THE CHALLENGES OF CANADA'S REGIONAL DIVERSITY/LES DEFIS DE LA DIVERSITE REGIONALE AU CANADA
Volume 10 Number 4.
The three academics who contributed to this volume are Cole Hariss (UBC), Tom Kent (Dalhousie), and Benoft Robert (Quebec). Of the three, Cole Harriss' address, "The Emotional Structure of Canadian Regionalism," is instructive in that he attempts to explain feelings about the parts and the whole of this country.
Cole sees Canada as an island archipelago spread over 4000 east-west miles. This island country developed quite differently from its neighbour to the south. His summations about the various peoples in this country are not new, but he makes a point about their evolution in an island context. This emphasis is an important one and perhaps too easily glossed over in the past.
Tom Kent advocates an elected senate so that "our regional diversities can become more creative influences in national policy." He makes a case for province-wide senatorial constituencies with voting by a preferential system. Provinces would be assigned seats roughly according to population. He sees "other countries" that use that system to look after "regional interests" and laments the present one where provincial premiers, by default, have become regional spokesmen, something they were not elected to do. The senate we now have is of no validity since its members are appointed by prime ministers. Its abolition is called for. In this reviewer's opinion, to replace it with an elected house would be unwise at this time, given the current low status of politicians in the public eye. To a citizenry that perceives itself as over-governed now, the last thing it needs is another level of elected officials.
Professor Robert's "Some Considerations for Establishing a Policy in the Field of Canadian Studies" is just that. He advocates some ways and means of "fighting prejudices and changing attitudes." Basically, it is an assessment of where Canadian studies is and where it is going, with some recommendations. This reviewer is not fully convinced that the field is the answer to apparent Canadian problems with identity. Perhaps Cole Harris says it best: "truth cannot be hauled up the Canadian flagstaff."
This little volume is printed in both official languages and is suitable for both lay and scholarly audiences. It is easy to read, and since these three addresses are short, an index and bibliography are not included. Recommended for anyone interested in challenges facing Canada.
Richard Swain, General Wolfe H. S., Winnipeg, MB.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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