Written by guest blogger, Dennis Molinaro.

*Dennis Molinaro’s upcoming article, “In the Field of Espionage, There’s No Such Thing as Peacetime”: The Official Secrets Act and the PICNIC Wiretapping Program”, will be available in the forthcoming issue of the Canadian Historical Review, Vol. 98, Issue 3 (2017).


molinaro-3Author Dennis Molinaro whose article on The Official Secrets Act and the PICNIC Wiretapping Program will appear in the Canadian Historical Review Vol. 98, Issue 3 (2017)
Photo Credit: Marino J. Osso via the CBC

The history of intelligence and espionage in Canada is a field fraught with gaps in the historical record. One of the reasons for this is the lack of sources available. This article began with a search for an order-in-council that was never published, but like pulling on the thread of a sweater, it began leading to more discoveries including the revelation that millions of documents pertaining to intelligence history have yet to make their way to the public archive. This material isn’t just central to uncovering intelligence history in Canada, but Canadian and international history as a whole because the material could surely shed much more light on international relations and the Cold War broadly speaking. This article focuses on the secret construction of a wiretapping program known at the time as PICNIC.

This article began with a search for an order-in-council that was never published, but like pulling on the thread of a sweater, it began leading to more discoveries including the revelation that millions of documents pertaining to intelligence history have yet to make their way to the public archive.

While the program was initially limited to those suspected of disloyalty during the Korean War, the government wanted to secretly continue the program in peacetime, using the Official Secrets Act to provide the legal justification for it. This incident reveals that wiretapping done by the RCMP during the Cold War and before the McDonald Commission may not have been carried out in as ad hoc a way that was previously believed and instead this demonstrates that the federal government was aware of, and sanctioned, the use of wiretapping in counter-intelligence operations. At the same time this event helps us understand how security was understood in this period, and how it can function as an ideological construct. On the one hand this event reveals the early construction of a mass surveillance infrastructure, but it also reveals the early construction of an idea of what security was and what some believed was needed to be done to provide it.


Dennis Molinaro’s upcoming article, “In the Field of Espionage, There’s No Such Thing as Peacetime”: The Official Secrets Act and the PICNIC Wiretapping Program”, will be available in the forthcoming issue of the Canadian Historical Review, Vol. 98, Issue 3 (2017).

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Orthodoxy in Dialogue

by Lauren Naus on August 14, 2017

Written by guest blogger, Giacomo Sanfilippo.


 

Orthodoxy in Dialogue, an online publication edited by three doctoral students in theological studies at Trinity College in the University of Toronto, is scheduled to launch on September 1 with a maiden article by the editors, “The State of Orthodox Theology Today.” The editorial committee presently consists of Rørik Hrothgar and Giacomo Sanfilippo, while the third position has yet to be filled. Sanfilippo is already known to readers of UTP Journals Blog for his two articles on conjugal friendship (here and here), and to readers of the Toronto Journal of Theology for his review of Wendy VanderWal-Gritter’s Generous Spaciousness in the Spring 2017 issue (Volume 33, Issue 1).

An independent student initiative, Orthodoxy in Dialogue enjoys the support of the newly appointed Dean of Divinity at Trinity College, Dr. Christopher Brittain, and the Dean Emeritus, Dr. David Neelands. Early subscribers include some of the most prominent names in Orthodox theology today, as well as a growing number of bishops and priests. The rapidly expanding list of contributors working on articles for Orthodoxy in Dialogue includes both Orthodox and non-Orthodox writers. The blog’s Facebook page already has close to 1300 members around the globe.

Orthodoxy in Dialogue is dedicated to open discussion on an unlimited range of topics within the Orthodox Church, between the Orthodox Church and other Christian churches and non-Christian faiths, and between the Orthodox Church and the wider global community in which she figures as an integral, if often underestimated, part. The editors encourage submissions from writers who represent a wide range of interests and viewpoints both within and outside Orthodox Christianity.

