Dan Gardner is the New York Times best-selling author of Risk, Future Babble, Superforecasting (co-authored with Philip E. Tetlock), and How Big Things Get Done (co-authored with Bent Flyvbjerg). His books have been published in 26 countries and 20 languages. Prior to becoming an author, Gardner was an award-winning investigative journalist. More >
Mar 13, 2023
(Originally published in the Globe and Mail, February 10, 2023)
Mention Ottawa’s new multibillion-dollar Light Rail Transit (LRT) line to residents of the city and you will hear things that cannot be printed in this newspaper.More >
Dec 14, 2022
Over at my Substack newsletter, PastPresentFuture, I wrote a piece updating readers on what I'm working on these days. And more importantly, what my forthcoming book is all about. Please More >
Dec 14, 2022
In Harvard Business Review, Bent Flyvbjerg and I have an essay about the legendary architect Frank Gehry and a... More >
Mar 20, 2022
Over at Substack, I started a newsletter called PastPresentFuture which is about "exploring history to understand today and shape a better tomorrow." Here's a link: https://dgardner.substack.comMore >
Jun 27, 2021
Stage one: A threat is foreseen. When and how it will strike isn’t known but that it will, sooner or later, is clear.
Stage two: We do little or nothing.
Stage three: The threat strikes. Lives are lost. Our failure to prepa... More >
Apr 06, 2021
Originally published in The Boston Globe, April 1, 2021
Bent Flyvbjerg and Dan Gardner
As Biden administration officials prepare the big push for the president's $2 trillion infrastructure program, they are focused on polit... More >
Jul 02, 2020
Originally published in the Globe and Mail June 24, 2020
You can sense it in the air. A feeling. A good feeling. The cold fear that gripped us in the early weeks of the pandemic is melting away. Muscles long tensed are st... More >
Apr 14, 2020
Originally published in the Globe and Mail April 12, 2020
In 2003, a novel coronavirus emerged from Asia, spread to two dozen countries, sickened about 8,000 people and killed 774. But SARS was stopped. That close call was... More >
Apr 10, 2020
Originally published by CNBC April 7, 2020
One of the classic British posters from World War II is severe, almost brutal. It shows an unsmiling Winston Churchill raising his right hand to jab a finger at the viewer, with t... More >
Apr 10, 2020
Originally published in the Boston Globe, April 3, 2020
In the 2011 movie “Contagion,” a virus sweeps the globe and people panic. Pharmacies and grocery stores are looted. In suburban Minneapolis, the US Army distributes f... More >
Mar 29, 2020
Originally published in the Globe and Mail, March 28, 2020
A black hood covered the prisoner’s head. A deafening roar filled the air. “I didn’t know what was going on, where I was or who was doing what to me,” the prisoner... More >
Dec 12, 2019
Originally published in the Ottawa Citizen, August 11, 2012
It's absurd that a foreigner is head of state, someone wrote in response to your correspondent's recent ode to the longevity of Her Majesty. "And don't give... More >
Jun 21, 2019
Originally published in the Globe and Mail, June 22, 2019
One in three Canadians thinks nuclear power emits as much carbon dioxide as burning oil. Almost three in 10 think it emits more.
There are several reasons to ... More >
Jun 21, 2019
Originally published in the Globe and Mail, June 11, 2019
We’ve all seen the rolling masses of plastic choking the oceans, the plastic clogging the bellies of dead whales, the plastic littering remote beaches and even the ... More >
Apr 11, 2019
Originally published in The Globe and Mail, March 8, 2019
Chemicals are in the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the earth we stand on. And they are in us – in our urine, blood, bone and tissues. Many of... More >
Apr 11, 2019
Published in The Globe and Mail, January 2, 2019
Roughly 1,700 Canadians are killed and 10,000 seriously injured on the roads each year. Nine in 10 collisions are the result of human error.
These two facts mean auto... More >
Mar 10, 2019
(Originally published in the Globe and Mail, December 21, 2018.)
This essay is about a riddle. I’ll start by revealing the answer: It’s a cat that is simultaneously dead and alive.
Now here is the riddle: Why aren’t we more ... More >
Oct 22, 2018
(Published in the Globe and Mail, October 20, 2018.)
