Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative


June 9, 2014

Great to see historian Jean Barman being honoured with this year's George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award (which bills itself as BC's most prestigious literary prize).

Jean has written too many books to mention here but my favourite is probably Stanley Park's Secrets (Harbour Publishing 2005). By reminding us of the different communities who used to make their homes in Stanley Park, she completely changes the way we...

June 6, 2014

The federal government appears to want to take a bad situation and make it worse.

The proposed revamp of the prostitution laws announced this week in Ottawa conforms to Stephen Harper's tough-on-crime agenda. Instead of decriminalizing activities surrounding prostitution, it proposes to criminalize even more of them. Under the new legislation it would be illegal to buy sexual services -- but not to provide them --...

June 5, 2014


Bronwyn Drainie, editor of the Literary Review of Canada, was in town yesterday and hosted some of her West Coast contributors (of which I am pleased to number myself) at a small drinks party where she spoke of her mag's struggles to survive and contribute to literary culture...

June 4, 2014

Since I'm not as plugged into Toronto media as I might be I was unaware of a series of articles the Toronto Star has been running since mid-April.

Reporter Katie Daubs and photographer Richard Lautens have been walking across western Europe tracing the front lines to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War One.

The few articles I read before I came up against the paywall were a wonderful...

May 30, 2014


Last February I wrote here about James Daschuk's compelling book Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life (U of Regina Press).

I note that the Canadian Historical Association has just awarded the book this year's Sir John A...