• Campus culture wars: Universities need to rediscover the radical middle ground

    In the classroom, university teachers must lecture competently; they do not have a license to use their podiums in order to propagandize, speak in habitually ill-informed ways, or lie. Free speech allows citizens to do this on street corners or blogs, but universities have loftier goals. Academic freedom and freedom of speech are not the same thing; they are different forms of expression, both vital, in a democratic society.

  • Ontario urged to make ending child poverty an election issue

    Children and families who are Indigenous, racialized, newcomers, living with disabilities or in lone-parent, female-led households experience much higher rates of poverty, according to the 2016 census… almost 16 per cent of children in Canada were living in poverty in 1989 when Parliament unanimously pledged to end child poverty by 2000. But due to lack of federal action on the promise, child poverty in Canada rose to 22.3 per cent in 2000.

  • Liberal government urged to be more aggressive in tackling poverty

    The most recent international rankings of 41 developed nations shows Canada lags behind its peers in several areas related to poverty reduction. The UNICEF report placed Canada near the bottom in terms of global goals to end poverty in all its forms and ending hunger. Statistics Canada’s latest census data revealed that 1.2 million Canadian children lived in a low-income household in 2015, representing 17 per cent of all children.

  • The problem with trying to protect pronouns

    What is slightly lost in this affair is the question of whether or not someone can in fact be sanctioned by the state for refusing to use someone’s preferred pronoun… The OHRC says, unhelpfully, that “the law is unsettled” about whether or not a person can insist on their own particular pronoun, or must settle for a generic compromise, such as “they.” … The OHRC also acknowledges that universities and the media have great leeway when addressing the issue as part of a public debate

  • Canada’s wealthy may have started a tax revolt, and Ontario is the first to notice

    The provincial update revealed that personal income tax revenues in the country’s largest province were downgraded to come in nearly $2 billion lower than forecast in the spring budget, despite an upgrade in projected economic growth. No explanation was offered for this unusual set of circumstances — tax revenues should rise in a growing economy — but the suspicion is that high-earning Canadians are fed up seeing more than 50 cents on every dollar they earn over $200,000 taken by the taxman.

  • Neither Wilfrid Laurier University’s methods nor teaching assistant’s debate helped trans people

    The considerable opposition to attempts to carve out a space to define people left out by a language founded on rigidly held ideas of two genders is indicative of the scope of oppression facing trans people… Perhaps this debate cut too close to the bone, making it not just an intellectual exercise on the finer points of grammar, but an intensely personal existential discussion… The best societies seek to protect their vulnerable, even when their people bumble their way through a new awareness of how to do things right.

  • What the Wilfrid Laurier professors got wrong about Bill C-16 and gender identity discrimination

    C-16 added gender identity and expression as grounds for discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, but this applies to people employed by or receiving services from federally-regulated industries, such as banks or the public service… Universities instead fall under provincial codes — but the Ontario Human Rights Code has included gender identity and expression for five years now, long before Peterson gained fame for his arguments.

  • Apology to LGBTQ community first step toward healing

    To be effective, apologies must acknowledge the offence and harms done. They must express remorse. They must undertake to learn from the experience and not repeat offensive behaviours. And they must make reparation… “All queer Canadians deserve truth and reconciliation for the historical misuses of state power that eroded their human dignity.” … Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s apology on behalf of Canadians… will be a welcome step toward a more just society.

  • You know, there’s a reason no one’s put in a guaranteed annual income yet

    The idea of a “guarantee” is uncontroversial enough: we’ve already accepted that Canadians are entitled to a certain minimal standard of living. Why not make that implicit guarantee an explicit one? … Unless you’re willing to advocate for a drastic increase in taxes, the responsible thing to do is abandon the impossible GAI dream and focus on what is possible with current levels of tax revenues.

  • Ottawa should finish the job on advocacy work by charities

    … giving charities a wider scope to speak out on public issues would bring with it a host of benefits. It would encourage experts associated with those groups to add their expertise to public debates. It would enlarge the pool of people participating in those debates, since charities often serve as a way for those without a strong voice to speak up. It would provide more opportunities for people interested in policy debates, but leery of traditional political parties, to get involved. Finally, it would help to tip the balance in debates in favour of those with the public interest in mind.