Literary Review of Canada

Literary Review of Canada is a magazine focusing on Education


Vol. 20, No. 1, January-February

Does the Past Have a Future? It Turns out H-I-S-T-O-R-Y Can Be Spelled Many Different Ways
THE PAST IS EVERYWHERE TODAY, OR SO seems. For Canadians in the 1990s it started in miniature--the Heritage Minutes, sponsored by a private philanthropic foundation--and continued in 2000 in the large economy size--Canada: A People's History, the mammoth...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 19, No. 10, December

A Note from the Publisher
In human years, 20 is barely the age of majority. In magazines, it is a lifetime. We are thrilled--and relieved--to arrive at this remarkable milestone more vibrant than ever before. The LRC started life in Patrice Dutil's dining room. It made...
Read preview Overview
The Capitalist Revolution: Together with Rapid Growth, Dazzling Technologies and Widening Circles of Development, Global Capitalism Is Delivering a Turbulent, Unequal, Out-of-Control World. Just as We Demanded
CAPITALISM,NOT COMMUNISM, HAS DELIVered Karl Marx's predicted world revolution. No other system generates such enormous material progress through such enormous upheaval. The same forces that produce ever-increasing productivity and wealth--innovation,...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 19, No. 2, March

Our Overlooked Diaspora: Canada's Millions of Citizens Abroad Could Be a National Treasure-Given the Right Strategy
IN THE MIDST OF THE OPEN AND FLAT PLAIN IN southern Saskatchewan, a gravel road three kilometres long leads down into the lush green of the Qu'Appelle Valley. I have travelled this road many times during my lifetime, as it also meanders down to the...
Read preview Overview
Recent Books from LRC Contributors
The Wild Ride: A Chronicle of the North West Mounted Police 1873-1904 Charles Wilkins STANTON ATKINS AND DOSIL PUBLISHERS This book traces the history of the Mounties and their predecessors--the Canadian West and the North West Mounted Police--from...
Read preview Overview
Taxi Driver Syndrome: Behind-the-Scenes Changes Are Creating New Problems on Top of Old Ones
ARE IMMIGRANT PROFESSIONALS still driving taxis? [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The answer is yes. They are also mopping floors, bagging groceries, guarding office buildings, delivering pizzas, waiting tables and working at call centres. Once in Canada,...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 19, No. 1, January-February

Dispatch from Colorado Springs: A Canadian Resident Learns What Happens When the Town Council Calls the Bluff of the Lower-Taxes Movement
IT IS EARLY OCTOBER AND I AM IN COLORADO Springs, Colorado, on my way to a session about planning city budgets, at not quite six in the evening. The sun has just set behind Pikes Peak, and the dying light throws a purple glow off the mountain. This...
Read preview Overview
National Archives Blues: Is a Precious Canadian Asset Being Digitized to Death?
LIKE MANY WRITERS, I HAVE spent a good part of my life in the archives. There have been periods when I virtually lived in the reading halls of the National Archives in Ottawa. And in 2002 I spent the entire summer in the provincial archives in Victoria,...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 18, No. 10, December

Canadian Political Science: Missing in Action? A Practitioner Wonders Why the Progressive Side of the Discipline Has Gone Mute
PERMIT ME TO POSE A provocative question, deliberately directed toward the progressive stream of Canadian political science: Is the discipline missing in action? Where are the centre-left voices? [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] What about the other side...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 18, No. 9, November

Truth vs. Reconciliation? as Canada's Residential Schools Commission Launches, Worldwide Precedents Suggest We Might Not Get Both
IN JUNE 2010, AT THE FORKS IN WINNIPEG, ABOUT 400 people, both Natives and non-Natives, gathered to launch Canada's first Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It is charged with examining the history of residential schools. The TRC is an outgrowth...
Read preview Overview
Forcing Ourselves to Vote: As Fewer Canadians Turn Up at the Polls, Compulsory Voting Is a Choice to Consider
[Sometimes events overtake our most careful editorial plans. In mid October, Calgary stunned the country by electing Canada's first Muslim mayor, Naheed Nenshi, and voter turnout was an impressive 53 percent, up from a lacklustre 33 percent in 2007....
Read preview Overview

