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.
Author: Peter Stockland
The imminent legalization of cannabis in Canada is prompting all kinds of anxiety. Will it make it even harder for teenagers’ brains to develop? Will stoned drivers slow traffic to a crawl? Will your plane’s pilot be higher than the aircraft? These may be the least of our worries. The bigger social menace of legal dope is that it will make more of us even dumber and more self-absorbed than we already are. Culturally speaking, writes Peter Stockland, the party’s about to get a lot duller.
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in favour of an atheist’s complaint against the long-time practice of reciting a Catholic prayer at the outset of city council meetings in Saguenay, Quebec. Should the judgement be viewed as an assault on religious freedom or just a little more separation of Church and State? As city councils across the country ponder what to do with their own public prayer practices, Peter Stockland suggests they follow the Court’s guidance and opt for secular neutrality, because no religion should be explicitly favoured in our democratic institutions.
Sure the Constitution’s a mess. Absolutely it puts Canada at risk of succumbing to what Vaclav Havel called “soft totalitarianism,” where judicial whim becomes legal tyranny. But another round of starry-eyed constitutional deal-making is even more dangerous. Peter Stockland urges patience, for the damage done in 1982 will eventually be undone as our core values of parliamentary supremacy and the common law reassert themselves.
“Be it resolved that markets cannot function without a basis in shared religious belief.” – Peter Stockland
Peter Stockland and Michael Walker debate religion and capitalism.
Eavesdropping on the other guys: What cultural conservatives can learn from the left’s critique of itself
Fragmentation has not only cost the conservative movement electorally during the past decade. It has weakened its intellectual coherence in forming an authentic response to the sophistries of postmodernism. Now an unlikely source, the Catholic Marxist thinker Terry Eagleton, offers an intriguing way out of the dilemma.