Category Archives: History in the News

Covid-19: An Unprecedented Militarization of the Canada-US Border or a Return to the Old?

By Benjamin Hoy On March 26, 2020, news reports circulated across Canada and the United States that President Donald Trump was considering deploying more than a thousand military personnel near the Canada-US border. The decision seemed baffling to many. Who President Trump hoped to protect Americans from was not altogether clear. Within a few days of the proposal going public,… Read more »

Debating Hate Speech Regulations in Canada: A History

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Jennifer Tunnicliffe On December 13, 2019, Justin Trudeau sent out a series of mandate letters to his newly appointed Cabinet ministers, outlining their policy objectives for the upcoming session of Parliament. In several of these letters, Trudeau urged initiatives to combat online hate and counter hate speech.[1] Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault was instructed to develop new social media guidelines requiring… Read more »

Remembering Air India Flight 182

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By Laura Madokoro Dear readers, Sometimes the present appears in the history classroom. And so, this post is a reflection about being sad and being a historian more than anything else (though I have a few words to say about pedagogy), and so I thank you in advance for your indulgence. Like many others, I was deeply saddened to learn… Read more »

Countering White Disbelief with Historical Knowledge: Racism and Racial Profiling in Nova Scotia

Jill Campbell-Miller Racial profiling has lately been in the news in Nova Scotia. In September, Dr. Lynn Jones, a well-known champion of civil rights and a labour leader, was stopped by police while out with friends watching deer. Someone had called the police to report “suspicious people” in the neighbourhood. To add insult to injury, Jones was stopped in a… Read more »

University Donations and the Legitimization of Far-Right Views

by Asa McKercher In 2016, Western University’s Department of History announced the establishment of a variety of graduate awards and scholarships named for Kenneth Hilborn, who had bequeathed $1 million to the university in his estate. A faculty member at Western from 1961 to 1997, Hilborn (PhD, Oxford) was of a generation where one could apparently secure tenure without having… Read more »

The Eighth Stage of Genocide

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By Daniel Rück and Valerie Deacon According to Gregory Stanton, president of Genocide Watch, the eighth stage of genocide is denial. Perpetrators of genocides will do what they can to destroy evidence, intimidate witnesses, blame victims, block investigations, and change the narrative. No one wants to be remembered for having committed genocide, and few citizens of a country can easily… Read more »

Canada’s non-conversation about genocide

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By David Webster “Words have meaning,” CBC commentator Michael Enright declared in an editorial broadcast over the national radio network. He objected to the way one word, “genocide,” was used by the national commission of inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women. In this, Enright is far from alone – top media figures and publications fell over one another to… Read more »

Historians and Indigenous Genocide in Saskatchewan

By Robert Alexander Innes [This essay was first published last June on Shekon Neechie. It asks questions about the approach of Canadian historians to genocide that are again relevant after the response of much of the media to the MMIWG- Final Report.] As a result of the Calls to Action released by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) the notion… Read more »

Thinking about Genocide and Mass Murder: How Could it Have Happened in Nice Canada?

By Alvin Finkel The decision of the Commission on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women to use the word “genocide” to describe past Canadian state policies regarding Indigenous women has occasioned heated debate about whether that word is appropriate for anything short of a conscious state plan to rapidly physically eliminate all members of a defined group or to thoroughly destroy… Read more »

What Doug Ford could learn from Wisconsin about higher education

Dan Guadagnolo Buried within Ontario’s 2019 budget is a drastic change to how the province’s publicly funded universities and colleges will receive support. Though Ontario’s post-secondary institutions are some of the most accessible in the world, the 2019 budget indicates that by 2024-2025, Ontario colleges and universities will receive 60 per cent of their public funding through yet-to-be determined performance… Read more »