Stephen Harper’s new book about the populist uprising against globalization provides pithy insights into contemporary politics. But his lesser-known 2013 work about the early days of professional hockey reveals more about the author and his place in politics. Just as the Central Canadian elites once conspired to keep working-class players out of hockey, so they tried to keep Harper out of power, and failed on both counts. James Coggins detects a hint of gleeful revenge in the hockey-as-social-history writing of Canada’s 22nd prime minister.
The C2C Ideas Archive
There was a time in “the true North strong and free” you could follow your dreams as long as you didn’t hurt other people. Then came “social licence” and suddenly, from energy pipelines to the B.C. grizzly bear hunt, things got banned for being unpopular, a.k.a. “socially unacceptable”. That ominous change sets Canada on the well-worn path to the tyranny of the majority, writes John Robson.
Max Bernier was reproached and ridiculed on CBC’s Power and Politics program because a candidate running in the Burnaby byelection for his “fringe” People’s Party of Canada opposes teaching the novel concept of “gender fluidity” to schoolchildren. The host and her kangaroo court of mainstream party partisans found the candidate guilty of “homophobia and discrimination”, and fingered Bernier as an accessory to the thought crime because he refused to condemn it. But honestly, writes Grant Brown, nothing could be more fringe than believing that human gender and sexual orientation are as changeable as the weather.
Only a small number of Canadian authors and thinkers publicly question the racial segregation underpinning Aboriginal law and policy. The latest to do so is northern Ontario lawyer Peter Best, in a passionate and wide-ranging book entitled There Is No Difference. In an age when the human equality lessons of Mandela, King, Lincoln and Gandhi have been turned upside-down by identity politics, Best warns that Canadian apartheid is plunging the country ever-deeper into racial division and economic paralysis. Despite its flaws, writes Brian Giesbrecht, Best has produced an important and hopeful work.
The CBC story on the World Wildlife Fund’s 2018 Living Planet Report read like a casualty count after a global thermonuclear war. “60 percent of the world’s wildlife has been wiped out since 1970,” shrilled the CBC. Mathew Preston went looking for the corpses and instead discovered selective, exaggerated and misleading propaganda about the health of flora and fauna. Habitat destruction and species decline are serious problems in many parts of the world, but it’s far from the Armageddon painted by the WWF and CBC, and in developed, democratic, free-market countries like Canada, most species are doing just fine.
Ronald Reagan never wavered in his conviction that America was a great country that would prevail over enemies of democracy and freedom. His fundamental optimism and determination carried his nation to victory over the Soviet “evil empire” and his personal rags-to-riches experience breathed new life into the venerable American dream of limited government, personal liberty, and individual self-reliance. Sadly, Reagan’s current successor governs on the premise that America is no longer great, and he has no discernible, consistent convictions about anything. Mark Milke laments the loss of U.S. self-confidence, and leadership, in a review of a new book about the “Great Communicator”.
Ottawa’s promise to rescue many dozens of dying Indigenous languages and effectively give them equivalent status with English and French has billion-dollar boondoggle written all over it. Peter Shawn Taylor makes a powerful case for letting lost tongues die a natural death.
Ralph Klein’s name won’t be on the ballot in Alberta’s 2019 election, but Rachel Notley’s NDP will be running against his legacy. Paul Stanway’s review of Mark Milke’s new book Ralph vs Rachel provides a preview of the race.
Huawei makes great smartphones with the potential to be weapons of cyberwar between China and the West. That may partly explain why Canada arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou for possible extradition to the U.S. As Mathew Preston reports, we’re being forced to take sides.