We made a little bit of history on my television show The Arena on Sun News this week.
I was interviewing American anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera while he was distributing leaflets on the campus of the University of Regina. He was speaking to me on the phone when he and Bill Whatcott were handcuffed and arrested by the police. “Sorry, gotta go, being arrested” were his departing words.
It was the second time I had interviewed LaBarbera after he became briefly infamous when invited to speak to a Weyburn, Sask., pro-life group. I made it quite clear then and repeat now that I find his and his comrade Whatcott’s opinions to be offensive, needlessly provocative, absurd and entirely damaging to the pro-life cause and to any meaningful conversation between Christians and the gay community.
I also believe LaBarbera and Whatcott have a fundamental right to hold and express these opinions and that free speech is not about some flaccid acceptance of that with which you agree but a determined and sometimes painful tolerance of that which viscerally annoys you. Read more…
Over the weekend, Justin Trudeau attended a charity boxing match in Ottawa. It was two years after Trudeau beat Patrick Brazeau in a match at the same event.
Trudeau was invited to say a few words. He said he liked boxing because it was different from the other experiences in his life. In boxing, he said, “your name, your fortune, your intelligence, your beauty – none of that f—ing matters.”
There was some tittering about Trudeau’s use of the f-word. To be sure it’s un-prime ministerial – it’s hard to see Stephen Harper or Thomas Mulcair swearing so casually and pointlessly, and at a black-tie charity event no less. But it was a boxing match, not a kids’ birthday party. Read more…
Canada’s mission to Afghanistan is officially over today.
Our flag was lowered in Kabul a few weeks ago and the final rotation of soldiers arrived back in Canada on March 18, but today is the official end.
It’s a long way from Oct. 9, 2001, when HMCS Halifax was directed to head for the Arabian Sea as part of Canada’s counterterrorism efforts. Canadian soldiers were on the ground early in Afghanistan, fighting inside American units they were stationed with. By February 2002 Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry was assembling a major presence in the fight against the Taliban.
In total 40,026 soldiers, sailors and air force personnel participated in the mission. Now they are all home and I couldn’t be happier.
My oldest son turns 14 in a few weeks, but he was just six months old when our first troops headed over. My other three children have only lived at a time when Canada was at war and meant their relatives were often overseas and facing danger.
Both his fans and his critics agree on one thing about Stephen Harper. He wants to transform the country, so Canadians will come to see his Conservatives and not the Liberals as the natural governing party.
By the election of 2015, he will have done much in that regard.
But to make that work endure, the Conservatives need history on their side. They need a narrative of Canada in which Conservative Party values are integral to the story. Voters who buy this history will then turn to Conservative leaders as the default choice in this century the way Canadians turned to Liberal leaders by default in the last century. Read more…
In a genuinely shocking decision it was announced this week that sharia principles are to become enshrined in the British legal system, with the Law Society of the United Kingdom publishing guidelines for drawing up documents according to Islamic rules. These rules would allow lawyers to, for example, write Islamic wills which will have the power to exclude non-believers and deny women an equal share of an inheritance.
The guidelines state, “The male heirs in most cases receive double the amount inherited by a female heir of the same class. Non-Muslims may not inherit at all, and only Muslim marriages are recognized.” Good old sharia. Read more…
Brian Lilley is the host of Byline on Sun News Network and a senior correspondent for Sun Media's Parliamentary Bureau in Ottawa. His weekly column is published in more than 30 daily newspapers across Canada and he appears on several leading talk radio stations.
Watch Byline at 9pm ET Monday to Friday and read Brian's columns in your Friday papers.
Brian Lilley is Senior Correspondent for Sun Media on Parliament Hill.
Brian has been covering politics for the last 10 years. Five of those years were spent as Ottawa Bureau Chief.