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858 Canadian quotations of 6,095, showing Herney to Lemelin

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Herney, Sulian  
The weapon of choice in today's society is no longer the armed standoff. It is solidarity and unity through communications. The weapons of faxes, modems, computers, and other communication devices are the most effective...

Holmes, John W.  
It is still Canada's problem to convince foreigners - and to some extent its own people - that it is for real.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Beneath the skin of every Canadian there lurks a missionary.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Houde, Camillien  
If you are going to lead people, you have to know where they are going.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Howe, Constance Beresford  
The trouble is, you can never escape a righteous upbringing.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Hunter, Ian  
We've had a public appointment process [for selecting Ontario Court justices] in Ontario for 12 years now, and it's intensified the search for disabled, black lesbian judges. Whether it has been the Liberals, NDP or Conservatives in power, the tendency has been to get more activist judges, rather than less.

Jan. 19, 1998 - quoted in "The makings of a counter-revolution", an essay in Alberta Report
Today political correctness imposes a more stifling conformity on the school system that religious fundamentalists ever did. The sad truth about the Scopes trial [the "Monkey Trial" of 1925] is that we learned so little from it.

Jul. 22, 1999 - from "The evolution of PC teaching", published in the National Post newspaper
From Regina v. Morgentaler (Jan. 28, 1988), when at the stroke of a judicial pen Canada had no abortion law, to this day, the Supreme Court has reduced moral issues to consumer choices...

Jan. 01, 1998 - quoted in an interview published in The Interim, an online journal
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a by-product of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's 1982 patriation package, fundamentally changed 115 years of Canadian constitutional history. Essentially, the Charter meant a shift from a system of parliamentary supremacy to one of constitutional supremacy. Since April 17, 1982, it is the Charter of Rights, not parliament, which is sovereign, "the supreme law of the land", to use the language of section 52 of the Constitution Act. The Canadian electorate still goes to the polls quadrennially, but it is now judges, not legislators, who decide such important issues of public policy as abortion, euthanasia, and even the legitimacy of Quebec secession.

Nov. 1998 - from "From Christian Virtues to Judicial Values", his George Goth Memorial Lecture
To put my point bluntly: in 1982 Canada ceased to be governed by parliamentary supremacy and instead became a country of constitutional supremacy. Well, constitutional supremacy sounds fine; what's wrong with that? What's wrong is that constitutions are not self-interpreting. They require to be interpreted. The interpretation function falls to an unelected judiciary, finally to the nine judges of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Nov. 1998 - from "From Christian Virtues to Judicial Values", his George Goth Memorial Lecture

... the judiciary has moved from being the least powerful branch of government to, arguably, the most powerful. Decision-making by the courts is the antithesis of democracy.

Nov. 1998 - from "From Christian Virtues to Judicial Values", his George Goth Memorial Lecture
... except for "justice", a word used by the courts in a sense very different from the biblical usage, where it really means "righteousness", there is no overlap between Christian virtues and what the Canadian Courts have identified as Charter values. This is the more remarkable when we remember that Canadian common law was shaped by Judeo-Christian precepts.

Nov. 1998 - from "From Christian Virtues to Judicial Values", his George Goth Memorial Lecture
[The "notwithstanding clause", Section 33, of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms] This myth has grown up that any government that wants to opt-out of a charter ruling must be Nazi or something, but it's just not true.... At some point, the court will do something really stupid, and provoke a crisis of legitimacy. At that point, the provinces will have to find the courage to correct them. Once two or three of them opt out of stupid judgements, the use of the notwithstanding clause will cease to be a big issue.

Jan. 19, 1998 - quoted in "The makings of a counter-revolution", an essay in Alberta Report
When truth is dethroned, only power remains.

