Author: Tom Flanagan

How Duty to Consult became a Veto

The ever-shifting scope of the constitutional “duty to consult” with aboriginal groups increasingly thwarts development in Canada, including resource projects critical to the country’s economic growth and prosperity. The recent court decision against the Trans Mountain pipeline is the highest-profile recent example. University of Calgary professor emeritus Tom Flanagan tracks the jurisprudence that elevated this legal concept into a de facto aboriginal veto and suggests ways that governments, with the support of pro-development aboriginal groups, could move to clearly define and limit its power.

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The scientific method and why it matters

Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation lower the mortality rate from cancer, whereas reliance on homeopathic remedies is a death sentence. The University of Calgary’s Tom Flanagan, on why the scientific method matters.

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Hold People Accountable for Actions, Not Thoughts

“There is no shortage of offences with which to charge those who threaten Canada’s national security, writes University of Calgary professor Tom Flanagan in his call for treason to stay, for all practical purposes, buried in Canada’s past. While Flanagan does not see removing treason from the books as desirable, neither are new prosecutions with treason as a charge. As for other non-criminal matters such as Quebec separatists, “In a democratic polity, such large-scale problems of allegiance can only be solved by political conciliation, not by hunting down and punishing traitors,” writes Flanagan.

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Incremental Conservatism: Mr. Harper Goes to Ottawa

Criticism from the right of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has recently come into vogue. Economists from the Fraser Institute have condemned aspects of Conservative tax policy. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation called the 2006 budget “Liberal Lite.” Gerry Nicholl, who used to work for Mr. Harper at the National Citizens Coalition, has become a frequent critic in the Globe and Mail and other media. And, going beyond media criticism, people associated with the Free Dominion website held an organizational meeting in May 2007 to found a new version of the Reform Party. Are things really so bad, that after only 18 months in power, conservatives are ready to go back to the days of division on the right?

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