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 →

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 →

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