Mar. 15, 2001 - from "Skepticism as society's 'death knell'", published in the National Post
The hiring policy at York University — that pons asinorum of Canadian higher education — is, alas, fairly typical. In academic units in which 45 per cent or less of the tenure-stream faculty are women, a female candidate must be offered the position unless there is a 'demonstrably superior male candidate.' Every hiring committee, even more every dean, knows that proving 'demonstrable superiority' is a steep hill to climb. How much easier, how much better for one's career prospects, to avoid trouble, to avoid confrontation, to avoid the accusation of chauvinism, and to just go along with the university's stated policy of 'encouraging diversity.' So let us have the 'diversity' candidate, although perhaps not the 'best' candidate. A decade and a half of such hiring decisions have reduced Canadian universities to the intellectual backwaters they now are.

Jul. 1999 - from "Academia's road to ruin", published in The Next City Magazine, Summer 1999
We shrug off the burden of self-government when we let the courts decide fundamental issues of policy.

Feb. 23, 1999 - from "Democracy and its discontents", published in the National Post newspaper
The chivvying and badgering of citizens by uncivil servants, and by burgeoning government boards, agencies, and commissions (most egregiously by human rights commissions, which not only tell us how to act, but what to say and how to think), ... remains ... a threat to self-government; but at the end of the 20th century what is a more serious threat is judicial usurpation of democracy.

Feb. 23, 1999 - from "Democracy and its discontents", published in the National Post newspaper
When Canadians allow fundamental issues of public policy -- such as abortion, euthanasia, or whether possession of child pornography should be a crime -- to be decided by courts, rather than by Parliament, they are shrugging off the perhaps now irksome burden of self-government. At bottom, democracy is anti-authoritarian, not because it arrives at correct, or even principled, conclusions, but because it imposes on everyone the burden of thinking and deciding for oneself. How much easier to allow the nine philosopher-kings on the Supreme Court of Canada to think and decide for us.

Feb. 23, 1999 - from "Democracy and its discontents", published in the National Post newspaper
... ever since [John Stuart] Mill's essay On Liberty in 1859 we have come to think of liberty almost exclusively in individualistic terms, a view the [Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms] embodies. But the claim to individual liberty may often mask harm to the collectivity. After all, we are not just atomized individuals, we are also members of a community, citizens of a society. The individual's claim to liberty, albeit expressed in the high-minded rhetoric of rights, often conceals selfish, sometimes (as in the British Columbia child pornography case) perverse, interests. The lone, brave individual standing his ground against the menacing omnipotent State was Mill's archetype, and this is a powerful symbol; the sadistic criminal going free and making citizens ever more fearful, even in their own homes, is the more common reality.

Feb. 23, 1999 - from "Democracy and its discontents", published in the National Post newspaper
[Allowing courts to decide major issues] Such a puerile approach to deep questions of political philosophy is consistent with what I often think to be the governing dynamic of Canadian life -- the principle of infantile regression -- but it does immeasurable harm to the possibility of mature political discourse. It also inflates judicial hubris.

Feb. 23, 1999 - from "Democracy and its discontents", published in the National Post newspaper

... the problem is that we look to the [Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms] for that which it cannot give -- the discernment of an appropriate balance between freedom and restraint, between liberty and license, between indulgence and self-discipline. The Charter cannot provide such discernment because that must come from within, not from without, from the heart and mind and soul.

Feb. 23, 1999 - from "Democracy and its discontents", published in the National Post newspaper
Hutchison, Bruce  
For we are young, my brothers, and full of doubt, and we have listened too long to timid men. But now our time is come and we are ready.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Iacobucci, Frank  
Moreover, whenever a judge narrows the choice to a sentence involving a sentence of incarceration, the judge is obliged to consider the unique systemic or background circumstances which may have played a part in bringing the particular aboriginal offender before the courts. As well, the judge must consider the types of practicable procedures and sanctions which would be appropriate in the circumstances for the offender because of his or her particular aboriginal heritage.

Feb. 17, 2000 - from the decision in R. v. Wells, describing provisions in Section 718 of the Criminal Code of Canada
Ignatieff, Michael  
Virtual war ... is a dangerous illusion. It has emerged because it promises to restore war to its place as the continuation of politics by other means.