Vol. 18, No. 8, October

An Exaggerated Demise: Boosted by Still-Thriving Industry, Ontario Is Headed for an Economic Renaissance
LET US, FOR A MOMENT, PITY POOR ONTARIO. The litany of affronts, indignities and embarrassments over the last two decades is long and inglorious: free trade agreements foisted upon it, careening business cycles and a roller-coaster dollar, wrenching...
Read preview Overview
Cinderella City: How Hogtown Transformed Itself into One of the World's Great Cultural Capitals
IT IS A SPRING SATURDAY NIGHT IN Toronto. Municipal tulips glow under the lights of University Avenue. Bouncers are putting on their size 50 jackets, ready for their shifts in the Entertainment District. Fashionistas huddle in cashmere shawls at Yorkville's...
Read preview Overview
Big Brother No More: Ontario's and Canada's Interests Are No Longer Identical
IN 2006, ALL GOVERNMENTS WERE staking out their positions on the renegotiation of the equalization formula. Most provinces wanted the program expanded, but Ontario had publicly stated that federal programs, like equalization, that drained money from...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 18, No. 6, July-August

Fearful Acrimony: The Seductive Danger of Scapegoating Quebec
"It's as if someone had emptied the contents of a garbage truck in my garden," wrote political scientist Alain Noel after reading Brian Lee Crowley's controversial essay, Fearful Symmetry: The Fall and Rise of Canada's Founding Values. If they read...
Read preview Overview
Hitting the Road: Thirteen of Canada's Leading Writers Pick Essential Stops on a Cross-Country Literary Tour
It's summertime. Time to strap on the seat belts and go exploring, across all of this country's provinces and territories. And we will need some great reading matter to help eat up the kilometres and tell us something essential about the land we are...
Read preview Overview
Here, Now: Canadian Writers, Living on the Edge of the World, Have the Best View
I wonder if there exist, anywhere, any writers who feel that they are full-throatedly a part of their time and place. I remember, when I was much younger, meeting Michael Ondaatje at a party. At the time, he was absolutely my literary hero--this...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 18, No. 5, June

The Canadian Supernatural: In Fiction from Charles G.D. Roberts to Gabrielle Roy and Joseph Boyden, Nature Takes on Spiritual Power
"As to ghosts or spirits they appear totally banished from Canada. This is too matter-of-fact a country for such supernaturals to visit." --Catharine Parr Traill [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] IT ALWAYS MAKES ME CHUCKLE when I read those lines. ...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 18, No. 4, May

Fear-Driven Policy: Ottawa's Harsh New Penal Proposals Won't Make Us Safer, Just Poorer-And Less Humane
HOW DO YOU CREATE EFFECTIVE PUBLIC policy in a field that sparks high emotion? Homelessness, the gun registry, Afghanistan, euthanasia, interest rates--in volatile and unstable times almost anything can be turned into an irrational bogeyman that all...
Read preview Overview
The Climate Change Olympics: Perhaps Some Healthy Provincial Competition Can Get Canada Moving
I WONDER IF WE COULD, AS A COUNTRY, FIND a way to approach climate change with the same dedication we exhibited at the Vancouver Olympics. I am even trying to conjure up a slogan to match "Own the Podium" ("Own the Climate"? "Own the Environment"?),...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 18, No. 3, April

The Calamity of Caledonia: What B.C. Can Teach Ontario about Native Land Claims
CAN ONTARIO TAKE THE CONFRONTATION AT Douglas Creek Estates seriously? No one, I think, denies the seriousness of the armed confrontation outside Caledonia in the Grand River valley of southern Ontario. For four years armed gunmen known as the Mohawk...
Read preview Overview
A Radical Shift: Why Have Quebec Sovereigntists Become So Keen on Canada?
LUCIEN BOUCHARD'S SPEECH OF THIS PAST February 16th, in which he announced that he no longer expects to see a sovereign Quebec in his lifetime, shook the Quebec political world. The leading sovereigntist of his generation, the near victor of the 1995...
Read preview Overview
Our Violent National Game: The Great Hockey Debate Continues
UNLESS YOU DON'T OWN A TELEvision, you will be altogether familiar with the Tim Hortons ad featuring Sidney Crosby on screen and in voiceover. Cue the slow plinking of the piano and the home movies of kids and old timers, sticks in hand: "Hockey?"...
Read preview Overview
Flying Naked Next: Can We Replace Fear-Driven Theatrics with Resilience in Our Quest for Air Travel Security?
IT MIGHT BE TIME TO DITCH Pierre Trudeau's now shopworn description of what it's like for Canadians living next door to our gigantic U.S. neighbour. Instead of mice sleeping next to elephants, Canadians should be imagining themselves as the cops on...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 18, No. 2, March

