The People’s Citizenship Guide

Tonight, at McNally Robinson [please click for event information] in Winnipeg, The People’s Citizenship Guide: A Response to Conservative Canada will be launched.  This short 80-page book is a direct response to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, which has been widely critiqued for its restrictive and overly-politicized definition of Canadian identity (for examples or critiques see the Globe and Mail, Andrew Smith’s blog, my summary of initial reactions on, Ian McKay’s podcast on the right-wing reconception of Canada). As in the official immigration guide, The People’s Citizenship Guide’s editors, historians Esyllt Jones and Adele Perry, have brought together a diverse group of scholars in order to succinctly reflect on the nature of Canadian citizenship and modern-day Canada. Continue reading

Can Ontario Overcome Bob Rae’s Legacy?

Can one leader single-handedly sink an entire political party? Having recently spent time discussing election issues while knocking on doors in my riding, I was surprised to learn that some Ontarians would answer this in the affirmative, pointing specifically to Bob Rae. Time and again I witnessed a similar reaction during this campaign: “Oh, I’ll never vote NDP!” Oh, why not? “Bob Rae!” (Insert door slamming here.)

I would like to suggest that this sort of reaction is misinformed. My purpose here is not to offer a defence of Bob Rae; on the contrary, I am highly critical of his leadership record. Rather, I would like to address the faulty logic that Bob Rae can be conflated with the current New Democratic Party. Continue reading

The Morning After Canada Voted

By Sean Kheraj

The news media narrative in the 2011 federal general election, by May 2nd, was clear: what began as another boring election surprised everyone when it actually got interesting. Leaving aside the troubling notion that anyone would characterize a democratic election as “boring” or “unnecessary,” the narrative came to focus on the NDP surge and the possibility that the party might become the Official Opposition. Continue reading

“Copenhagen is PM’s big chance”, History PhD Candidates Argue

Jeremy Marks and Ryan O’Connor, two PhD candidates in history at the University of Western Ontario, recently published an op-ed piece in the London Free Press in which they argue that positive action by Stephen Harper at Copenhagen would improve the political fortunes of his Conservative party.

The piece is available on Ryan’s blog, The Great Green North, which focuses on the history of the environmental movement in Canada.  Ryan’s dissertation, “Toronto the Green: The Emergence of the Canadian Environmental Movement”, examines the rise of green politics in Toronto during the 1960s and 1970s.  He is a member of NiCHE’s Popular Publishing Writer’s Guild.

Jeremy’s dissertation looks at the historical relationship between political and philosophical conservatism in Canada.

Jeremy and Ryan attended a graduate student workshop, “Publishing for a Wide Audience”, held at UWO in October.  Their op-ed is another example of historians engaging in the public policy dimensions of climate change.