Articles by year


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  • National Post My reason to be grateful in a thankless year Saturday December 26th, 2020
    Today’s theme is gratitude, without which equanimity in tough times is impossible. A personal story.In Grade 2, our teacher gave us a simple vision test. We covered our left and right eyes in turn and, from a distance, identified letters on the blackboard. With my right eye covered, I couldn’t identify a single letter.Barbara Kay: My reason to be grateful in a thankless yearI was ta...
  • National Post The glaring flaw of ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ that no one wants to mention Friday December 11th, 2020
    Thanks to a well-crafted Netflix series, “The Queen’s Gambit,” chess is having more than a moment this season. Google chess searches doubled from October to November, and participation in online chess sites is soaring. I well remember the 1970s popular surge, when American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer showed the dominant Russian chess mafia who was da real Cold War bomb, beati...
  • National Post The problems with Bill C-6 and the gender affirmation model Friday November 27th, 2020
    In my last column, I slammed Bill C-6, which passed second reading with a majority of the House of Commons and is now under review by the justice committee. I’d hoped one column would be enough to encapsulate my contempt for the political insouciance that produced this fiasco, but it wasn’t. This bill seeks to criminalize “conversion therapy,” a term previously applied ...
  • National Post The case for deep-sixing Bill C-6 Friday November 20th, 2020
    Late last month, 306 members of Parliament gave approval in principle to “conversion therapy” Bill C-6, with only seven Conservative party votes opposed (leader Erin O’Toole supported it, but permitted his MPs a free vote). The House of Commons justice committee is reviewing public responses to it. C-6 defines “conversion therapy” as any “practice, treatment...
  • National Post I know a misogynistic sports policy when I see it Friday November 6th, 2020
    Fair, safe and inclusive sport requires stratification. Combat sports delineate by weight class. Youth sports stratify by chronological age. And, traditionally, all sports, including the Paralympics, have prioritized categorization by sex, given men’s inherent athletic advantages of size, strength, speed, endurance and reaction time. The purpose of age, weight and sex categories is to mi...
  • National Post Transgender sports policies have thrown fair play out the window Friday October 23rd, 2020
    Reverence for sport’s first principle — fair play — unites people across the globe. Hell hath no fury like sport enthusiasts witnessing systemic cheating. Speaking of which: That burning smell? It’s the rubber of gender theory hitting the road of biological reality, as the consequences of broadening gender “inclusion” policies in sport achieve visible effect ...
  • National Post From free society to fear society in the halls of higher learning Tuesday July 14th, 2020
    My editor, a man in his prime, recently tweeted bemusement that his older readers often preface their emails to him with allusions to their age (“as a 75-year old man …” “I’m an 82-year old woman …”). I know these readers. Or others like them. When my oldie readers introduce generation markers in their emails, it’s generally a semaphore ...
  • National Post Learn from the best while you can Thursday June 25th, 2020
    Last week — for another publication — I recounted the story of Tomas Hudlicky, a Brock University professor of organic chemistry who has endured an in-house “swarming” by an ad hoc confederacy of administration, graduate students and journal publishers for allegedly incorrect views he expressed in a peer-reviewed article. Hudlicky was blindsided by the multiple att...
  • National Post U of A professor holds the line on free expression Tuesday June 9th, 2020
    Kathleen Lowrey, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Alberta, ascribes much of her intellectual formation to Marxism and radical feminism. Not, I think my regular readers would agree, someone with whom I would normally have a great deal in common. And yet, in this strange cultural moment, Prof. Lowrey and I find ourselves amicably united in the service of a mutually reve...
  • National Post Innovative camps look to save the summer Thursday May 28th, 2020
    In Ontario and Quebec, day camps have permission to open, but not sleepaway camps. This will come as a blow to many kids who have for months have had to forgo seeing their friends and participating in organized sports, but clung to the anticipation of their annual camp sojourn, where they could be blissfully immersed in both.I understand the better-safe-than-sorry spirit that guided the deci...
