The death last week of 14 members of a Humboldt, Saskatchewan Junior hockey team in a bus-truck highway collision struck the entire country with unusual force. Memorials echoed in all ten provinces with flags flying at half mast in many, with shock and a note of seeming despair on open line shows. Nationwide, there came commiserations and pity of undeniable sincerity for all involved. This went on for the whole of the following week. But why, exactly? If it had been, say, 14 dead in an airplane crash, would the effect have been that pronounced and that prolonged? I don't think so. It seemed there was something special about this. What was it?
When an outspoken politician suddenly falls silent, be assured that somebody has got to him with an unpleasant message: "Please do us all a favour, and try to keep your big mouth shut for a change." Something less lucid than that, probably, but the meaning got through. The particular politician I have in mind has become well known to many in the Canadian province where I live, Alberta. He is David Eggen, our minister of Education. Within a week or so he will have completed an entire session of the Legislature without enraging anybody.
Throughout what's coming to be a very long lifetime. much of it spent covering and watching politics, I think the strangest and most improbable thing I've ever seen is the phenomenon known as the "social media." It's strange because it represents an endeavour in what can accurately be described as "pure democracy." It's improbable because officialdom to date has not found a way of suppressing it, or even touching it.
The most irksome problem facing the conservative movement in both United States and Canada is the conflict between what are often referred to as the “Fiscal Conservatives” and the “Social Conservatives.” It is at present particularly acute in my own province of Alberta where the controversy has split the political Right severely enough to break it in two, resulting in the unthinkable phenomenon of a socialist government in a terrain renowned for its conservative traditions.
"When a girl goes out on her first date." my wife once remarked, "she has two concerns. First, that the boy might become sexually aggressive, because that could mean there was something wrong with him. Second, that the boy might not become sexually aggressive, because that could mean there was something wrong with her." Even in our day, that is, sex posed problems. But you'd have to look pretty hard through all of history to find anything to equate with what's going on today. For we have reached the era of the "#MeToo" movement in which, as usual, the quest for freedom has led to bondage, and the people in bonds are all women.
The continuing attempt of Alberta's minister of education to force the province's Catholic schools to stop teaching Christian morality in their sex-ed courses and teach the government's version of morality instead makes immediately relevant what appears below. It is a chapter from a book I am currently writing. It's on the rooted determination of bureaucracies to silence any Christian voice in the shaping of education policy, and how they co-opted an unwitting media to help them do it. It goes a long way back, but it is certainly working. We are losing young people from the faith in frightening numbers, not in the universities, but in the high schools.
Preston Manning, the man who thought up, started, built and initially led the western Canadian political rebellion at the turn of the 21st Century, a rebellion that wound up winning three consecutive federal elections, has written another book. Only this isn't really a book. It's more like a manual on how practicing Christians can survive and thrive in modern politics. And not just Christians, some of their fellow travellers as well.
I have attached a video to this column that was made by Stuart Wachowicz, former director of curriculum for the Edmonton Public Schools. It is of vital interest to any parent who has a son or sons in the school system. Mr. Wachowicz is a man of extraordinary common sense for an education bureaucrat which probably explains why he no longer is one.
His message is straight forward. The reason that university enrolments are now running at sixty-six percent female is that the public school system right across the western world is so heavily biased against males that most young men are effectually doomed to an inferior status. Such a charge may sound preposterous, but Mr. Wachowicz, with the help of another former executive in the Edmonton system, proves it conclusively.
Things have been relatively tranquil these past two months on what might be called the "sex-ed issue," which simmers just below the boiling point in three Canadian provinces and innumerable American states. The controversy centers on the intense campaign of the so-called "gay lobby" to coerce the general citizenry to accept, endorse, admire, cheer and otherwise celebrate forms of sexual conduct that 15 or 20 years ago were widely viewed as perverted if not depraved.