That Which Unites Our Dominion

As we celebrate 150 years of confederation there is much discussion around the question of a Canadian identity and around what unites us as a country. Many believe that there is no core Canadian identity, no real heritage of value, and that all that unites us is our diversity. When looking back to those who founded this country, however, you will find that this diverse group of men united not on the basis of their differences, but on the basis of that which they shared, that is, a common heritage and a common set of values and beliefs. We would do well, I believe, to celebrate these things with the same vigour we celebrate diversity itself.

While proponents of confederation were in general agreement as to the desirability of this project, there was a fair amount of disagreement as to how to make it a reality, as well as how to unite the people around a common identity. They began, therefore, with the recognition of our common heritage in the Crown and of all that had been achieved under it. In the Legislative Assembly of the United Province of Canada (1865), Richard Cartwright, influential politician and orator, explained that Canada should indeed “cherish and preserve those time-honoured associations our American neighbours have seen fit so recklessly to cast away.”

Continue reading →

Trudeau deficits will plunder the defenceless

Over the course of the holiday season the federal finance department subtly published a report stating that Canada could be facing decades of deficits. While the report acknowledges that there is a fair degree of uncertainty in its projections, as is the case with all long-term projections, it is far from being the worse-case scenario that the Government would have us believe it is. The report is in fact a base-line scenario. It describes itself as a broad analysis of the Government’s fiscal position, allowing it to respond to upcoming challenges as well as to protect the long-term sustainability of public finances.

The report refers to a mix of stable and unstable variables, such as demographics, current economic trends, fiscal policy, and so on. Some of these are in the Government’s control and some not. But the report highlights an important fact that seems lost on the Trudeau Government, which is that “economic growth stems from growth in either labour supply or labour productivity – real output per hour worked.”

In other words, wealth is the result of real productive effort, which necessarily requires the use of actual human time and energy of which all of us have only a limited supply. A person’s time and energy is their dominion; they alone have authority to determine how it is to be spent. If a person chooses to spend wealth prior to producing it then, for better or worse, they voluntarily make themselves a servant to their creditor. If, however, a state chooses to spend wealth prior to it being produced; and if the anticipated production of wealth is postponed or does not occur, the state’s debt is coercively transferred to future citizens. In short, productive members of the next generation can be economically enslaved by a previous generation that lived beyond its means.

Continue reading →

Hysteria Knows No Borders

Discourse Online contributor, Kevin Richard responds to a November 11, 2016 Huffington Post article by Nicki Sharma entitled: “White Canadians, Be Honest: Do We Need To Be Afraid of You?” According to the Huffington Post, Ms. Sharma is a lawyer who practices aboriginal law.

Dear Ms. Sharma,

Since learning that I am so deeply feared on the basis of the colour of my skin, I thought I’d accept your open invitation for response. I must admit that I was somewhat puzzled by your article, especially in light of your commendable response to the racial slurs recently directed at you. I strongly suspect that the substitution of “white” for any other colour would make you quiver at the sound of your own words.

In case you’re wondering where I fit into the categories to which you assign much importance, I am a white, bilingual, bicultural (French-Canadian and English-Canadian), male. These categories may indeed provide some insight into my perspective, but to anyone who claims to judge a man on the basis of his character, they should have no bearing on my credibility as a man of independent thought and opinion.

Continue reading →

We are stronger than we think!

Every day there are children who go to school in dread of what will happen when they cross paths with their bully. Though this is nothing new, and though we all have stories of things we’ve seen or experienced, we shouldn’t lazily brush it aside by claiming that is merely a part of growing up. Just as adults have the right to be safe in their workplace environment, so too do children at school; it should, therefore, be effectively addressed. Reprimands should be firm, and recourse should be clear. While the issue of bullying is indeed taken more seriously than before, I fear that our efforts are somewhat too focused on the victim-predator dynamic; I fear that they are unintentionally weakening the development of the self-confidence and strength of character that comes as a result of asserting one’s self.