During the first few weeks of publication, readers can look forward to an interview with James Martin, SJ, one of the most widely recognized names in US Roman Catholicism, on his book Building a Bridge; what it means to one 18-year old to be young and Orthodox in Trump’s America; a vegan’s insights on abortion; gender inclusivity in the liturgical language of traditionalist churches; the ramifications of Pope Francis’ decision not to appoint a Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem for Orthodox-Catholic relations; Orthodox contributions to ecumenical dialogue by a former chair of the Commission on Faith and Witness of the Canadian Council of Churches; reminiscences of an Anglican canon on studying under Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware); a response to Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option; the connection between beauty and the divine in Orthodox experience; and possibilities for the Orthodox doctrine of deification, or theosis, in Protestant soteriology. Future articles promise to address an equally broad spectrum of topics, some more academic, others more popular.

In this context, Orthodox Christianity refers to what is sometimes called the Eastern Orthodox Church. It consists of the Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Moscow, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Georgia; the Churches of Cyprus, Greece, Poland, Albania, the Czech Lands and Slovakia, Sinai (St. Catherine’s Monastery), and Finland; and various configurations of diasporic and missionary presence in the West, the global South, and other parts of the world. The canonical status of some Orthodox churches—the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), the Church of Japan, the Church of Macedonia, the Church of Ukraine, et al.—remains in dispute. In the US the Orthodox Church is represented by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of Canada meets annually, but has no public or internet presence at all: it brings together bishops from the Greek Orthodox Metropolis, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, the Archdiocese of Canada of the Orthodox Church in America, the Montreal and Canadian Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR), the Russian Orthodox Church in Canada (Moscow Patriarchate), and a small number of US bishops who have charge of a few Canadian parishes administered mainly along ethnic lines. The vision for a canonically structured territorial Orthodox Church of Canada seems much more elusive than in the United States.

For all of these organizational anomalies outside of historically Orthodox lands, the Orthodox Church remains remarkably united doctrinally, sacramentally, and liturgically. Orthodoxy in Dialogue hopes to serve in some small way as a reflection and expression of the unity of faith among Orthodox brothers and sisters, and as a platform for respectful dialogue among people of good will within and beyond the Orthodox Church.


© 2017 by Giacomo Sanfilippo

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Written by guest blogger, Mary Jane Logan McCallum.


 


I was invited to write this blog in celebration of International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, August 9th. August 9th was chosen for this commemoration because on that day, in 1982, the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights held its first meeting.  This event did not make it into public memory; indeed, until last week, I did not know that International Day of the World’s Indigenous People even existed. In this blog, I want to use it as an entry point for contemplating recent Indigenous history. This year’s celebration theme honours the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), adopted by the General Assembly on September 13th, 2007. While UNDRIP made a lot of sense to Indigenous people here, Canada did not sign UNDRIP without qualification until May 10th, 2016.

Critical and evocative moments in modern Indigenous history coincide with this decade, 2007–2017. For example, the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, implemented September 19th, 2007, included a number of individual and collective measures to address the legacies of residential schools including the creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  Over the years that followed, the Commission studied the history of the Indian Residential School system, Indian policy, and their long-term impacts.  It also produced an incredible archive of Indigenous history and its recommendations, in part informed by UNDRIP, have inspired many historians like myself, in our work.

Over the years that followed, the Commission studied the history of the Indian Residential School system, Indian policy, and their long-term impacts. It also produced an incredible archive of Indigenous history and its recommendations, in part informed by UNDRIP, have inspired many historians like myself, in our work.

