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…