Category Archives: History and Policy

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 »

Public History at the Department of National Defence

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By Dr. John Maker I was recently involved in a major project for the Department of National Defence (DND), that epitomized some of the challenges and excitement of doing public history. It included important questions of public policy, public safety, and environmental contamination. The findings were put to use in practical and immediate ways to address areas of emergent need…. Read more »

The Sound of Deafening Silence: A Case for Electro-Motive Workers in London, Ontario

By Ryan Kelly What we have witnessed over the past month in London, Ontario is largely unprecedented and very troubling. After announcing record profits, Caterpillar locked out employees on New Year’s Day. The reason an agreement with this corporation could not be reached is simple; workers were unwilling to accept a decrease in wages of over 50 per cent in… Read more »

The Race Is On in Canada and the United States: A Tale of Two Political Cultures

While watching the NDP and Republican leadership races unfold in Canada and the United States, I’ve been struck by the very different political cultures of these two countries. This can be partly attributed to the divergent political philosophies of the right-wing Republican Party and the centre-left NDP. But the roots of these political cultures also extend much deeper into the… Read more »

War Resisters Conference Report Back Looking Back, Moving Forward: War Resisters in North America

By: Luke Stewart The conference Looking Back, Moving Forward: War Resisters in North America took place at Steelworkers Hall in Toronto, Ontario, on Friday September 23 and Saturday September 24, 2011. The gathering addressed the plight of American war resisters who fled to Canada from 2004 to the present by providing a historical context for the roots of war resistance… Read more »

Consuming Environmental History: Rethinking Wild Game Meat

by Mike Commito On December 21st 2011, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters tweeted a link to a National Post article, “Wild Game Meat not Welcome at Ontario Food Banks,” which reported that a Lanark, Ontario food bank had decided to reject donations of wild game meat. The post piqued my interest for several reasons. First, while the economy… Read more »

Bill C-309, Preventing Persons from Concealing Their Identity during Riots and Unlawful Assemblies Act

My Conservative MP sent the following question to his constituents this week: “Debate has now begun on [Conservative] MP Blake Richards’ Private Members’ Bill C-309.  The Bill proposes creating a new criminal offence for those that wear ‘a mask or other disguise to conceal their identity without lawful excuse’ during a riot or unlawful assembly.  This Bill was crafted in… Read more »

Public History: Skills and Opportunities

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By Jo McCutcheon Thinking about my work as a public historian and some of the recent and on-going discussions about training in history generally and doctoral training specifically have made me think about the skills and opportunities I try to provide to both students and professional consulting researchers.[1]  Mixing academic teaching with entrepreneurialism has given me the opportunity to work… Read more »

From Black Tuesday to Black Friday to Everyday

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Discussing money is generally afforded the same privacy as the balance of one’s bank account. Inviting an open conversation about the subject in public, from basic finance to complex economics, is thought to be rude and even poorer politics. It is perhaps the most polarizing field of contemporary journalism because it has absolutely no means of circumventing readers’ class ties… Read more »