Halfway through UNDRIP’s 10-year history, in November 2012, one of the most significant waves of activism in recent North American history, the Idle No More movement, was initiated by Nina Wilson, Sheelah Mclean, Sylvia McAdam and Jessica Gordon, and quickly taken up by Indigenous and non-Indigenous people across Canada and beyond.  Unlike the TRC, the Idle No More movement, and quite a lot of the writing and teaching that arose out of it, often turned away from the state.  It described and analyzed urban and rural racism in Canada, Indigenous principles of stewardship and sovereignty in cases where oil and gas pipelines threatened water and land, the vulnerabilities face by Indigenous women at the intersection of racial, gender and colonial dispossession and discrimination, Indigenous participation in provincial and federal elections and shameful inequity in Indigenous child welfare and education.  In Winnipeg, it seemed like there were new possibilities and over 2014 and 2015, the University of Winnipeg Students Association (UWSA) and the Aboriginal Student Council worked on a proposal for a new Mandatory Indigenous Course Requirement (ICR). During this past academic year, 2016-2017, the ICR was implemented.

While there has been some change with regards to Indigenous-state relations over the course of the decade 2007-2017, there has also been inertia.  In the months before UNDRIP was adopted by the General Assembly, Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations and Family Caring Society, along with the Assembly of First Nations, filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission against Ottawa, arguing that the federal government discriminated against Indigenous children living on reserves. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal agreed, and in January 2016, ordered that the government remedy the situation. Since the ruling, however, the tribunal has had to issue three compliance orders to the federal government, with the latest being in May 2017; the federal government continues to unilaterally make child welfare policy.[1]

In a recent issue of the Canadian Historical Review[2] I look at how historians have analyzed and evaluated the history of federal Indian policies related to Indigenous health. (The article was also featured on Rick Harp’s Media Indigena: Weekly Indigenous Current Affairs Program.) There are, I show, four key words that emerge from this recent work that help to understand Indigenous-state relations in health history in Canada: starvation, experimentation, segregation and trauma.  These words characterize embedded systems of thought and identify the ways in which racial inequity, substandard health care, and Indigenous inferiority became common-sense in Canadian health care and health research. My article was part of an occasional feature called “Historical Perspectives” that provides multiple perspectives on particular issues, events and topics in Canadian history. Our installation of essays, written also by Brenda MacDougall, Lianne Leddy and John Borrows, indicates yet another important shift afoot, this time in the discipline of history. As CHR editors Suzanne Morton, Mary-Ellen Kelm and Dimitry Anastakis note, our essays in the March 2017 issue are among the only pages of the Canadian Historical Review to have ever been authored by Indigenous people over the course of its near 100-year history (Brenda MacDougall’s September 2006 article “Wahkootowin: Family and Cultural Identity in North-western Saskatchewan Metis Communities,” being likely the first).[3]

This year has been marked by many anniversaries.  We often use such events in history to discuss how we see our past selves and who we think we would like to become; we also use anniversaries to leverage change. In that light, consider reading or re-reading UNDRIP alongside Indigenous historical scholarship to learn about Indigenous people’s priorities and hopes for the present and future.

 

Endnotes

[1] Of the federal government’s new “Ten Principles guiding Indigenous-state relations” released earlier this summer, Blackstock and Sebastien Grammond argue, “Unless there is a strong political will to implement them, these principles risk joining, in the dustbin of history, other noble policy statements that had little practical impact.” Cindy Blackstock and Sébastien Grammond, “Reforming child welfare first step toward reconciliation: Opinion,” The Star 1 August 2017.  Accessed August 1, 2017 at: https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2017/08/01/reforming-child-welfare-first-step-toward-reconciliation-opinion.html

[2] Mary Jane Logan McCallum, “Starvation, Experimentation, Segregation and Trauma, Canadian Historical Review, 98:1 (March 2017): 96-113.

[3] Dimitry Anastakis, Mary-Ellen Kelm, and Suzanne Morton, “Historical Perspectives: New Approaches to Indigenous History,” Canadian Historical Review, 98:1 (March 2017): 61.


Logan McCallum’s article of “Starvation, Experimentation, Segregation, and Trauma: Words for Reading Indigenous Health History“, appears in Volume 98, Issue 1 of the Canadian Historical Review, available to read here.

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Written by guest blogger, Michael Walker.


Michael Walker, reviewer of “Disability in the Christian Tradition: a Reader by Brian Brock and John Swinton” which appears in Vol. 33, Issue 1 of the Toronto Journal of Theology.

