Play shines a spotlight on a civil rights icon

Gordon Hirabayashi took a principled stand against the internment of Japanese Americans

Play shines a spotlight on a civil rights iconWhen Japanese Americans were evacuated from the West Coast and sent to internment camps during the Second World War, Gordon Hirabayashi refused to comply. Acting on the courage of moral conviction, the Quaker pacifist instead turned himself in to the FBI, prepared to challenge the unjust executive order and take the case as far as…

The high price of falling prey to cancel culture

Cancel culture plays right into the wheelhouse of those who are angry, fearful and manipulative

The high price of falling prey to cancel cultureThe Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘cancel culture’ as “the practice or tendency of engaging in mass cancelling as a way of expressing disapproval and exerting social pressure.” This is nothing new; we see numerous examples of what we now call cancel culture in history. Society cancelled people it disapproved of during witch hunts. The aristocracy was…

Western leaders ignore their own genocidal acts

Leaders in NATO countries are guilty of crimes against humanity, yet only Africans are tried

Western leaders ignore their own genocidal actsIn recent months, words like genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes have been used extensively in the media. These are important legal terms, and they shouldn’t be used loosely. Using them as political weapons risks making them meaningless. The word ‘genocide’ was coined in 1944 by Polish-Jewish law professor Raphael Lemkin after he studied…

Plenty of blame in a world of strife

How is the Russian invasion of Ukraine different from the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq?

Plenty of blame in a world of strifeAmerican writer and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Fiction reveals the truth that reality obscures.” I admit I’ve never been a great fan of fiction; I prefer writing that spells out the author’s perspective on what’s actually happening in the world. But there are times when nothing speaks the truth more effectively than a great…

Canada, not Venezuela, the solution for U.S. energy security

U.S. should look to Canada to improve energy security instead of a hostile, oppressive government

Canada, not Venezuela, the solution for U.S. energy securityThe U.S. needs long-term solutions to replace energy imports from Russia. But rather than working to fast-track increased oil deliveries from Canada, among other negotiations, the administration of President Joe Biden is reportedly in talks to ease sanctions on Venezuela, where the government stands accused of a litany of human rights abuses. The U.S. has…

Trudeau’s double standards on Iranian immigrants

Canadian-Iranians must hold Trudeau accountable for his promises, including finding justice for the PS752 families

Trudeau’s double standards on Iranian immigrantsCanada’s treatment of Iranian immigrants demonstrates the Trudeau government’s double standards on Iran. On the one hand, Ottawa allows Islamic Republic officials to live openly in cities such as Toronto. On the other hand, it deports innocent Iranian residents back to Iran, where they could face imprisonment or even execution. Morteza Talaei, Tehran’s police chief…

Humanitarian crisis adds to burdens of Afghan religious minorities

The Canadian government has failed the Afghan people

Humanitarian crisis adds to burdens of Afghan religious minoritiesFor Fawzia Shah (not her real name), a middle-aged Hazara (Shia Muslim) woman from Central Afghanistan, the words “democracy,” “freedom,” and “women’s rights” mean nothing. Those were the stirring slogans with which political leaders in Canada, the U.S., and allied countries rallied the troops for a 20-year war. That war ended last summer when the…

Now is the time for mass resignations from within the Ruling Class

The system of government we thought we had has proven to be illusory

Now is the time for mass resignations from within the Ruling ClassIf there is a historical precedent for the truckers’ revolt in Canada and the populist protests in so many other parts of the world, I would like to know what it is. It surely sets the record for convoy size, and it is historic for Canada. But there is much more going on here, something…

Canada must take a stand against China’s totalitarian use of tech

Democracies, even Canada, are beginning to wake up to the threats posed by China

Canada must take a stand against China’s totalitarian use of techIn an end-of-year message to Canadians, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned that Beijing was playing democracies off against each other, suggesting the country might begin a much needed policy change to respond to China’s “coercive diplomacy.” Soon after, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, let it be known that the Trudeau government is developing…

In defence of Bishop Desmond Tutu

Was Tutu an anti-Semite and bigot, as some claim?

