Brian Lee Crowley

Fiddling while the border cracks

The Toronto Star kindly invited me to contribute to a debate in their pages on the question as to whether Canada has a refugee crisis, especially in the context of 26,000 illegal border crossers at Roxham Road and elsewhere. Even though I am not sure that the word “crisis” is quite the right one, in a nod to journalistic style I agreed to write the piece saying Yes for the Star’s 17 July 2018 edition. My argument is that while it may not yet be a full-blown crisis, all the elements are there for it to become one, as these illegal crossings become only one more sign that Canada is losing control of the border.

As I conclude in the article:

“Regardless of the share of these illegal entrants finally accepted as bona fide refugees, the fact is they are purposely doing an end run around the rules, causing us to lose control of the border. That is playing both with fire and with the liberal Canadian consensus on immigration.”

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A primer on Canada’s pipeline mess for Canadians and others

On the topic of pipelines in general and Trans Mountain in particular, there has of course been much action in recent weeks, including most notably Ottawa’s acquisition of the TM project from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion. Here are two examples of my commentary on the issue:

30 May 2018 I published an op-ed in the Financial Post arguing that the Liberals are chiefly the authors of their own misfortune on TM, through their ill-advised political alliance with the hard-line environmental movement. I predict that they will reap the social licence whirlwind when their erstwhile allies really get serious about civil disobedience.

Then on June 12th I sought to explain to an international audience the issues surrounding TM and pipelines in general in the context of Ottawa’s sudden ownership of TM. The Washington Examiner was kind enough to publish my piece. I also did a video version of the op-ed which is available at the top of the MLI page.

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Of deficits and infrastructure

One of the signature policies of the Liberals in the last election was their promise to increase substantially infrastructure spending and to run a deficit solely for this purpose. As Sean Speer and I argued in this 19 April 2018 piece for Inside Policy their policy has failed on both counts. Not only have they proven woefully ineffective at spending infrastructure dollars, they have nonetheless run up deficits on a host of other spending.  Ottawa’s approach to infrastructure badly needs a rethink.

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Commentary: “Islam vs. Islamism: Confronting the terrorist threat while preserving the free society”

How can free, western-liberal-democracies protect themselves against violent terror attacks such as we have seen recently in Boston and the streets of London, while still preserving our essential freedoms and founding values?  At what point should the beliefs individuals hold themselves be subject to the laws of the nation?  These are difficult questions to answer since our desire to remain free must be balanced against our need for security.  Here is my latest Commentary “Islam vs. Islamism: Confronting the terrorist threat while preserving the free society” where I try to establish the lines of demarcation between the freedom to hold personal beliefs, an the freedom to act upon them in society.

Recently, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute co-sponsored a discussion event with renown Middle East expert Daniel Pipes titled “Islam vs. Islamism: an evening with Daniel Pipes” where Pipes gave an impassioned talk on what we mean when we talk about the difference between Islam – one of the world’s great religions – and “Islamism”, the ideology behind so many terror attacks.

Following the talk by Mr. Pipes, there was a panel discussion with Salim Mansour and myself where we explored this issue further.  This event was the impetus for a column I wrote for Postmedia which you can read here.  But I felt that more needed to be said than the confines of a 750 word column would allow so I have expanded on that column with the following full length Commentary posted at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute’s website.

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Brian Lee Crowley