Identity Crisis: But for the Liberals, That's Not Necessarily a Bad Thing
IN THE FALL OF 2006, I PARTICIPATED IN A DAY-long seminar in Toronto on the future of progressive politics. While it was not strictly a partisan event, most of the participants were Liberals of some stripe or another, including three of the candidates...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 17, No. 10, December

Rewiring Our Future: Fighting Climate Change with Electric Power
ENERGY USE AND ITS IMPACT ON the environment are among the most important technical, social and public policy issues that face humankind today. The debate about whether climate change is real has gone on too long and the time has come to develop practical...
Read preview Overview
Genocide or "A Vast Tragedy"? University Students in an Alberta Classroom Try to Decide
Cover Story FROM JANUARY TO APRIL 2009, I audited an undergraduate history class at the University of Alberta, taught by John-Paul Himka under the rubric "Topics in Ukrainian History." The topic we studied--the Great Famine of 1932-33 in Soviet...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 17, No. 9, November

Too Much Health Care: We Can't Afford Life's Creeping Medicalization
THE GENERAL HEALTH OF THE POPULATION today must be considered one of the greatest marvels of human civilization and ingenuity. Pregnant women no longer have to dread the 10 percent risk of death at childbirth that used to be usual; a newborn in Canada...
Read preview Overview
Derailed: A Choral Documentary
A few minutes before midnight on Saturday, November 10, 1979, a train carrying dangerous chemicals derailed close to a major intersection in Mississauga, Ontario. A series of massive explosions, followed by escaping gases, led the authorities to order...
Read preview Overview
Between Euphoria and Fear: Has Traditional Microeconomics Ignored the Mood Swings That Drive Financial Crises?
IN THE WAKE OF LAST YEAR'S FINANCIAL CRISIS, Alan Greenspan, former chair of the United States Federal Reserve, expressed astonishment at the irrational behaviour of institutional leaders. "Those of us who looked to the self-interest of lending institutions...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 17, No. 8, October

Listen to the North: Cramming Northerners' Needs into a Southern Model Just Isn't Working
SOMETIMES WE UNDERSTAND EVENTS IN our lives immediately. Sometimes it takes decades. I have gradually realized over the last year that my view of Canada, indeed my view of how my own life could or should be lived, was radically transformed late in...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 17, No. 7, September

Did the Banks Go Crazy? Whatever Economists Might Think, Rationality and Efficiency Don't Always Go Together
The great financial crisis of 2008 has provoked an extraordinary round of soul searching among economists. The reasons for this are not difficult to find. Not only did most members of the profession fail to predict the impending catastrophe, but many...
Read preview Overview
New Books from LRC Contributors
I'm from Bouctouche, Me: Roots Matter Donald J. Savoie McGill-Queen's University Press THIS MEMOIR TRACES SAVOIE'S RISE FROM A SMALL Acadian village to become one of Canada's leading thinkers about public policy and administration--a transformation...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 17, No. 6, July-August

Reviewing Reviewing Today: "No Customer Reviews Yet. Be the First." (Amazon.Com)
As book review sections of newspapers diminish daily in size and significance, and as those same newspapers publish dirges to their own demise, online reviewing sites (of just about anything) proliferate. This paradox makes our moment in history a...
Read preview Overview
New Books from the LRC's Contributors
The well-being and reputation of the LRC stands or falls on the extraordinary intellectual generosity of our contributors: from coast to coast and beyond, these writers are prepared to devote time, thought, research and imagination to Canadian culture...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 17, No. 5, June

The Ugly Canadian: Forget Middle Power. Forget Model Citizen. We're Becoming One of the Bad Kids on the Block
ON APRIL 22 OF THIS YEAR, A MYSTERIOUS four-month-long nightmare ended for Robert Fowler and Louis Guay, the Canadian diplomats abducted in Niger by a shadowy group calling itself al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Fowler and Guay were on a secret mission...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 17, No. 4, May