If you think the unemployment rate is a wonderfully low 3 per cent but I think it is a frighteningly high 15 per cent, and we both have sources that tell us we are right and both... More >
Oct 22, 2018
(Published in the Globe and Mail, August 3, 2018.)
If a nation reveals itself in what it celebrates, what does it say about Canada that the holiday at the height of our precious summer goes by a welter of official names no one use... More >
Dec 18, 2016
Published in the Globe and Mail (Toronto), November 23, 2016
Dan Gardner and Philip E. Tetlock
It seems almost the entire pollster-and-pundit ... More >
Dec 18, 2016
Published in the Washington Post, November 4, 2016<... More >
Oct 24, 2013
Published November 17, 2001
Finance Minister Paul Martin was in good company when he promised to use this weekend's G20 summit to "strengthen international measures to counter terrorist financing." Days after Sept. 11, British Pri... More >
Nov 21, 2012
Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner.
Liberals had good reason to be delighted with the presidential election of 2012.
Not only did most polls accurately foresee a victory for Barack Obama, the poll-based analysis of Nate Silver ... More >
Nov 02, 2012
While it's far from clear who will win next week's presidential election, four outcomes are within watermelon-seed-spitting distance from certain.
One, the margin of victory will be slim. Two, the media will see that as proof of t... More >
Oct 31, 2012
Reasonable people can debate what exactly history is, but some things are beyond dispute.
Legends unsupported by rigorous examination of the available evidence are not history. Boy's-own adventure stories and tales of derring-do a... More >
Oct 13, 2012
The long and successful project to bring peace to Europe is one of the greatest achievements in modern human history. That fact is indisputable. And it is seldom spoken plainly. So while it's undoubtedly true that the awarding of this ye... More >
Oct 12, 2012
It was good news in a bad year: Back in 2009, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Office (FAO) announced that the number of chronically undernourished people in the world, which had been falling fairly steadily since 1995, was expect... More >
Oct 10, 2012
During Barack Obama's time in the White House, the mastermind of 9/11 was shot to death, three Middle Eastern dictators were overthrown, and a fourth was pushed to the edge of a cliff. And yet the dominant perception of Obama's Middle Ea... More >
Oct 06, 2012
Announcing his candidacy for the Liberal leadership, Justin Trudeau got a round of applause when he declared that, in seeking solutions to problems, "the only ideology that must guide us is evidence. Hard, scientific facts and data. It m... More >
Oct 03, 2012
The divide in opinion about Omar Khadr is wide and deep and it will not be closed by any words written in a newspaper. But there are two things - one fact and one hope - which we should be able to agree on.
The fact: He is in Cana... More >
Sep 28, 2012
Let's play word association. Ready? "Jimmy Carter." Chances are you thought "failed president." Or "weak." Or "soft liberal." Or maybe "better ex-president than president." The common thread is failure. Jimmy Carter was a weak, indecisiv... More >
Sep 26, 2012
Someone says, draws, writes, or films something offensive to devout Muslims. Riots break out in Muslim countries. People die.
We saw this movie yet again last week. And we had the usual discussion that follows, which mostly involv... More >
Sep 22, 2012
The parrot is dead. It's lying on the floor of the House of Commons and it's not moving. Because it's dead.
Of course you remember the Monty Python skit where a man walks into a shop carrying a bird cage. "I wish to complain about... More >
Sep 19, 2012
This is how democracy works.
Politician Jones identifies a problem. He proposes Solution X. Many people think Solution X will work. Politician Jones is elected.
Politician Jones implements Solution X. Time passes.
If... More >
Sep 12, 2012
As a general rule, a public figure cannot become a polarizing figure without having done or said a great deal, or, at an absolute minimum, without having done or said at least one extra-ordinary thing.
