Diversity is Not Off-Limits For Discussion

It’s rather troubling to know that at this very moment, after merely reading the headline of this article, there are some who have already condemned me as a racist bigot and an intolerant xenophobe, regardless of what follows in the text, and regardless of what I embody and live. At least, this is what I am led to believe by the overreactions to Maxime Bernier’s most recent tweets.

Mr. Bernier dared question the sanctity of Trudeau’s adoration and mystical use of the D-word, as though it’s mere utterance carries transcendent power. In boringly predictable fashion, and in a fine display of the cultish element Bernier was referring to, backlash from diversity’s religious community was harsh and swift. The ideologically possessed broke out into their usual broken-record songs of “ists”, “isms”, and “phobes”, not realising that their overuse of such terms have eroded much of their meaning over time.

For those who actually want to take the time to discuss and think things through, however, the role of diversity in our national identity is not off-limits for discussion. Diversity, on its own, is a rather vague term. In relation to our national identity, it seems to be only partial in description. We are a nation of people that can trace their ethnic and cultural origins from a great many places, but what is it about this fact that binds us together under a banner of national unity?

Continue reading →

Trudeau Underestimates the Power of Ideas

The New York Times recently posted a 2016 podcast interview of a returning Canadian ISIS fighter, known as Abu Huzaifa, who confessed to committing an execution-style murder while in Syria, which he now unconvincingly denies. He is believed to be living in Toronto and he is apparently known to the authorities. The Conservative opposition is in an uproar over these revelations, as they would have preferred that re-entry be denied to such individuals in the first place, as is the case in the UK.

One may reasonably conclude that in spite of the permitted re-entry of ISIS fighters, our national security forces are on top of it, and that Huzaifa, and those like him, will simply have to face justice here at home. The trouble, however, is that such an outcome is highly unlikely. Building a case on events that occurred a few years ago in a foreign war-torn country is extremely difficult, something the Trudeau government undoubtedly realizes.

Continue reading →

The Year of the Pot: A Fantasia

On the eve of 2018, Senior Discourse Contributor, Neil Cameron pens his annual piece of satirical doggerel for friends and colleagues. This one can be song to the tune of the Mamas and Papas’ 1966 hit, “California Dreamin”.

Old taboos are down, and state gays are gay;

Pardoned by the Crown, Justin’s sunny way.

Natives cease to frown, star in P.M.’s play;

Marijuana’s coming, so provinces make hay.


It was Justin’s vision, in his bold campaign,

But did not envision, how he would attain;

So he drew young voters, he dare not disappoint;

Or they’ll turn to floaters, ceasing to anoint.


Quebec is still resisting, legal reefers’ lure;

Government insisting, for us no high bonjour;

Still would like a big tax, should demand increase;

Growers in their pot shacks, will greet new Pot Police.


Albertans don’t worry, lack Quebec’s alarms;

Wildcatters now hurry, to plant their dreaming farms.

Real estate’s declining, oil no longer hot;

To keep on gourmet dining, time to bet on pot.


Cash and pot will change hands, on pacific coasts;

Okanagan prime brands, are a special boast.

Speed boats filled with hash bricks, take their slice of pie;

Armed to prevent cash tricks, crews already high.


On Atlantic waters, more smuggling may return,

As Newfie antic potters, replace their fish with fern.

Nightly trucks in convoys, transfer leaf to boats;

Bringing bucks for old boys, all in US notes.


New taxes hit our lumber, as thump of Trump is heard;

But do not ruin our slumber, as all our loins regurd;

Our US trade may flourish, one export always sold;

We merely need to nourish, our Acapulco Gold.


The reefers go back aeons, but always in hot climes;

Brought joy to sweating peons, relief from tiresome times.

But never has the weed smoke, blown over wintry lands;

So pray it’s not a grim joke, a stink bomb in our hands.


If a bomb it proves, Justin will lament;

Unsure of his moves, sulking in his tent.

So-lution is found, on an evening wet:

Pot he must impound – it’s a carbon threat.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Neil Cameron, December 2017

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 →

Advice from a 17th Century French Aristocrat for Public Figures of Our Times

For many years Senior Discourse Contributor, Neil Cameron, has been fond of sharing a piece of Christmas doggerel with friends and colleagues.

This holiday season his inspiration is François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, (1613-1680) who was one of the finest writers of maxims in the 17th century. The carol ‘Good King Wenceslas’ is about a 10th century Bohemian monarch, now patron saint of Czechs; its melody is from 16th c. Finland, the English lyrics from 1853. For Christmas 1916, the notion came to Neil that, with a few judicious adjustments, a dozen of the Duc’s maxims could be sung to the melody of the carol, as good advice to some celebrated folk of our time. Here it is for your fireside pleasure.

Re-reading La Rochefoucauld, found us still his brothers;
Had we no faults., be less pleased, finding fault in others.
And take one on success eased, done in manner steady:
Always pretend, when you can, you’re success alrea-dy.                              (Donald Trump)

Judging speeches aimed at you, use this firm foundation:
Sincerity is found in few, much dissimulation.
Self-reflection seldom nails, how two things we sever:
All admit their memory fails, but their judgement ne-ver.                                (Hillary Clinton)

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 →