NDP’s sixtieth anniversary, 2021

Tommy Douglas wins NDP leadership, 1961 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... 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

Former TRC commissioners LIttlechild, Sinclair and Smith in 2015 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... Continue Reading →

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 →

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: January... Continue Reading →

Christmas in Rome, 1968

St Peter's Basilica, Rome Christmas in our culture has both a religious and a secular appeal, and many of us have stories about Christmases past. Here is one. Gap Year When I was 20 years old, a friend Gary and I took a year out from university and travelled in Europe. A lot of students... Continue Reading →

Scrap the Safe Third Country Agreement

Anti-discrimination rally, Ottawa, 2017. 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... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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