The Canadianization Movement: Emergence, Survival and Success

By Towse, Raymond | British Journal of Canadian Studies, May 2006 | Go to article overview

The Canadianization Movement: Emergence, Survival and Success


Towse, Raymond, British Journal of Canadian Studies


Jeffrey Cormier, The Canadianization Movement: Emergence, Survival and Success (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004), 234pp. Cloth. $65 (£42). ISBN 0-8020- 8815-5.

This is a scholarly book, thoroughly researched with copious footnotes as background to sources as well as an extensive reference list. It maps and documents the history of the Canadianisation movement with early emphasis in universities of Alberta and later Ontario. Time is required to dwell on the amusing cartoons, typically of a political nature, and excellent historic photographs that profusely illuminate the presentations. The data on the background of university course structure and of teaching faculty in the late 1960s illustrates obvious concerns for Canadian identity. In 1969 there were only 55 per cent Canadian faculty working in Canadian universities, which by 1985 had risen to 80 per cent. From these indications the author concludes that the Canadianisation movement did indeed succeed. The Canadianisation movement is claimed to still stand as a legacy in spite of recent changes to the federal immigration policy. The author notes that:

from initial rumblings at Carleton University in 1967 to the policy success in 1981, the Canadianization movement proved a vital and enduring force on Canadian university and college campuses. It managed to survive for some fourteen years, drawing hundreds of activists and their supporters to the cause of strengthening Canadian culture and identity (p. 193).

The incipient campus-based moves led to the wider social and political forces of the era to generate a shift to the national stage, and the mobilisation for concerted support from students, faculty and concerned parents. …

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