From the Ed­i­tor / L. Ian Mac­Don­ald

Policy - - In This Issue - From the Ed­i­tor / L. Ian Mac­Don­ald

Canada 150

Wel­come to our spe­cial is­sue on Canada 150, cel­e­brat­ing our his­tory, ge­og­ra­phy, lin­guis­tic and cul­tural di­ver­sity and the bless­ings of democ­racy in the sec­ond­largest coun­try in the world. Poll­ster Frank Graves of EKOS Re­search shares a new poll that com­pares the mood of Canada with the turn of the mil­len­nium as well as our 100th an­niver­sary in 1967.

But we wouldn’t be here with­out the vi­sion of the found­ing fa­thers who cre­ated the orig­i­nal Cana­dian com­pro­mise—Con­fed­er­a­tion it­self, with its prag­matic divi­sion of pow­ers be­tween Ot­tawa and the prov­inces. Suc­ces­sive gen­er­a­tions of lead­ers built rail­ways from At­lantic to Pa­cific, fos­tered a na­tion of im­mi­grants, and led Canada through two world wars where it made great con­tri­bu­tions, at great cost in lives, to se­cure the lib­erty of Europe.

Canada has seen three en­dur­ing po­lit­i­cal par­ties—the Con­ser­va­tives, the Lib­er­als and the CCF-NDP. Ge­off Norquay as­sesses the lega­cies of Con­ser­va­tive lead­ers, from John A. Mac­don­ald to Robert Bor­den, from John Diefen­baker to Brian Mul­roney. All were trans­for­ma­tive lead­ers, Mac­don­ald as the fa­ther of Con­fed­er­a­tion it­self, Bor­den as the leader of a re­mark­able Cana­dian con­tri­bu­tion in the First World War, Diefen­baker as the au­thor of the Bill of Rights and pro­poser of a North­ern Vi­sion, Mul­roney as the fa­ther of free trade, ar­chi­tect of the Acid Rain Ac­cord, cham­pion of Nel­son Man­dela and pro­po­nent of Ger­man re­u­ni­fi­ca­tion at the end of the Cold War.

Tom Ax­wor­thy writes of the dy­nas­tic Lib­er­als as the en­dur­ing party of the centre, where elec­tions are won in this coun­try. “In the 150 years since Con­fed­er­a­tion,” he writes, “the Lib­eral Party has been in of­fice for 89. In 24 of the 42 gen­eral elec­tions since 1867, the Lib­eral Party has cap­tured more votes than any other.” Robin Sears looks at the NDP as a party torn be­tween the con­science of the left and pro­gres­sive poli­cies his­tor­i­cally hi­jacked by the Lib­er­als. This has cre­ated a per­ma­nent ex­is­ten­tial de­bate be­tween those who are con­tent to be ad­vo­cates and those who would rather play to win, as the NDP has in sev­eral prov­inces. Prin­ci­ple or power? The NDP’s eter­nal strug­gle.

Uni­ver­sity of Ot­tawa’s Caris­sima Ma­then looks at Canada’s con­sti­tu­tional frame­work, from the divi­sion of pow­ers in the Bri­tish North Amer­ica Act to the in­di­vid­ual rights en­shrined in the Char­ter of Rights and Free­doms in 1982. Her U of O le­gal col­league Adam Dodek ap­praises the Supreme Court of Canada, from 1875 to the present. Velma McColl and Kath­leen Monk as­sess the po­lit­i­cal jour­ney of women in Canada, from the suf­fragettes to the road to gen­der par­ity, still a work in progress. In­no­va­tion Min­is­ter Navdeep Bains writes from his own ex­pe­ri­ence of mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism and di­ver­sity in the Cana­dian mo­saic. Uni­ver­sity of Regina’s Vianne Tim­mons and Stephen King tell an im­por­tant suc­cess story of Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ples in post-sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion.

For­mer Of­fi­cial Lan­guages Com­mis­sioner Gra­ham Fraser con­sid­ers the dy­namic of Canada as an of­fi­cially bilin­gual coun­try, re­garded as a given to­day, but not al­ways the case. Richard Dicerni, a for­mer se­nior deputy min­is­ter in Ot­tawa, sends a birth­day card to Canada from its pub­lic ser­vice, say­ing it’s been “quite a jour­ney we have trav­elled to­gether over the past 150 years.” He­laina Gas­pard and Sahir Kahn of the In­sti­tute for Fis­cal Stud­ies and Democ­racy of­fer a rank­ing of gov­ern­ments’ fis­cal frame­works since Con­fed­er­a­tion.

Jeremy Kins­man, our vet­eran for­eign af­fairs hand, looks at Canada’s di­plo­matic iden­tity and finds a Cana­dian bal­ance of rea­son and pas­sion. As a case study of Cana­dian suc­cess in the Mid­dle East, As­so­ciate Ed­i­tor Lisa Van Dusen writes up the work of McGill Uni­ver­sity’s In­ter­na­tional Com­mu­nity Ac­tion Net­work in bring­ing Is­raelis and Pales­tini­ans to­gether. Derek Bur­ney and Fen Hamp­son write of Canada as a trad­ing na­tion, and the chal­lenges of rene­go­ti­at­ing NAFTA. His­tor­ica Canada’s An­thony Wil­sonSmith looks at his­tory by the min­utes, Her­itage Min­utes. In the 100th year of the Rail­way As­so­ci­a­tion of Canada, its pres­i­dent, Michael Bourque, of­fers a short his­tory of Cana­dian rail­ways, a story of na­tion-build­ing. CPAC Pres­i­dent Cather­ine Cano marks the 25th an­niver­sary of the pub­lic af­fairs chan­nel of record. And colum­nist Don New­man weighs in on the sesqui­cen­ten­nial.

Fi­nally, we of­fer a sum­mer read­ing list. James Bax­ter looks at Terry Mosher’s lat­est Ais­lin col­lec­tion of po­lit­i­cal car­toons, Trudeau to Trudeau: Ais­lin 50 Years of Car­toon­ing. Jaime Watt re­views Jim Pren­tice’s mem­oir, Triple Crown. An­thony Wil­son-Smith has a pos­i­tive take on Lau­rence B. Mus­sio’s A Vi­sion Greater than Them­selves: The Mak­ing of the Bank of Mon­treal, 18172017. And I of­fer a re­view of Alvin Cramer Se­gal’s mem­oir, My Peer­less Story, about how he built a Cana­dian world cham­pion in men’s cloth­ing. Happy 150th, Canada!

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