In February 2013, just as I started my comprehensive exams in systematic theology at the Toronto School of Theology, my dissertation-committee chair gave me a 550-page anthology on theologies of disability, Brian Brock and John Swinton’s Disability in the Christian Tradition: a Reader. He and the TST wanted me to review it! I was excited—at least at first. Little did I realize that I’d be engaged in the process of reading the book (and spilling laundry-soap on it; that’s another story…) for more than three years, as I wrote my dissertation. I can clearly recall a long string of Monday mornings at the laundromat closest to my house where I puzzled over the nuances of Hegel, whom I’d never previously read; at other times, I got lost in Julian of Norwich’s intimate visions of Christ, and was frustrated by Karl Barth’s long, dense thoughts. All the authors investigated in the book had different ideas of disability and illness, and all of them acknowledged the difficulty of living out God’s love as finite human beings.

All the authors investigated in the book had different ideas of disability and illness, and all of them acknowledged the difficulty of living out God’s love as finite human beings.

Nonetheless, in a special way, the discipline of reading that anthology was a theological enterprise. Simply, the Hebrew and Christian scriptures are a series of promises: in Genesis, God the Creator blesses various creatures, including human beings, and offers them the whole earth for food. Similarly, in the Gospels and elsewhere in the New Testament, Christ promises his friends and followers full and lasting life…life that they find only by emulating Jesus’ way of love, a mode of life that promotes peace, economic justice, and interpersonal vulnerability. As I read the book between the spring of 2013 and the autumn of 2016, and began to formulate the review that’s appeared elsewhere at UofT Press, I felt that same kind of longing, that yearning for the fulfillment of a promise. I wanted not only to (someday) finish the book that still had the faint turquoise stain of Tide laundry-detergent in the middle, but also to really experience and live out the embodied love that all the authors in the book had described.

In the end, I kept my promise to my supervisor, and wrote the review. Keeping promises, especially the ones we make before we count the cost, can be difficult, but the reward can be sweet. On one hand, I hope to write reviews of shorter and less-complex books at some point. On the other, whether the books are short or not, I’m ready and willing to count quarters, and to do hours of laundry, so that I can clearly articulate the world of promise in a theology of disability.


Walker’s review of “Disability in the Christian Tradition: a Reader by Brian Brock and John Swinton“, appears in Volume 33, Issue 1 of the Toronto Journal of Theology, available to read here.

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Written by guest blogger, Joseph Malherek.


Portrait with Minnesota mapJoseph Malherek, author of “From the Ringstraße to Madison Avenue: Commercial Market Research and the Viennese Origins of the Mass-Culture Debate, 1941–6″ which appears in Vol. 47, Issue 2 of the Canadian Review of American Studies.

Known for monumental works in midcentury sociology such as White Collar, The Power Elite, and The Sociological Imagination, C. Wright Mills earned a reputation as an incisive, independent social critic who exposed the biases and banalities of both elite power brokers and ordinary Americans.  Yet one of Mills’s assignments early in his career had him conducting a survey in Decatur, Illinois funded by major magazine publisher, Macfadden, which was known for its sensational pulp titles like True Story.  Mills had just begun working under Paul Lazarsfeld and Robert Merton at the Bureau of Applied Social Research at Columbia University, where he would eventually join the sociology faculty.  Although he worried about how colleagues would perceive his “selling out,” he quickly became engaged in the work when he began part-time in 1944 and then full-time in 1945.

Lazarsfeld and his Bureau colleagues had conducted a study on the 1940 presidential election, published in 1944 as The People’s Choice, which had sought to elaborate the many factors which influenced voters’ decision-making processes.  The study, which used the “panel” technique of repeated interviews with the same individuals, focused on the role of “opinion leaders,” who existed horizontally in each social group and served as mediators between the mass media and voters.  As opposed to a “hypodermic” model of media influence, which presumed the direct influence of the media, this “two-step” model took seriously the role of people in communicating information.