But that rule, like others, ... More >
Sep 08, 2012
Four years ago, first when Barack Obama became the Democratic nominee for president, then again when he won the election, there was a wave of commentary about how much the United States, and the whole Western world, had changed for the b... More >
Sep 06, 2012
The morning after a man opened fire at a Parti Québécois rally, killing one person and injuring another, we knew the police had arrested a man at the scene. We knew the man had worn a ski mask and a bathrobe. We knew he was 62 years old,... More >
Aug 31, 2012
Being a dour man with a taste for hyperbole, H.L. Mencken exaggerated for bleak effect when he wrote that "the saddest life is that of a political aspirant under democracy. His failure is ignominious and his success disgraceful." There a... More >
Aug 29, 2012
Mark Carney said something terribly rude last week.
Canadian companies have $562 billion in cash reserves, noted the governor of the Bank of Canada, up from $370 billion when the recession ended in mid-2009. That's a giant pile of... More >
Aug 28, 2012
It's absurd that a foreigner is head of state, someone wrote in response to your correspondent's recent ode to the longevity of Her Majesty. "And don't give me that line that she's Queen of Canada. She wouldn't know a hockey puck from a ... More >
Aug 08, 2012
They say the prime minister is a policy wonk with a keen appreciation for free markets. If that's true, I have an idea he's going to love.
One word: plastics.
No, sorry. That's a line from The Graduate. But my idea is almos... More >
Jul 27, 2012
Kids say the darndest things. So do partisans.
Take Vic Toews. The release of 2011 crime statistics this week prompted the public safety minister to say something positively adorable.
"Crime rate down 6 per cent," Toews twe... More >
Jul 24, 2012
What's wrong with the United States of America? It's a question countless people are asking, in the United States and around the world, following the massacre at a movie theatre in Colorado. Why does the United States spawn such madness,... More >
Jul 20, 2012
According to the International Monetary Fund, the net public debt of Finland was -59.9 per cent in 2011.
What's that, you say? Why, yes! That is boring. But please, keep going. I promise there's an important and relevant point com... More >
Jul 18, 2012
It's not about Omar Khadr. That's the key thing to remember about the latest twist in the seemingly endless saga of Omar Khadr. It's not about Omar Khadr.
On Friday, Khadr's lawyers filed yet another application with yet an-other ... More >
Jul 13, 2012
It's a hot day in July. A politician is at a barbecue in his hometown. He gives a little speech.
"What a wonderful day with wonderful people! I'm so glad to be here! What a great town this is! It's the greatest town in the greates... More >
Jul 11, 2012
The rule of law is like a 1960s-era Jaguar. It looks sleek and shiny in the showroom. Every-one wants it. But, after you buy it and take it for a drive, it breaks down, so you get it fixed, and it breaks down again, and pretty soon it's ... More >
Jul 06, 2012
On Wednesday, a minor and largely irrelevant minister was replaced by a minor and largely irrelevant minister, and with that the cabinet shuffle was complete. Thus, a prime minister who dominates the political landscape more than any bef... More >
Jul 05, 2012
A few years ago, in a dusty little Ottawa Valley antique store, I found a portrait of the Queen dating from the coronation. The frame was handmade from roughhewed cedar planks. The portrait was newsprint - a page taken from the Toronto S... More >
Jun 15, 2012
With due respect to Jon Stewart and everyone else mocking New York mayor Michael Bloomberg for wanting to ban soft drink cups larger than 16 ounces, you're wrong. Indisputably so, in one regard. Arguably so in another.
To understa... More >
Jun 13, 2012
There are 308 members of Parliament. In the House of Commons, Elizabeth May occupies seat number 309.
There couldn't be a better symbol of irrelevance, which seems fitting. May is the sole MP from the Green party, which lacks offi... More >
May 31, 2012
There's probably some incomprehensible new physics that explains how a thing can simultaneously cluster around a median point while polarizing rapidly. But in the realm of politics, it's a bizarre and seemingly impossible state of affair... More >
May 18, 2012
Last week, when Barack Obama declared his support for gay marriage, the president was lionized by many, who thought it was an act of courageous leadership, and mocked by others, who saw it as nothing more than a politician scrambling to ... More >
May 16, 2012
Let's recap the Harper government's record on climate change, shall we?
In the beginning, the Conservatives said nothing. Climate change wasn't even mentioned in the 2006 election platform.
