Time to make Britain answer for its colonial wrongdoings

Time to make Britain answer for its colonial wrongdoingsI’ve been teaching about Canada’s 2008 apology for residential schools for some time. In discussing the topic, I point out that this isn’t only a Canadian issue. Australia has apologized to its Indigenous peoples, and New Zealand continues to make progress in its reconciliation process. Quite often, I hear these questions from my students: “What…

Why traditional schooling fosters better results

Most students learn best in a structured and orderly school environment that’s directed by a good teacher

Why traditional schooling fosters better resultsPicture a school in an underprivileged part of north London, England.  One-third of nearby families live in poverty, a significant percentage are visible minorities, and the neighbourhood crime rate is twice the national average. What kind of academic results would you expect from this school? If you expected this school to score below average, think…

University of Calgary accused of being racist haven

Be skeptical when claims indiscriminately vilify an entire community of scholars and workers

University of Calgary accused of being racist havenThe University of Calgary has admitted to being a systemically racist institution against Blacks, Indigenous people and other people of colour. The revelation by its executive team has hardly received any attention. The shocking admission was made on June 24, which coincidentally is when John Cabot landed in Newfoundland in 1497. Only three weeks earlier,…

Mainstream media glosses over Indigenous issues

Media need time and resources to understand the issues and seek a range of views within the Indigenous world

Mainstream media glosses over Indigenous issuesYears ago, I was given a great opportunity to be the lead reporter and edit for a national Indigenous newspaper based in Winnipeg, the Drum/First Perspective. The paper no longer exists but the job changed my life in so many ways. I learned much and encountered many Indigenous people across Canada. I profiled many leading…

Criticizing Macdonald is fair game but leave statues alone

Criticizing Macdonald is fair game but leave statues aloneSince the brutal killing of George Floyd in May, left-wing radicals have been vandalizing and destroying historical buildings, landmarks and statues around the world. U.S. presidents (George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Ulysses S. Grant), and Confederate soldiers and leaders (Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Charles Linn and J.E.B. Stuart) were targeted. Statues of…

Canada is not a racist country, nor are its institutions

People want to live here because Canada is a welcoming country where all races and creeds live together without persecution

Canada is not a racist country, nor are its institutionsPrime Minister Justin Trudeau recently publicly contradicted RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki for saying there’s no systemic racism within the RCMP. Actually, Lucki said she didn’t know what “systemic racism” is. In her words, “I have to admit, I really struggle with the term ‘systemic racism.’ I have heard about five or 10 definitions on TV.…

The overblown panic of COVID-19

We trampled, in fear, over memory and institutions, obsessively protective and morally dismissive of dignity and human life

The overblown panic of COVID-19The schizophrenic aspects of Canadian culture and their influence on governments’ behaviour are increasingly evident. The most palpable example lies in how we trampled, in fear, over memory and institutions, obsessively protective and morally dismissive of dignity and human life simultaneously. The COVID-19 lockdown has been a strange time for people who are struggling to…

COVID-19 and scientific fallibility

The pandemic has underlined that we should neither disregard nor worship uncritically at the altar of science

COVID-19 and scientific fallibilityIn addition to upending 21st century normalcy, the COVID-19 pandemic has shone the light on science itself. Just how reliable is it? It’s an interesting question. First, though, let me be open about my default settings. I’m generally very big on medical science, believing that without it I mightn’t be alive today. Ireland, where I…

Don’t be too hasty to rename schools

Instead of renaming schools, we should educate students about the legacy behind their current names – good and bad

Don’t be too hasty to rename schoolsIf some petitioners get their way, Cecil Rhodes School will be no more. The Winnipeg school would still exist, but under a new name. No doubt most Canadians who hear about this have one burning question: Who is Cecil Rhodes? Rhodes was a 19th-century British politician who served as prime minister of Cape Colony, a…

It’s time to rename the Edmonton Eskimos

As other leagues rethink racist team names, the Eskimos' statement in support of Black Lives Matter rings hollow

It’s time to rename the Edmonton EskimosIn the space of a few hours on July 3, three North American sports teams announced they were going to reassess their racist names. Baseball’s Cleveland Indians, the Washington Redskins of the National Football League and the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League have for years resisted calls to drop their team nicknames. But…

We can’t obliterate history, no matter how hard we try

If historical figures with 2020 attitudes could be found, renaming familiar streets and place names wouldn’t be so daunting

