Blood Tithes: A Primer

“‘When you were born you were the apple of everyone’s eyes,’ Mother said. I could never tell whether she was pleased by this or not. A is for almost, as in almost died. I was born premature, and spent my first days of life behind the glass of an incubator. While I struggled for breath, my family collectively held their own. They wondered, would I live? Which side of the coin — maternal/paternal — would my racial ambiguity land on?”

Rowan McCandless – The Fiddlehead – Winter 2019

My Black ancestors fled America for freedom. I left Canada to find a home. Now both countries must fight for a better world

“When I moved to the U.S. a decade ago, I thought those ghosts would welcome me home. I felt like I was returning to the land of my ancestors, the country they built, where they prayed, and sweated, and toiled, and were tortured, and resisted, and fought, and wept as their children were stolen and sold, and were traumatized as they were raped for profit and murdered for sport; the country where they died, the places they still haunt. They escaped, and I returned to lay claim to the opportunities they were denied and the humanity they were refused.”

Debra Thompson – The Globe and Mail – June 2020

How to Build an Antifascist Movement

“Over eighty years later, we are witnessing a resurgence of antisemitic, xenophobic, racist, and fascist activity at home and abroad. At the same time, the antifascist consensus that slowly percolated and woke Canadians up to the fascist threat in the 1930s has decayed, lulled into a false sense of security by the end of the Cold War. As the rising tide of hatred slowly creeps up, it’s worth asking why over 11,000 Torontonians left their homes to demonstrate on a summer night in 1938.”

Daniel Panneton – The Walrus – June 2020

Auschwitz, 75 years later: What Canada’s survivors remember about the death camp’s horrors

 
Tu Thanh Ha – The Globe and Mail – January 2020

Y2K: The strange, true history of how Canada prepared for an apocalypse that never happened, but changed us all

“On Dec. 31, 1999, Canadian leaders were preparing for the possibility that civilization would break down. The fear that electricity, phone lines and the financial industry could freeze up at the stroke of midnight because of a simple coding glitch in the world’s computers that had come to be known as Y2K. Michael Guerriere, who ran one of Toronto’s most important hospitals, prepared like a doctor: He went to bed early.”

Eric Andrew-Gee – The Globe and Mail – December 2019

Lac La Croix pony saved from extinction by the Ojibwe

“Once upon a time, before the last Ice Age, horses galloped across the North American landscape. But when the Laurentide Ice Sheet pressed its way across the continent, before retreating some 11,000 years ago, the horses ran away, trying to keep a pace ahead of that cold front. Entire herds slipped across the Bering land bridge in the far northwest, where Alaska met Siberia, and the horse vanished from North America. It wouldn’t come back until around the year 1500, when European explorers, settlers, invaders, colonizers — however you see them — brought horses on their ships. Or so the history goes.”

Susan Nerberg – Broadview – October 2019

He was a scoundrel with a jealous wife and a troubled mistress. He made the deal of a lifetime — then vanished

“I first learned about Ambrose Small when I was exploring the Path, the labyrinth of shops and food courts underneath the downtown core. I was on assignment for the Star and I wondered if there were any mysteries connected to the place. I was told the story of Ambrose Small and the Grand Opera House, the long-demolished theatre on Adelaide St. that was once the toast of Toronto’s entertainment scene.”

Katie Daubs – Toronto Star – September 2019

The long history of ‘go back to where you came from’ in Canada

“Three years later, the government amended the Immigration Act. Legal recourse against unwelcome newcomers was beefed up with something more actionable than just fines: they could now set foot on Canadian soil, but only temporarily, until the Canadian government could send them back ‘from whence they came.’ The government had officially legalized deportation. Not suitable for Canada? We don’t want you—go back to where you came from. It’s the law.”

Michael Fraiman – Maclean’s – August 2019

A Second World War mystery solved

 
Eric Reguly – The Globe and Mail – July 2019

D-Day confidential

“Half an hour after they had set foot on French soil on D-Day, Sapper John Schaupmeyer and his fellow combat engineers remained stranded on the beach, pinned down by German machine guns, mortars and artillery. From the cover of a seawall, they saw an LCI, one of the larger models of landing craft, touch ground. Soldiers aboard tried to disembark but the rough waves tangled up their gangway. Trapped on the LCI deck, the men came under enemy fire. At that moment, one of the combat engineers, Sapper Walter Coveyduck, left the seawall’s protection to go save the men of the LCI.”

Tu Thanh Ha – The Globe and Mail – June 2019