In 2007, though, climate change b... More >
May 02, 2012
As in the Sherlock Holmes story of the dog that didn't bark, what can be most interesting is what didn't happen. So what hound didn't howl during the first year of Stephen Harper's Conservative majority government?
The hardcore ri... More >
Apr 30, 2012
When Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth introduced a private member's motion on the status of the fetus last week, the government was expected to distance itself. But when Conservative whip Gordon O'Connor stood to deliver the government ... More >
Apr 27, 2012
In the 1921 novel We, Yevgeny Zamyatin imagined a future where every building is made of glass so the authorities can see what citizens are doing at all times. Is that the world Big Data will construct? Some pessimists worry that it coul... More >
Apr 20, 2012
If history repeats, we are about a decade away from the publication of a book called "The Strange Death of Liberal Canada."
The history in question is that of Britain's Liberal party, which dominated British politics in the late 1... More >
Apr 18, 2012
On the weekend, at the Summit of the Americas, Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed doubt about the war on drugs. "I think what everybody believes and agrees with, and to be frank myself, is that the current approach is not working, b... More >
Apr 13, 2012
Many people hate the idea of clinics where people can inject illicit drugs under the supervision of nurses and counsellors. Others want them set up immediately. They include the University of Toronto researchers who recommended this week... More >
Apr 11, 2012
In British Columbia, the premier is a woman. In Alberta, the premier is a woman. Both women inherited successful political dynasties. Both are likely to lead their parties to defeat.
Call it the "Kim Campbell Phenomenon." Successf... More >
Apr 07, 2012
As big as the F-35 fiasco appears, its true import is bigger. And more worrisome.
To see it, we first need to look at the world of 75 years ago.
In the 1930s, liberal democracies withered while authoritarianism blossomed. A... More >
Apr 04, 2012
I was born in the middle of generation X. The job market I entered was dismal, so I got nowhere, went back to school, piled up debt, and returned to a slightly less dismal job market. Then I turned 30. And the whole time I envied baby bo... More >
Mar 30, 2012
American presidents who seek re-election when the economy is weak almost always lose. Badly. To buck that trend, the Obama campaign is trying a new and challenging strategy.
"What do we remember in November, 2008?" The voice, fami... More >
Mar 27, 2012
So it's agreed then. The NDP split between a stodgy old guard and those willing to move the party to the centre and 24 Sussex Drive. The latter won. Now, Thomas Mulcair will move the NDP to the centre in a bid to take power.
Or so... More >
Mar 22, 2012
I understand why people are furious at the two-year sentence imposed on Graham James but all the angry shouting and demands for tougher punishments won't do anything to correct the very real problems with criminal sentencing in Canada. I... More >
Mar 21, 2012
The House of Commons was tense. "We have, on numerous occasions, called for a judicial inquiry into the scandal," the Opposition leader said. "In order to reassure us that there will be no interference in the investigation into the prime... More >
Mar 07, 2012
Should Israel or the United States bomb Iran? In newspapers and magazines, in blogs and tweets, on television pundit panels, the answer is clear and emphatic.
Yes, say many.
Iran has a long history of supporting terrorism a... More >
Mar 02, 2012
You're going to buy a house. A big house. How much does it cost? You don't know. You didn't ask.
How big will the mortgage be? What about the monthly payments? Can you manage them? What effect will they have on your overall financ... More >
Feb 28, 2012
In March, 1954, newspapers in Seattle reported that some car windshields were damaged in a city 80 miles away. Vandalism was suspected. But then something strange happened.
People started to find car windshields speckled with tiny... More >
Feb 27, 2012
You must be exhausted, Mark. Being the governor of the Bank of Canada during a worldwide financial crisis isn't a small job. And now you're moonlighting at the Financial Stability Board in Switzerland. The chairman, no less. I read that ... More >
If we fully develop Alberta's oilsands and burn the oil they produce, we will raise the temperature measurably all over the planet. That's the conclusion of an analysis by University of Victoria scientists Andrew Weaver and Neil Swart an... More >
Feb 22, 2012
I thought I'd begin this column by noting that on several occasions over the past week I wanted to puke on my shoes. My editor demurred. It's too crude, he said. "We have standards."
