• The Order of Canada was founded in 1967 as a classic Canadian compromise between the aristocratic traditions of Mother Britain and the hyper-egalitarianism of our American neighbours. Ostensibly untainted by class or politics, it was intended to honour citizens from all walks of life who made significant contributions to the country simply because they “desire a better country”. But as Brian Fawcett explains in his review of a new book about the history of the OC, there is growing evidence that it has evolved into a smug, liberal, elitist club to which conservatives generally need not apply.

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  • If you live in Burnaby, B.C., or are planning a visit in the next few months, consider taking some time to visit “Camp Cloud”, the ramshackle village created to protest the Trans-Mountain pipeline. Best to go soon, before it mutates into something like the massive, filthy, dangerous protest favella that grew up around a North Dakota pipeline project in 2016. U.S. President Donald Trump ended the “Standing Rock Resistance” with bulldozers and the National Guard soon after he took office in 2017. There are many similarities between the Dakota Access and Trans-Mountain pipeline stories, except we don’t yet know the ending of the latter. George Koch previews what may be in store for Burnaby with a detailed account of the anarchy that descended on Morton County, North Dakota.

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  • We know for sure that well over a 100 Canadians have served with Islamist terrorist groups overseas. We know that at least 60 have come home. And we know that exactly one has been convicted and jailed. This suggests one of two things: either the federal government’s “deradicalization” strategy, which emphasizes support and counselling over investigation and prosecution, is working like a charm; or it’s only a matter of time before an unreconstructed jihadist goes postal or radicalizes his friends to do so. Anthony Furey considers the odds.

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  • The opposite of free speech is compelled speech, which last year was enshrined in the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code to ensure transgendered folks get the pronouns they deserve. Compelled speech is a totalitarian cousin of forbidden speech, lately asserted in various skirmishes over “cultural appropriation”. All this bickering over words – who can use them and what they mean – strikes Barbara Kay as rather surreal and menacing, and reminds her of Humpty Dumpty, the pompous egg-head who lectured young Alice on language, the Catholic Church at its most Inquisitive, and the Arab word for coerced language and behaviour called “Ketman”. What it does not remind her of is anything resembling reason and tolerance.

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  • Somewhere in an Ontario long-term care facility today, a LGBTQ senior may be facing bullying and discrimination. We know this from a recent CBC news report that broke our current ageist fixation on the rights of LGBTQ schoolchildren. The story inspired Fred Litwin to imagine how Ontario’s new Conservative government might deal with this neglected social justice issue, in a hypothetical bureaucratic memo to Health Minister Christine Elliot. Laugh if you dare.

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  • Nationalism is in foul odour these days, tainted by its association with Donald Trump’s clumsy protectionist economic and immigration policies, the Brexit mess, and various truculent populist movements in Europe. But did you hear Chief Justice Richard Wagner of the Supreme Court of Canada the other day, talking about Canada as a “moral values” superpower? The ink on the SCC judgement against religious freedom in the Trinity Western University case was hardly dry, and he was boasting about his nationalistic pride in Canada’s secular, progressive superiority. In TWU, Wagner and a majority of his colleagues imposed their own beliefs about what they see as the “public interest”, writes John Carpay, which is at least as arrogant – and ominous – as anything being undertaken by nationalists outside of Canada.

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  • Ah, summer. Lazy days in the adirondack chair at the end of the dock, catching up on all those books recommended by reviewers and friends whose literary tastes – and politics – you trust. But here’s a suggestion, and a challenge, from someone who dared to “read my enemies”. Robert Grant Price was a comfortably smug liberal until a close encounter with Harper Derangement Syndrome made him realize how cloistered minds can be. So to test his political convictions – and intellectual honesty – Price willed himself to read Scruton, Reno, Krauthammer, and many other conservative literary lions. The result was liberation from the partisan prisons that divide us all.

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  • 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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