How to restore Ontarians’ faith in the democratic process

These three key accountability reforms a good place to start

How to restore Ontarians’ faith in the democratic processWith trust in government having declined significantly over the past two years, it’s well past time for politicians to try to regain the confidence of the people they’re supposed to represent. Three key accountability reforms would make major strides in that direction. It’s time to end taxpayer handouts for political parties, stop giving more generous…

How ordinary people can survive the worst of capitalism

We’re the 99 per cent and the one per cent is powerless without our co-operation

How ordinary people can survive the worst of capitalismAs we move into a new year, we see many problems in the world and much that needs to change. We often forget, however, that the most significant force for good looks back at us each time we gaze into the mirror. We live in a capitalist society, and capitalism has brought us many good…

Ontario’s political welfare program is alive and well

Using the pandemic as a weak excuse to justify raiding the treasury

Ontario’s political welfare program is alive and wellIf your wallet feels lighter, it’s not just because of the rising cost of living and inflation. Ontario’s political parties have teamed up to take $14 million out of taxpayers’ pockets this year, and they’re just getting started. Back in 2014, former premier Kathleen Wynne introduced the per-vote subsidy. Under Wynne’s plan, political parties would…

Why we shouldn’t take Trudeau’s tears seriously

Actions speak louder than words

Why we shouldn’t take Trudeau’s tears seriouslyThe age-old expression that actions speak louder than words conveys an important insight: character is best judged through action. Anyone can say or promise anything, but following through requires ability, skill, discipline, and commitment. So the simplest test of character is to pay attention to deeds. Plutarch, the first-century Greek biographer, refined the test. He…

Five facts all parents should know about the mRNA vaccines

There needs to be caution about any coercion that could harm our children

Five facts all parents should know about the mRNA vaccinesThe Canadian Academics for Covid Ethics (CA4CE) is a group of researchers and scholars from fields spanning the natural and social sciences and humanities. It is concerned with the mismanagement of the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic response in Canada and around the world.  The following commentary was written by Alexander Andrée, PhD, Valentina Capurri, PhD, Claudia…

The religious fervour of the campaign against Covid-19

And is leading to the rise of a new inquisition to persecute and ostracize dissenters

The religious fervour of the campaign against Covid-19The ongoing campaign against COVID-19 has several religious attributes and analogues. I’m not talking about Mologic or Luciferase, or the way “Build Back Better” looks like code for 666, given that ‘b’ is a cipher for ‘6’. I’m not referring to the dozens of ways millenarians enthusiastically uncover apparent connections between this period of tribulation…

How to live with your conscience and still have money

It’s possible to live a principled life, working hard to make a better world and still enjoy relative comfort

How to live with your conscience and still have moneyGrowing up Christian in an affluent society, there was a passage from scripture that always left me perplexed: “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other. … You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24) Did this mean that I was to sell all I owned and become…

Leaders need moral courage now more than ever, says Roméo Dallaire

Former UN commander leads ‘critical conversations’ on impact of moral injury

The term “moral injury” is relatively recent in our understanding of trauma. When Canada’s Lt.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire led United Nations peacekeeping troops in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi that took a million lives over 100 days, few Canadians beyond the military were aware of the severe psychological damage that witnessing such moral…

Mainstream media has lost our trust in the age of COVID-19

Major news outlets have opted to focus on our more primal emotions to keep us tuned into their programs

Mainstream media has lost our trust in the age of COVID-19Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, tells us, “Trust is the glue of life. … It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” Yet trust seems to be in short supply today. Many people don’t trust the mainstream media, the government, large corporations or the medical profession. Their trust is…

Defence lawyer pulls no punches in new memoir

Marie Henein is unapologetic and controversial, largely due to her defence of Jian Ghomeshi

Defence lawyer pulls no punches in new memoirIf you buy criminal defence lawyer Marie Henein’s new memoir hoping for the inside scoop on her high profile cases, you’ll be disappointed. Ethically, she considers those details off limits, confined there by the parameters of the lawyer-client relationship. However interesting the stories might be, Henein believes they aren’t hers to tell. They belong to…

Guidelines help prevent unnecessary destruction of ancient remains

Human remains are considered sacred by many around the world and deserve respect and protection