I should respect that. It's increasingly rare.<... More >
This week, the Conservative government introduced legislation which would create a vast system of warrantless Internet surveillance. Civil libertarians howled in protest.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told them they could eithe... More >
Feb 14, 2012
The government insists disaster will befall the nation if Old Age Security costs aren't curtailed. The opposition says that's nonsense and vows to fight any change. Most Canadians have lined up with one side or the other. The trenches ar... More >
Feb 07, 2012
Last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a frightening claim about Iran. "I look at the rhetoric and the kind of philosophy that drives the Iranian regime, the kind of threats they have made to others in the world," he said, "and my... More >
Feb 03, 2012
Conspicuously missing in the uproar about Old Age Security is the most basic question: Why do we have a publicly funded retirement pension? Let's answer that. Then we can talk about when the age of eligibility should be.
German Ch... More >
Jan 31, 2012
What Prime Minister Stephen Harper said last week was courageous and admirable. It was also misleading.
I'll begin with the "misleading" part because that's always the most fun.
In a major speech in Davos, Switzerland, the ... More >
Jan 25, 2012
Last week, a physicians' group called on governments to make helmets mandatory for both children and adults on ski slopes. Lots of people support that. They feel that skiers should not be permitted to decide for themselves whether to wea... More >
Jan 20, 2012
In two recent interviews, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the government of Iran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons. That's not a controversial claim. But the prime minister also said that if Iran develops nuclear weapons it wil... More >
Jan 17, 2012
When the Conservative party gathered at the Ottawa Convention Centre in June, the turnout was impressive. When the Liberal party gathered at the Ottawa Convention Centre last weekend, the turnout was impressive. The Conservatives had ene... More >
Jan 11, 2012
Oh dear. We seem to be having a Mussolini moment.
You remember Mussolini. Big guy. Bit of a bully. Had a thing for uniforms. Some people didn't like how he did this or that but, hey, he made the trains run on time.
That's t... More >
Jan 06, 2012
The key to understanding Stephen Harper's federalism is heroin.
Got your attention? Good. The word "federalism" tends to put people to sleep, but this is important stuff so I'll try to sex it up. Hence, heroin.
There's lots... More >
Jan 03, 2012
Shortly before Christmas, Prime Minister Stephen Harper did something extraordinary. He had a conversation with reporters. And when the conversation turned to the provinces, health care, and the threat of spiralling costs, he did somethi... More >
Dec 29, 2011
At the beginning of 2011, the United States government's vast and sophisticated intelligence agencies thoroughly analyzed the situation in Egypt. "Our assessment," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, "is that the Egyptian government... More >
Dec 21, 2011
Are you an aggrieved Christian? Convinced that you are stigmatized for your faith? Angry at the "war on Christmas"? This column is for you.
You are not the persecuted minority you believe yourself to be. Yes, you suffer occasional... More >
Dec 16, 2011
It's true that living conditions on the Attawapiskat reserve are abysmal relative to living conditions throughout most of Canada. But before we go to all the expense and bother of trying to improve them, we should ask whether they are re... More >
Dec 14, 2011
On Monday, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney directed that anyone taking the citizenship oath must bare his or her face. Muslim women who wear a veil and refuse to comply will not be permitted to take the oath. And if they don't take the... More >
Dec 09, 2011
When he was a younger man, Fidel Castro was known for his work ethic. He read everything, talked to everyone, and laboured endlessly. Sometimes he would work for days without sleeping. He was inexhaustible.
But it made no differen... More >
Dec 07, 2011
Lots of Canadians think Canada is an increasingly conservative country. Look at the last three federal elections. Look at the polls. Isn't it obvious that political values are shifting?
"As the country has evolved, I wouldn't say ... More >
Dec 02, 2011
A few blocks from where I live in suburban Ottawa, there is an English Catholic elementary school that just opened.
A block north of that is an impressive new English Catholic high school. At the end of my street, a French Catholi... More >
Nov 30, 2011
We are a social species, hardwired to keep a keen eye on what others have and to feel a twinge if they get more than us. Politicians know this. They may not have learned it in psychology class. But, oh, do they know it.
