Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative
May 18, 2017

Re. N8.2.jpg

I’ve recently been poking around the history of squatting in Vancouver. Issues of homelessness and transiency go right back to the origins of the city. Gassy Jack himself was a squatter and of course you could argue that we are all squatters, on native land.

During the Dirty Thirties the men in the photograph were among the thousands of single unemployed who arrived in the...

May 15, 2017

I've been thinking about adding to the din about cultural appropriation but since I've written an entire book that is mostly about the subject I thought I'd leave it at that.

Except to recommend that if you want to educate yourself about the issue, watch Jesse Wente's interview on CBC television, or listen to...

May 6, 2017

With next week's provincial election looming, and the Green Party looking to play a bit of the spoiler, I've been asked several times in the last few days whether BC has ever had a minority government. (Perhaps it is because I edited a giant encyclopedia about the province that people think I know stuff like that.)

To my shame, I didn't actually know, but I hazarded a guess. Yes, once in 1952, when the Social Credit Party was just getting started. In that year's vote, the Social...

May 4, 2017

northvanbook_0.jpg

My history of the district of North Vancouver, Where Mountains Meet the Sea, has been shortlisted by the BC Historical Federation for one of its book prizes

I'll be in Chilliwack later in the month when the envelope is opened at the BCHF annual meeting...

April 30, 2017

 

One evening this past week I was at an historical society meeting and out of the blue someone asked, "should they remove Begbie?" I knew what she meant and answered, abruptly, No. Sometimes we find out what we think without thinking.

For those of you who missed it, Begbie is Matthew Bailey Begbie, original Chief Justice of British Columbia, and the reference to removal is a decision taken by the Law Society of BC a few days ago to remove the statue of Begbie that has been...

Pages