Guidelines help prevent unnecessary destruction of ancient remainsWhen Elizabeth Sawchuk started getting involved in ancient DNA research as part of her archeological research in Africa, she turned to colleagues for advice on sampling DNA from ancient human remains. As a post-doctoral fellow at Stony Brook University, she felt it was crucial to get it right. “They’re extremely precious,” said Sawchuk, now a Banting post-doctoral…

Why vaccine mandates are unethical and counterproductive

We need to understand and address the concerns of the vaccine-hesitant

Why vaccine mandates are unethical and counterproductiveBy Gaauree Chawla Research associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy As of Sept. 7, the Ontario government requires all workers in high-risk settings to either take the COVID-19 vaccine, provide a medical reason for refusing vaccination or undergo regular testing and education. This includes workers in health-care, educational and child-care settings. Ontario won’t make vaccines…

Politicians need to practice what they preach and pay back wage subsidy

NDP, Liberals and Conservatives all helped themselves to the wage subsidy meant for struggling businesses

Politicians need to practice what they preach and pay back wage subsidyPoliticians are good at preaching, but they’re not so good at practicing what they preach. Case in point: the federal wage subsidy. Federal politicians have been moralizing about the evils of business executives taking bonuses while collecting the pandemic wage subsidy, but their silence on their own party taking the subsidy is deafening. At the…

Have faith in our children to create a better world

Giving our children the tools to move the world forward is the most valuable investment we can make

Have faith in our children to create a better worldAmerican musician and songwriter Louis Armstrong wrote, “I hear babies cry. I watch them grow. They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.” As an educator, parent and adult functioning in our society, I can think of no higher ideal than this. It’s an empowering, humbling…

Time for corporate Canada to abandon immoral capitalism

We have a major opportunity to reframe the roles and responsibilities of corporate stewardship

Time for corporate Canada to abandon immoral capitalismIn 1970, Novel laureate Milton Friedman proposed that an enterprise’s sole responsibility was to shareholders by maximizing profits: “the social mission of business is making profits, period, with other social goals best left to politics.” Corporate duty to maximize shareholder value, or shareholder primacy, has emerged as the dominant principle for free-market capitalism. This capitalist…

There are only two “races” of people: the decent and the indecent

Good people and bad people can be found in every group

There are only two “races” of people: the decent and the indecentWe’re all influenced by the environment we grow up in and our life experiences. We thus adopt paradigms in our effort to make sense of the world around us. Sometimes these perspectives serve us well but other times our core beliefs prevent us from seeing the truth. Yet there’s perhaps nothing more life-giving than experiencing…

The moral corruption of Canada’s once honourable values

Canada must not fall for Hamas’ propaganda. The Palestinian people deserve better

The moral corruption of Canada’s once honourable valuesCanada has carved a niche for itself in the global space as a country dedicated to peace, moral values, and human rights. Whether it was the Conservative government’s commitment to maternal health under the Millennium Development Goals and defending democracies, or the Liberal government’s leadership in human security and in creating the Responsibility to Protect…

Why is science trying to read and manipulate our dreams?

Without safeguards, the abuse of dream tech is inevitable

Why is science trying to read and manipulate our dreams?By 2030, could an agency record everything we dream? Danish member of parliament Ida Auken thought so. In her 2016 blog post on the World Economic Forum’s website and republished by Forbes, “Welcome to 2030: I Own Nothing, Have No Privacy and Life Has Never Been Better,” Auken envisioned a person saying, “Once in a…

Science gone bad: the pursuit of human-animal hybrids

Fraught with ethical problems, some of which have already been demonstrated

Science gone bad: the pursuit of human-animal hybridsThe Book of Genesis says God made the animals each “according to their kinds,” then humanity in the divine image. Of course, not everyone believes in a sacred creation. Some scientists would rather play god and mix the animal and human species. This endeavour is fraught with ethical problems, some of which have already been…

Trump’s impeachment trial was a perversion of justice

These absurdities don't fit any legitimate expectation of a legal proceeding, let alone a trial of the most powerful person on the planet

Trump’s impeachment trial was a perversion of justiceSince judges exist for the essential goal of delivering justice to fellow citizens, a vigorous ethical commitment should be a key part of their professional code. Spanish moral philosopher Adela Cortina notes that corruption is encouraged by the weakening of the internal good. The world had front-row seats to the judicial proceedings in the second…

