Child benefit program pays dividends but presents hurdles

Governments need to be careful that benefits don’t discourage social institutions that strengthen families and communities

Child benefit program pays dividends but presents hurdlesParents will receive an increase in the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) this month. The program has been widely credited with reducing child poverty, yet the benefit is not without challenges. The cost-of-living adjustment boosts the maximum compensation for a child under age six to $6,639 annually and maximum compensation for children between the ages of…

Chateau Laurier to be defaced because leaders wouldn’t lead

What no one wants will now be built on some of the most historic land in the country, in an architectural environment in Ottawa that ought to receive heightened protection, not less

Chateau Laurier to be defaced because leaders wouldn’t leadThe Château Laurier fight is over. The hideous extension will be built and Major’s Hill Park in Ottawa will be despoiled as it will now dwell in the shadow of an enormous shipping container. It’s astonishing that the only ones who defended the hotel’s extension on the merits themselves were those being paid. What no…

Chateau Laurier addition is an affront to property’s heritage

The proposed addition looks like a giant air conditioner or shipping container. It's ugly and entirely out of place

Chateau Laurier addition is an affront to property’s heritageArchitecture, even of privately-held buildings, is never entirely a private affair. What's built affects not only those who live and work in the buildings, but passersby from the neighbourhood and, in the case of downtown Ottawa, from across the country. Even more is it the case with Ottawa’s grand dame of Wellington Street – the…

Investing in family and faith to minimize social isolation

Too many of us struggle with being disconnected. New studies show that social institutions help lower loneliness

Investing in family and faith to minimize social isolationSocial isolation and loneliness are among the most important challenges of our times, and governments alone can’t fix them. Frankly, these problems are too big for the politicians. Consider some basic findings from a new Angus Reid Institute study, conducted in partnership with Cardus: Almost one-quarter of Canadians struggle with extreme social isolation and loneliness.…

Canadians have become habituated to howling for political effect

There’s still time to lower our voices, choose our words and stop talking long enough to listen to our neighbours

Canadians have become habituated to howling for political effectIt might be going a tad far to say overstatement is killing our democracy. Hyperbole in politics has been around since the world’s second oldest profession followed the world’s oldest profession into existence. U.S. President Donald Trump is hardly the first to have gained high office through gifted manipulation of the fibber’s foghorn. Yet we…

Onslaught against conscience gaining momentum

Every Canadian has the fundamental right to think and believe freely. But an Ontario court has sided with the suppression of the individual

Onslaught against conscience gaining momentumImagine being a feminist physician unshakable in your conviction that girls and women must be protected from patriarchal oppression. Now picture being asked to assist with a sex-selection abortion because daddy doesn’t want a female child and mother consents to his wishes. Up until May 15, reasonable Canadians would concur that you had every right…

Where’s the outcry over Quebec’s restrictive Bill 21?

The relatively low value Canadians assign to religious freedom and the tepid opposition to secularism laws are worrisome

Where’s the outcry over Quebec’s restrictive Bill 21?Have we lost all sense of proportion when it comes to our fundamental rights in Canada? Two recent cases suggest we have. Both cases involve the notwithstanding clause in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which allows legislatures to temporarily bypass certain constitutionally-protected rights. Two premiers have sought to invoke the much-discussed clause recently. Yet…

Reasoned skepticism about climate change is healthy

Let’s not deal with the grim science of cynical political marketing and hyperbole. Instead, we should rigorously adjudicate all belief

Reasoned skepticism about climate change is healthySpotting headlines about the recent United Nations report prophesying imminent global extinction of a million species, I immediately wondered at the media response should Donald Trump ever claim to have eaten a million ice-cream cones. Instinct tells me swarms of media fact-checkers would have been at every Baskin-Robbins or Ben & Jerry’s in the United…

Quebec bill shows a deep desire to push people around

Banning the wearing of religious clothing robs public servants of the right to make their own choices

Quebec bill shows a deep desire to push people aroundLegislative hearings on outlawing the wearing of religious clothing or symbols by specific Quebec public servants could easily be dismissed as proverbial lipstick on a pig.  In fact, they’re worse, much worse, than a skin-deep brush with porcine cosmetology. They are part of a calculated exploitation of the deep human spiritual need to push other…

The echoing calls for reconciliation and sound social architecture

In Ireland, in South Africa, in Canada the desire for stability, resolution and trust runs deep

The echoing calls for reconciliation and sound social architectureRose Conway-Walsh identifies as a confidently progressive left-of-centre leader of Sinn Féin in the Irish Senate. She’s equally confident, however, that many of Ireland’s pressing, implacable existential problems could be resolved by turning the clock back to April 24, 1916. “Everything is rooted in the Proclamation. If we only had fulfilled the ideals laid out…
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