In defence of Bishop Desmond TutuOn Dec. 26, the world said goodbye to Bishop Desmond Tutu, the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner and tireless advocate for human rights. He’s best known for his non-violent struggle against and triumph over apartheid, the white-only, racist system of government in South Africa that oppressed Tutu and his countrymen for decades. Lifelong activist Ralph…

A school board’s preposterous censoring of a Nobel laureate

No one believes the decision to cancel two prominent women from speaking was a simple misunderstanding

A school board’s preposterous censoring of a Nobel laureateCanada has experienced some strange episodes of late when it comes to free speech. Two recent decisions on the education front are real doozies, however. The Toronto District School Board cancelled two book club events involving prominent, well-respected female leaders from ethnic backgrounds. Why? For fear and concern (completely unfounded, mind you) that these talks…

The making of the West

Rome’s influence continues to cast a light over Western life and culture

The making of the WestWestern civilization is constantly under fire these days, accused of causing many of the ills that affect modern society. Many blame aggressive Western capitalism for generating a culture of greed and destroying the environment. Certainly, the most hurtful criticism of the West relates to imperialism. Admittedly, the West has been expansive over the past few…

Ending genocide starts with recognizing our common humanity

Any attitude, word, action or law that draws us away from our common humanity steps toward genocide

Ending genocide starts with recognizing our common humanityMost people would agree that evil exists, yet very few of us understand it. We find it convenient to blame all the problems of the world on terrible but powerful individuals, or on one misguided group. In truth, there are good and bad people in every group, and there’s even good and bad in each…

We must accept the mistakes of the past and make them right

What can be said of those who deny the past and ignore the inherent human rights of their neighbours?

We must accept the mistakes of the past and make them rightIt’s a normal human reaction not only to acknowledge when we’ve done something wrong but to seek to make reparations and heal the relationship with the person we’ve harmed. This is also true on a societal level. As I complete teaching my unit on the residential school system in Canada, I ask students to reflect…

Alberta judge’s anti-free speech ruling must be challenged

Alberta Court of Queen's Bench Justice Adam Germain's ruling hostile to a free and democratic society

Alberta judge’s anti-free speech ruling must be challengedPolitically determined public health guidelines during the covid-19 pandemic have come with a cost. Governments have defined essential and non-essential services, ostensibly to ensure Canadians have access to food. Not all can afford essential services food – that’s a story for another day – so food banks have remained open alongside grocery sellers. Several non-essential…

Roots of happiness are found in service to others

Positive, hard workers are in high demand. And it’s easier to be dedicated to a meaningful cause

Roots of happiness are found in service to othersBengali poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore made a profound statement about finding your purpose in life: “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” This seems contradictory to much of what we hear about finding happiness. The consumption-driven media continually…

Rebuilding democratic ideals after the surrender of Afghanistan

Multilateral bodies have an important role to play in spreading democracy

Rebuilding democratic ideals after the surrender of AfghanistanWith democrats everywhere grieving over recent events in Afghanistan and the 20th anniversary of 9/11, it is worth recalling that as the first plane struck the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001, all 35 Organization of American States (OAS) member governments were in Peru signing a democratic charter that denied OAS membership to…

Canada must help ease the chaos in Afghanistan

Joe Biden rivals his predecessor, Donald Trump, in the peddling of lies and false promises

Canada must help ease the chaos in AfghanistanDuring the final week of Canada’s modest evacuation flight effort, Canadian visa holders outside Kabul International Airport took their chances to fight through the crowds and make it to one of the ever-changing gates that occasionally would open and admit tiny fractions of the throngs of people desperately trying to get on an evacuation flight.…

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…

Afghanistan has fallen to the Taliban. Do you care?

