The political landscape in Canada is rapidly changing. In addition to the conservative governments of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, there is a blue wave sweeping across the Dominion. Right-of-center parties are gaining more and more ground: Doug Ford in Ontario last year; Jason Kenney’s recent win in Alberta; Blaine Higgs in New Brunswick; François Legault in Quebec; and most recently, Dennis King in Prince Edward Island. In 2015, by contrast, most of the provinces from the east to the west coast were left-leaning, excluding Saskatchewan. Federally, the situation seems similar. The approval rating of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, has dropped significantly in the past few months—dropping several percentage points lower than U.S. President Donald Trump.
In August of last year, the Liberals enjoyed a 12 percent lead over the opposition Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), led by Andrew Scheer. However, according to a Leger poll from April 28 of this year, the CPCs received 40 percent of the Canadian vote, as opposed to the Liberals who got 27 percent—a significant shift from last August, where the Liberals had 39 percent and the Conservatives 27 percent. This indicates the general discontent of many Canadians with the ruling party. Interestingly, the federal CPC has raised more money than any party in Canadian history for a first quarter. Moreover, they doubled the Liberal’s total. It seems Canadians are ready for a change.
However, there are still defenders of the status quo. The Liberals retain a significant lead with the “university educated.” To be frank, many who earned higher education degrees in Canada are not so much educated as indoctrinated into accepting progressive liberal ideas. University education in Canada, and the Western world more broadly, has become illiberal. It’s a realm where emotions override facts; disagreement with the ruling orthodoxy is considered hate speech; uncomfortable words are equated with violence; safe spaces are used to protect students from controversial ideas; and principles of justice like presumption of innocence are thought to be tools of the white privileged man. Leftist academics (comprising a majority of professors in Canadian universities and a 12 to 1 ratio in American universities) do not seem to be aware of the absurdity of their claims, especially considering that a significant number of them are women and other “minorities.” How can such overwhelming institutional power not be an example of minority privilege?
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These sorts of nonsensical mantras are perpetuated by students and professors alike, especially in pseudo-disciplines such as cultural, queer, race, gender, fat, and sexuality grievance studies. Recently, three scholars have exposed the corruption of a number of journals associated with these postmodern disciplines. What should be most alarming about all of this is that the money of hardworking taxpayers is going towards subsidizing irrational ideological agendas and the denigration of traditional Western achievements like the concept of human dignity and even science itself. The Lindsay Shepherd case at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2017 is one example of the corruption that exists at Canadian universities.
The Ever-changing Tide
What has been most surprising is the mainstream media’s turn on its former political darling, Prime Minister Trudeau. Unexpectedly, the leading news magazine of Canada, Maclean’s Magazine, exposed the hypocrisy and shallowness of the ever-fading brand of Trudeau’s politics. So much for his “sunny ways” and politics of transparency.
Why the apparent change of heart throughout Canada? Well, Trudeau and his Liberal Party have been involved in a political scandal with the Quebec-based engineering firm SNC Lavalin. This corporation employs roughly 9,000 Canadians and 50,000 people worldwide; it provides engineering, procurement, and construction services. The turmoil began when conservative Stephen Harper was prime minister. The company has faced numerous charges since 2012 because of multiple allegations of bribing foreign officials. In 2015, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police criminally charged SNC for allegedly bribing the Libyan Government with $47.7M and subsequently defrauding it of $129.8M. The case has been ongoing ever since.
The Globe and Mail first made the story public this February with allegations of political interference and of possible obstruction of justice by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The former justice minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould, alleged she was consistently harassed by the PMO in order to accept a prosecution agreement (which permits a company to avoid a criminal trial). Raybould, Gerald Butts, the former Principal Secretary to Trudeau, and Michael Wernick, Clerk of the Privy Council, all testified at Justice Committee hearings. Raybould maintained her position while members of the PMO reiterated that no undue pressure had been administered or laws broken. The main motivation, according to the Liberal Party, was to save jobs, and they claimed that the situation arose based on a series of misunderstandings. The Liberals depend on Quebec to maintain a majority government in parliament.
