A tour of Southeast Asia brought Patrick Keeney to the city of Yangon in Myanmar and its clutch of used bookstores on Pansodan Street. He writes of the joy of his literary discoveries there, in language echoing Orwell’s beautiful prose in Burmese Days.
The C2C Ideas Archive
When Justin Trudeau pined for autocracy in 2013 he was thinking of China and climate change. He has a far more pressing reason to wish for it today, writes Paul Stanway, as the pesky rule of law keeps interfering with his government’s best-laid plans in the SNC-Lavalin affair. The distinctly unhelpful election-year allegation is that first they bent the rule to spare the Montreal firm prosecution for corruption; when that failed they tried to break it. But former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould got in the way, and another Quebec Liberal scandale was born.
Seems like everyone has a plan to save the planet from Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. Naomi Klein has her Leap Manifesto and Alexandria Octavio-Cortez a Green New Deal. Justin Trudeau has a carbon tax – sorry, “price on pollution” – and Andrew Scheer has his, er, whatever. Unfortunately, all of them are economically catastrophic. Grant Brown is a climate change skeptic and borderline heretic, but nevertheless as a public service he has developed an affordable Climate Change Survival Guide.
Canadians are polite to a fault, and it may be our undoing as a free people. Where we once allowed free expression to be suppressed in the name of traditional morals, we now allow it to be trampled in the name of victims. Government, academic and media complicity in this suppression is rampant, warns Fergus Hodgson, in a stirring call to impoliteness. Government, academic and media complicity in this suppression is rampant, warns Fergus Hodgson, in a stirring call to impoliteness. But pushback against free speech suppression is migrating from the fringe to mainstream, and the market for free speech is creating new channels to give it voice.
For decades professional catastrophist David Suzuki has called humans “maggots” and a “cancer” on the Earth. His misanthropy is celebrated and taught in schools. His favourite mangled metaphor casts humans as bacteria. But the doctor of doom ought to know that we are more complex and creative organisms than microbes. The arc of human progress – for all its fits and starts – proves his “science” is hogwash, write Pierre Desrochers and Joanna Szurmak, as it was with all the Malthusians before him.
Wonder why China and Saudi Arabia are publicly berating Canada with seeming impunity these days? Well, who respects a country that is so blatantly unserious about defending itself, especially in a world where tensions are clearly rising among the major powers and their allies? As Ottawa prepares to take possession of some worn-out Australian F-18 fighters bought on the cheap, Mathew Preston undertakes a detailed comparison of Aussie and Canuck military capabilities and defence policy and comes up with mortifying answers to these questions.
A Canadian Press poll of the national media ranked the legalization of cannabis as Canada’s top business story of 2018. Pipeline paralysis and the crisis in the energy sector ranked a distant third. Hello? The birth of a $6 billion-per-year industry is more important than the death of one generating $117 billion annually? This is the worst misread of an economy since Marie Antoinette and, as Gwyn Morgan writes, it portends more bad news for Canada in 2019.
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.
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.