Biden’s claim that the invasion’s original “objective” was achieved is ignorant at best, misleading at worst

Afghanistan has fallen to the Taliban. Do you care?Very few people have given a damn about Afghanistan for the last several years. It doesn’t impact their lives. It’s “over there.” The troop count has been low, Western casualties have been effectively nil, and the country’s situation has rarely punctuated the mainstream headlines. I’ve been guilty of the same apathy, especially during COVID. Yet,…

More than ever, we need to embrace diversity

There’s no superior culture in the world

More than ever, we need to embrace diversityWe live in a very diverse world. Not only is each individual unique but, as people from different parts of the world have come into contact, it has become clear that each culture has different priorities. Do we have anything in common? I was very fortunate to have been brought up in a multicultural and…

Who is to blame for the church burnings across Canada?

Mainstream media may have lit the fuse, but there were accomplices

Who is to blame for the church burnings across Canada?Mainstream media lit a fuse, and churches are burning. Nearly two dozen to date and a greater number have been vandalized with graffiti, paint-dipped handprints, and splatter. Some congregations have accepted acts of vandalism as a visual lesson on the road to reconciliation. Others wonder if their place of worship is safe, or a safe…

We need to fight back against Communist China’s bullying

Rogue state is using intimidation tactics against Canadians, including personal threats and attacks on character

We need to fight back against Communist China’s bullyingIf Canadians believe the threat of a communist superpower expired decades ago, they’re wrong. The Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics (U.S.S.R.) may be long dead, but the Chinese dragon is alive and well. In 1970, KGB disinformation agent Yuri Bezmenov defected from the U.S.S.R. and became a Canadian citizen with the adopted name Tomas Schuman.…

Canadian Senate turns its back on genocide in Xinjiang

Communist dictator Xi Jinping showers praise on the 33 Senators who deny he is perpetrating genocide

Canadian Senate turns its back on genocide in XinjiangIf there was any doubt that foreign propaganda is influencing Canadian democracy, the defeat of a Senate motion to recognize the Uyghur genocide last month should remove it. In total, 33 Canadian Senators voted to turn their backs on millions of Muslim Uyghur victims and their families and were hailed by Beijing as “people of…

It’s too easy to blame Christianity for residential school deaths

Just like any human institution, religions are in a constant state of evolution. Just like any human, religious leaders make mistakes

It’s too easy to blame Christianity for residential school deathsArticle 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship…

Shunning the unvaccinated just another kind of discrimination

Vaccination passports will restrict the rights of a minority of people to access services

Shunning the unvaccinated just another kind of discriminationBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed in May that he would establish an agreement on creating a universal vaccine passport system with the G7 countries – including Canada. He told CBC News that nations require “agreements” on “COVID status certification and the rest.” Johnson was referring to how travel and passports will work as the…

Quebec, France poised to reject diversity, pluralism

Freedom of religious expression is a human right

Quebec, France poised to reject diversity, pluralismAccording to the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practise, worship…

Canada’s human rights record marred by hypocrisy

We continue to sell military equipment to Saudi Arabia, which is responsible for much of the suffering in Yemen

Canada’s human rights record marred by hypocrisyDuring the Cold War, we were told that our allies did nothing wrong and our enemies did nothing right. In the late 1970s, the Cambodian genocide was very well reported in the Western media. That was a good thing because Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge were horrendous war criminals. Yet, at almost the exact…

Compassion and reform, not walls, will halt the flood of refugees

The only way to stop people from fleeing their countries is to hold their governments' culpable for their citizen's suffering

Compassion and reform, not walls, will halt the flood of refugeesEven when boundaries define arbitrary lines between territories, they embody deeper symbolic, cultural, historical and religious meaning that’s often contested for legitimacy. Our belief that borders are indisputable has at times led to remarkable efforts to establish permanent barriers as statements of sovereignty and against foreign intrusion. The Great Wall of China, built for defence…

Money isn’t the root of all evil. Greed is

How can a Christian support politics and economics that result in a world where over 700 million people live on less than $2 a day?

Money isn’t the root of all evil. Greed isLarry Richards is a friend of mine from high school who has become a very popular speaker among conservative Catholics in North America. I watched one of his social media posts recently and he made a point that few would disagree with, but it’s a message many may not like. Larry pointed out that according…
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