New Brunswick’s shale gas protests

By Dallas McQuarrie, Saint-Ignace, New Brunswick When 150 RCMP officers, a sniper team and dogs stormed a previously peaceful camp of those protesting against shale gas exploration near Rexton, New Brunswick on October 17, our community and the protest were vaulted into national and international news. What did not show up on most of the... Continue Reading →

Quebec’s right wing Charter of Values

The Parti Quebecois government has created controversy by proposing the Charter of Quebec Values aimed at restricting public sector employees from wearing religious symbols — turbans, head scarves, skullcaps and presumably crosses — in their workplaces. The PQ claims that this would unify Quebecers behind the idea of a secular state, but Charles Taylor, the... Continue Reading →

John Baird defends sexual minorities abroad

There are many things that I don’t like about Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird as a politician, but he’s both right and courageous in opposing the persecution of sexual minorities in Russia, Uganda and elsewhere. I don’t like how Baird provides non-answers to questions in the House of Commons, preferring instead to challenge the integrity... Continue Reading →

Proud to protect refugees

My wife Martha has been involved for many years in church groups sponsoring refugees and assisting them to settle into new lives in Canada. I have acted as an occasional helper, enough for me to hear some of the heart rending stories about the wars, famines and oppression that have driven people from countries such as... Continue Reading →

Legal fund for Edgar Schmidt

I posted to this blog in February about Edgar Schmidt, a senior lawyer in the federal Department of Justice in Ottawa, who launched a highly unusual court case against his employer. Schmidt believes that his department is failing to provide advice to law makers that would protect Canadians against Parliament creating laws and regulations that... Continue Reading →

Pope Francis and the Argentine generals

Pope Francis has completed his first days in office. Much has been made of his frugal lifestyle, his apparent simplicity and his sense of humour. Those are admirable traits and it is also refreshing to hear a religious leader talking about solidarity with the poor rather than the prosperity gospel preached by so many. On... Continue Reading →

Edgar Schmidt and Canadian democracy

Edgar Schmidt, a senior lawyer in the federal Department of Justice, has taken a courageous and highly unusual step. He has launched a court case against his employer for what he believes is its failure to protect Canadians against Parliament creating laws and regulations that could infringe upon their human rights. On the day after... Continue Reading →

John Baird’s Office of Religious Freedom

The Conservative government will soon announce an Office of Religious Freedom, fulfilling a promise made in the 2011 election campaign. The stated intention of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is to create an organization that will monitor and criticize religious persecution and to promote religious freedom around the world. There is no shortage of persecution... Continue Reading →

Canadian immigration, Hungary and thin ice

I spent four weeks recently in Central Europe and while in Hungary I spoke to a university audience about how Canadians view immigrants, refugees and multiculturalism. One is always on thin ice, to use a Canadian metaphor, when speaking in a country where you are a tourist and may offend sensibilities. But I believe that... Continue Reading →

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