Category Archives: History and Policy

The Smokescreen of ‘Modernization’ at Library and Archives Canada

By Ian Milligan The government claims that Library and Archives Canada needs to be modernized so all Canadians can access archival services. Yet the state of Canada’s online collections are small and sorely lacking when compared to their expansive on-site collections. LAC does need to modernize, and the goal of expanding access beyond just Ottawa is actually a laudable one. But what… Read more »

Seizing Canada’s Past: Politics and the Reinvention of Canadian History

The federal government’s latest round of “austerity”cuts threaten to undermine Canadian history research and limit the capacity of the public to know this country’s past. While the recent federal budget slashes funding for Library and Archives Canada, Canadian studies programs, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, it also redirects funds for history research into the political control of individual ministers. Within the Conservative Party of Canada’s ideological agenda to reduce the role of government in the lives of Canadians lies a contradictory policy initiative for direct cabinet control over the financing, research, and production of knowledge about Canadian history.

Solidarity Revisited: Resisting Cuts in Ontario

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By Christine McLaughlin This past weekend I gathered with thousands of protestors at Queen’s Park who were demonstrating against pending public service cuts and wage freezes in Ontario. Spun in some quarters as a protest by organized labour, the crowd contained a multitude of groups. Many in the crowd wore “We Are Ontario” stickers, a coalition of ninety groups aiming… Read more »

A Plea for Progressive Taxation in Ontario

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By Ryan Kelly At risk of a credit rating downgrade, Ontario is grappling with the task of closing a presumably skyrocketing debt in the coming years. In search of creative ways of closing this fiscal gap, the Liberal government has been remarkably uncreative in its proposed solutions. Most notably, the proposed budget is void of new or progressive revenues, and… Read more »

Gaming the Future, Parsing the Past: the EXtreme climaTe events prepaRedness and Adaption (EXTRA) Invitational Drought Tournament

By Merle Massie A major drought of unknown intensity and duration is about to hit the Oxbow Basin in Canada. With a population of about three million people over a landbase of 175,000 square kilometers devoted primarily to agriculture, water management will consume all levels of governance, from the farmstead to the largest city. What are you going to do?… Read more »

Remembering Uganda

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Laura Madokoro with Mike Molloy (President, Canadian Immigration Historical Society) This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the Ugandan Asian refugee resettlement movement to Canada. It is an event that not many people remember, or have even heard about. We believe it is something we should all know about – especially in the current climate when contentious debates over refugee policy are the stuff… Read more »

Keeping the Peace or Keeping a Myth?

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By Dan Macfarlane The federal government’s recent initiatives in foreign policy and glorification of Canada’s military past (particularly in light of the bicentennial of the War of 1812) have given rise to plenty of complaints, including suggestions that the country needs to return to its peacekeeping roots. While I agree with many of the criticisms, I am not so sure… Read more »

Thoughts on the Drummond Report

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The Beveridge Report’s proposals were implemented between 1945 and 1950, a point in which the British government’s fiscal situation was much worse than Ontario’s currently is. The government owed a massive debt to the United States that was incurred to fund the war, required exports to be one-third larger than imports to meet its debt payments and had converted most of its consumer manufacturing to military needs during the war. Given what the Beveridge Report proposed and Atlee government did, Drummond could have proposed more.

In Dubious Battle: Inequity in Canada’s Migrant Work

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By Ryan Kelly It was with a heavy heart that I read about the recent deaths of eleven workers in Hampstead, Ontario. This tragedy brought to the forefront of my mind a crisis I’ve let stir in its recesses far too often. How do we become complacent in affording migrant workers a different standard of employment than that which is… Read more »

Parliament Can Offer History More Than Just Legislation

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“It’s a difficult thing to live in a country that has erased your past.” – Teju Cole, Open City Amnesty International is concerned about a new French law that would “…[make] it a criminal offense to publicly question events labeled ‘genocide’…”. The bill cleared the upper house of the French Parliament on 23 January 2012 and could be signed into… Read more »