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By Patrick Martin, The Globe and Mail, February 7, 2022

Erna Paris, a long-time Globe and Mail columnist and leading writer on human rights and conflict resolution, was a fortunate woman. On Remembrance Day, 1960, at the age of 22, her life’s work was laid out for her. She just didn’t know it yet. [more]

September 14, 2021, The Globe and Mail

In his famous 14th-century work The Inferno, the Italian poet Dante Alighieri created a special abode in hell for wily flatterers. He considered sycophancy a wrongdoing against the entire community – a deceit with the potential to alter society for the worse.

Dante might have nodded knowingly had he observed Canada’s leader-courtiers line up to pay obeisance to Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet’s defense of the indefensible during last week’s federal election debates. The quid pro quo was each leader’s personal support for Bill 21, the Quebec legislation that prohibits the display of religious symbols by public-sector workers in the workplace, in return for potential electoral support in the province. [more]

Saturday June 11, 2021, The Globe and Mail

Two Solitudes. That was the title of Hugh MacLennan’s famous 1945 book about the chasm between Quebec and the “Rest of Canada” – a fault line that has been negotiated continuously since the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759. But what if there were three solitudes all along, the third being the Indigenous nations that were suffering cultural decimation far below the radar of most Canadians? I was born and raised in Ontario and never heard, or read, a word about residential schools during close to two decades of schooling. Textbooks referenced the original Indian wars, but what happened to the Indigenous populations as the entity known as Canada emerged was obscured. [more]

After decades of playing Charter chicken, Canada is now home to what is effectively an illiberal democracy

Monday, May 17, 2021, The Globe and Mail There’s an elephant in the room we call Canada: our Charter’s notwithstanding clause. Agreed to in 1981, the clause – which allows any Canadian government, federal or provincial, to override certain elements of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms – was a uniquely Canadian compromise. It was […]

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Derek Chauvin, not America, is on trial — and conflating the issue threatens our democracy

Monday, April 19, 2021, The Globe and Mail In full democracies, which are characterized by independent judiciaries, the foundation of a criminal prosecution is that an individual – not the environment in which he or she lives – is on trial. Yet it has become common to suggest, as in the George Floyd case, that […]

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