Looking at the structural problems of Canadian conservatism at the dawn of 2023 (Part Two)
By Mark Wegierski
The Toronto-based Mackenzie Institute (despite a far higher profile in the late-1980s) appeared to mostly have been (from the 1990s until early 2014) the personal enterprise of one indigent person. The full name of the Institute was rendered in earlier years as The Mackenzie Institute for the Study of Terrorism, Revolution, and Propaganda. In early 2014, The Mackenzie Institute revamped its website and appears to have become more dynamic.
The Ottawa-based Centre for Immigration Policy Reform, which was founded around 2011, appears to have become more active in 2014. Its main leading figures were the late Martin Collacott, and James Bissett, both of them formerly being prominent Canadian diplomats and civil servants. The Centre argues for lowered numbers and more responsible selection and screening in immigration, temporary worker, and refugee policies.
The author is also aware of an association called Société Macdonald-Cartier Society.
For non-partisan celebration of the Canadian Monarchy, there is the Monarchist League of Canada.
The profile of social and cultural conservatism in Canada is rather thin. The main social conservative publications are The Interim: Canada’s Life and Family Newspaper (and an associated website, lifesite.net). The longtime magazine Catholic Insight (Toronto) ceased printing in 2015. Lifesite has tried to found a similar magazine, called Faithful Insight. Lifesite has had to defend itself from an irksome libel suit that could have potentially financially crippled the website. (However, the litigant passed away in 2014.) The main pro-life, pro-family association is called the Campaign Life Coalition.
There is a French-language, Quebec-based, social conservative intellectual journal, called Égards.
The most prominent think-tank of what could be called broadly religious conservatives is Cardus. Cardus has linked with the Centre for Cultural Renewal (formerly the Centre for Renewal in Public Policy). Cardus publishes a magazine called Convivium, as well as Comment. However, Convivium has become an online-only publication – its last print issue appeared in January 2017. On February 18, 2022, even the online version of Convivium was closed to new submissions – although the website archive is expected to remain.
Cardus is a think-tank which does not yet offer scholarships or grants (beyond one, as far as the author of this article can recall). In earlier articles, it had been suggested that Cardus could try to move in the direction of becoming an institution like the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) in the United States. The ISI, which has, for most of its history, been mostly traditionalist conservative, offers very extensive scholarships to students, as well as publishing scholarly journals and books, and holding various seminars and conferences for promising students and academics.
There is also the Ottawa-based Institute for Marriage and Family Canada. In British Columbia, there is the Canada Family Action group. And, for many decades, REAL Women of Canada has been a well-known association.
To be continued.
Mark Wegierski is a Canadian writer and historical researcher.