Friday, February 25, 2011

The Trouble with Canada...Still!

One of the things I love the most is to debate ideas - especially about politics, economics, and current affairs. I'm interested in all points of view as long as the ground rules of respect and open-mindedness are there.

I've known Bill Gairdner for a number of years, and although we don't see eye-to-eye on everything, what I appreciate about him the most is that he cares a lot about our country and isn't afraid to put forth controversial ideas for discussion. I believe its important to think outside the boundaries of political correctness - perhaps only to reinforce your belief system or perhaps to stretch and test it.

Twenty years ago (okay, just a little before I was fully engaged in policy discussions), he published a book called The Trouble with Canada. He's now updated his best-seller to once again look at:

-Why are our taxes so high?
-Why is our National Debt so high?
-Why are earnings of immigrants so low?
-Why is our rate of police-reported criminal incidents among the highest in the world?
-Why do we allow politicians to control our health care?
-Does bilingualism discriminate against Anglophones?
-Is multiculturalism supporting diversity or tribalism?
-Is the judiciary making laws instead of applying them?

He proposes that Canada is caught between two irreconcilable styles of government: a top-down collectivism and a bottom-up individualism. Do you agree? I hope that you'll join me for lunch to discuss and debate his positions on these topics!

William Gairdner has had a busy life as an Olympic athlete, an academic, a businessman, and now as a successful writer. After earning a number of higher degrees, including a Ph.D in Literature and Philosophy from Stanford University, he taught at York University. He then pursued a career in business from which he retired to devote his time to writing. 

Bill was then the managing editor of Canada's Founding Debates - now a historical landmark. His published books have included The Trouble with Democracy, The Book of Absolutes, The War Against the Family, Constitutional Crack-Up: Canada and the Showdown with Quebec, and After Liberalism.

"If it is not already so, Canada is in danger of becoming a Tripartite State in which one third of the people works to create wealth, one third works for government at some level, and another third depends on government for a significant portion of its income. Anyone can see that the last two segments will always gang up on the first."    - William Gairdner

Copies of The Trouble with Canada...Still! will be on sale at the event, but if you'd like to get a copy in advance, you can order from Chapters here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
The Fairmont Waterfront Hotel
Cheakamus Room, Concourse level
11:45 am  Registration & casual sandwich buffet
12:15 pm  Serious intellectual stimulation
1:30 pm    Back to work!

REGISTER NOW* Advance registration only - this link will also take you to the Bon Mot Book Club site (please note this is a separate event from that series)