Buttergate compromises the farmer-consumer contract

Deep-rooted problems within dairy industry finally being exposed

Buttergate compromises the farmer-consumer contractThe Dairy Farmers of Canada should be commended for asking members to stop using palmitic acids in feed while launching a national investigation into the matter. For likely the very first time in its history, arguably the most powerful lobby group in the country opted to listen to Canadians. It’s not easy to admit publicly…

Covid-19 and our forgotten freedoms of assembly and association

It is in emergencies that we see whether our deepest societal values mean anything

Covid-19 and our forgotten freedoms of assembly and associationBy Nnaemeka Ezeani and Dwight Newman Macdonald-Laurier Institute Government restrictions on various forms of gathering have bothered many Canadians throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. While freedoms are subject to limits for appropriate policies to protect life and health, there is a lingering sense that some of these policies have gone astray. But many find it hard…

Thankfully 2020 is over, but we’re not out of the woods yet

There's that little matter of actually rolling out the vaccines on a much wider scale in Canada

Thankfully 2020 is over, but we’re not out of the woods yetSad to see 2020 go? You’re in the minority … of one. Everyone else was quite ecstatic to roll out the welcome mat for 2021. The biggest issue we faced in 2020 was obviously the coronavirus pandemic. More than 85 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 worldwide, leading to nearly 1.85 million deaths as…

Trudeau’s litany of broken promises, and higher carbon taxes

Trudeau told us he wouldn’t be increasing taxes. He lied

Trudeau’s litany of broken promises, and higher carbon taxesBy Aaron Wudrick Federal Director and Franco Terrazzano Alberta Director Canadian Taxpayers Federation Happy New Year taxpayers! Well, maybe not so happy after all. Courtesy of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, you can now expect higher home heating bills and gas prices. The Trudeau government recently rolled out new plans to massively increase the carbon tax…

The slippery ethics of paying grocery executives bonuses

COVID-19 has made us realize that many people whose jobs are too important to be interrupted are the ones earning the least money

The slippery ethics of paying grocery executives bonusesAlmost everyone agrees that grocery store workers should earn better wages, especially during a pandemic. In Canada, their hourly rate hovers around $15 an hour. New hires get about $13 an hour, while the highest paid earn almost $50,000 annually, or about $25 an hour. In a high-volume, low-margin world, salaries are what they are.…

What happens when capitalism lacks a soul?

Corporations have created a structure that’s unsustainable on political, economic, environmental and even spiritual levels

What happens when capitalism lacks a soul?In recent decades across the globe, the super rich have been getting richer while the middle class shrinks. This is a danger not only to our economy but to democracy itself. Unfortunately, while millions of people have lost their livelihoods during the COVID-19 pandemic, the richest of the super rich have seen their assets balloon.…

Why can’t Trudeau grasp what ‘conflict of interest’ means?

If he can’t figure out that his family’s involvement with the WE Charity was a conflict of interest, then he really does have an ethical blind spot

Why can’t Trudeau grasp what ‘conflict of interest’ means?Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been criticized for his seemingly cavalier attitude with respect to parliamentary procedure and taking ethical stands. The running joke has been that either he doesn’t know, doesn’t care or experiences things differently than others. Here’s yet another example and it’s one of the strangest to date. Trudeau, like many of…

How to raise a generation of moral, courageous rebels

Personality and upbringing play a significant role in developing moral character, but certain aspects can be taught

How to raise a generation of moral, courageous rebelsThe primary goal of teaching Social Studies in British Columbia is “to give students the knowledge, skills and competencies to be active, informed citizens who are able to think critically.” We want to produce students who can think for themselves and have the moral courage to advance our society in an ethical manner. Accomplishing this…

Trudeau’s lack of a moral code keeps getting him in trouble

And hiring a director of ethics won't do much to curb his natural tendencies

Trudeau’s lack of a moral code keeps getting him in troublePrime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon visit Canada’s ethics commissioner for the third time in five years. His ethical standards and lack of a moral code have been in question as the result of two previous controversies – visiting the Aga Khan’s private island and the SNC-Lavalin boondoggle. This new political controversy could be the…

Justin just keeps digging his political grave

With the WE scandal, Trudeau is at it again

Justin just keeps digging his political graveThe coronavirus pandemic is one of the biggest events of our collective lifetimes. You don’t have to take a poll. It just is. Millions of Canadians without work. Companies going bankrupt. Families in crisis. And, of course, 110,000 of us infected with Covid-19, and more than 9,000 dead. It has been a cataclysm. It has…