2000 - from Virtual War, using Karl von Clausewitz' phrase about war as a continuation of politics
War must always be the very last instrument of policy - but when the sword is raised, it must be used to strike decisevely, for only decisive force yields results which can justify its use in the first place.

2000 - from Virtual War
Values are real to the degree we are prepared to risk something in order to make them prevail. Values are virtual when they remain rhetorical, when the commitments we express are not followed by action.

2000 - from Virtual War
The moral claim that nations are entitled to be defended by force depends on the cultural claim that the needs they satisfy for security and belonging are uniquely important. The political idea that all peoples should struggle for nationhood depends on the cultural claim that only nations can satisfy these needs. The cultural idea in turn underwrites the political claim that these needs cannot be satisfied without self-determination. Each one of these claims is contestable and none is intuitively obvious.

from Blood and Belonging
Jacques, Elliot  
Everything is teams, teams, teams ... but we've brought in the teams in ways that have totally undermined the importance of effective managerial leadership.

May 1992 - quoted in "The Long View of Leadership" by Alexander Ross, published in Canadian Business Magazine
James, F. Cyril  
A free man is as jealous of his responsibilities as he is of his liberties.

Jenkinson, Michael  
When I asked [one-time and would-be Prime Minister Joe] Clark what, in lieu of ideology, becomes the prime philosophical underpinning of a political party, he answered, 'Serving the public interest.'

A review by [Alberta Report] of the [education] results in Edmonton and Calgary found great inequality, but a consistent pattern: independent schools usually do better than Catholic, and Catholic schools usually do better than public.

Jul. 15, 1996 - from "The marks are out and the excuses are in", Alberta Report
Canada's official statistics gathering agency announced ... that beginning in 1998, it will no longer conduct annual counts of marriages and divorces. That move has persuaded sceptics that the agency is using budget cuts to further an anti-family political agenda.

Jul. 22, 1996 - from "In the eyes of God, but not of Ottawa", Alberta Report
Jewison, Norman  
Films can have a tremendous impact on us because they can show us how life can be if we're not careful.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Johnson, Harry  
Most things about economics are simple, the problem is to recognize simplicity when you see it!

Jonas, George  
People who aren't especially smart are especially impressed by nimble brains. This is particularly true of people who have been educated beyond their intellectual means, which describes the majority of this country's, or perhaps any country's, chattering classes.

Oct. 16, 2000 - from "The evil men do lives after them", published in the National Post
Certain errors actually require high IQs.

Oct. 16, 2000 - from "The evil men do lives after them", published in the National Post
Most Canadians who said "no" to Meech Lake and later to Charlottetown [both doomed constitutional proposals of the Mulroney Tory government] weren't rejecting either French Canada or unity. They were merely refusing to carve group politics into stone. They were saying no to a country whose people draw their identities not from being citizens but from belonging to this or that "distinct" tribe, this or that race, this or that income bracket, or even this or that sex or sexual orientation. People said no to replacing Canada with a patchwork of inward-looking, hostile fragments: Francos and Anglos, whites and blacks, immigrants and natives, perhaps even men and women - strangers who co-exist in a state of uneasy truce like passengers on a subway train, sharing a destination but no destiny.

Oct. 16, 2000 - from "The evil men do lives after them", published in the National Post
It's possible to quantify the economic results of [former Prime Minister Pierre] Trudeau's legacy of Big Government ... The national debt grew from $11.3 billion in 1968 to $128 billion in 1984. The annual federal deficit went from zero to $25 billion. Ottawa's spending rose from 30% of Canada's total economic output to nearly 53%; our dollar plummeted from around US$1.06 to 66 cents today. The unemployment rate has been running between three and five percentage points higher here than in the United States, and Canada reduced itself from being one of the world's three richest nations 30 years ago (along with Switzerland and the U.S.) to one of the three leading debtor nations in the West, alongside Belgium and Italy.