  • National Post Barbara Kay on COVID-19: We have to get the kids back to playing sports again Wednesday May 13th, 2020
    As a grandparent who hasn’t had physical contact with my five granddaughters since mid-March, I’m naturally eager to see the end of the lockdown. But if I can only receive that benefit at the high cost of my grandchildren sacrificing their most beloved activities, I prefer to FaceTime with them indefinitely.My demographic is the one at high risk, after all, not theirs. As the dat...
  • National Post A coronavirus report card for Ontario and Quebec schools Tuesday May 5th, 2020
    In last week’s column, I illustrated, via the experiences of two families, the dramatic difference in responses to school closures in Quebec between the public and independent schools. The private schools, secular and parochial, immediately committed to mandatory remote-learning schedules approximating in-school routines, with a minimum of five hours a day devoted to instruction, assignments...
  • National Post An eye-opening tale of two school systems during the COVID-19 crisis Tuesday April 28th, 2020
    A clever tweet: “We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm.” So true. Pandemic privilege comes in many forms. One that preoccupies me is the disparity in parental burden in homeschooling children. Private school parents live on a yacht, public school parents in a rowboat.This is a tale of two Montreal families. One is my daughter Joanne’s, whose older da...
  • National Post Barbara Kay on COVID-19: The country house pandemic problem Wednesday April 22nd, 2020
    MONTREAL — On April 1, Premier François Legault told Quebecers they should avoid all “non-essential” travel around the province. That meant Montrealers should not be going to their country houses (as we call our “cottages”), nor should people living in other regions travel to Montreal. This was not a suggestion, it was a decree. (One Montrealer who decide...
  • National Post Barbara Kay on COVI-19: The country house pandemic problem Wednesday April 22nd, 2020
    MONTREAL — On April 1, Premier François Legault told Quebecers they should avoid all “non-essential” travel around the province. That meant Montrealers should not be going to their country houses (as we call our “cottages”), nor should people living in other regions travel to Montreal. This was not a suggestion, it was a decree. (One Montrealer who decide...
  • National Post Is it any wonder Americans are losing trust in their institutions? Tuesday April 14th, 2020
    In the summer of 2018, Donald Trump was enjoying himself in Florida, immersed in his favourite activity, a rally for Donald Trump. CNN reporter Jim Acosta, an aggressive critic Trump loves to bait, was covering the event live on air, when a group of Trump supporters started screaming at him and making threatening gestures behind him into the camera.But after the rally ended and Acosta got of...
  • National Post Barbara Kay on the COVID-19 lockdown: You can’t go to the theatre, so it’s coming to you Tuesday April 7th, 2020
    In 1984, George Orwell’s iconic 1949 novel about a future totalitarian dystopia, everyone had a “telescreen.” It couldn’t be turned off, so people were forced to watch Big Brother’s propaganda continuously. Worse, the telescreen could spy on them. The image was so powerful and disturbing, many early readers were afraid to buy the recently invented televisions th...
  • National Post Where is the GG during Canada’s coronavirus crisis? Wednesday April 1st, 2020
    I’m a monarchist. That was the norm I grew up with. But I recognize I’m a dying breed in Canada. The monarchy still serves a vital purpose in the United Kingdom, but it has become a vestigial institution in Canada, and in most other Commonwealth nations. (When did you last hear the word “Commonwealth” in these globalized times?)Prince Harry’s “Meghixt&rdqu...
  • National Post Our small community, united, is getting through this as best we can Wednesday March 18th, 2020
    We live in a nice house on a pleasant street. What we particularly like about our neighbourhood is the eclecticism in the demographic. There is no uniformity in the house sizes, so there are cozy empty-nesters like us living cheek by jowl with large families. Young, middle-aged and old are equally represented on my block.When we moved to this retirement downsizer, we only got to know our imm...
  • National Post Another one bites the dust — Woody Allen the latest victim of cancel culture Tuesday March 10th, 2020
    Hachette Book Group (HBG) announced last week that it had cancelled its scheduled April publication of 84-year-old film director Woody Allen’s memoir, “Apropos of Nothing.”The decision was sparked by protest from investigative reporter Ronan Farrow, Allen’s estranged son, whose #MeToo-themed book, “Catch and Kill,” was also published by HBG. Ronan Farrow is the ...
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