Category Archives: History and Policy

The Use and Abuse of Boredom

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By David Tough This is the final essay in a five part theme week marking the centenary of income tax in Canada. It’s like clockwork. Every time I tell someone I’m writing a book on the history of income taxation, the conversation plays out with eerie consistency. First, they say that the topic sounds painfully dull, and chuckle. Then they say that… Read more »

The Family as Tax Dodge, Again

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By Shirley Tillotson This is the fourth in a five part theme week marking the centenary of income tax in Canada. Here we are again. If you’ve studied history or lived a decade or two after forty, you’ve noticed that some battles are fought over and over and over again. Those repetitive, “I can’t believe we’re still debating this!” struggles mark itchy,… Read more »

Canada’s Controversial Income Tax

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By Shirley Tillotson This is the third in a five part theme week marking the centenary of income tax in Canada. Calm fiscal reasoning was hard to summon up amidst the intense emotions of 1917. Demands for taxes on profits, high incomes, and wealth were fuelled by anger that was about not only fair public finance,  but also broader patterns in the… Read more »

What does the coming of income tax tell us about “fairness” in 1917?

By E.A. Heaman This is the second in a five part theme week marking the centenary of income tax in Canada. Robert Borden’s government introduced income tax in 1917 because Canadians wanted a fairer system of taxation than they had. How unCanadian of them! According to Margaret Wente (writing about Thomas Piketty’s egalitarian economics), Canadians have never been interested in inequality. “They… Read more »

When Income Tax Was Like a Fire

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By David Tough This is the first in a five part theme week marking the centenary of income tax in Canada. This summer, on the 100th anniversary of the passing of Income War Tax, I’ve seen the same fable repeated half a dozen times. No, it wasn’t a temporary tax, and no, it wasn’t introduced to pay for the First World War…. Read more »

“More of the Same”: Senator Beyak & Canada’s Refusal to Learn History

By Mercedes Peters For the second time in a matter of months, Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak has drawn ire for her comments on Indigenous people in Canada. Earlier this year, in March, Beyak was criticized for her defence of the Residential School System when she stated that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report let the “remarkable works, [and] good… Read more »

Remember / Resist / Redraw #09: Ts’Peten 1995

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In January, the Graphic History Collective (GHC) launched Remember | Resist | Redraw: A Radical History Poster Project to intervene in the Canada 150 conversation. Earlier this month (just after BC Day) we released Poster #09 by Gord Hill, which looks at when the RCMP attacked Secwepmec land defenders in the interior of British Columbia in the summer of 1995…. Read more »

Strong. Proud. Ready to do More

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By Steve Marti A memorial for missing and murdered Indigenous women in Halifax made headlines last week, largely because it was interrupted by a group of five men wearing matching shirts and carrying a red ensign. Smart-phone videos of the event show the five identifying themselves as members of the Proud Boys, a far-right men’s organization founded in 2016, and… Read more »

History: Contemporary Poland’s Battlefield

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By Marie-Dominique Asselin Translated from HistoireEngagée.ca by Thomas Peace Last April, when speaking about the war in Syria, White House Communications Director Sean Spicer made a poorly framed comparison between the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and Adolf Hitler. For Spicer, Assad’s use of chemical weapons was far worse than that conducted by the German leader because – according to the White… Read more »

Gun Rights in Canada: An Exchange

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(Sometimes differences on historical issues cannot be contained in the comments section. This exchange follows up on an earlier post by R. Blake Brown on gun rights in Canada. A response to that post by John Robson, and Brown’s reply, follow. We would like to thank our two authors for their willingness to participate in this sort of exchange.) John… Read more »