Oct. 16, 2000 - from "The evil men do lives after them", published in the National Post
To the dismay of Plato's latter-day disciples who are forever trying to set up the Just Society by central edict, right and wrong are resolved by the inner moral compass of people, though modified from time to time by their religion, common experience, climate, technology, social organization, historic period, and cultural fashion. Even commissars or ayatollahs have to deal with something akin to Immanual Kant's categorical imperative.

Oct. 16, 2000 - from "The evil men do lives after them", published in the National Post
Media fashions may be changing, but several Canadian prisoners of gender politics are still in jail. To this day people wonder how could Germans, a highly civilized people, surrender the best traditions of their society to the pseudo-scientific ravings of Nazi zealots. Perhaps we should wonder no more. We, too, have surrendered some of our legal system to pseudo-scientific ravings. Luckily, our victims number only hundreds, not millions, and most are still alive. We can yet repair the damage.

May 4, 1998 - from "Hysterical lies of the mind", published in the Toronto Sun

Liberals have naive illusions about others, while conservatives have naive illusions about themselves.

Feb., 1999 - from "From Soup to Nuts: Aphorisms on liberals and conservatives", published in the Pith Review
Western left-wing journalists tend to be cynics in relation to their own societies, and naive in relation to trendy Utopias (not to mention ancient or distant cultures.) For instance, they'll know all about the price of capitalism, but little about its value, while they'll see the value of socialism, but won't have a clue about its price.

Feb., 1999 - from "From Soup to Nuts: Aphorisms on liberals and conservatives", published in the Pith Review
In the first stages of emerging tyrannies the higher echelons of the civil service tend to be filled with true believers. Then, in later stages, true believers give way to plain opportunists.

Feb., 1999 - from "From Soup to Nuts: Aphorisms on liberals and conservatives", published in the Pith Review
... our law is not gender blind, or race blind any longer. Indeed, it's not blind to many other expediencies of the result-oriented state. It's quite true that under the pressure of statist forces, including radical feminists, Canada has snatched the blindfold from the Goddess of Justice. This precisely is the problem. This is how our system is coming to resemble fascism and communism.

Mar. 20, 1999 - from "Some more equal than others? Pshaw!", published in the National Post newspaper
I'm worried about guns, but I'm more worried about gun control. ... In free societies people shouldn't be called upon to justify their need for anything they wished to own. (Unless they wished to own it for an illegitimate purpose - in which case no 'need' would serve as a justification.) There's nothing abstract about this: it ties in with everyone's daily life. If society demands to know people's 'needs' for their personal choices, and then judges such needs by the tastes or standards of others, it opens the door to tyranny.

Mar. 8, 1995 - from "Questions which shouldn't be asked", published in the Toronto Sun newspaper
[Re: $145 billion U.S. settlement against tobacco companies] Even in an era such as ours, in which we've been trying to redistribute risks in society not according to who incurs them but who can best afford to pay, such an attempt to shift responsibility for our own actions to the "deep pockets" of someone else has reached a new height of absurdity.

Jul. 15, 2000 - from "Just what were they smoking?", published in the National Post
[Former liberal prime minister of Canada Pierre Elliot] Trudeau suffered from the same statist illusions that affected some of the finest minds of our century. Certain errors require high IQ's. In our times many clever people became mesmerized with the notion that socialism (or at least a form of corporate statism) was the wave of the future. Mr. Trudeau was no exception. He was deeply suspicious of some European traditions, especially the homogenous nation-state, but quite open to many of Europe's most baneful influences, from leftish fads to autocracy.

Oct. 18, 1999 - from "Left wing, charming, and wrong", published in the National Post newspaper
[Former liberal prime minister of Canada Pierre Elliot] Trudeau's vision of Canada as a sheltered multicultural workshop ruled by philosopher princes, policed by human rights commissions and run by assorted social engineers has dominated our country for the last 31 years under both political parties. He must, therefore, take his share of the blame for our high taxes, shrinking dollar, stubborn unemployment, crumbling social services, continuing bi- and multicultural hostilities, gender-warfare, declining family values and diminishing civil liberties.

