Category Archives: History in the News

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 »

To Forgive and Forget? Homonationalism, Hegemony, and History in the Gay Apology

By Steven Maynard This is a featured paper co-published with C4E Journal: Perspectives on Ethics In June 2017, in a ceremony on Parliament Hill, where “the Pride, Transgender Pride, and Canada 150 flags were raised,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau officially announced what he’d been promising for over a year: “The government will introduce legislation to make it possible to erase the convictions… Read more »

An Open Letter to Canadians from an Undergrad Student

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By Emma Stelter For generations, settler governments have been trying to break and remake Indigenous families in what is now known today as Canada.[1] We must acknowledge historic wrongdoing. Regardless of whether our ancestors were immigrants during pioneer times or immigrants today, many Canadians benefit from the state’s division of land and resources. There is a lot of work to… Read more »

#Canada150: How to Celebrate Freedom

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By Shirley Tillotson This essays is being published jointly on ActiveHistory.ca and Borealia and appeared in an earlier version as a Letter to the Editor in the National Post (Oct. 26, 2017) Fundraisers love anniversaries. They’re like birthdays, right? Presents can’t be far behind. But when it’s the anniversary of a death, it’s not so much fun. For me, as an… Read more »

An illegal referendum?

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Ben Bryce On October 1, the Government of Catalonia held a referendum over the question: “Do you want Catalonia to be an independent state and in the form of a republic?” English Canadian coverage of the referendum has been thin compared to what you find in Quebec. The majority of English Canadians might not like referendums and they may not… 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 »

The Monument War: Not just about “History”

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Matthew Sears From Robert E. Lee to John A. Macdonald, the Monument War has now become an international conflict. To those shocked by how quickly this battle has escalated, the anti-monument agitators seem to be the 21st century’s version of 20th century totalitarians, wanting to erase or distort history so that it conforms to the spirit and prejudices of the… Read more »

“More of the Same”: Senator Beyak & Canada’s Refusal to Learn History

By Mercedes Peters For the second time in a matter of months, Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak has drawn ire for her comments on Indigenous people in Canada. Earlier this year, in March, Beyak was criticized for her defence of the Residential School System when she stated that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report let the “remarkable works, [and] good… Read more »

The Value of History in the ‘Age of Fake News’

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Christo Aivalis During the 2016 American presidential election, but especially after the victory of Donald J. Trump, the term fake news became part of the public lexicon. The confluence of social media, digital campaigns, and the monetization of internet ‘clicks’ led to numerous instances of groups outright fabricating news stories, either to serve ideological objectives, or even just to generate… Read more »