Category Archives: History and Policy

Sex Ed, Gay-Straight Alliances, and the Alberta Curriculum

On May 21st, Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP) government introduced Bill 8: The Education Amendment Act, which will remove protections introduced by the NDP government’s Bill 24: An Act to support Gay Straight Alliances. Bill 8 removes provisions that had made it illegal for teachers to out students. Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange insists that existing privacy legislation will protect… 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 »

‘The Best Version of the Liberal Party’: One Feminist Lineage

Veronica Strong-Boag[1] Political parties are contested spaces. Few know this better than Canada’s Liberals. Regularly derided as the party that campaigns on the left and governs on the right, that aphorism captures a long-standing split in its zeitgeist and membership. Since at least the days of Laurier and Mackenzie King, the party’s ‘left’ and ‘right’ wings have been regularly at… Read more »

The 1934 British Columbia Penitentiary Strike and Prisoners’ Wages in Canada    

By Jordan House The early 1930s were marked by considerable labour unrest in Canada. Over this period, workers developed new, more expansive forms of trade unionism, as well as new tactics such as sit-down strikes and flying pickets. In the context of the great depression, this unrest was not only evident in the country’s factories, mines, and ports; workers and… Read more »

The limits of tax privacy

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By Shirley Tillotson Party politics made the privacy of the prime minister’s income tax return a sensitive topic in mid-July 1931. On July 16, Prime Minister R.B. Bennett stood up in parliament and declared that the income tax measures proposed in his budget would not benefit him personally, as his Liberal opponents had alleged. If that were so, he bridled… Read more »

A Narrow Vision: Politics in Canada in Historical Perspective

By James Cullingham As the imbroglio concerning Jody Wilson-Raybould, Jane Philpott and the Liberal government emerged, an immediate wave of sentiment broke across social media. The panicky message can be summed up:  “In light of this scandal, Canadians will inevitably end up with an Andrew Scheer government.” This type of thinking reflects a reductive historical and political fallacy that assumes… Read more »

Anti-69 FAQ

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Tom Hooper, Gary Kinsman, and Karen Pearlston (The Anti-69 Forum is taking place March 23-24, 2019 at Carleton University. See www.anti-69.ca for more information) When we say we are Anti-69, we are referring to the mythologies surrounding the 1969 Criminal Code reform. We are not Anti-69 in all contexts. There are many important events from 1969 that deserve to be… Read more »

President Trump’s Medievalish Walls

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Mairi Cowan The medieval has made a resurgence in the news. Hakeem Jeffries, Democratic Senator for New York, issued a tweet declaring “No medieval border wall for Trump,” followed by Dick Durbin, Democratic Senator for Illinois, who tweeted that “a $5 billion medieval wall is no solution for illegal immigration or stopping drugs from coming across our border.” Donald Trump… Read more »

A Canadian Immigration Syllabus

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Two years ago, following the election of Donald Trump to office, historians specializing in the history of migration and ethnicity in the United States compiled the #ImmigrationSyllabus to serve as a resource and teaching tool for instructors, students and the general public. It was an inspired collaboration, one that showcased how historians can play an important role in disseminating knowledge… Read more »

What Makes Oshawa So Special?

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Steven High Most mills and factories close with a whimper and not a bang. Few were therefore prepared for the media fire-storm sparked by General Motor’s (GM) decision to close its auto-assembly plant in Oshawa, putting 2,500 Canadians out of work. What makes this closure so special? For starters, there is the historic centrality of the auto industry in Southern… Read more »