Oct. 18, 1999 - from "Left wing, charming, and wrong", published in the National Post newspaper
[Christian clerics agree to a 'protocol office' request to expunge most Christian references from their remarks at a service for the victims of the Swissair crash off Nova Scotia] In their eagerness to render to Caesar what's God's, they provided their own version of the Apostle Peter's, 'I don't know this man,' denying their Saviour before the cock crowed thrice. Why would Christian clerics agree to participate in a memorial service on condition they make no reference to the New Testament or Jesus? How could pastors consent to not declaring their beliefs? Why would they think not confessing Christianity honours Christian victims or comforts Christian survivors? And if it doesn't, what purpose could their participation in a memorial ceremony possibly serve?

Dec. 24th, 1998 - from "Priests betrayed their religion", published in Perspective, Southam News
I'm part of Canada's 'multicultural reality.' I can confidently say that the immigrants I've known ­ and I have known many ­ had no difficulty swearing an oath of loyalty to the Queen. On the contrary. We came to Canada precisely because we liked, and wanted to adopt, the tradition that the Queen symbolized to us: Individual freedom, liberal democracy and the rule of law. It was indeed a 'British' tradition, because... it existed in few places outside of Great Britain and countries that have elected to model their systems after the best British institutions.

Aug. 1, 1999 - from "May the Queen preserve us", published in the Montreal Gazette newspaper

Assume you're a feminist. To further your political objective, which is to secure advantages for your group, you need to replace a liberal principle, namely equality, with an illiberal principle, to wit, inequality. It would be bad form for you to say so, of course, but that's not all. In an essentially liberal society such as Canada, pushing inequality would be useless. It simply wouldn't fly. But what if you stuck an adjective -- say, 'formal' -- in front of the word 'equality'? Then you could contrast 'formal equality' with a newly minted concept for inequality that sounded better -- say, 'substantive equality.' Now you're on track. While you couldn't sell the idea of replacing equality with inequality, replacing 'formal equality' with 'substantive equality' might have legs. Presto, the feminist party line.

Mar. 20, 1999 - from "Some more equal than others? Pshaw!", published in the National Post newspaper
Kay, Jonathan  
The West's high school educated blue-collar workforce can offer neither knowledge or cheap labour. This is why unions have suddenly become so concerned with human rights and working conditions in Asia and Latin America. They hope to destroy trade agreements by saddling them with labour and environmental standards -- climate-controlled factories, 40-hour work weeks, state-of-the-art pollution controls -- that poor countries will be unable to meet for decades.

Apr. 18, 2001 - from "The prime of Ms. Naomi Klein"
Keate, Stuart  
In any world menu, Canada must be considered the vichyssoise of nations--it's cold, half-French, and difficult to stir.

Kelebay, Yarema  
[Education reform] ... paradigms tend to be tenacious and it will require both courage and work to effect change.

from "Captitalism to Socialism"
Kenney, Jason  
The way the [judicial] system works these days, there's a perverse incentive for elected representatives to turn controversial issues over to the judges. That way, they can say to their constituents, 'The judges made me do it'. The only solution is to elect politicians with the courage to confront the issues and defend the prerogatives of the democratically-elected legislatures.

Jan. 19, 1998 - quoted in "The makings of a counter-revolution", an essay in Alberta Report
Kimura, Doreen  
Although [Ontario premier] Mike Harris' Conservative party in Ontario did away with the [previously-governing New Democratic Party's] employment equity legislation, it has done nothing to rid Ontario universities of employment equity offices and practices. The Ontario ministry of education and training last year stated that employment equity is a 'prerogative of the institution'. So Ontario citizens are still encumbered by a system they thought they were rejecting by electing the Harris government.

Jul. 26, 1999 - from "Affirmative action is junk science", published in the National Post
Three separate studies of employment practices in Canadian universities have reported that women are being hired in proportions higher than would be expected from their numbers in the pool of qualified applicants. This applies to all fields, including science. Inevitably, this means some women are being hired over better-qualified men. Although women are indeed found in lower numbers in the physical sciences than in other fields (a pattern found throughout the world), there is no credible evidence that this is due to either systemic or direct discrimination.

