Words (Page 2)

Some of the articles, stories and columns I have written.

Lies Across America, James W. Loewen. The New Press, New York. Second Edition, 2019. I live in Guelph, a mid-sized city in Southern Ontario. We like to think of our home as a green and growing place, full of people who are alert to environmental and social justice. We think we know our history. Guelph was founded in 1827 by a Scottish novelist and businessman named John Galt. As a director of the Canada Company, it was his job to open the countryside for immigrant settlers. There’s a bronze and granite bust of him outside our former city hall downtown. It’s the courthouse now. There’sRead More →

Red River Girl: The life and death of Tina Fontaine by Joanna Jolly. Penguin Random House Canada, 304 pages. $24.95 paperback, $11.99 E-Book. A lot of Canadians were puzzled by one of the conclusions in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (NIMMIWG). The inquiry found that the tragic number of women involved amounted to an act of genocide. A new book by British journalist Joanna Jolly helps us understand the truth behind the inquiry’s conclusions. Red River Girl tells the story of Tina Fontaine, a 15-year-old Indigenous woman murdered in Winnipeg in 2014. Although a manRead More →

After taking a three-month hiatus, I am kick starting this blog. It might, for the next while, be driven by book reviews. I enjoyed doing them half a lifetime ago when I was a semi-regular on the Saturday books page of the Kitchener-Waterloo Record. Before that, I wrote several for the dearly departed Canadian Tribune. I’ll get the books directly from the publishers through #NetGalley. I’ve done a couple of reviews before and hope to do it more regularly now. The first one, to be posted in a few minutes, is Red River Girl: The Life and Death of Tina Fontaine by Joanna Jolly. WhileRead More →

There’s something strange about dads. Maybe not all of them. Probably most. Certainly mine. Possibly me. Too often we don’t get to really know them until it’s too late to matter any more. Sometimes we learn that the person we think we know is not the person we thought we knew. I think I got to know mine in the last couple of decades of his life. He was living in Stratford and looking after my mother as she struggled against the irreversible fog of dementia. She could remember every grievance she suffered as a child but not how to do the laundry. My dadRead More →