• What a year 2015 was for female political empowerment! Women ruled the big provinces of Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, and feminist Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won a majority government promising a gender-equal cabinet. When asked why, Trudeau imperiously replied, “Because it’s 2015”. It felt like the dawn of a Gelded Age – until Donald Trump, Andrew Scheer, Jagmeet Singh, Patrick Brown and a bunch of other men defeated women in high-profile electoral contests. The male resurgence climaxed in Ontario’s just-passed election with the crushing defeat of Kathleen Wynne by the big lug Doug Ford. As the Liberal campaign tanked Wynne’s team tried to play the gender card, writes Josh Dehaas, but it was a bust.

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  • The practice of opening public events with a statement acknowledging that the event is occurring on land covered by an Indian treaty really took off after the 2015 Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Among its 94 “calls to action” is a demand to “repudiate concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indigenous peoples and lands”. The rite has become ubiquitous in Canadian public life, and now often refers to “unceded” land, even though treaty land was, in fact, ceded to Canada by the chiefs who signed the Treaties. Far from advancing “reconciliation”, writes Peter Shawn Taylor, this fiction is fueling division between those who are constantly told Canada is theirs, and everyone else.

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  • The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion was approved after a lengthy legal regulatory process and has so far won 14 out of 14 court challenges against it. But none of that matters to the ever-growing mob of protestors who oppose it. They have decided the law is wrong and they are right, a position implicitly endorsed by the Government of British Columbia and explicitly by other lawmakers including convicted protestor Elizabeth May. Contempt for the law is a growing pathology in Canada, writes Peter Stockland. Everyone from potheads to pirate ride-share companies to indigenous land claimers does it in the name of their boutique brands of justice. But laws are a product of the democratic process. If they go, it goes, and anarchy rules.

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  • Not that long ago, Bill Clinton was half-jokingly hailed as “the first black president” because he was cool, a liberal and could play the saxophone, a bit. If Clinton tried that today, he’d probably be impeached for “cultural appropriation”. That’s because the phenomenon of progressive identity politics, which is sweeping across western civilization like a plague, is herding people into tribal associations based on skin colour, gender, ethnicity and other biological and cultural characteristics. Humans have gone down this road before, writes Mark Milke, and it always ends badly. We’ll do much better if we get back to celebrating, tolerating, and borrowing ideas from other cultures.

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  • This spring Canadian MP Garnett Genuis joined a Parliamentary tour of the West Bank hosted by the Palestinian Authority. As the only Conservative and unabashed Zionist on the bus, he sought to challenge both his own assumptions and the narrative presented by his hosts. Genuis saw a friendly, welcoming, and gracious people whose rich culture has been subverted by politics. And despite the latest bloody confrontations in Gaza, he also saw reason to hope for peace and a viable two-state solution, which is a fresh and encouraging perspective on a tragic conflict that will never be resolved as long as the narrative is dominated by victimization, blame, and failure to understand the experience of the other.

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  • Some conservatives may think that the current populist insurgency consuming more and more oxygen on the Right is a new development. But you don’t need to go back too far to discover that conservative-populist debates have been part of Anglo-American conservatism for a long time. Sean Speer discovers a 1984 issue of National Review that asked the same basic questions as we’re currently confronting. How should conservatives think about populism? What’s its place in conservative politics and thought? Speer argues that the answer is that conservative reformers must put forward a positive agenda that responds to the issues animating the populists.

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  • Another day, another crisis. Last month it was plastic straws, so many of them they are getting stuck up sea turtles’ nostrils. This month it’s “food waste” allegedly contributing to the “food insecurity” of millions of Canadians, according to a Trudeau Foundation scholar. The solution is said to be found in government intervention to reduce food waste, drawing on Indigenous knowledge and “the principles of the circular economy”. Matthew Lau is skeptical of this month’s crisis and recommended solution.

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  • Add 19th century liberal jurist Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie to the ever-growing list of Canadian historical figures whose reputations have been rubbished in the name of “Truth and Reconciliation”. Begbie presided over the trial of six Tsilhqot’in Indians who were executed for the mass murder of 18 white road builders and settlers during British Columbia’s so-called Chilcotin War of 1864. There were plenty of guilty parties on all sides in that fracas, writes Peter Shawn Taylor, but the mass scapegoating of Begbie – most recently in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s official apology to the Tsilhqot’in killers – is a crime in its own right.

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