We can’t obliterate history, no matter how hard we tryWinnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman is determined to pursue his name game – renaming, removing and rewriting history. Among his targets is Bishop Grandin Boulevard – the mayor doesn’t like the late Bishop Vital-Justin Grandin’s attitudes. If Bowman succeeds, the next logical renaming would be St. Vital – also named after Grandin, who was an important…

A place of reconciliation and pride

The process can include something as simple as discovering and using the ancient name for where you live

A place of reconciliation and prideAs we continue to hunker down in our Sunshine Coast house to avoid COVID-19, and come to emotional grips with the pandemic, it’s wonderful to have good news. We got some today. I just saw a new road sign go up in what has been called Saltery Bay since the early 1900s. Fair enough, you…

Winnipeg’s statue cleansing a distortion of history

The mayor is misreading the events of the Northwest Rebellion and romanticizing a nasty moment in our country’s history

Winnipeg’s statue cleansing a distortion of history“The red coats we know, but who are those little black devils?” This was the question posed by a Métis prisoner after the Battle of Fish Creek. Thus was born the nickname of the military unit that would later be known as the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, one that had been sent west to help crush…

Politically-correct euphemisms obscure the truth

Terms such as physician assisted dying or assisted suicide make lies sound truthful and murder respectable

Politically-correct euphemisms obscure the truthEuphemisms have been around at least since biblical times when to uncover a man’s foot was an idiom for making sexual advances. Today, as in the 10th century, people “sleep together”, and everyone knows the intention behind an invitation for a “nightcap”. In classical times, “curled up”, “gone to sleep”, or “on a journey” were…

Democracy can’t afford to stifle dissent and discussion

Protesters have silenced free speech through a combination of media pressure, inflated security costs claims, boycotts, riots and violence

Democracy can’t afford to stifle dissent and discussionThe Cancel Culture has claimed another victim. Renowned poet George Elliott Clarke has backed out of giving the University of Regina’s Woodrow Lloyd Lecture over accusations from Indigenous activists that he associates with another poet with a criminal background. His talk was to have been titled ‘Truth and Reconciliation;’ versus the ‘Murdered and Missing’: Examining…

Bah, humbug to the war on Christmas

In the interests of diversity and inclusion, society shies away from Christian manifestations of Christmas

Bah, humbug to the war on ChristmasIn the interests of diversity and inclusion, society shies away from Christian manifestations of Christmas. Battles loom over nativity displays, the traditional “Merry Christmas” greeting and Christmas trees. Public schools banned carols from school concerts years ago. There is, some argue, a war on Christmas. While some seek to eliminate anything that remotely resembles religious…

Enjoying the beauty of Christmas lights

Across traditions and time, there has been a longing for light to brighten the darkness of winter

Enjoying the beauty of Christmas lightsI had a striking visual of light in darkness early one morning this week. A bright light, probably the planet Venus, shone with extraordinary clarity and pierced an otherwise black sky. Given my Christian faith and the time of year – less than a month until Christmas – my thoughts turned to the legendary Star of…

Just who are the guardians of racial identity?

And what does that matter more than other qualities when it comes to electing politicians?

Just who are the guardians of racial identity?Society has become obsessed with identity. I’m old enough to remember when there was only one channel on the television and just two sexes. Humans came packaged as either male or female and vive la différence! Now I’m told that there are many, many genders: agender, genderqueer, neutrois, pangender, transgender, androgyne, bigender, transmaculine and two-spirit,…

Cherry’s rant closes curtain on his career

Cherry was fired for making controversial remarks about immigrants; Trudeau was re-elected after it was revealed he wore blackface 3 times. Ironic?

Cherry’s rant closes curtain on his careerDon Cherry, one of Canada’s best-known media personalities, was fired by Sportsnet after a rant about immigrants, poppies and Remembrance Day. His termination shockingly happened mere hours after the memorial ceremonies had ended. Was it justified? When it comes to this bombastic, politically incorrect and controversial figure affectionately known as “Grapes,” shades of grey barely…

Dave Chappelle leans left but still makes the right laugh

His mission is to seek the truth at all costs. He refuses to be constrained by political correctness and hurt feelings

Dave Chappelle leans left but still makes the right laughOn Oct. 27, comedian Dave Chappelle was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He’s the 21st recipient of this prestigious honour, joining legends like Carol Burnett, Billy Crystal, David Letterman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Eddie Murphy, Bob Newhart, Richard Pryor, Carl Reiner and Jonathan Winters.…

Slapping ’racist’ labels on cities unfair, simplistic

We need to get to the roots of problems with Indigenous communities and stop casting blame where it doesn't belong

