Ian Hunter

Ian Hunter

Ian Hunter is Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Law at Western University in London, Ont.

What makes Premier Dalton McGuinty’s treatment of Toronto Archbishop (and Cardinal) Thomas Collins over the gay-straight alliances particularly distressing is that the Church asked for so little and wound up with nothing. To go down fighting in defence of core teachings of the Church would be one thing, but to get a dismissive backhand from the premier when the Church had already accommodated almost every item of Bill-13 and when all that was left is nomenclature, well, that is truly humiliating.

Of course, Cardinal Collins was betrayed by many of his putative allies. OECTA, the Catholic teachers’ union, made it clear that they sided with McGuinty and not with the Church from which they derive their raison d’etre. Quislings too, publicly or privately, were many Catholic school trustees. With allies like these, how could anyone confidently go into battle?

For 500 years the Anglican Church has made an indelible contribution to Christianity. Particularly in liturgy and music, Anglicans have offered up the best that human inspiration and expression could achieve. So it is sad to watch the worldwide Anglican Communion drift further into schism.

Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has announced his retirement at the end of 2012. The position of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Anglican tradition is not comparable to the Pope in the Catholic Church; nevertheless the Archbishop remains primus inter pares, first among equals, in the Anglican hierarchy. 

In springtime, wrote Alfred Tennyson, “…a young man’s thoughts lightly turn to love.” But this spring the thoughts of young Quebecois have turned not to love but to revolution. And for what cause? Sit down before I tell you — tuition fees.

Never mind that tuition fees are already lower in Quebec than anywhere else in North America. Never mind that if Premier Jean Charest gets his way and bumps them up a bit, they will still remain the lowest in North America. Such considerations have not deterred the wannabe Trotskyites, the occupiers and their anarchist friends, who at night have taken over some downtown Montreal blocks — smashing windows, upturning cars and hurling rocks at police. On May 1 the police made more than 95 arrests. On May 4 the protesters tried for them a “new” tactic that actually comes from the Canadian Doukhabor playbook back in the 1960s — nudity.

“I wish to register a complaint.”  This famous opening line of the Dead Parrot skit by Monty Python, I hereby appropriate to register a blanket complaint concerning cyberlouts.

Cyberlouts come in a variety of guises, including those who persist in using cellphones when I am trying to speak with them. Faced with such rudeness in private conversation, I can (and do) walk away. No big deal.

When it comes to apologizing, Canadians need not be modest. Of course, we have competition because we live in a global village of apologies.

Australians have apologized to aboriginal peoples for having taken their land. Brits have apologized to half the world for colonialization. Canada has not only apologized for the experiment known as residential schools, but (at a cost of billions) has created a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which is currently parading around the country hearing tales of abuse from both those who suffered and from those who recognize the sound of a bandwagon passing by.

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