I recently wrote a book review for the Toronto Review of Books, an outstanding new publication edited by the dynamic Jessica Duffin Wolfe. The TRB is a really remarkable entity, and the issue I wrote for — its fourth — is its first “themed” issue. I chose to write on Ezra Levant, a compelling and infuriating figure in Canadian media and politics. Levant is a demagogue of the first rank, and undoubtedly a highly intelligent fellow. What a shame, then, that this latest book is more rant than critique: I think he’s capable of producing substantive ideas on Canadian culture, but this is not one of them.
An event in Ottawa hopes to bring support to a threatened building, and a struggling community
Across Canada, communities are slogging through an economic downturn. Industrial cities are particularly hard-hit during such times: when their primary means of employment collapses, it often leads to moments of profound soul-searching. Saint John, NB is one such case: a city trying to find itself in the midst of tumultuous times. There are some in the area who want to find opportunity in this situation, but it’s the question of “how” that’s at issue.
My grandfather, Philip Watson Willis, was best known amongst his large family and circle of friends as “Favie” – the name a product of my father’s lisping toddler attempts to say “Father.” My family has always prided itself on being articulate in speech and in writing – education always at a premium! – so I find it entertaining that this was allowed to let slide. And it stuck, too – even some of his university students knew him by this name.