Jul. 26, 1999 - from "Affirmative action is junk science", published in the National Post
King, W.L. MacKenzie  
It is what we prevent, rather than what we do, that counts most in Government.

Aug. 26, 1936
The promises of yesterday are the taxes of today.

Government in the last analysis is organized opinion. Where there is little or no public opinion, there is likely to be bad government, which sooner or later becomes autocratic government.

Klein, Ralph  
I believe in free speech as long as you say the right thing.

1997 - from a speech during his campaign for re-election
The critics say you can't run government like a business. I respond, well, we can't run government like a government any more.

Dec. 10, 1994 - quoted in The Globe and Mail by Robert Mason Lee, published in Famous Lasting Words by John Robert Columbo
The government should be getting out of the business of being in business.

Mar. 23, 1998 - quoted on CBC Radio's This Morning, published in Famous Lasting Words by John Robert Columbo
Klenman, Norman  
Of the 314 movies funded by government bodies, only one has made its money back: Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter... Let people go out and raise their own money on the viability of their ideas, talents, and ambitions. Let them owe no allegiance to the tracts and politics of funding boards. No rewrites to suit the ignorant. No attempts to please the politically correct, unimaginative bureaucrats who now dictate what projects to fund and under what conditions. No more neat propaganda for social engineering. These mandating jerks have failed 313 out of the last 314 times... Will the government learn?... Don't you believe it.

Oct. 19, 1998 - Column in The Globe and Mail
Knopf, Rainer  
So long as our judges were simply adjudicating particular cases, they had a real claim to judicial independence. But now they are setting all kinds of public policy from the bench. And they still want to hold on to all the accoutrements of judicial independence, so in effect, they can't be held accountable for their policy-making. They want to have their cake and eat it.

Jan. 19, 1998 - quoted in "The makings of a counter-revolution", an essay in Alberta Report
The Supreme Court is no longer a court, but an overtly political censor, an oracle ready to second-guess disputable political judgments whenever it sees the need.

Apr. 2000 - from The Charter Revolution and The Court Party (with Ted Morton)
We should not be surprised when, having been taught that toleration presupposes approval, people refuse to tolerate what they hate.

Apr. 1999 - from "Courts don't make good compromises", published in Policy Options by the Institute for Public Policy
L'Heureux-Dubé, Claire  
 Under our society's democratic principles, individual freedoms such as expression are not absolute, but may be limited in consideration of a broader spectrum of rights, including equality and security of the person. [emphasis added]

Jan. 26, 2001 - from the dissenting opinion in R. v. Sharpe
Laframboise, Donna  
A growing chorus of critics say the highly politicized character of many [women's shelter] facilities means that the client's needs take second place to the agenda of the people in charge. In some cases, the critics say, these services are being run by zealots concerned with dogma who are overly hostile to men, male children, and heterosexual relationships.

Nov. 14, 1998 - The National Post
While accountability is a buzzword in the women's movement where male behaviour is concerned, report after report has stressed that accountability is sorely lacking in feminist-run social services. Tens of millions of public and charitable dollars are handed over every year to organizations with long records of financial and managerial scandal.

Nov. 14, 1998 - The National Post

Lamer, Antonio  
We're in the field of pathology ... we get the sick laws, we don't get the good and clear laws.

Sep. 1990 - quoted in the National Post on Aug. 23, 1999
It's easy to be against the death penalty the night of a hanging. But it's more difficult to be against the death penalty the night of a murder ... The acid test is not to be a libertarian when it's popular. It's to be a libertarian when it's unpopular.

Jun. 1990 - quoted in the National Post on Aug. 23, 1999
 Thank God we're here. It's not for me to criticize legislators but if they choose not to legislate, that's their doing. If they prefer to leave it up to the court that's their choice But a problem is not going to go away because legislators aren't dealing with it. People say we're activist, but we're doing our job.