On Monday,... More >
Nov 25, 2011
With power centralized more than ever, with complete dominance of Parliament, with absolute control of his party, Stephen Harper is the most powerful prime minister in Canadian history. Or, if you prefer something a little less dramatic,... More >
Nov 23, 2011
Not for the first time, Stephen Harper's Conservatives have puzzled many pundits.
They won an unassailable majority. Their party is united. They face an opposition that is weak, divided, leaderless. Their dominance is complete and... More >
Nov 18, 2011
With the release of an important new report, and the launch of another Charter challenge, the debate about euthanasia is flaring up again. It will be passionate. You will hear emotional claims from both sides. Many people will listen to ... More >
Nov 14, 2011
You can't kill a zombie with a pen. Jab it in the eye. Spear it in the chest. It will just keep shuffling along, moaning and snarling and trying to eat your brain.
Here comes one now.
"To think that marijuana today is the s... More >
Nov 09, 2011
Last week, a desperate Europe asked a flush China for cash. It was a big moment. No mistaking that. But what did it mean?
No, this isn't a column about banking. Or globalization. It's about something much more important. It's abou... More >
Nov 04, 2011
There's a store in my neighbourhood. It's got all sorts of stuff. And it doesn't charge me for most of what I buy. Really. I can get whatever I want and most of the bill is divided up and sent to my 10 neighbours. They have to pay, even ... More >
Nov 03, 2011
In a sense, it's perfectly reasonable that the government is severely restricting the amount of time Parliament can spend discussing a long list of complex bills that have appeared at various times in various forms in the past and will n... More >
Oct 28, 2011
According to the United Nations, the world's population will top seven billion on Oct. 31. By 2050, there will likely be more than nine billion people on Earth.
So how do you feel about that? For many, these statistics are frighte... More >
Oct 26, 2011
Last week, the federal government announced the results of a competition for $33 billion in shipbuilding contracts and everyone was satisfied that the outcome was fair and reasonable. (Well, not everyone. Nycole Turmel grumbled. But the ... More >
Oct 22, 2011
If you followed the news this week, you heard about riots and protests, the killing of a dictator, the suicide of a bullied teenager, and a child ignored by passersby after being struck by a car. A litany of violence and tragedy, in othe... More >
Oct 19, 2011
It is a fact not often recognized in discussions about the Conservative government and criminal justice policy that the government is right. Not about the nature of the problems. Or about the solutions. But still, it is right.
It'... More >
Oct 17, 2011
The standard argument in favour of mandatory minimum sentences is that they deliver certainty. "If you do X, the minimum punishment you will receive is Y." It's simple, clear, and predictable. And that makes mandatory minimum sentences a... More >
Oct 14, 2011
You are an official in the government making important decisions about public policy. This is serious stuff. Do your work well and many people will benefit. Screw up and they will suffer needlessly.
So what's the one thing you wil... More >
Oct 12, 2011
Is progress possible? I took part in a panel discussion of that question some time ago.
The answer is obvious and undeniable, I said. We are by far the wealthiest and healthiest people who ever lived. If the child mortality rate t... More >
Oct 07, 2011
A big thank you to the politicians and people of Ontario. You knocked on doors, hammered in lawn signs, answered a hundred calls from pollsters, and called talk radio to air your opinions about foreigners, perverts, and cross-dressing si... More >
Oct 05, 2011
I am a unilingual Ontario Anglo whose longest personal exposure to Quebec was playing in a pee wee hockey tournament in Val d'Or that culminated in a championship game between our guys and a hometown team supported by what seemed to be a... More >
Oct 04, 2011
Let's compare and contrast statements about Insite, the supervised injection centre in Vancouver's downtown eastside neighbourhood.
"The decision to implement a supervised safe injection site was the result of years of research, p... More >
Sep 26, 2011
In conventional political classification, Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan are in quite different categories. But still there are remarkable parallels between the two.
Both Obama and Reagan first campaigned for the presidency in dar... More >
Sep 23, 2011
I suppose I could write a substantive and serious column about the government's omnibus crime bill.
