Category Archives: History and Policy

Historical Preservation in Comparative Perspective

Toronto’s lack of history, heritage and culture is a myth, but does it thrive in the city’s municipal structure?

Canadian Census Data: A Lost Resource

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Statistics Canada is making significant changes to the way that the Canadian census is conducted.  Beginning in 2011 the long census form will no longer be distributed to Canadians. Previously, this portion of the census collected information on topics such as ethnicity, religion, employment, education, income, and various other social concerns.  Information on some of these topics will now be… Read more »

Dr. Georgina Feldberg, 1956-2010

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The history community lost a great teacher, scholar and active historian this week.  I had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Feldberg during my first year at York.  She was one of the professors in a graduate course on the history of science, health and the environment.  I learned a lot from her as a teacher and from her book, Disease… Read more »

The Moral Economy of the 2010 Toronto G20 Crowd?

A brief discussion of the G20 peaceful protests largely overlooked in the mainstream media, and the relevance of historian E.P. Thompson’s work to our times.

An environmental 9/11

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by Jeff Slack Public outrage mounts with every successive failure to mend the gaping wound in the Gulf of Mexico seabed. Struggling to affirm his leadership in the spill’s wake, President Obama recently described the disaster as “an environmental 9/11,” underscoring the need for a bold new energy-environment policy. Through reference to the still-poignant memory of 9/11, the president seems… Read more »

Waving the Flag in Distress

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Today is the one-hundred and forty-third anniversary of Canada’s Confederation and the formal birth of the country’s federal political system. And instead of waving the flag in a perfunctory fashion (yes, I know the Queen is visiting), I’d like to wave it in distress over the present dysfunction in our federal politics by briefly singling out four serious issues in… Read more »

What the Copyright Modernization Act Means for Historians

Sean Kheraj Last week the federal government tabled its long anticipated copyright reform legislation for first reading in the House of Commons. The Copyright Modernization Act or Bill C-32 attempts to overhaul many of the out-dated provisions of Canada’s copyright law that have fallen far behind major technological changes of the last thirty years. For instance, under the proposed legislation,… Read more »

Campaigning with History: Wildlands and Woodlands

Last week we have two great posts by Tom and Alix on historians engaging with current issues and the value of “thinking with history” for policy development.  Both these post brought to mind a project in New England that I learned about at an environmental history conference a few  years ago.  The Wildland and Woodlands campaign is to protect 70%… Read more »

“Tell me the story” – Thinking with History, Policy, and the Goldberg Rule

Alix Green In my role as an adviser on policy for a university Vice-Chancellor, the UK equivalent of President, perhaps my most important job is to ask our leader to ‘tell me the story’ when he’s consulting me on some issue or another.  It seems to me that universities, along with many public sector institutions, are not always able, or inclined,… Read more »