Category Archives: History and Policy

Can Prison Farms Be Saved?

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Cameron Willis On February 27, 2018, the federal Liberal government announced the gradual reopening of two prison farms in Kingston, Ontario, at the Joyceville and Collins Bay institutions. This announcement marked the successful culmination of a local grassroots campaign which began soon after the initial closure was announced in 2009, and aimed first to save, then later restore, the farms. … Read more »

The Seven (Trump)ets of the Apocalypse: Hawaii’s Nuclear Blunder and the Continuity of the Cold War

By Andrew Sopko On the 13th of January residents of Hawaii were provided with a shocking and terrible reminder of the nuclear anxieties that dominated much of the world throughout the Cold War. By error, the State Government sent a push notification that warned of an incoming ballistic missile strike. Responses varied wildly. One reddit user said that they rapidly… Read more »

The Police Records of a Bath Raid Found-In: Excluded from Bill C-66

Tom Hooper For more than 25 years, Ron Rosenes* has been an activist on issues related to HIV/AIDS. In 2007, he was given the Canadian AIDS Society Leadership Award. In 2012, Carleton University awarded him an honorary doctorate. He is a member of the Order of Canada. Despite this impressive resume of advocacy, the Toronto Police Service has a file… Read more »

Reconsidering Stephen Harper’s Historiography

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By Andrew Nurse Few Prime Ministers have been as interested in history as Stephen Harper. A wag might now say, few Prime Ministers have known so little about it. What is clear, as panels at the CHA, a special Labour/Le Travail forum, and a spate of other critical articles have demonstrated, historians had little time for Harper’s — or, more… Read more »

Tim Hortons, Ontario’s Minimum Wage, and the Need for Demand-Side Economics

By Christo Aivalis On January 1st of this year, the Ontario government instituted a minimum wage increase to fourteen dollars an hour, with a pledge to increase it to fifteen dollars by January 2019. While 60% of Ontarians support the increase, numerous businesses have retaliated against their workers by retracting things like benefits and paid breaks. Many examples have come… Read more »

Bill C-66: Historians Speak Out

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Patrizia Gentile, Tom Hooper, Gary Kinsman, Steven Maynard When, on November 28th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered the federal government’s apology to Canada’s LGBTQ2S+ communities, a key component included legislation that would provide a process to clear historical convictions for certain same-sex offences. Bill C-66, known as the Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act, was introduced in the House of… Read more »

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

Shawn W. Brackett and Nancy Janovicek The Alberta government is engaged in a six-year comprehensive overhaul of the K-12 school curriculum, the first major reform in thirty years. In response to calls for consultation with stakeholders, the Council of Catholic School Superintendents of Alberta (CCSSA) has proposed an alternate sex education program that reflects Catholic teachings. Inclusion and diversity are… Read more »

A Breakdown of Democracy in Catalonia

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Aitana Guia It’s 2019. California just voted to secede from the Union in a referendum.  Only 42 percent of the electorate voted, but since 90 percent of them voted in favor of independence, the California Governor has unilaterally declared independence. The other 49 state legislatures have not been consulted. The US House of Representatives and Senate have not been asked… Read more »

No Truck or Trade with Trump? The Puzzling Absence of anti-NAFTA Sentiment in Canada

Asa McKercher There are many questions surrounding the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). To wit: will the treaty be renegotiated to meet the goals set out by the Mexican, Canadian, and U.S. governments? What provisions will be included in NAFTA 2.0? If the agreement is renegotiated, will it satiate public opinion in these countries? Will Prime… Read more »

Predicting the Future of Temporary Foreign Worker Programs… In the 1960s and 70s

Photo of bunkhouse accomodations for temporary workers for a canning plant near Chatham, Ontario. Shows overcrowding and dim space.

Edward Dunsworth The Thanksgiving season is often seized upon by farmworkers and activists to highlight agricultural workers’ contributions to society and the precarious conditions that so often characterize their work and life. In both Canada and the United States, farm labour activists have riffed on a popular motif which recognizes farmers, modifying it to some variation of: “Got Food? Thank… Read more »