Slapping ’racist’ labels on cities unfair, simplisticMaclean’s magazine once declared Winnipeg as “Canada’s most racist city.” Now it’s Thunder Bay’s turn. Thunder Bay is in turmoil after a report slammed its overstretched police force (if not the entire city) for alleged “systemic racism” towards its Indigenous population. Meanwhile, Thompson, Man., deals with Indigenous men filling its courts to overflow while Saskatoon…

Moral indignation needs some perspective

We’re behaving as though absolutely nothing we do today will cause future generations to look back at us as backward, insensitive and brutish

Moral indignation needs some perspectiveThere’s a certain myopic moral indignation in the criticism of prominent public figures for having painted their faces, dressed inappropriately, or said or done things in the past that we find offensive today. It’s understandable, for example, that many are offended and disappointed in the conduct of Justin Trudeau. These feelings are justified and important.…

Welcome to the new Age of Intolerance

Trudeau is just the man to heal the wounds. After all, he’s been dressing up and imitating so many different cultures that he identifies with everybody

Welcome to the new Age of Intolerance“Hey, buddy,” Chuck smiled as he leaned across the fence, “you’re goanna find this hard to believe, but I’m beginning to feel sorry for your boy Justin. I mean, the whole world’s jumping on his bones over this black-face thing. “Cripes,” he continued, “even that disgusting Jeffery Epstein is getting better press than your man.”…

Will Salim Mansur’s political alliance with Maxime Bernier matter?

The outspoken academic might have had a chance running for the Conservatives. When they dropped him and he joined the PPC, his chances diminished significantly

Will Salim Mansur’s political alliance with Maxime Bernier matter?Like most Canadian conservatives, I’ve made no secret about my serious reservations about Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party of Canada. But many of us also recognize that the PPC, like other new political parties, will experience its fair share of hardships and growing pains. Bernier deserves credit for picking up one very good candidate…

Taking offence for all the wrong reasons

Why can't we just say what we mean and leave off the attention-seeking hyperbole?

Taking offence for all the wrong reasonsThe pressing need to create an existential crisis on every topic has gripped both our media outlets and social media sites. Serious words have been stripped of all meaning. It’s impossible to have a practical discussion on any topic on social media. Some outlets, in an effort to be heard and seen above the cacophony,…

Progressive agenda just a form of thought control

Ontario lawyers are being asked to agree to principles that may run counter to their beliefs

Progressive agenda just a form of thought controlThe Law Society of Ontario wants to compel all lawyers who wish to practise in the province to agree to the society’s version of a progressive agenda. It would be a dangerous precedent. The society may also make it mandatory for lawyers to attend sessions on such subjects as “unconscious bias” and apparently any other…

The unrelenting (and ill-informed) push to rewrite history

No other global civilization has been as deliberate and inclusive about progress as modern western civilization

The unrelenting (and ill-informed) push to rewrite historyProgressive liberals of a certain frame of mind suggest that white people are guilty. They’re the systemic oppressors of indigenous cultures, minorities and people of colour. Modern western society also stands accused of abusing the environment and of being unrelentingly sexist, racist and elitist. Or is western civilization the crucible of progress, the liberator of…

Gender pay gap has little to do with discrimination

Discrepancies are more often the result of different choices men and women make, on and off the job

Gender pay gap has little to do with discriminationFor decades, politicians, pundits and activists have clamoured about a gender pay gap and have cited statistics purporting to show that the economy is unfair to women. Women, after all, get paid only around 70 to 80 cents for every dollar earned by men. However, for just as long, studies have shown that this discrepancy…

Food-related issues are widening Canada’s rural-urban gap

For years, farmers have tried to tell their stories through social media and elsewhere – and too often failed

Food-related issues are widening Canada’s rural-urban gapFor years, farmers have tried to convey their message and explain the agriculture and rural lifestyle to the broader Canadian populace. They’ve taken to social media with touching stories and countless messages, telling Canadians what things are like on the farm. Some have called this “agvocacy.” But the new Canada’s Food Guide and recent policy…

Drinking the plant-based diet kool-aid

Canada’s Food Guide plant-based diet is, for the most part, elitist. Many of us can't indulge because of a lack of access, affordability or convenience

Drinking the plant-based diet kool-aidWhen the prestigious medical journal The Lancet published a 51-page report recently laying out a plan for a sustainable “planetary diet” that transforms how we eat and live, it made a big splash. The group of 37 experts, all members of the EAT-Lancet Commission, were keen to recognize the urgent need to change our diets…