The Passport

“The document is elegant. No one can dispute that. The deep navy blue of its slightly pebbled cover, the understated gilt imprint of the royal arms of Canada, which somehow looks faded even when new — the passport is a classic. Its cover may be harder, more durable, the pages inside more decorated than when I was a boy, but, in the hand, its familiarity is heavy, anchoring. A passport is a little book printed for a single situation, the condition of being between countries. To hold it is to be going from home to elsewhere or from elsewhere to home. Over time, the booklet assumes the association of distance and belonging, of leaving and returning. This year that association, often subtle, like a half-remembered smell from childhood, clarified itself in the atmosphere of trauma that overtook the world. This was the year when we remembered what it means to hold a Canadian passport.”

Stephen Marche – Literary Review of Canada – July 2020

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Balance the books

“The failure of our early film industry was a power­ful warning for artists and politicians. It set the context for the Conservative government’s decision in 1932 to intervene in the communications market and to create a national public broadcaster, the original CBC. Following the Second World War, Canada saw a remarkable growth in cultural awareness, buttressed by policies and programs that gave Canadians more space to express our cultures and identities. Music, theatre, radio, and museums all benefited, as did publishing. But today many of those working in the literary arts, especially independent publishers, are sounding alarm bells.”

Victor Rabinovitch – Literary Review of Canada – May 2020

The arts of the deal

“To be a cultural worker in Canada is to be a filler of forms. If the American cultural scene is structured by entrepreneurialism and private foundations, our creative endeavours are highly dependent on direct government support. Canadian artists have a high degree of freedom, but their activities are fostered through subsidies and state regulations, especially with respect to Canadian content requirements. This is both a gift and a curse.”

Darrell Varga – Literary Review of Canada – February 2020

When Terror Came to Canada

“That first surge of 1,200 provincial and Montreal city police dragged 238 suspects into custody within the first eight hours of the act’s proclamation. Nearly 500 were swept into detention and 4,600 searches were conducted for weapons and subversive materials in the weeks before authorities finally conceded an armed insurrection in Quebec was, in fact, unlikely. The dragnet, along with the dispatch of 10,000 combat-equipped troops to help guard Montreal, Quebec City, and Ottawa, remains one of the most controversial moments in modern Canadian ­history.”

Brian Stewart – Literary Review of Canada – January 2019

Money for a post-work world

“Yet here we are, still toiling away with unemployment rates at multi-decade lows. Instead of eradicating work, technology has done what it will surely always continue to do: create more jobs than it destroys. What matters far more in Forget’s view is the quality of those new jobs. And it is the rise of precarious labour, reflected in the side-hustle economy, piecemeal freelance gigs, and endless contract positions, which basic income is perfectly suited to address, by providing a measure of insurance against job insecurity.”

Jason Kirby – Literary Review of Canada – November 2018

The truth of Canada’s failure in Afghanistan

 
Chris Alexander – Literary Review of Canada – October 2018

CanLit’s comedy problem

 
Pasha Malla – Literary Review of Canada – June 2018

The new campus Puritanism

Ira Wells – Literary Review of Canada – May 2018

Did virtue and the think piece ruin criticism?

John Semley – Literary Review of Canada – April 2018

Acts like a lady, works like a dog

Rachel Giese – Literary Review of Canada – April 2018