There have been many developments on the SNC scandal since it first broke out in early February. As a result, both Raybould and Jane Philpott (former president of the Treasury Board) were ousted from the Liberal Party for their refusal to play along. Trudeau has since threatened to sue the leader of the opposition, Andrew Scheer, for libel for repeating these allegations that have exposed government misconduct. Trudeau’s threats of legal action have not deterred Scheer.
Aside from this scandal, there has been a rise of discontent with the Liberal Party’s policies and actions across the political spectrum ever since Trudeau took office. Not dissimilar from our American neighbors, Canadians are increasingly divided over broad issues such as the environment (e.g., a federal imposition of a carbon tax), immigration laws, free trade, health care, drug policy (e.g., the legalization of marijuana), free speech, freedom of conscience (especially affecting the religious liberty of Christians), LGBTTIQQ2SA, abortion, euthanasia, employment equity, etc.
Some have seen it as one gaffe after another. It appears to many that he is more concerned with taking selfies than properly running the country. Moreover, he is incorrigible and runs through a predictable script like someone who suffers from ideological possession. The case has been made that he is arguably the worst PM in the history of Canada. The polls clearly indicate that Canadians no longer tolerate Trudeau’s behavior. He epitomizes in equal measure ignorance, arrogance, incompetence, and corruption. He is a bona fide relativist and self-proclaimed champion of feminism who dismisses sexual misconduct allegations and removes two of the most powerful women in the country from the Liberal caucus. He champions the environment with the imposition of a carbon tax, yet leaves a greater carbon footprint with a family vacation than the average Canadian would in a year. He is indeed postmodernism’s poster boy.
The Doublethink of Ms. Raybould
In early April, Ms. Raybould penned a letter which was meant as a challenge to the Liberal Party. Curiously, she focused on the notion of truth:
Growing up as an Indigenous person in this country I learned long ago the lesson that people believing what they wish about you does not, and cannot ever, make it the truth—rather than letting authority be the truth, let the truth be the authority. Indeed, if I had succumbed to interpreting the beliefs of others to be the truth, I never would have been able to push forward in the face of the racism and misogyny that far too many Indigenous women, and others, still experience every day.
Very well. Yes, truth should always override authority. Raybould’s statement seems to go against the postmodern notion that truth is controlled by the one who holds the podium and who can utilize language to amass power.
But what is truth? We can understand truth in a basic sense as something that corresponds with fact and reality. We assume some level of truth when we communicate, otherwise conveying ideas accurately would be impossible. This is something a relativist cannot escape. The mere fact a relativist can communicate ideas accurately in his daily life should confirm in his mind this level of truth.
Unfortunately, like many politicians, and academics, Raybould is not consistent in her upholding of truth since on May 17, 2016, she introduced into the House of Commons Bill C-16, an Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. This is a bill that includes gender identity and expression as prohibited grounds for discrimination. This makes it possible for the law to be used as a weapon against unfashionable political speech. Contrary to what many leftist professors of law claimed at the time, Jordan Peterson’s warnings turned out to be correct.
Thus, Raybould reveals an instance of doublethink, a neologism originating with George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, signifying the acceptance of two mutually contradictory ideas as being true at the same time, particularly as a result of political indoctrination. Raybould claims to uphold truth when exposing corruption and obstruction of law within her own party but then defends Bill C-16 which instantiates false notions of gender into Canadian jurisprudence so as to make compelled speech more likely.
The Follies of Gender Ideology
Raybould seems to care about truth only when it benefits her and her agenda and ignores it when it becomes inconvenient. In recent weeks, Canada has witnessed the implications of Bill C-16 in cases where individuals are “misgendered.” Take, for instance, the case of Bill Whatcott who was fined $55,000 for stating that a biological man who identifies as a female (“Morgane Oger”) is a male. This has set an ominous precedent. Feelings do not care about facts since the judge ruled that Whatcott must “pay Ms. Oger $35,000 in damages as compensation for injury to her dignity, feelings, and self‐respect.” The judge who made this ruling has discarded objective truth and biological facts in favor of feelings. The law pushed by trans activists does not help transgender individuals. The law legitimizes pernicious ideas while denigrating the human person. Upholding biological truth and providing proper psychiatric care for someone who has gender dysphoria (previously known as gender identity disorder before lobbyists pushed to remove it from the DSM-V) is defending someone’s dignity and self-respect. Delusions make people do foolish things; now we have our court systems affirming these falsities.