Let's Hear It for Being Average: Canada's Moral Exceptionalism May Not Be Getting the Job Done
IS OFTEN SAID THAT CANADA CAME OF AGE World War One. A part of our identity as young nation was forged by the men who fought together on the battlefields of Europe. Through the experience of war, sacrifice and ultimately victory, we came to more fully...
Read preview Overview
A Response to James Pollock's: Choosing the Best Canadian Poetry
I HEARTILY CONCUR WITH MANY POINTS THAT James Pollock makes. Canadian poetry desperately needs more reviews and reviewers. As an "attempt to formulate a canon of English-Canadian poetry for the common reader" Margaret Atwood's New Oxford Book of Canadian...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 17, No. 3, April

Choosing the Best Canadian Poetry
PERHAPS YOU HAVE A COPY OF MARGARET Atwood's New Oxford Book of Canadian Verse in English on your bookshelf. (Go ahead, blow the dust off it: ah, there it is.) This last real attempt to formulate a canon of English-language Canadian poetry for the...
Read preview Overview
A Canadian Visionary: Research into the Life of Holman Hunt Unearths an Intriguing and Important Figure
In the course of her curatorial research into the life and work of English pre-Raphaelite painter Holman Hunt, Katharine Lochnan followed up on an obscure connection to a Canadian, Henry Monk, who inspired Hunt's lifelong devotion to Christian Zionism...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 17, No. 2, March

Anyone for Deficits? A Short History of the D-Word in Canada's Development
IN THE LATE FALL OF 2008, THE HARPER GOVERNMENT was nearly replaced by a Liberal-NDP coalition with Bloc Quebecois support. This coalition, essentially without precedent in our national politics, was noteworthy in itself. But equally remarkable was...
Read preview Overview
Canada's Global Choices: Do We Embrace the New World Order or Stick with Washington?
IN A FAR-REACHING REPORT ON GLOBAL TRENDS up to 2025 prepared for U.S. president Barack Obama, the U.S. National Intelligence Council warns that the United States' days as the global hyperpower are quickly coming to an end. "The international system--as...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 17, No. 1, January-February

Help Wanted: Leader of the Free World: Can Obama Fill the Bill or Have We All Moved On?
BARACK OBAMA'S VICTORY SPEECH IN Chicago on the night of November 4th left a lump in the throats of many observers of U.S. politics: the touching account of the country's past, as seen through the eyes of Ann Nixon Cooper, a 106-year-old African American....
Read preview Overview
Return to Grassy Narrows: A Poisoned Community Tells Its 40-Year-Old Story
FIRST THEY TOOK US KIDS away to the residential at, school. Next they built hydro dams so the rice got flooded and old graves went underwater. Then they made the families leave their log houses and go into prefabs all crowded together on a back bay....
Read preview Overview
High-Stakes Contradictions: Liberalization and Authority in China Today
A familiar question haunts much recent coverage of China, on issues from the Beijing Olympics to food contamination: what if the country's economic liberalization and growth never foster liberal values and institutions? To help get beyond pat answers,...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 16, No. 10, December

Canada's Homeless Portrait Gallery: A Historic Collection Falls Victim to Economic and Intellectual Uncertainty
LOCKED IN A HIGH-TECH STORAGE and laboratory facility in western Quebec, way beyond the sightlines of Parliament Hill, is a most intriguing collection. Inside Vault 34 at the Library and Archives Canada Preservation Centre, dozens of paintings are...
Read preview Overview
Novel Pleasures: From the Plains of Troy to Bertolt Brecht's Berlin to a Saskatoon Hospital, a Selection of Fictional Journeys Worth Exploring
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THIS IS TURNING OUT TO BE A BUMPER SEASON for Canadian fiction. The superstars are not on this year's list--Atwood, Munro, Ondaatje, Vanderhaege--but many of our most solid prose artists, as well as many promising rookie voices,...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 16, No. 9, November

Our Canadian Republic: Do We Display Too Much Deference to Authority ... or Not Enough?
WHEN I MET A GROUP OF Australian visitors to Canada recently, they observed that Canada has long flown its own distinctive national flag. Why then, they asked, has Canada not had a national debate on becoming a republic? Australia still uses one of...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 16, No. 8, October