Continue reading →

Terrorism’s Disturbing Appeal

The natural desire to find purpose and satisfaction in a cause that is greater than ourselves is indeed a powerful force. As we search for the meaning of life we also search for something that is worthy of our complete devotion. When rooted in goodness and truth, this quest can take one down a path of love, forgiveness, kindness, and compassion; such a path leads to freedom. When rooted in evil and deception, it can take one down a path of hate, vengeance, violence, and destruction; such a path leads to oppression, and it can make terrorism an appealing thing.

Continue reading →

On Legalizing Marijuana: An open letter to the PM

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

A little over a decade ago a wandering federal government stuck its finger to the wind to see what would carry them back to power in the next election. It openly dithered with the idea of decriminalizing marijuana only to make a half-hearted attempt that was doomed to fail. As a result of this irresponsible attempt to gain popular favour, police officers commonly encountered confused young people who believed that decriminalization was all but a done deal. Unfortunately, many of them now have criminal records. Considering, therefore, the still-present legal implications of its use, and considering the ever-present health implications of its abuse, I ask, sir, that your government tread carefully so as not to make light of what is a serious issue.

Continue reading →

Live Free or Die: A 2015 Remembrance Day Reflection

What does it mean to die for your country?  We often think of it in terms of protecting our beloved countrymen and keeping our homeland safe.  We often think of it in terms of protecting our sovereignty, our quality of life and our most highly held values.  We thank those who fought and we remember those who died while protecting our cherished freedoms.  What an awesome gift!

Sacrificing your life is the ultimate gift.  We should carefully listen to the accompanying message when this occurs.  For when one makes such a sacrifice for the purpose of salvation, it is indeed the ultimate expression of love and compassion.  And when one makes such a sacrifice for the purpose of slaughter and destruction, it is indeed the ultimate expression of anger and hate.

Continue reading →

In the Name of Progress

As in all election campaigns, demagoguery is now in full swing. People of all political stripes are attempting to manipulate emotions, fears, and prejudices in an effort to win the high prize of power. The Harper-haters, however, who prefer to demonise the man rather than debate his policies, are a particularly vocal bunch. In the name of progress they spew negative labels in a tone of disgust.

Most of these demagogues proudly wear banners of progress as they proclaim their love for Canada’s ‘progressive tradition’. An in-depth examination, however, reveals that their definition of progress is perverted with regressive ideas, and their love for Canada’s traditional values is skin deep at best.

Continue reading →

The Reality of Evil

Recent tragic events in Quebec, such as the finding of a young woman’s dismembered body in Hinchinbrooke, the murder-suicide in Boucherville where a father took the lives of his own children, and the double murder in Marieville, invariably lead us to question why such things occur.

We understandably want to know what drives a person to commit such heinous crimes. This type of questioning usually leads to comments that most of us instinctively agree with, such as, “a person must be crazy to do something like that”, or “he must be sick and out of his right mind.”

I understand that these are mostly comments of initial outrage, but they are also demonstrative of how a person attempts to make sense of evil. I sometimes feel compelled to nod my head in agreement, but upon reflection I cannot help but arrive at a very different conclusion. Rather than explaining why these things occur, such comments and assertions serve only to veil the existence of evil, and in the process they undermine the principle of individual responsibility. For this reason, simply nodding in agreement, without challenge, may do more harm than good.

Continue reading →

Bidding for the throne

The bidding war for your vote is on.  Federal political parties have prepared a host of special treats.  This fall it will be up to us to decide which of the treats we prefer.  More precisely, it will be up to middle class voters, as they, in particular, are being aggressively tempted and solicited with these delicious goodies.  Moreover, they are being led to believe that their very existence is being threatened by the evil upper class, that they need a saviour, and that only a government of a precise political stripe, and with a particular brand of treat, can be their true Robin Hood.  The throne is what they want, and in exchange, they are offering the candy of cheques and social programs.

“Candy” is not what politicians call it of course.  “It is medicine”, they claim, and apparently it tastes great.  The problem, however, is that while political parties simultaneously claim to be sole vendors of the cure for the middle class, they also claim that their opponent’s medicine is poison.  So then, how are we to make sense of this?  Which of these is in fact the cure?  Which of these will prevent the middle class from disappearing?  The truth, I’m afraid, is that while the sugar-coated “medicine” may taste good, and while it may even give a delightful little buzz, it is actually keeping us sick.

Continue reading →