Looking at the structural problems of Canadian conservatism at the dawn of 2021 (Part Three)
By Mark Wegierski
The impact of the so-called right-wing blogosphere is certainly far less in Canada than in the United States. The impact of various personal blogs (such as those of Kate McMillan, Kathy Shaidle, or Richard Klagsbrun) is difficult to accurately gauge. There are as well the party-based Blogging Tories. The website conservativeforum.org is only an archive site. Free Dominion could be called a “self-posting forum” where commentary is not formally structured. Unfortunately, Free Dominion has been recently subjected to vicious “lawfare” and its situation is highly tenuous. Enter Stage Right is an independent, formally structured, consistently-edited, frequently updated, conservative Canadian e-zine. There is also Judi McLeod’s Canada Free Press. In the wake of the failure of the Sun News Network, Ezra Levant has launched a major website, called The Rebel (or The Rebel Media) with dozens of bloggers regularly contributing to it. Another substantial media initiative is Candice Malcolm’s True North Canada, as well as The Post-Millennial website. Three websites of the “culturalist opposition” are actforcanada.ca, capforcanada.com and eurocanadian.ca.
Representing Western Canada, there is the new Western Standard website.
In July 2013, there arose with great fanfare, the daily webzine, Freedom Press Canada Journal, but it was forced to greatly reduce the frequency of its postings as of November 30, 2013, and, in subsequent months, appears to have been completely removed from the Internet. Since mid-2014, short article postings began to very sporadically appear on the website – but, as of this writing, the website is no longer extant. Freedom Press Canada has also published, over the last several years, a number of hard-hitting conservative books, but its publishing endeavours appear to have ended by now.
It is also commonly considered that mass-circulation newspapers like The National Post, Calgary Herald, Ottawa Citizen, and The Toronto Sun are heavily right-wing. However, that is not really the case. There are also a considerable number of blogs of varying political complexion now associated with major newspapers and magazines, such as that, for example, of Colby Cosh – who had previously had a long-running personal blog.
There had also arisen, in April 2011, a right-leaning cable-based news station – Sun News Network. However, it completely shut down on February 13, 2015.
A boutique cable service called The News Forum has arisen around October 2020. Their tagline is “where all voices matter”.
In the U.S., there are hundreds of private, frequently religiously-affiliated colleges, which may constitute the basis for a network of conservative dissent. There is clearly some conservative presence in much of the U.S. academy. In Canada, conservative professors are few and far between; perhaps the University of Calgary is the only public university with a significant conservative presence (in its department of political science). And, there are only a few private colleges, notably, Trinity Western University in British Columbia, and Redeemer University College in Ontario.
Trinity Western University has recently faced strong opposition when it endeavoured to launch a law school. The law school was rejected as legitimate by the Ontario and Nova Scotia bar associations, meaning that its graduates would be unable to practice law in those provinces. There was also agitation continuing against its earlier recognition by the British Columbia bar association. On October 30, 2014, the result of a binding referendum of the B.C. bar association members was to instruct the bar association’s benchers to withdraw the recognition of Trinity Western’s law school. There was indeed a highly orchestrated campaign against the recognition of the law school. This culminated in the 2018 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada that the provincial bar associations were justified in forbidding Trinity Western University law school graduates from practicing law in their provinces. Given these developments, Trinity Western University cancelled its plans to establish a law school.
Taking into account the disparity in resources as between “small-c conservatives” and left-liberals in Canada – which is clearly astronomical – the situation of conservatism in Canada may indeed be seen as rather difficult.
One supposes that one of the few possible reassurances for so-called “small-c conservatives” is that they, after all, have human nature and commonsense on their side. However, what traditionalists call “human nature” is considered merely a fiction by most left-liberals – who believe that human beings are almost entirely determined by their immediate environment, and can indeed be shaped in any direction left-liberalism chooses.
Mark Wegierski is a Canadian writer and historical researcher.