History Does Matter: The Future of the Past in Atlantic Canada
When the LRC's editor approached me about writing an essay for this special eastern issue, she suggested that I might like to address the question: is history an albatross around the Maritimes' neck? I wonder if such a question is ever asked of other...
Read preview Overview
An Outsider's Eye: Newfoundland Culture as Defined from without and Within
It was late May 1997 and Memorial University was hosting the annual Learneds congress for the humanities and social sciences. Over the course of a week, about 5,000 academics had gathered to listen to papers, reconnect with mentors and old friends...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 16, No. 7, September

Progressivism's End: In Obama, Both Americans and Canadians Can See the Promise of Something New
A recent poll found that a substantial majority of Canadians want Barack Obama to be the next U.S. president. More surprisingly, another found that if Obama were the leader of the Liberals or Conservatives in Canada, he would win decisively. [ILLUSTRATION...
Read preview Overview
A Steady Eye: David Levine Has Captured the Artistic and Political Greats of His Era with Nothing but a Pencil
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Degas: ballerina. Monet: landscape. Lucien Freud: nude. One of the measures of a great artist's legacy is that the very mention of his or her name conjures a strong visual image. In the realm of the graphic arts the name David...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 16, No. 6, July-August

Does Independence Matter? from Elections Canada to the Nuclear Watchdog, the Harper Government Seems to Disagree
The old saw is that if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. For Canada's federal government, the hammer is partisanship and, of late, the unlucky nails have been a disparate set of independent public agencies, from Elections...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 16, No. 4, May

A History of Hypocrisy: Canadian Complicity Links U.S. Cold War Torture with Cases like Maher Arar's
I. To judge by the statements of government officials, Canada is--as it should be--staunchly opposed to torture. Just over two decades ago, Canada became one of the first countries to ratify the United Nations Convention against Torture, adopting...
Read preview Overview
Canada's Most Memorable Poems: The LRC Contributors' List: Part Two: MacEwen to Webb
In this month's poetry we continue our list of Canada's Most Memorable Poems with nominations submitted by poets we've published in the past two years and friends of the LRC. Our hope is that these nominations send you running to your poetry anthologies,...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 16, No. 3, April

Canada's Most Memorable Poems: The LRC Contributors' List: Part One: Atwood to Lowry, Plus Anonymous
A Word of Introduction On New Year's Eve 2006, at a dinner hosted by our co-publisher Helen Walsh, Molly Peacock and I were challenged by another guest to list Canada's "most memorable poems." After we poured another glass of pinot noir, we began...
Read preview Overview
The Prison of "Public Space": Before We Take to the Streets, This Pervasive Concept Needs Rethinking
Public space is the age's master signifier, a loose and elastic notion variously deployed to defend (or attack) architecture, to decry (or celebrate) civic squares, to promote (or denounce) graffiti artists, skateboarders, jaywalkers, parkour aficionados,...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 16, No. 2, March

Constabulary Duties: When Did the Phrase "To Serve and Protect" Begin to Ring So Hollow?
On October 113, 2.007, Mr. Robert Dziekanski, a Polish immigrant seeking to join his mother in Canada, arrived at the Vancouver International Airport. What transpired over the next several hours is a tale of horrific blundering and brutality resulting...
Read preview Overview
Worse Than Dying: The Unending Legacy of the Halifax Explosion Haunts a Conflicted Heroine
Glass Voices Carol Bruneau Cormorant Books 280 pages, softcover ISBN 9781897151129 On December 6, 1917, the French freighter Mont Blanc, carrying a cargo of more than 2,500 tonnes of explosives, collided with the Norwegian tramp steamer...
Read preview Overview
Our Man in Bhutan: How a Canadian Jesuit Founded a Secular Education System in a Remote Mountain Nation
Of Bhutan's history, its recent emergence from seclusion, its international relations and its economic, social and political model, I knew next to nothing at the time of my appointment as non-resident ambassador of Canada to the government in Thimphu,...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 16, No. 1, January-February

Broadening Our Horizons: The Print-Besotted LRC Takes a Bold Step into the Online World
This magazine's love of books and (almost) all things printed on paper knows no bounds. And we are aware that many of our readers feel the same way, viewing the world of the internet with more than a little suspicion and caution. Who mediates all that...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 15, No. 10, December

