Category Archives: History and Policy

History in the Making: Witnessing South Africa’s #FeesMustFall Campaign

By Susanne M. Klausen It’s been an exciting and inspiring week in South Africa watching the student movement #FeesMustFall in action. (The name builds on the recent successful #rhodesmustfall campaign that resulted in the removal of the Cecil Rhodes statue at the University of Cape Town, or the UCT). The students have placed the demand for free, quality education front and… Read more »

Chilean Refugees: Lessons of Past and Present

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By Francis Peddie The image of a dead child on a beach has brought international attention to a long-simmering crisis. The photos of Alan Kurdi’s lifeless body has focused the media on the humanitarian catastrophe that is Syria. Broader awareness of the Syrian refugee situation has provoked response among European and North American citizens, with many voices calling for admission… Read more »

Soldier-Candidates and the 1917 Wartime Election

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By Matthew Barrett, Queen’s University At a 1923 meeting of the Great War Veterans Association (GWVA) in Ottawa, General William Antrobus Griesbach, former Member of Parliament for Edmonton West and Senator for Alberta, remarked on the expected role of the ex-soldier in Canadian political life. “I had an idea at one time,” he explained, “that after the war over half… Read more »

From Tragic Little Boys to Unwanted Young Men

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By Veronica Strong-Boag Canadians are easily sentimental about babies and toddlers. Look at the ready adoption of global infants or September 2015’s outpouring of grief for the three-year-old Syrian Alan Kurdi. Once victims of poverty, exploitation, and conflict reach adolescence and beyond, however, sympathy frequently evaporates. Refugees are a case in point and gender consorts with age to matter. Girls… Read more »

‘Tomorrow: Sunny’: The Rise and Fall of Solar Heating in 1970s Canada, part 2

By Henry (Hank) Trim In this installment of my four part series on solar energy in Canada, I examine how small numbers of environmentalists introduced solar technology to North Americans and successfully championed it as the centerpiece of the first sustainable development strategies. (Click here to read part one) Solar energy has a long history. The first efforts to use… Read more »

Facing Down R.B. Bennett

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By Karen Bridget Murray This essay addresses sensitive material that some readers might find disturbing. The Indian Residential Survivors Society provides support for survivors and their families.” We could like the second sentence to this website: http://irsss.ca/do-you-need-help/ A growing chorus is calling for a statue to honour R. B. Bennett on Parliament Hill. An eight-foot high sculpture has already been… Read more »

One Monument Too Many: Why R.B. Bennett Doesn’t Deserve a Spot on Parliament Hill

By: Sonya Roy and Steve Hewitt In recent years, non-experts, with the Harper government leading the way, have advocated and pushed for a conservative rewriting of Canadian history in an effort to find “heroes”[1]. This “great man” rewriting of Canadian history focuses on White, middle-class politicians and businessmen, militarism, and monarchism and leaves out the experiences of ordinary people and… Read more »

Compassion or Exclusion: An Election Issue?

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(this op-ed was originally published in The Record) By Marlene Epp Right now, it would be judicious of the Conservative government to relax its tight restrictions on refugee sponsorship and annual quotas in order to gain favour during an election campaign. But what is really needed is an election campaign that puts forward an overall and ongoing framework of inclusion and… Read more »

On Guard for Canadian Parochialism, Part One

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By Gilberto Fernandes Since coming into power in 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has taken various steps to redefine Canadian citizenship and reassert its “value” under a territorial, militaristic, loyalist, conformist and Anglocentric interpretation. As numerous commentators have noted, these reforms have unfolded within Harper’s broader campaign to (re)define the meaning of being Canadian along conservative ideals and British traditions…. Read more »

Canada’s Complicated History of Refugee Reception

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“Ever since the war, efforts have been made by groups and individuals to get refugees into Canada but we have fought all along to protect ourselves against the admission of such stateless persons without passports, for the reason that coming out of the maelstrom of war, some of them are liable to go on the rocks and when they become… Read more »