Dennis Gruending Q&A in Rhubarb magazine

In 2013, I was approached for an interview by Victor Enns, the founder of a (now defunct) Winnipeg-based magazine called Rhubarb. Victor and others involved with the quarterly publication described it as featuring work by writers and artists of Mennonite heritage for a general reading public. I am not a Mennonite but my wife is... Continue Reading →

CRA hassles Canadian Mennonite magazine

The editor of Canadian Mennonite magazine says that he was puzzled, saddened and disheartened to get a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency warning that his publication was being too political and could lose its charitable status as a result. “I took it personally,” writes  editor Richard Benner in the magazine's November 12 edition. The letter... Continue Reading →

Does Canada need a Department of Peace?

I was one of the speakers at a public consultation held in Ottawa on November 3 by the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative (CDPI). The group has been advocating for federal government legislation to create a Canadian Department of Peace. The rationale is that the Department of National Defence is devoted to planning and prosecuting... Continue Reading →

Warrior Nation and the War of 1812

I have just read the first chapter of Warrior Nation: Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety, a new book by Kingston-based author Jamie Swift and Queen's University historian Ian McKay. It is the story of how the Canadian government and military, assisted by complicit historians, think tanks and some media, are trying to shift... Continue Reading →

CIDA chops Mennonite Central Committee

  The Conservative government's shoe is dropping on some long established foreign aid groups while it privileges others. Mennonite Central Committee Canada reports on its website that the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has turned down MCC's proposal of $2.9 million for each of the next three years to provide food, water and income generation assistance for people... Continue Reading →

CPT and Palestinian “freedom riders”

 Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) have been present since the 1980s in some of the world's most troubled locations, including Iraq, Colombia, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, as well as on a dozen first Nations in Canada and the United States. Members of CPT teams either stand between opposing sides in conflict or accompany the weak in... Continue Reading →

Jason Kenney as St. Francis of Assisi (not)

By Dennis Gruending Former Reform Party leader Preston Manning gathered members of the Canadian political and religious right for talk fest in Ottawa recently to strategize about how to win the nation for conservatism. Macleans magazine columnist Paul Wells wrote a piece about it called Hard Right Turn, which is where the Conservatives appear to... Continue Reading →

Peter Harder on faith and public life

By Dennis Gruending  Peter Harder was at the centre of government decision-making in Canada for more than 30 years prior to leaving the civil service in March 2007 to become the senior policy advisor in an Ottawa-based law firm. He served as a deputy minister in various government departments and worked for five prime ministers.... Continue Reading →

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