A Culture Builder: A Lively Memoir Revisits the Birth of the Royal Ontario Museum
You'd never mistake him for Indiana Jones. Still, how Charles Trick Currelly, a small-town boy from Ontario, drifted into the booming field of archaeology at the turn of the 20th century, gained the attention of a group of wealthy Torontonians intent...
Read preview Overview
Promoting Democracy Abroad: Is It the Right Time for Canada to Take on This File?
Advancing Canada's Role in International Support for Democratic Development Report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development House of Commons, July 2007 212 pages, PDF
Read preview Overview

Vol. 15, No. 9, November

Getting from A to B: Planning for an Era of Oil Depletion
The more transportation costs, the more we pay attention to it. The price of transportation declined steadily during the post-war decades of cheap oil, leading Canadians to pay less attention to their options in getting between one place and another....
Read preview Overview

Vol. 15, No. 8, October

Canada's Candide: While Calgary Wants to Govern, Vancouver Cultivates Its Garden
My instructions are to write about western Canada, British Columbia in particular. I contemplate the task on a July afternoon, while looking out the open cottage door and across Tribune Bay. A butterfly comes into view--a fluttering yellow dot moving...
Read preview Overview
A Province Poised for Leadership: Gifted with Resources, Alberta Moves toward Centre Stage
Is Alberta the wasteful, profligate, polluting, redneck and small-minded place as some Canadians in the centre and east of the country portray it, especially around federal election time? And if this view, as I believe it is, is inaccurate, how are...
Read preview Overview
Demography in the Balance: Is Native Population Growth on the Prairies a Positive or Negative Thing?
Canada's west is booming in a way that has not been seen in at least a generation, and there is every indication that this shift in economic clout will be with us for a number of years to come. It may even be true that the balance of political power...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 15, No. 7, September

The Trial Coverage on Trial: Between the Fawners and the Tricoteuses, Journalism Is Found Guilty
"My experience with journalists authorizes me to record that a very large number of them are ignorant, lazy, opinionated, intellectually dishonest, and inadequately supervised." Conrad Black, quoted in the Carleton Journalism Review, Winter 1979-80....
Read preview Overview

Vol. 15, No. 6, July-August

Teenage Mutant Supreme Court Judges: The Canadian Copyright Debate Takes Some Strange Metaphysical Turns
The consultant specialized in young people and how to sell to them. He was funny and fast, and he impressed this audience of boomer-age publishers and media people. Don't even talk about convergence, he told them; what else have kids ever known? He...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 15, No. 5, June

The Explanation We Never Heard: Six Months after Attending a Controversial Tehran Conference, a Canadian Professor Charges the Media and His Own University with Ignorance and Intolerance
It would be a shocking event in any university. It was doubly so in a university that takes pride in its "Catholic character." Last December, St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, authorized a small Spanish Inquisition of its own...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 15, No. 4, May

My Father's Books: Dealing with a Dead Parent's Library Is a Charged, Emotional Experience
My father died two years ago, suddenly but not unexpectedly: he was six weeks short of 84. When, a few months later, my mother decided to move in with one of my two sisters and her family, we siblings faced a problem many children of literate members...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 15, No. 3, April

Referendum? What Referendum? A Constitutional Expert Argues That the Federal Insistence on Clarity Has Paid Off
At the time this essay went to press, Quebecers were already in the throes of an unusually volatile election. Although the Parti Quebecois appeared poised to suffer a significant setback on March 26, its commitment to holding a "public consultation"...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 15, No. 2, March

Conventional Wisdoms: The "Natural Governing Party" Goes through Atavistic Rituals to Try to Recapture Its Place in the Sun
In every human community the organization of power is the result of two opposed forces: beliefs on the one hand, practical necessities on the other. In consequence the leadership of political parties--like that of most present-day social groups: trade...
Read preview Overview
Happy Birthday, C.C.!
On March 28, 2007, the Canada Council for the Arts celebrates its 50th birthday. The LRC has been a grateful and happy recipient of Canada Council funds for many years, so we would like to mark the auspicious occasion with a commissioned work of art....
Read preview Overview

Vol. 15, No. 1, January-February

Canada's Kyoto Delusion: The Evidence Is Finally Forcing Us to Admit We Have Done Nothing
Over the past 18 years, the Canadian government has made several commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as its contribution to international efforts to limit the risks of human-induced climate change. Canada made its first international commitment...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 14, No. 10, December

