On Higher Ground

This is a collection of a year’s worth of sparkling columns written for The Edmonton Journal, whose editor had called Gairdner to say he was tired of being accused of leftist journalism, and hearing conservatives label his newspaper The Edmonton Urinal. He wanted some strong conservative columns for “balance.” He got it! – for an entire year the Letters page was filled with reactions from every leftist in Alberta to Gairdner’s tough and clearly-expressed arguments.


“A healthy democracy needs a healthy debate about ideas. A healthy mind needs to be challenged in its thinking. That’s why I asked Bill Gairdner to write a column for The Edmonton Journal — not because he generally agrees with our editorial page view (or my personal views) but because he doesn’t. I enjoy reading well-argued and well-written opinions of all kinds. If you do, too, and if you enjoy having your thinking challenged, read this book…” Murdoch Davis, Editor in Chief, The Edmonton Journal

“This self-styled ‘voice of the silent majority’ speaks in calm, measured phrases that reveal his fascination with philosophy and love of a good debate.” The Calgary Herald

“With On Higher Ground, Gairdner has found his touch. In many of the pieces he treats readers to the aphoristic turns of phrase that transform ephemeral journalism into enduring essay.” Peter Stockland, Calgary Herald

“You can rely on pre-eminent social conservative William D. Gairdner to tell things as they are – no matter how intellectually unfashionable his view, or how unpopular it may make him … [though] he is not unpopular, of course, with legions of Canadians who hold similar beliefs and regard him as their champion.” Alberta Report

“William Gairdner sends those on the left into fits of apoplexy … the Journal brought the former Olympian-author-farmer on board to balance the left-wing tone of its editorial pages, and that’s precisely what he’s done – often to the outrage of readers, who regularly demand that he be fired.” The New Brunswick Reader