Jul. 12, 1999 - quoted in the National Post
 Let's face it, the judicial system is very, very fragile. Watch it, criticize it, control it properly, yes, but judge-bashing must stop. The court process is like a psychodrama, and the actors, or judges, have come to command a certain degree of respect, or it's chaos and the whole system falls apart.

Aug. 1998 - quoted in "Who runs Canada?" by Neil Seeman, published in the National Post, Jul. 24, 1999
Lamport, Allan  
All this progress is marvelous... now if only it would stop!

It's hard to make predictions - especially about the future.

Landon, Fred  
We hear much these days of education for citizenship, but the only real and effective education for citizenship lies in its actual practice.

quoted in Canadian by Conviction, Brune and Bulgutch, Gage Educational Publishing Company
Lang, Otto  
You cannot distinguish between the life of the unborn and the born, there's no biological cut-off date. The difference between killing unborn children and killing your neighbour may only be a distinction in time.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Laskin, Bora  
... how foreign to our constitutional traditions, to our constitutional law and to our conceptions of judicial review [is] any interference by a Court with the substantive content of legislation.

quoted in "Robed dictators", by Rory Leishman, published in The Next City Magazine
Laurier, Sir Wilfrid  
A true patriot does not, like the ostrich, hide his head in the sand and ignore the facts, but he looks the real situation of the country in the face.

The speech from the throne has been for some years past a very dry skeleton. This year it is drier than ever and the few bones that are in it rattle together with an ominous sound.

If you remove the incentive of ambition and emulation from public enterprises, you suppress progress, you condemn the community to stagnation and immobility.

Canada has been modest in its history, in my estimation, is only commencing. ... I think we can claim that Canada will fill the twentieth century.

Jan. 18, 1904
This [Canada] is a hard country to govern.

1905 - in conversation to Sir John Nillison
Leacock, Stephen  
I do not mean to say that private gain is never extreme, that all missionaries are angels. But I do say that they represent the only basis on which it has yet proved possible to develop the assets of a country. We must get rid of the incubus of government activity. It is a blight which is spreading all over the world.

Mar. 10, 1923 - from an address to the Canadian Club of New York, quoted in The Kinship of Two Countries by Hugh Anderson and in Famous Lasting Words by John Robert Columbo
We are moving towards socialism. We are moving through the mist; nearer and nearer with every bit of government regulation, nearer and nearer through the mist to the edge of the abyss over which civilization may be precipitated to its final catastrophe.

1924 - quoted by William Watson in "Canada's hidden history", The Next City Magazine, Summer 1999
Speech is not free now and never has been free and never will be free. Freedom of speech only exists in proportion to indifference to the thing spoken of.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
A half truth, like half a brick, is always more forcible as an argument than a whole one. It carries better.

If I were founding a university I would begin with a smoking room; next a dormitory; and then a decent reading room and a library. After that, if I still had more money that I couldn't use, I would hire a professor and get some text books.

Lee, John Alan  
We would defend our open society by becoming an even more open society. Bureaucratic secrecy is not only corrosive of liberty, it is ultimately inefficient.

1979 - from The RCMP vs. The People, quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo (with Edward Mann)

Leishman, Rory  
... the Supreme Court of Canada set an astonishing precedent [in its 1990 Schacter decision] by asserting that the Charter has empowered the courts to read new provisions into a statute law if, in the court's opinion, the change is necessary to make the law conform to the Charter.

1998 - from "Robed dictators", published in The Next City Magazine
Canadian constitutional scholars used to view the excesses of American judge-politicians with smug condescension, noting that Canadian courts would never second guess the wisdom of a statute that had been duly enacted into law by elected representatives of the Canadian people. Unfortunately, scholars can no longer make such statements. Since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was incorporated into our Constitution in 1982, the Supreme Court of Canada has routinely struck down laws enacted by Parliament or a provincial legislature on grounds of policy, amended statutory laws from the bench, ignored the law altogether, and told legislators what laws to enact. In the past, such high-handed judicial encroachments by non-elected Canadian judges were unthinkable. Today, the inconceivable has become routine.

