History of fierce free trade issue essential background for high-stakes NAFTA renegotiation with erratic Trump administration.

  No Canadian political and economic issue is as contentious, persistent, and long-running as the struggle between free trade and protection. A concise account of that issue from 1840 to the 1988 Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement provides essential historical background to the impending high-stakes renegotiation of NAFTA with the erratic Trump administration. The record clearly […]

The failed life of Donald Trump

Donald Trump (presidential portrait, cropped).   Intelligence is one thing. Wisdom is something else entirely. Saddest are those with a plethora of intelligence and a paucity of wisdom—or even common sense. They are doomed to failed, unhappy, and often destructive lives. The greatest and most destructive failures combine intelligence with unwisdom, wealth, and power. We are […]

Toronto in great uproar as U.S. seeks fugitive slave

John Anderson, a proclaimed fugitive slave in Toronto who escaped from Missouri to Canada on the Underground Railway, was wanted by the Americans in 1860. English engraving, from “The Story of the Life of John Anderson,” 1863.  “It was an anxious moment, as the Chief Justice produced his papers and began to read. The life […]

Parliament is all talk, talk, talk

The Ottawa Journal, October 23, 1899, notes the political penchant for prolixity. Sir Charles Tupper’s speech the other day contained about 25,000 words. Mr. Foster’s three-hour effort held about 17,000, or about as many as the gospel of St. John, which revolutionized the world. It will be observed that some of our political leaders talk […]

Mackenzie guards treasury from greedy hordes

    The early years of Confederation both appalled and titillated Canadians with perhaps the country’s most sensational—or sensationalized—political corruption and scandals. John A. Macdonald urgently called on industrialized Hugh Allen for “another ten thousand” dollars in secret election campaign funds (the total came to $350,000) before awarding Allen’s syndicate the contract to build the […]