Inroads: A Journal of Opinion

Biannual Canadian journal focusing on economic, social, and political issues.

Articles from No. 31, Summer-Fall

A Decade of Nisga'a Self-Government: A Positive Impact, but No Silver Bullet
When Shawn Atleo, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), called for the end of the Indian Act and the dismantling of the Aboriginal Affairs (1) bureaucracy last summer, he was seen as making a bold move. His plan was short on details,...
Coalition Avenir Quebec: Another New Party Is Poised to Break the Mould of Quebec Politics-Or Is It?
Even before it became an official party on November 14, 2011, the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) had vaulted to the top of public opinion polls in Quebec. Despite its unfortunate-sounding acronym (pronounced "cack," with its activists designated in...
Dysfunctional Governance: Eleven Barriers to Progress among Canada's First Nations
The blizzard of media stories in late 2011 on the sorry housing conditions in Attawapiskat in northern Ontario, followed by the extensive coverage of the Crown-First Nations Gathering in Ottawa in January 2012, has focused attention on what is surely...
Governing Canada's First Nations: Persistent Problems, but Potential for Change
Probably the country's most significant social policy task is improving the immensely complex relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians. There are no easy solutions; there is much potential for continued misunderstanding and conflict....
Haven for the Rich, Hell for the Rest of Us
The time when tax havens consisted of exotic islands where a few gangsters or corrupt dictators hid their fortunes is long gone. Tax havens have become sanctuaries for an array of multinational firms and their subsidiaries or corporate parents. They...
Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul-1: A Modern-Day Dickens or Tolstoy
David Adams Richards, Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul. Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2011. 304 pages. Incidents is a profound and remarkable novel. Ostensibly, it is a murder mystery in which the title character, a Mi'kmaq RCMP officer named Markus...
Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul-2: An Accurate Portrayal of Aboriginal Complexities
When the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network unveiled Blackstone in 2011, it drew support but also controversy. The show portrays realities on a fictional First Nation, warts and all, including corrupt governance. For many indigenous observers, the...
Introducing Inroads 31
My 1965 edition of Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage has an entry for governance: "governance has now the dignity of archaism, its work being done, except in rhetorical and solemn contexts, by government and control." The venerable reference...
Political Chill and Artistic Courage
This past February, Michael Healey left his position as resident playwright at Toronto's Tarragon Theatre. Healey is an actor and playwright, author the The Drawer Boy, one of Canada's best and most successful plays. Tarragon has been, for years, perhaps...
Quebec Finally Moves toward a Fair Electoral Map
This is a postscript to Paul Cliche's article "Back to the 1950s: The Liberals and PO are making a mockery of Quebec's electoral map" (Inroads, Winter/Spring 2012, pp. 105-11). Quebec finally has a new electoral map, much fairer than the one it...
Quebec's Distinct Welfare State: On Poverty among Families with Children, Quebec and the Rest of Canada Have Taken Different Paths
Recent issues of Inroads have featured an ongoing debate about Quebec's exceptionalism when it comes to fighting poverty and inequality. Pierre Fortin (1) has shown that poverty rates and inequality of disposable household incomes (after tax and transfers)...
Remembering the War of 1812: A "Hot War and Unnatural War between Kindred People"
In his seminal study of conflict, Canadian historian J. Mackay Hitsman called it "the incredible War of 1812." For nearly three years, American, British and Canadian land and naval forces, supported by their Native allies, were engaged in what Lieutenant...
Scandinavia or France? Where Does the Quebec Student Strike Lead?
Articles in this and previous issues of Inroads have portrayed the positive side of the Quebe model." But in light of what we have been witnessing in Quebec this spring, there is clearly another side. I write in early May as the governing Quebec Liberal...
School Board Democracy: What We Can Learn from the High Schools of Poitou-Charentes
On the whole, school boards are poor examples of democratic governance. These local authorities, in charge of the operation and administration (including financial administration) of a set of schools, attract little interest from voters: voter turnout...
Signifying Noting: Elections in France and Greece Cannot Resolve Europe's Underlying Problems
A tale told by idiot[s], full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. --Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5 As this edition of Inroads heads to press, the outcomes of loud, divisive and ostensibly important elections in Europe have rolled in. In France,...
The Health Care Policy Trap: Lessons for Canada from Health Care Reform in the United States
Paul Starr, Remedy and Reaction: The Peculiar American Struggle over Health Care Reform. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2011. 324 pages. Paul Starr is a professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University. In 1982, he...
The Jacobson Question
Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question. New York: Bloomsbury, 2010. 320 pages. Some time ago, a friend suggested I read Howard Jacobson's The Finkler Question, winner of the 2010 Man Booker Prize. The first I heard of Howard Jacobson was in connection...
The Liberal Party and the Selfish Bees
In the last issue, several writers discussed the future of the Liberal Party of Canada, Some argued that the Liberals' time bad passed; others proposed some sort of merger or alliance between the Liberals and the NDP. Inroads invited Liberal MP Joyce...
The Quebec Model: Round 7 of a Debate
For the last four years (starting with issue 24 in Winter/Spring 2009), Inroads has been publishing occasional articles evaluating Quebec's economy and social policy. The series begain with an article by Pierre Fortin arguing that Quebec was no longer...
The Senate Reform Bill: A Constitutional Danger for Canada
"I look at the problems in other countries like the United States and Europe, where political gridlock, over deficit crises and debt crises, is leading to a real economic uncertainty and political instability. We're very fortunate we don't have that...
Tom Mulcair, Prime Minister in Waiting?
The selection of Thomas Mulcair as Leader of the NDP, and thus Opposition Leader, was not unexpected--yet in a number of ways proved to be quite original. Rather than selecting a charter member of the NDP family, the party reached out to a recent convert....
When Victims Are Bullies and Bullies Are Victims
In 2012 the world stands on the brink of another war. As with the 2003 invasion of Iraq, a potential attack on Iran is rationalized as preserving peace: a dangerous rogue regime reaching for weapons of mass destruction must be stopped. But Iran is...