The NDP and COVID-19 politics

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been so omnipresent during the COVID-19 pandemic that it is easy to forget we have a minority government in Canada. The Liberals must rely upon some combination of support from the NDP, Bloc Quebecois and Green parties. The NDP and its leader Jagmeet Singh have, in particular, used their leverage... Continue Reading →

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 →

Note to pundits: the NDP leadership race matters

Soon, members of the New Democratic Party will begin electronic and mail-in voting to select their new leader. The race features four competent and principled candidates in MPs Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton and Guy Caron, as well Ontario MPP Jagmeet Singh, and it has become increasingly interesting. But the wider question is whether the NDP will be relevant... Continue Reading →

RCMP spied on Tommy Douglas

The RCMP security service spied on Tommy Douglas, the former Saskatchewan premier and federal NDP leader, from the 1930s until shortly before his death the 1980s. We know this only because Jim Bronskill, an Ottawa-based Canadian Press journalist, has waged a long battle with the federal government and its agencies beginning in 2005 to make... Continue Reading →

The Blaikie report on faith and politics

Rev. Bill Blaikie stands tall in the annals of Canadian parliamentarians and it is not only his imposing physical presence that sets him apart. Few MPs have served with equal distinction or for as long in the House of Commons (1979-2008) as the United Church minister from Winnipeg Transcona. And no one among contemporary MPs... Continue Reading →

Remembering Father Bob Ogle

I was thinking over the Easter weekend of Father Bob Ogle, my late friend and political mentor. It was in April 1998 that he died at age 69 after more than a decade of serious illness.  I wrote a brief piece about him for the Lives Lived section of the Globe and Mail and the... Continue Reading →

Jack Layton’s legacy to the NDP

Jack Layton received a fond public farewell from Canadians genuinely saddened by his untimely death. Now, the focus has, inevitably, begun to shift as members of his party contemplate next steps and the NDP’s opponents ponder with trepidation what the flood of public affection toward Layton might mean for them. Some NDP MPs and others... Continue Reading →

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