The truth is that 99 percent of people’s gender is equivalent to their sex; there is only a 1 percent deviation and these individuals would be considered intersex. Indeed, sex is binary by definition. Our biological sex and all the cells of our body are immutable right down to the genetic level. It is most definitely not a construct or a spectrum as the activists and postmodern “academics” would have you believe. Humans are a sexually dimorphic species and this fact is essential to biological evolution. The philosopher of psychology Pablo Muñoz Iturrieta has probably written the best scientific and philosophical critique of transgenderism since When Harry Became Sally; it is titled Atrapado en el Cuerpo Equivocado (Trapped in the Wrong Body). Unfortunately, the book has not been translated into English yet, but Iturrieta is having an influence on the Spanish-speaking world.
What’s more is that a growing number of people identify as non-binary—neither male nor female. Jamie Shupe, a person who considered himself non-binary, was the first in the United States. He now has revealed transgenderism to be a sham. Even more disturbing is the growing number of children identifying as “trans.” National Geographic has promoted the “gender revolution.” Some “health professionals” are eagerly promoting hormonal therapy and even sexual reassignment for children. Even the American Psychological Association has abandoned biology by defining “gender identity” as “a person’s internal sense of being male, female, or something else.” Parents should protect their children from these charlatans. In Ontario, the largest Canadian province, we have pending legislation suggesting that parents who oppose their offspring identifying as the opposite sex are liable to have their child taken away. This is absolute madness.
Every critically minded person should fight against this. One of the top psychiatrists for children and adolescents, Dr. Allen Josephson, was fired from the University of Louisville for stating the obvious, namely, that gender identity should not overturn basic biology because it “neglects the developmental needs of children and relies on ideas that are just not true.” He further stated that it is counter to medical science to allow it to override our knowledge regarding “chromosomes, hormones, internal reproductive organs, external genitalia, and secondary sex characteristics.”
Others, such as Canadian psychologist Oren Amitay, have had the courage and moral conscience to speak out against transgender ideology. The evidence shows that children who are diagnosed as transgender typically grow out of these confused identities after puberty. Amitay has received much flack and has been banned on Twitter and censored on Facebook. When implemented on young children the consequences of this form of Cultural Marxism is nothing short of reprehensible and tantamount to child abuse—one with devastating effects on vulnerable children. Some activists are even encouraging trans boys to “pack” penises for girls under age five.
Gender ideology is corrosive and usurps everything in its path. Countless health professionals are bowing down to this politically correct insanity due to fear of reprisal. Activists have demonized lesbian academics such as Camille Paglia (who even identifies as transgender herself) and legendary athletes such as Martina Navratilova for daring to speak against the absurdity of allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports just because they identify as women. Women always seem to be on the losing end; transgender women are breaking world records in powerlifting. Some radical feminists have begun to push back against this transgender ideology when it comes to transgender women (i.e., men) going to prison with women because of growing instances of rape.
The changing political landscape in Canada over the last two years will likely help push back against these irrational and pernicious ideologies which seek to destroy Western civilization. Only then can we preserve reason, science, and our common law rights that are now being threatened. In the process we will be able to protect our children from abuse and ensure that those who need help will get the proper care and support they need. For this to happen, a revolution is needed in not just the academy, but in the psyche and heart of a misinformed and disoriented society. It will nonetheless be interesting to see how the changing political landscape will affect these debates. Changing administrations doesn’t always lead to profound cultural repercussions. But if we ultimately rely on truth, love, and reason, then we have nothing to be afraid of in the long run. As we prepare for parliamentary elections this coming October, it is my hope that Canada, like other countries in recent years, will turn away from the political extremism of the left and embrace the common sense conservative center of Canadian politics.
Correction (May 29): The correct name of the official opposition party of Canada is the Conservative Party of Canada, not the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. The current title was established when the Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance united to form one party in 2003.