Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative

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Remembering the General Strike

March 22, 2019

The new issue of Canada's History, just out, contains a small contribution from myself, a review of Rick James's book about rum-running on the BC coast. But the main feature in the mag is an article by James Naylor assessing the significance of the Winnipeg General Strike.

This year is the centenary of the strike, which took place in the spring of 1919. It came at the end of a highly volatile period in Canadian history, the months following the end of World War One when the future of the country seemed to be up for grabs. Many elements in society saw a chance to fashion a new, more equitable Canada. Their boat-rocking ideas made the elites very nervous. The security services and the media were mobilized to fight back against the progressives. This was the Red Scare, of which the Winnipeg General Strike was pretty much the culmination.

It was a turbulent time in our history. I even wrote a book about it. Do yourself a favour and look for Canada's History at your local newsstand.

February 21, 2019

The second stage of our walk along the Arbutus Greenway (part one here) took us south from 16th Avenue into the heart of Kerrisdale. Because the southern border of Vancouver used to be 16th, the entire route runs through what was the municipality of South Vancouver (until 1908) and then the municipality of Point Grey. Vancouver expanded to absorb its neighbouring municipalities on Jan. 1, 1929.

Anyway, this section of the...

February 9, 2019

I was interested to read this recent article in the Montreal Gazette about the partial demolition of much of the Little Burgundy neighbourhood in the late-1960s-early-1970s. Steven High writes that in the name of urban renewal much of the city's English-speaking black population was displaced. The community had grown up close to two railway stations because so many black men...

January 31, 2019

A few changes were made to the site recently with the unfortunate result that the door was left open to those robots which flood the digital world with faux comments.

As a result I've had to close the comments section. I'd still love to hear from you. If you want to get in touch you can do so through the contact address.

January 26, 2019

I was sorry to read at the CBC website that BC's first whale watching operation is going out of business.

Stubbs Island Whale Watching was founded in 1980 by Jim Borrowman and Bill McKay at Telegraph Cove near the northern end of Vancouver...

January 21, 2019

One day last week found me out on the waters of Burrard Inlet doing a ride along in an RCMP patrol boat. (Don't ask).

As well as surveying the various industrial sites around the inner harbour we cruised all the way to the head of Indian Arm where I had a chance to inspect Wigwam Inn (photo above). The old luxury resort is now used as an outstation by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club but it...

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