First, I'd explain the many proposals. Then I'd say they are a terrible mistake. They will not reduce crime, but they will waste b... More >
Sep 19, 2011
The United States of America is in trouble. The mammoth deficit. The gargantuan debt. The moribund economy and appalling unemployment. It's hard times in the land of plenty - as anyone could see with just a glance at the thin, exhausted ... More >
Sep 19, 2011
There are moments when Stephen Harper is utterly unfathomable.
The latest came last week, in an interview with the CBC. Almost casually, the prime minister said he would reinstate emergency anti-terrorism powers - allowing judges ... More >
Sep 19, 2011
Tim Hudak is the sort of politician who searches for the inchoate fears and hatreds that lie, unspoken, just below the surface of consciousness. When he finds them, he drags them up and waves them for all to see, hoping that ugly emotion... More >
Sep 09, 2011
How very sad. It seems Canada's brief period of economic glory has ended.
"Canadian economic growth stalled in the second quarter," the Bank of Canada noted on Wednesday. It was one raindrop in a downpour of bad news. "Canada fall... More >
Sep 06, 2011
Of course everyone remembers precisely where they were when they heard about 9/11 - what they were doing, who told them, how they felt - but imagine you had been the president of the United States. That singular moment would have burned ... More >
Sep 05, 2011
In early 2005, Richard Clarke, the former White House counter-terrorism chief, imagined himself in 2011, looking back on the decade that followed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. What he saw was horrifying.
The slide into ... More >
Aug 31, 2011
Last week's tears and testimonials have given rise to a new conventional wisdom. "The response to Jack Layton's death suggests Canadians are looking for a political leader who transcends the grubby world of politics as usual," as John Iv... More >
Aug 26, 2011
Without exception, a successful politician is a lucky politician. But some successful politicians are more successful, and luckier, than others. Stephen Harper is a very successful politician.
As an undistinguished former MP and h... More >
Aug 24, 2011
Jack Layton was a politician and a partisan, to the bone, but he didn't treat politics as a dark art. With his famous smile and boundless enthusiasm, he won people over, in his party and others, and got them to work together in pursuit o... More >
Aug 05, 2011
This column will delight many conservatives and annoy liberals. As I'll explain at the end, that reaction is the point of the column. Don't disappoint me.
Fine, now, let's go back to the very beginning of this year. Remember the b... More >
Shortly after the first reports of terror attacks in Norway, pundits and security experts confidently blamed Islamists. They were wrong. And in the days following the arrest of Anders Behring Breivik, they were excoriated for having let ... More >
Jul 29, 2011
The Harper government is absolutely right that we have a problem with charities getting involved in politics: They don't do it nearly enough.
"Many charities have acquired a wealth of knowledge about how government policies affect... More >
Jul 27, 2011
The United Nations and national governments the world over, including Canada's, are actively promoting an epidemic. They are infecting people by the tens and hundreds of thousands. God knows how many will die.
A report released th... More >
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Originally published in The Ottawa Citizen June 22, 2011
The Vancouver riot demonstrated how the worship of a violent and chaotic sport breeds violence and chaos. Or perhaps it revealed hidden socio-economic tensions.
Or th... More >
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Think back to the end of 2010. As always, there were lots of experts making predictions. About the stock market. The economy. Politics. War. How many of those experts said that within three months there would be a rebellion against the d... More >
Mar 17, 2011
On Tuesday, we got another glimpse into the soul of what truly is the Harper government.
At issue was the new citizenship guide. "In Canada, men and women are equal under the law," the guide says. "Canada's openness and generosity... More >
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Dec 03, 2010
Dec 01, 2010
Nov 25, 2010
Nov 24, 2010
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Nov 16, 2010
Nov 09, 2010
Nov 06, 2010
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Oct 29, 2010
Oct 22, 2010
Oct 20, 2010
Oct 13, 2010
FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE NATIONAL POST OCTOBER 13, 2010
I hand the worn and faded book to the old man, and he smiles. He remembers it well.
