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 […]

Ukrainian settlers in sheepskin coats overcome rancid prejudice

They were called filthy, ignorant, lazy, immoral drunkards, a threat to the racial character and social stability of Canada. They were the peasants from Eastern Europe brought to Canada under Interior Minister Clifford Sifton’s aggressive quest for immigrants. To Sifton, they were “stalwart peasants in sheepskin coats,” precisely the type of good, hard-working farmers needed […]

Peasants find freedom in Canada but anarchy and doomed democracy forecast

A settlers’ homestead, cleared from the bush in Upper Canada, ca. 1800. Pen Pictures of Pioneer Life in Upper Canada, ElectricCanadian.com/pioneer/pen/Chapter 21.htm. Liberty, democracy, and freedom from want, hunger and an oppressive aristocracy were said to prevail among peasants from Europe in the Upper Canada of 1821, but anarchy and doomed democracy were widely predicted. […]

Toronto Star spreads racism, sectarianism, bigotry and misogyny of evangelist Frank Norris

Evangelist Frank Norris, the most famous fundamentalist U.S. preacher in the 1920s. Wikimedia Commons.   Early 20th-century naked bigotry, sectarianism and misogyny were on prominent display in the Toronto Star, August 30, 1924, with the reported teaching and preaching of U.S. evangelist and self-styled “Texas Tornado,” Frank Norris (1872-1952). “SAYS KU KLUX KLAN KEPT OUT […]

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 […]

SS Manhattan signals an open Northwest Passage

All photos by author As the ice continues to shrink, the 2017 sailing season could see a record number of vessels transiting the fabled Canadian Northwest Passage. The first vessel has already left port. An ancient resuscitated icebreaker is on a 23,000-kilometre, 150-day voyage from Toronto to Victoria to help mark Canada’s 150th birthday. A giant […]