Canada’s best source for informed, lively commentary and
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Issue 28 – Winter / Spring 2011

Questions of identity are central to Inroads 28. Political scientists Keith Banting, Richard Johnston, Will Kymlicka and Stuart Soroka ask whether diversity and multicultural policies can coexist with support for redistribution toward the poor and vulnerable groups. Their answer is a qualified yes. Linguistic identity underlies Charles Castonguay’s article about the relative vitality of French and English in Quebec and Ontario. Carefully analyzing 2001 and 2006 census data, he shows that French is losing ground in both provinces. Questions of identity play out in a different arena in an excerpt from Sharbari Ahmed’s novel-in-progress, Bombay Duck, which is set in Calcutta in the 1940s and brings the reader inside the communal violence that tore Calcutta apart in 1946.   


banting pic

Are diversity and solidarity incompatible? Canada in comparative context

Canada provides a counternarrative to the US. The progressive agenda of diversity combined with solidarity is feasible, if inevitably fragile. [From Inroads 28, 2011]
by Keith Banting


Tearing down the barriers of exclusivism

When in the name of freedom of religion, courts overrule sound laws and regulations, they collude in stifling freedom of conscience. [From Inroads 28, 2011]
by Pierre Joncas



Death and no taxes

The right-wing revolution that began with Margaret Thatcher has left Canada with two legacies. The first change was to the sissy notion that war is bad. The second legacy is the widespread hatred of taxes. [From Inroads 28, 2011]
by Arthur Milner


The audacity of nope: Populism makes democracy less democratic, not more

B.C. has a unique Recall and Initiative Act, as well as hosted the Citizens’ Assembly; it thus offers the rest of the country the worst and the best faces of political reform [From Inroads 28, 2011]
by Reg Whitaker


illustration based on falg for census

The Great Census Debate of 2010

To elevate the right to privacy above the collection of accurate socioeconomic statistics makes bad government almost inevitable. [From Inroads 28, 2011]
by John Richards


Sweden’s election affirmed the 
country’s basic values and achievements

The outcome of Sweden's September election is the latest development in an inevitable process: Sweden is edging closer to the pattern of its Nordic and northern European neighbours. [From Inroads 28, 2011]
by Henry Milner



Is there a future for the NDP in New Brunswick?

By pushing to the centre without engaging in the dialogue, the party alienated many activists, union members and other traditional supporters. [From Inroads 28, 2011]
by Nicole O'byrne

duck station

Bombay Duck: Excerpts from a novel-in-progress

In 1942 American GIs pour into Calcutta. Yasmine Khan opens a nightclub called Bombay Duck smack in the middle of town to entertain the restless GIs. [From Inroads 28, 2011]
by Sharbari Ahmed



Most hated man or essential fixer? Two accounts of Thomas Cromwell and the uses of power

In a world where ideologues like Thomas More are prized for standing on principle there is need for the fixers like Cromwell, without whom the machinery of state would grind to a halt. [From Inroads 28, 2011]
by Susan Altschul

Paper Mill

Lament for a notion: A response to Kevin Little

Red Tories deny the reality of modern Canada. Our successful governments have followed a more neoconservative (BC, Alberta) or social democratic (Saskatchewan, Manitoba) path. [From Inroads 28, 2011]
by Dominic Cardy


red tory

Red Tories: Best hope for a green restoration?

As long as liberals focus on “rights,” socialists on “equality” and Blue Tories on “the pursuit of happiness,” there will be ample room for Red Tories, who see natural limits to progress, freedom and greed. [From In...
by Kevin Little


Quebec’s $7-a-day universal childcare: A few doubts

Quebec has high debt and high taxes. Perhaps Quebec should instead scale back the subsidy and consider options such as childcare targeted to Aboriginal communities and age-four kindergarten. [From Inroads 28, 2011]
by John Richards



Are Quebec’s $7-a-day public daycare centres in danger?

The Liberal government has strongly encouraged the development of for-profit daycare centres. Financing per child has increased almost twice as fast as in public daycare. [From Inroads 28, 2011]
by Luc Allaire


Something blue: Conservative organization in an era of permanent campaign

An insider confirms the high level of message discipline and of secrecy surrounding internal deliberations: an almost military atmosphere that befits an era of permanent campaign. [From Inroads 28, 2011]
by Tom Flanagan


bilingual blackboard

English versus French: A comparison of vitality in Quebec and Ontario yields surprising results

Is Camille Laurin’s dream that Quebec should be as French as Ontario is English turning into a nightmare? [From Inroads 28, 2011]
by Charles Castonguay


A multifaith conversation about diversity, enlightenment and brownification

At Interfaith Grand River people from different religious traditions on confront questions of religion, identity, culture and society [From Inroads 28, 2011]
by Bob Chodos



Cultural diversity and Quebec’s common public culture

Imposed secularization, state appropriation of public education and multicultural orthodoxy do not augur well for coping with “deep cultural diversity "(Caldwell). [From Inroads 28, 2011]
by Gary Caldwell