He is Professor Monkombu Sambasivan Swaminathan. Little-known in this country, Swamin... More >
Oct 12, 2010
Oct 06, 2010
Sep 24, 2010
Sep 22, 2010
Sep 17, 2010
Sep 11, 2010
Sep 10, 2010
Sep 03, 2010
Sep 01, 2010
Aug 06, 2010
Jul 30, 2010
Jul 28, 2010
Jul 21, 2010
Jul 16, 2010
Jul 14, 2010
Jul 07, 2010
Jun 30, 2010
Jun 26, 2010
Originally published in the Ottawa Citizen, June, 2010.
Over at the National Post, last week was "Junk Science Week," during which Post writers like Peter Foster and Lawrence Solomon identify and denounce widely publ... More >
Jun 08, 2010
Jun 04, 2010
Jun 02, 2010
May 22, 2010
May 08, 2010
Apr 26, 2010
Originally published in the Ottawa Citizen, April 26, 2010.
In 1970, Pierre Trudeau, the patron saint of bilingualism, appointed Bora Laskin to the Supreme Court of Canada. Laskin's work was stellar. In 1973, Trudeau made him chie... More >
Apr 16, 2010
Originally published in the Ottawa Citizen, April 16, 2010.
With the reader's indulgence, I'd like to tell a story that may be of interest to those concerned by a bill -- now before the Senate -- that would bar anyon... More >
Apr 14, 2010
Mar 30, 2010
Mar 24, 2010
Originally published in the Ottawa Citizen, 2010
Why worry about how many babies Canadians have? If the country needs more people, we can loosen the tap on immigration. Problem solved.
Anyone who has ever sugg... More >
Mar 19, 2010
Mar 05, 2010
Feb 27, 2010
Apr 04, 2009
Mar 27, 2009
Mar 11, 2009
Feb 25, 2009
Feb 12, 2009
Feb 11, 2009
Jul 25, 2008
May 31, 2008
May 23, 2008
Apr 12, 2008
Mar 14, 2008
Mar 08, 2008
Jan 02, 2008
Oct 31, 2007
Oct 10, 2007
Jun 15, 2007
Oct 28, 2006
Oct 28, 2006
Jul 14, 2006
As retired major-general Lewis MacKenzie and other officers noted many times this week, soldiers bitch. Always have, always will. The fact that a soldier killed in combat last Sunday had complained to family and friends abo... More >
Mar 31, 2006
Feb 24, 2006
Feb 15, 2006
Jan 13, 2006
Jan 06, 2006
Nov 06, 2005
Nov 05, 2005
Jun 05, 2005
Mar 19, 2005
Dec 12, 2004
Jul 24, 2004
May 01, 2004
Apr 17, 2004
Feb 06, 2004
Feb 02, 2004
Feb 01, 2004
Jan 18, 2004
(originally published in the Ottawa Citizen, 2004)
"I have a little bit more money now and it's fun to buy a pair of shoes or buy a sweater or a book. I love reading. Very soon I'm going to get a computer." Mario... More >
Jul 27, 2003
Jun 08, 2002
VANCOUVER -- "I get yelled at a lot by people driving by," says Jason, staring into his coffee cup. They "come down here from the suburbs and from their houses and they treat the people down here as subhuman."
"Down here" is Vanco... More >
May 09, 2000
On June 6, 1998, a surprising letter was delivered to Kofi Annan, secretary general of the United Nations. ``We believe,'' the letter declared, ``that the global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself.''
The ... More >
Apr 12, 2000
Conventional wisdom goes like this: In the past, the people of Canada deferred to authority. A few white guys in suits ran things behind closed doors and we, the peasants, thought that was just fine as long as our lords and masters kept ... More >
Jan 02, 1999
Perhaps it's a sign of a conflicted personality, but I may be the only simultaneous fan of both Tie Domi and Toller Cranston -- the Yin and Yang of men on skates. No further explanation is needed for admiring the Leafs' enforcer than to ... More >
Oct 11, 1998
ARRAS, France - Tom Spear dabbed away a tear and said, ``You've caught me at an emotional moment.'' So it was for the First World War veteran, and others as well. In a concert in Arras, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Band had just finis... More >
Oct 11, 1998
MONS, Belgium - Minutes to go. At 10:55 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918, Pte. George Price of the Canadian Expeditionary Force held flowers given to him by Belgian townspeople. In minutes, an armistice would take effect. In minutes, the Great War,... More >