1998 - from "Robed dictators", published in The Next City Magazine
Study after study has confirmed that employable people who rely on handouts from the state instead of an earned income are prone to depression, despair, drug addiction and family violence. Children who grow up in welfare homes are much more likely than their peers to drop out of school, have children out of wedlock and end up as adults in poverty-perpetuating reliance on welfare.

Aug. 18, 2000 - from "Striking Success for Workfare", published in the London Free Press
Would elimination of [film production subsidies by governments] deal a mortal blow to film and television production in Canada? Surely not. Canadian film and television workers enjoy a huge competitive advantage in the form of a Canadian dollar that is worth less than 70 cents U.S. To insist that these talented Canadian workers should also benefit from unfair subsidies for foreign-content productions at the expense of other Canadian taxpayers makes no economic or moral sense.

Aug. 21, 1999 - from "Film-production subsidy war looming with the United States", published in the Financial Post
[Supreme Court] ... judges who usurp the legislative authority of Parliament are an affront to democracy and the rule of law.

Sep. 05, 1998 - from "Chief Justice Should Explain the Egregious Feeney Ruling", published in the Montreal Gazette
Thanks to a 30-per-cent hike in welfare benefits by the Peterson government of Ontario, the costs of the system doubled during the latter half of the 1980s and the number of welfare dependants rose by close to 190,000. By the time the Harris Conservatives took power in 1995, the province's annual welfare bill had reached $6.8 billion, up from $1.3 billion in 1985, and the number of welfare dependants was close to 1.3 million, up from fewer than 500,000 10 years earlier. ... Since Wisconsin Works [a workfare program in Wisconsin] came into effect on September 1, 1997, the number of people drawing cash assistance from the state has dropped by 77 per cent. Today, there are scarcely 7,000 families enrolled in the state's workfare program, down from more than 98,000 welfare families when [Tommy] Thompson became governor in 1987.

Jan. 21, 2000 - from a column published in the London Free Press
... UNICEF ... suggests that a family is living in poverty if it has a household income after taxes that is less than half the average for all households of the same size in the country as a whole. By this measure, the percentage of children living in poverty ranges from 26 per cent in the United States to only 1.1 per cent in the Czech Republic. However, given that average incomes are almost six times greater in the United States than in the Czech Republic, it follows that a family in the United States might be wealthy by Czech standards, but have less than a poverty-line income according to the UNICEF measure. Yet UNICEF also insists that hardly anyone is poor in the Czech Republic. This is absurd.

Dec. 17, 1999 - from "Major hike in welfare benefits would do more harm than good", published in the London Free Press
The poverty standard used by the National Council of Welfare ... rises with average incomes so that by the council's cockeyed reckoning, the current poverty line for a family of four living in a major urban area is more than $33,000, up from less than $20,000, after adjusting for inflation, in 1960. By this ever-rising measure, it's certain the poor will always be with us. Christopher Sarlo points out in Poverty In Canada that most Canadians deemed impoverished by the council enjoy a higher living standard than the average just a few decades ago. Thus, while fewer than half of Canadian households had a mechanical refrigerator in 1951, by 1989, 99 per cent of households living below the National Council of Welfare's poverty line had such a refrigerator, 62 per cent had cable television and 50 per cent had at least one automobile.

Dec. 17, 1999 - from "Major hike in welfare benefits would do more harm than good", published in the London Free Press
Unlike libel, slander and the anti-hate law provisions of the criminal code, truth is not a defence against a charge of violating the bans on statements expressing hatred or contempt for members of protected groups in the Canadian or Alberta human rights codes. Furthermore, the Supreme Court of Canada -- the most fearsomely oppressive institution in Canada today -- has decreed that the absence of truth as a defence in these codes does not violate the guarantee of freedom of expression in Section 2 of the Charter.

Apr. 24, 1999 - from "'Civil Rights' Trump Free Speech in Canada", a presentation to the Civitas National Conference, Toronto
Lemelin, Roger  
Is it freedom when your children are forced into unilingualism while English is indispensable for earning a living in North America?

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo