Pack up you troubles in your old kit-bag

Our perspective in marking Remembrance Day is definitely at odds with views of the day, but that doesn't mean the sacrifices weren't worthy

As rhetorical formulations go, ”the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” packs a formidable punch. Signifying the coming into effect of the armistice that ended the First World War, the words have a striking resonance: eliciting solemnity, dignity and the sense of something very important. Much more so than VE Day or…

Did the Great War really create a distinct Canadian identity?

It took far more than our efforts during the Great War to nudge Canada out of its subordinate role in the British Empire

Did the Great War really create a distinct Canadian identity?If you turn left upon entering the main gate of Toronto’s St. James Cemetery, you’ll soon come to a tall, imposing Celtic cross made of stone and inscribed with the family name Hagarty. There are three people buried there, but pride of place is given to someone whose earthly remains repose thousands of miles away…

Beaverbrook: A Canadian who liked to win

Relentless and focused, Max Aitken wasn’t squeamish about cutting corners to get what he wanted in business and politics

Beaverbrook: A Canadian who liked to winMax Aitken – widely known as Lord Beaverbrook – is the subject of a new biography by English author Charles Williams. Max Beaverbrook is a readable book on an interesting and controversial character, one whose balance of attributes is ambivalently encapsulated in the subtitle Not Quite a Gentleman. Aitken was born in Maple, Ont., in…

How do new Canadians see Indigenous issues?

It’s a mistake to assume that recent immigrants to Canada, who make up 20% of our population, will easily understand and embrace the Indigenous, who make up 4.3%

How do new Canadians see Indigenous issues?Two powerful, painful and potentially course-changing reports on the Indigenous should impact how Canadians view our past and present, and how we chart our future. But much work remains. Most recently, there’s been much reflection, assessment and discussion on the report from the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). It’s…

Canada goes to war: 80 years ago, there was no hesitation

Ultimately, though, disagreement surfaced. The trigger was conscription and the division was between Quebec and English Canada

Canada goes to war: 80 years ago, there was no hesitationCanada went to war 80 years ago this September. The formal declaration came on Sept. 10, a week after the United Kingdom and France had declared war in response to the German invasion of Poland. In taking the United Kingdom’s side, Canada joined three other dominions – Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Canada was…

Scheer shows his mettle by confronting Trudeau

Conservative leader has made it clear that he intends to hold the prime minister accountable for his actions related to SNC-Lavalin on the campaign trail

Scheer shows his mettle by confronting TrudeauMy wife and I are staying at a bed-and-breakfast called the Perth Manor Boutique Hotel in Perth, Ont. It was constructed as a large private residence in 1878 by lawyer/mercantilist J.T. Henderson for £12,000, or roughly $409,000 in today’s currency. The residence, which has maintained its 19th-century beauty and charm, is a nostalgic trip back…

Chateau Laurier to be defaced because leaders wouldn’t lead

What no one wants will now be built on some of the most historic land in the country, in an architectural environment in Ottawa that ought to receive heightened protection, not less

Chateau Laurier to be defaced because leaders wouldn’t leadThe Château Laurier fight is over. The hideous extension will be built and Major’s Hill Park in Ottawa will be despoiled as it will now dwell in the shadow of an enormous shipping container. It’s astonishing that the only ones who defended the hotel’s extension on the merits themselves were those being paid. What no…

Chateau Laurier addition is an affront to property’s heritage

The proposed addition looks like a giant air conditioner or shipping container. It's ugly and entirely out of place

Chateau Laurier addition is an affront to property’s heritageArchitecture, even of privately-held buildings, is never entirely a private affair. What's built affects not only those who live and work in the buildings, but passersby from the neighbourhood and, in the case of downtown Ottawa, from across the country. Even more is it the case with Ottawa’s grand dame of Wellington Street – the…

Small cities like Duncan, B.C., steward great artists

Reflecting on Canadian culture at the Dog House Restaurant and small businesses dedicated to local artisans

Small cities like Duncan, B.C., steward great artistsAs cities go, Duncan, B.C., is pretty small. In fact, it’s the smallest city by area (2.07 square km) in Canada. In 2016, it had 4,994 citizens. It was incorporated in 1912, as the star of Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley, an agricultural, mining and logging centre first visited by Vancouver Island Gov. James Douglas and…

Don’t romanticize the Winnipeg General Strike

The dangerous, violent seeds of the communist revolution were being sown in Canada

Don’t romanticize the Winnipeg General StrikeThis month marks the 100th anniversary of the Winnipeg General Strike, the most dramatic moment in our nation’s labour history and one highly romanticized ever since 1919. All of this romance seems to have caused people to forget what was really at stake. In 1919, the communist movement was gaining ground in Europe and elsewhere.…
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