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September-October 2011

Poem: “The Death Car Rides On” by Carolyn Smart

Carolyn Smart

with the gore and the glass and the reek it is towed to town, the wrecker breaking down before a schoolyard and the children all come running forth to see the dead within: Bonnie’s lip near severed from her mouth, Clyde with his head blown open, the hum of heat and the insects never yielding […]

How a pioneering Globe reporter helped introduce Marshall McLuhan to the world

David HayesWebsite@TimesRoman

Kay Kritzwiser, a feature writer assigned to the Globe and Mail’s weekend supplement, The Globe Magazine, had never heard of Marshall McLuhan when, on a mid-November morning in 1963, her edior, Colin McCullough, asked her to write a profile of him. She visited the Globe’s library and took away a Who’s Who entry and a […]

How four of B.C.’s former company towns are reinventing themselves

Joe RaymentWebsite@Joerayment

British Columbia introduced its Instant Towns Act in 1965 during the height of an industrial boom. The policy’s purpose was exactly what the quirky name suggests: to allow the government to instantly grant municipal status to the many informal settlements surrounding its natural resources. The idea was that instant towns could prevent some of the […]

Repeal the Indian Act and abolish the department of Indian Affairs

Daniel Wilson

The path forward, if the futures of First Nations and the rest of Canada are to reconcile, begins with two steps. Repeal the Indian Act, and abolish the department that delivers it. Bluntly put, the legislation that governs how status Indians are treated—and defines who holds that status—was racist and wrong in its conception 135 […]

Fiction: “A Few Words About the Youth Gang” by Pasha Malla

Pasha MallaWebsite

“It has been some time now that I have wanted to speak to you about the youth gang. Since July there has been much conjecture about how the youth gang started, and when, and where, and what exactly the youth gang is, and who belongs to it, and whether its members wear ‘colours,’ and which […]

How Book Madam & Associates spun book-loving into an unlikely profession

Christina Palassio@mcpalassio

The words “book” and “fan” don’t really fit. Music and fan, sure. Sports and fan, you bet. But when it comes to books, you’re a reader or a lover, rarely a fan. Maybe it’s because fandom has little place in an industry infamous for its cynicism and curmudgeonly attitude, its scything insults and ivory tower. […]

Book review: Rebecca Rosenblum’s The Big Dream

Jessica RoseWebsite@NMTblog

The characters in Rebecca Rosenblum’s second collection of short stories, The Big Dream, have one thing in common: they work at Dream Inc., a lifestyle magazine publisher struggling to stay afloat. Like the troubled company, most face an uncertain future, navigating their problems from trial separations and parenthood to a terminally ill parent. Drawing from her […]

Roberta Holden’s photographs capture the shifting landscapes of a changing climate

Jackie WongWebsite@_jackiewong

Vast, impressionistic, and haunting in its sparseness, Roberta Holden’s landscape photography calls to mind the dark, faraway corners of memory and dreams. Taken from days in the Arctic, over the frozen oceans near Greenland, and during the long nights in Morocco, Holden’s work evokes nostalgia for landscapes untouched by human development—a phenomenon many of us […]

Interview: Nieman fellow David Skok on Canadian journalism’s digital future

Paul McLaughlinWebsite@paulmcl

David Skok, the managing editor of GlobalNews.ca, checked into Harvard University in September to begin a one-year Nieman Fellowship. The 33-year-old is the first Canadian digital journalist to receive the prestigious award. He’ll be studying “how to sustain Canadian journalism’s distinct presence in a world of stateless news organizations.” He spoke with This two weeks […]

Does an RCMP-CSIS snitch line threaten our civil rights?

Jason TushinskiWebsite@chimcham49

Dear Progressive Detective: I heard police arrested a man at the Pearson International Airport in Toronto after receiving a tip from Canada’s Suspicious Incident Reporting System, which alleged the man intended to join a Somali terrorist group. I’m concerned: what is SIRS, and how might the Government’s security efforts affect my civil liberties and right […]

Dechinta brings to life the 50-year dream of a university for the North

Katie HyslopWebsite@Kehyslop

Back in the 1960s, a group of high-minded northern and southern Canadians had a collective revelation: if the North ever wanted to succeed, it desperately needed a university. Toronto-based lawyer and retired Air Force general Richard Rohmer spearheaded the idea, first lobbying locals and politicians, and later penning a draft for a bricks-and-mortar institution. While […]