Tag Archives: labour history

Tim Hortons, Ontario’s Minimum Wage, and the Need for Demand-Side Economics

By Christo Aivalis On January 1st of this year, the Ontario government instituted a minimum wage increase to fourteen dollars an hour, with a pledge to increase it to fifteen dollars by January 2019. While 60% of Ontarians support the increase, numerous businesses have retaliated against their workers by retracting things like benefits and paid breaks. Many examples have come… Read more »

Community Engagement and Public History at the North Pacific Cannery

Benjamin Bryce In late August 2017, I taught an experiential and service learning course at the North Pacific Cannery in Port Edward, BC, a former salmon cannery and now a national historic site. Sixteen history majors from the University of Northern British Columbia travelled 700 km from Prince George in central BC to the north Pacific coast at mouth of… Read more »

Bob Kinnear, the Amalgamated Transit Union, and the History of Canadian-American Labour Relations

by Christo Aivalis In recent weeks, a major controversy has enflamed the Canadian labour movement, and how it relates to the international unions centred within the United States. Last month, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113, which represents around 10,000 members working within the Toronto Transit Commission’s system, was placed under trusteeship by the union’s international headquarters. This decision was… Read more »

From Reel to Real: Using Film to teach Labour History

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John-Henry Harter During my undergraduate degree I had an epiphany in the only labour history class offered at my university. Here being taught in this class was my history, my own lived experience. More broadly, it was an acknowledgement and validation that the working class mattered. As a mature student, I had worked for years before entering post-secondary and had… Read more »

Intergenerational Solidary? The Postal Labour Dispute and the Historical Context of Young Workers

by Christo Aivalis Over the past few weeks, people, organizations, and small businesses have been left unsettled over a looming Canada Post lockout of its unionized workers, which would leave the country without mail access. However much we live in a digital world, the public postal service continues to have a logistical and cultural prominence. The dispute is based on… Read more »

Alternative Histories of Work and Labour: The Workers History Museum

Active History is proud to present a video each week from New Directions in Active History. The conference took place at Huron University College on October 2-4, 2015 and brought together scholars, students, professionals and community members to discuss a wide range of topics pertaining to active history. In this week’s video we hear from David Dean, a Professor of… Read more »

What about the People? Place, Memory, and Industrial Pollution in Sudbury

By Stacey Zembrzycki Much of the industrial ruins resulting from nearly 130 years of nickel mining in Sudbury, Ontario, are now hidden from plain sight, camouflaged under a successful re-greening program that has led to the planting of over nine million trees, and the clean-up of many area lakes and thousands of hectares of soil. And yet, despite this invisibility,… Read more »

Everything Moves Real Slow: Where is the Left?

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By David Frank For some years I taught an undergraduate seminar on the history of the Canadian left, and one of the things students did at the first meeting was to try to name people who represented the contemporary “left” in Canada. Last year, the answers included Jack Layton, Olivia Chow and Thomas Mulcair, an indication that at least in… Read more »

Back to Work: Revitalizing Labour and Working-Class History in Canada

A revitalized study of the history of workers, class relations, and capitalism can provide valuable insights for contemporary efforts to address Canada’s increasing economic inequality.

Our Bodies and Inescapable Ecologies: A Look at the Mining Community of Sudbury, Ontario

By Kaleigh Bradley “Where does the body end and ‘non-human nature’ begin? When we recognize that human bodies are directly affected by their environments, we are forced to acknowledge that humans are not simply agents of environmental change, but objects of that change” – Linda Nash, Inescpable Ecologies Last week I was surprised to hear about the toxic leak of… Read more »