Mills’s job in Decatur was to apply the insights of the People’s Choice study and employ a method called “snowball sampling” to trace the chains of influence by interviewing opinion leaders and their followers.  The magazine publisher was interested in identifying “influentials” who might serve as conduits for the messages of their advertisers.  The maverick Mills, however, was lax in following Lazarsfeld’s prescribed quantitative methodology, which would eventually lead to his dismissal from Lazarsfeld’s Bureau.  But the two continued their work incongruously in the Columbia sociology department, where their simmering interpersonal conflict was later fictionalized in the novel False Coin by Mills’s friend Harvey Swados.

The maverick Mills, however, was lax in following Lazarsfeld’s prescribed quantitative methodology, which would eventually lead to his dismissal from Lazarsfeld’s Bureau

Mills would end up using his interviews from the Decatur study as the basis for his broad analysis of bureaucracy and social organization in the American middle classes, published in 1951 as White Collar.  Despite the book’s later canonization, when it appeared Lazarsfeld viewed it skeptically as a bastardization of the work of his Bureau.  The sociologist David Riesman, an admirer of Lazarsfeld, agreed that for Mills methodological rigor was secondary to the effectiveness of his polemic.  Yet Lazarsfeld had to acknowledge Mills’s role in popularizing an idea of social stratification among historians, and Lazarsfeld was able to salvage much of the Decatur research for his own book, Personal Influence, published in 1955 with Elihu Katz.

Mills would later skewer Lazarsfeld’s brand of “abstracted empiricism” as a “molecular” kind of applied research which could not address big questions, but he remained indebted to Lazarsfeld’s Bureau and the magazine publisher Macfadden, which had sponsored his most enduring sociological study.


Malherek’s article, From the Ringstraße to Madison Avenue: Commercial Market Research and the Viennese Origins of the Mass-Culture Debate, 1941–61“, appears in Volume 47, Issue 2 of the Canadian Review of American Studies, available to read here.

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Bringing Canadian Women on Board – The OSC Initiative Two Years On

July 21, 2017

Written by guest blogger, Kim Melissa Willey. Women remain woefully under-represented on the boards of Canadian companies two years after the Ontario Securities Commission (‘OSC’) changed its disclosure rules to make gender parity a priority[1]. At last count, women held only 18% percent of board seats in Canada’s largest public companies.[2] Admittedly, we are seeing […]

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Everything is Political – Even Physiotherapy!

July 18, 2017

Written by guest blogger, Jenny Setchell PhD BSc(PT). There is a notable absence of conversations about the politics of physiotherapy. I have been a physiotherapist for over 20 years. I have mainly worked clinically, and more recently entered academia. My drive to shift professional gears was that I wanted to spend some time building my […]

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Religion and Popular Culture in the Classroom

July 17, 2017

Written by guest blogger, Michael Nichols. Judging by the looks on their faces, the students were having trouble processing what they were seeing. On the screen, a rotund, green beast with horns – not unlike a cross between “Casper the ghost” and Disney’s “Shrek” – floated before a meditating figure. The clip was from an […]

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The long history of Muskoka cottagers’ dependence on year-round residents

July 12, 2017

Known mostly as a summer retreat for the wealthy, Muskoka’s history reveals the critical importance of permanent dwellers Originally posted on TVO Written by guest blogger, Andrew Watson. When most people in Ontario think of Muskoka, they picture mansion cottages dotting the shoreline of an affluent lakeside play land. Many who spend time in Muskoka […]

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Conjugal Friendship: An Appeal for a Conversation

July 5, 2017

Written by guest blogger, Giacomo Sanfilippo.   SS. Theodore of Tyre and Theodore Stratelates. 14th-century Byzantine icon. From Christopher Walter, The Warrior Saints in Byzantine Art and Tradition (Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2003): plate 41, between pp. 144-45. UTP Journals Blog published my “Introducing ‘Conjugal Friendship’” in March. Six weeks later my “Conjugal Friendship” […]

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