Farewell to the Prairie Messenger

In 2018 the Prairie Messenger, a Catholic journal out of Muenster, Saskatchewan closed down after being published for more than a century by the Benedictine monks. I was a long-time contributor the the paper and was among those invited to write a guest column near the end. Here is my contribution: Childhood companion  My relationship... Continue Reading →

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 →

COVID-19: a just recovery

Stacked chairs at En Route centre, March 20, 2020 There is talk among many Canadians, as well there should be, about a just recovery arising from COVID-19. The pandemic has shone a harsh light upon injustices that have been hiding in plain sight and there is no excuse now for looking the other way. Here... Continue Reading →

Human rights abuses under-reported during COVID-19

Coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic has all but eliminated other stories from the news. In Ottawa, the prime minister sprints down a few steps from his cottage to deliver an ever-lengthening list of financial supports to beleaguered organizations and individuals. In Washington, the president offers home cures for the virus such as ingesting Lysol while... Continue Reading →

COVID-19 diary, a stealth pandemic

COVID-19 crept up on us late in 2019 like fog on little cat feet but then it grew into a perfect storm.  I was largely oblivious to its danger until almost mid-March. I have gone back through my calendar and compared personal events to a pandemic timeline to better understand how and when the coronavirus... Continue Reading →

Beware of fake news about COVID-19

As COVID-19 spreads around the world, its trajectory is being accompanied by a stream of fake news. The two most prominent conspiracy theories are almost mirror-like in their presentation. One has it that the virus was created in an American military laboratory and spread to the Chinese city of Wuhan by visiting Americans. I received... Continue Reading →

Protecting against fake news

I read recently in The Guardian that trolls on social media are spreading fake news that the raging bush fires in Australia had been set by arsonists and are not  linked to climate change. This is a claim that has been picked up and repeated by shifty ministers in the British government of Boris Johnson.... 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 →

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