"Big Media Bad Thing": How a Senate Committee Wrote a Media Report with Its Head in the Sand
Once upon a time, a committee of the Senate of Canada undertook to "consider and report upon the ownership and control of the major means of mass public communication in Canada." Diversity of voices, that was the issue. "The more separate voices we...
Read preview Overview
The Passionate Reading of Youth: Ten LRC Contributors Revisit Books That Changed Their Lives
In 1879, journalist and literary critic Walter Bagehot wrote "superficial the reading of grown men in some sort must ever be; it is only once in a lifetime that we can know the passionate reading of youth." His words neatly sum up the inspiration for...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 14, No. 9, November

Is Small Beautiful? Canadian Book Publishing and the Internet Could Be a Happy Match
Five years ago, Canadian book publishers emerged from a horror story. General Publishing, a book distributor handling books from a number of Canadian publishers, had gone bankrupt. Book returns from the big-box bookstores had surged to unacceptable...
Read preview Overview
Trudeau's Great Leap: A New Translation of His Chinese Travel Diaries Prompts Both Admiration and Concern
Hongse Zhongguo de Liangwei Tianzhenhan (Two innocents in Red China) Jacques Hebert and Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foreword by Alexandre Trudeau Yuan Xiaoyi and Xia Ling, translators Shanghai Renmin Chubanshe, 2005 In September and October of 1960,...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 14, No. 7, September

Living Better Multiculturally: In Canada We Seem to Get the Multi Part, but How about the Culture?
Canadians today are proudly multicultural. Along with publicly funded health care, multiculturalism has become part of the sticky stuff of Canadian identity. It is relatively new, a stage in our evolution from a binational, bilingual society. An official...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 14, No. 6, July-August

Let Me Tell You My Life: One Canadian Publisher Focuses on "Life Writing" as a Serious Academic Genre
It is a genre that has been around as long as writing itself, but now it has a name. Life writing--which can encompass diaries, journals, personal papers, memoirs and full-blown autobiographies--has become, in recent years, increasingly interesting...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 14, No. 5, June

Beyond Shame and Outrage: Michael Ignatieff and the New Intellectual Barbarism of America
The central fact of American political discourse today is a startling convergence between left and right positions. On the one hand, the favoured and feted of serious non-fiction--those rare liberal academics and authors with policy clout and routine...
Read preview Overview
Accountability: Three Approaches: A Senior Civil Servant Assesses Them All
The auditor general's report on the sponsorship program, released in February 2004, has elicited three different official responses since then: the first from the Martin government, the second from Justice John Gomery and the third from the Harper...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 14, No. 4, May

Goodbye, Quebec? A Quebec Politician and Civil Servant Reissues a Provocative Invitation
A few years ago I wrote a book with the central proposition that Canada would better off without Quebec. It was published in 1999 under the title Time to Say Goodbye: The Case for Getting Quebec Out of Canada. In it I suggested that the political values...
Read preview Overview
Skulking to the Right: Canadian Papers Hide a Growing Right-Wing Tilt under a Froth of Confections
Most thoughtful Canadians are concerned by what they see as the "dumbing down" of our major news media years. As competitive pressure mounts, once-serious newspapers have replaced international analysis with articles on personal health, set aside a...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 14, No. 3, April

Not So Fast, Reformers: Why Fix a Canadian Electoral System That Isn't Broken?
A spectre is haunting the land--the spectre of electoral reform. Once confined to small think tanks, political science departments, academic journals and addenda to royal commission reports, the subject has suddenly become highly visible, invoked in...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 14, No. 2, March

Has Canada Failed? National Dreams That Have Not Come True
Imagine an Ontario schoolboy in 1951, giving a talk on Canada's future in his grade five public speaking contest. The speech resonates with cliched predictions of national greatness that John A. Macdonald, Wilfrid Laurier and hundreds of other Canadian...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 14, No. 1, January-February

When Is Equality Not Equality? Canadian and American Women Diverge on Work and Motherhood
At a recent appearance in Toronto, famed British adman Neil French made waves a mari usque ad mare when he let the women in his industry know what he really thought: "You can't be a great creative director and have a baby and keep spending time off...
Read preview Overview