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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:

A group of scruffy student travelers attend Midnight Mass in Rome in 1968

Christmas in Rome, 1968

Christmas in our culture has both a religious and a secular appeal, and many of us have stories about Christmases past. Here is one.

A Federal Court judge has ruled the Safe third County Agreement to be illegal.

Scrap the Safe Third Country Agreement

The federal government plans to resettle 30,000 refugees in Canada in 2020-21, which is laudable but modest at a time when the United Nations estimates that 79.5 million people were forced to flee their homes in 2019. Canada is a wealthy country with the capacity to help out but there are numerous obstacles involved. One… Continue Reading →

Professor Michael Lynk, UN rapporteur for Occupied Palestinian Territory denied access to the country by Israel

UN rapporteur for Palestine denied access

Michael Lynk is the United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, but the Israeli government denies him access. In fact, one of Lynk’s predecessors was detained upon arrival in Israel and was put on a departing plane on the following day. Lynk, who is also a law professor… Continue Reading →

Economist Jim Stanford says unions are important in the economic recovery from COVID-19

Jim Stanford on COVID-19 and economic recovery

This is a narrow entry into a much wider story. At work some years ago, I developed tightness in my neck, shoulders, and upper back. I went for massage therapy but that helped only for a brief time. I began to develop headaches as well. Then I remembered that the collective agreement negotiated by my… Continue Reading →

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