Medicare at 60: RCMP spied on founders

Medicare was born amid controversy in Saskatchewan in July 1962, when the province’s medical profession went on strike rather than cooperate with a new government plan. The essence of that plan was that visits to the doctor would be paid out of tax revenue rather than having individuals pay out of pocket. The CCF government… Continue Reading →

Best Books 2021

I have begun to see posts about books that people have read and enjoyed in 2021. Much of my reading has been toward a research project, but there were other books too. Unfortunately, I read very little fiction in the past year. I will try to rectify that in the year to come. Here goes… Continue Reading →

Climate change, hope and discipline  

Hope is not an emotion. It is a discipline. Those two short sentences registered with me recently during an evening ZOOM session. Rob Samulack, an Ottawa nurse, and an environmentalist described his experiences at the COP 26 UN Climate Conference held in Glasgow between October 31 and November 13, 2021.  He was there as an… Continue Reading →

NDP’s sixtieth anniversary, 2021

As it prepares for a likely federal election call in 2021, the New Democratic Party may be far too preoccupied to notice – but it was 60 years ago this week that the NDP came into being during a sweltering five-day convention in the Ottawa coliseum. The 1800 delegates debated policy resolutions on Medicare, which… Continue Reading →

David Frum defends John A Macdonald

Recently, David Frum, a staff writer for The Atlantic magazine and a Canadian expatriate, wrote an article defending John A Macdonald against his detractors. Frum is piqued that Macdonald’s statues are being removed from public spaces, and in some cases vandalized. It is not for me to tell cities, airport authorities or school boards what… Continue Reading →

Settler Solidarity on Bill C-15

In early May, I participated in a webinar about Bill C-15, legislation to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The event was satisfying and hopeful for several reasons. It was organized by an ecumenical group of settlers acting in solidarity, sometimes called… Continue Reading →

A book called Whose Land is Palestine? provides a good grounding for the contested historical claims in Israel-Palestine.

Whose Land Is Palestine?

The treatment of Palestinians by the state of Israel is one of the world’s most intractable problems. Here is a recent example, and let’s be clear about where it began. A group of Israeli settlers is using the courts to evict Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem. This happens often and has, by… Continue Reading →

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is all talk and little action on COVID-19

Doug Ford’s COVID-19 bluster

It is difficult to be in leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some politicians, including B.C.’s John Horgan, have high approval ratings. Others, notably, Alberta premier Jason Kenney and Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe have failed dismally in their tasks, and Kenney especially is paying for it in sinking popularity. Which brings us to Ontario’s premier Doug Ford…. Continue Reading →

Poet Carolyn Forché's memoir about her time in El Salvador is a must read.

My reading list from 2020

At this time of year people who I know often share their reading list for the 12 months just past. I always find that interesting and have decided to mention some of the books that I read in 2020. I would appreciate your comments on any of them, or on your favourites. Here goes:


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