in the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code to ensure transgendered folks get the pronouns they deserve. Compelled speech is a totalitarian cousin of forbidden speech, lately asserted in various skirmishes over “cultural appropriation”. All this bickering over words – who can use them and what they mean – strikes Barbara Kay as rather surreal and menacing, and reminds her of Humpty Dumpty, the pompous egg-head who lectured young Alice on language, the Catholic Church at its most Inquisitive, and the Arab word for coerced language and behaviour called “Ketman”. What it does not remind her of is anything resembling reason and tolerance.

Social Justice for LGBTQ Seniors

Somewhere in an Ontario long-term care facility today, a LGBTQ senior may be facing bullying and discrimination. We know this from a recent CBC news report that broke our current ageist fixation on the rights of LGBTQ schoolchildren. The story inspired Fred Litwin to imagine how Ontario’s new Conservative government might deal with this neglected social justice issue, in a hypothetical bureaucratic memo to Health Minister Christine Elliot. Laugh if you dare.

L’Etat, c’est nous

Nationalism is in foul odour these days, tainted by its association with Donald Trump’s clumsy protectionist economic and immigration policies, the Brexit mess, and various truculent populist movements in Europe. But did you hear Chief Justice Richard Wagner of the Supreme Court of Canada the other day, talking about Canada as a “moral values” superpower? The ink on the SCC judgement against religious freedom in the Trinity Western University case was hardly dry, and he was boasting about his nationalistic pride in Canada’s secular, progressive superiority. In TWU, Wagner and a majority of his colleagues imposed their own beliefs about what they see as the “public interest”, writes John Carpay, which is at least as arrogant – and ominous – as anything being undertaken by nationalists outside of Canada.

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