The New Normal

  All of last week’s grievances are First World Problems now The nuisances of yesterday more trivial by the hour. But Corona's also First World, and its impact plain to see Infecting all who cross its path, from Wuhan to Tuscany. How we stumbled in the gap of what was then and what is now Missing all the signs there were this plague was ours somehow All the jokes on social media that lampooned Corona beer,…

Continue ReadingThe New Normal

Reconciliation: What’s next?

  Since the issue of Wet’suwet’en land rights and title has landed where it truly belongs—in a discussion amongst the Wet’suwet’en people themselves, the only ones who ought to be determining the relationship between hereditary and elected leadership—I’ve done some more reflecting on the meaning of “reconciliation,” a word that’s been thrown around a lot during the ongoing Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute. Last month, I was in Ottawa on business when I happened to drop in on one…

Continue ReadingReconciliation: What’s next?

Indigenous lives, white agendas: A lesson

  Twenty-one years ago, when I was far less cynical about the potential of journalism to wake people up about climate change, I wrote a book called Vanishing Halo: Saving the Boreal Forest (Greystone/Douglas & McIntyre, 1999). Commissioned by the David Suzuki Foundation, the book’s purpose was to raise awareness about the coniferous crown that serves as the earth’s northern lungs: the array of plants, wildlife and people that inhabit the boreal region, the forest’s importance in…

Continue ReadingIndigenous lives, white agendas: A lesson

Reading 2019: A catholicity of interests

  NEW WESTMINSTER—The last time I posted a blog about my previous year’s reading (2016), the list was comprised of eleven books written by men. All but four of the authors were white, and the top two have since been “cancelled.” (The first, already in hot water for profiting from dubious claims to Indigenous ancestry, was Joseph Boyden; the second, two years before publishing a self-exculpatory essay by serial sex abuser Jian Gomeshi in The New York Review…

Continue ReadingReading 2019: A catholicity of interests

So long, Grapes

  It should have happened a long time ago, this cancelling of Don Cherry, the Seventh-Greatest-Canadian-who-happens-to-be-an-unreconstructed-racist-in-loud-suits. But it seems fitting that his long-awaited sacking from Hockey Night in Canada’s “Coach’s Corner” would occur on Remembrance Day weekend, of all occasions. Sour for “Grapes,” definitely, given his oft-stated dedication to veterans, but surely opportune for many of the immigrants he insulted: since his remarks aired on Saturday, the news cycle has featured a number of inspiring stories…

Continue ReadingSo long, Grapes