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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Grant, Vissers and Haney on early town planning legislation in Nova Scotia

In the March 2012 issue of the Urban History Review / Revue d'Histoire Urbaine, an article by Jill L. Grant, Leifa Vissers and James Haney: "Early Town Planning Legislation in Nova Scotia: The Roles of Local Reformers and International Experts"

Here's the abstract:

In 1912 Nova Scotia was the second province in Canada to adopt a town planning act. Just three years later, the province substantially revised its act under the guidance of Tomas Adams, town planning advisor for the Commission of Conservation. The article examines the context within which Nova Scotia adopted and then overhauled its early planning legislation. While Canadian planning history generally credits Adams with rewriting the legislation, the article documents the mechanisms through which key local actors drove provincial policy. Changes to provincial legislation in Nova Scotia in 1915 reflected the confluence of national interests, international town planning expertise, and local reform agendas.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New book on Ipperwash forthcoming in May

The University of Toronto Press has announced that Ipperwash: The Tragic Failure of Canada's Aboriginal Policy  by Edward J. Hedican will be available at the end of May, 2013 
Utp says : "Edward J. Hedican’s Ipperwash provides an incisive examination of protest and dissent within the context of land claims disputes and Aboriginal rights."
The book will be available in paper for $32.95.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Call for panellists on Canadian receptiveness to American Law in the 19th c.

From Charles Hoffman:

For the American Society for Legal History meeting in Miami in November 2013, a couple of us are interested in putting together a panel that explores Canadian receptiveness and resistance to American law and policy in the nineteenth century. If you are interested in contributing a paper, please contact Lyndsay Campbell ( or Charles Hoffman ( by Tuesday, Feb. 26. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Swainger on Law and Politics in the DOJ after confederation

Jonathan Swainger of the department of history at UNBC, "Law and the practice of politics in the Canadian Department of Justice: completing confederation" in the the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, Spring 2012 issue.

The abstract:

The article examines the status of Great Britain through the regimes of practice in the early Dominion Department of Justice in Canada, 1867-1878. It mentions that the Department initially followed the law and politics of the Canada's colonial history and after the liberal victory of 1873 it has taken legalistic approach that favoured an activist Dominion approach to legal problem-solving. It also informs about the ineffectiveness of new approach over the old colonial approach.

Nykolaishen and Bankes on the legal history of Spray Lakes

In the current issue of the Alberta Law Review, Sarah Nykolaishen (currently articling with the Alberta Court of Appeal) and Nigel Bankes of the University of Calgary Faculty of Law, "Sacrificing Fish for Power: A Legal History of the Spray Lakes Development."

Here's the abstract:

This article tells the story of how Calgary Power acquired a legal licence to divert and store water in the Spray Lakes Reservoir, how multiple legal instruments, including the National Parks Act, Alberta's Water Resources Act, and the Natural Resources Transfer Agreement were shaped along the way, as well as details the subsequent efforts that have been made to restore stream flows to the Spray River and rehabilitate its native cutthroat trout population. This article highlights many of the challenges that older hydro-developments pose to aquatic ecosystem health and instream flow needs, while demonstrating that the law can be shaped in interesting ways through the dual pressure of economic growth and environmentalism. This story offers food for thought as Canadian environmental legislation appears poised to undergo significant change

Monday, February 11, 2013

Camacho review of Shah on Law, Race and Heteronormativity in the North American West

Julia Camacho, "A Novel Approach to Migration, Race, Intimacy, and Law," a review of Nayan Shah. Stranger Intimacy: Contesting Race, Sexuality and the Law in the North American West. American Crossroads Series. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011, on h-borderlands:

Here's the first two paragraphs:

In his second deftly researched and compelling book, Nayan Shah shines light on stories long obscured. Through descriptive writing and sharp analysis, he tells a fascinating wider tale of migration, intimacy, and survival in the North American West. Focusing on South Asian male migrants and the myriad intimate ties they forged with others, the book draws on a rich body of legal material in the United States and Canada, as well as elsewhere. It critically analyzes state records, using them to show how migrants were both tied to and living outside the limits of the nation-state. Shah complicates the historiography on migration and sexuality by putting in conversation literature on interracial ties and same-sex relations, which have rarely converged in scholarly inquiries. 
By centering on alternative socialities and intimacies, the book highlights how the middle-class white family became the dominant norm. Heteronormative policies and traditions in the United States and Canada have erased an array of social and domestic arrangements. Bringing them into sharp relief, Shah tackles sexuality in its messiness, recognizing the impossibility of categorizing sexual identities before the mid-twentieth century, and in some ways into the present. The book does away with the normal/pathological binary and destabilizes notions of the settled nuclear family and sexuality that have driven most scholarship on migration to date.
The rest of the review here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

McMillan on History(ies) and Mi'kmaq Treaty Interpretation

Legal Anthropologist Jane McMillan, formerly of the Law and Society Department at York University, and currently Canada Research Chair at St. Francis Xavier University, has published  “Mu kisi maqumawkik pasik kataq - We can't only eat eels:" Mi'kmaq contested Histories and uncontested silences" in volume 32 issue 1 of the Canadian Journal of Native Studies.

Here's the abstract:

In 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada accepted Donald Marshall Jr.'s argument that the Mi'kmaq treaties of 1760-1761 gave him the right to fish for a living even if it meant disregarding federal regulations. This is a story about Donald Marshall's silenced history, the cultural history that gave him the authority to fish for eels. It tells about a sequence of events in which a Mi'kmaq man was trying to earn an honest living fishing the innocuous eel and ended up becoming the focus of a treaty test case that has significantly altered Indigenous / non-Indigenous relations in the Atlantic provinces. The telling of his story contextualizes and juxtaposes the reality of Mi'kmaq fishing as an articulation of Mi'kmaq identity against the history deemed legitimate by the Nova Scotia judicial system and non-Native fishers. On August 24, 1993, and at or near Pomquet Harbour, Marshall (an aboriginal person, being a status Mi'kmaq Indian registered under provisions of the Indian Act and a member of the Membertou Band, and Indian Band under the Indian Act) and another person brought their eels from the holding pens ashore at the location where they kept their boats. This location is situated on lands which are part of the Afton Indian Reserve, at Antigonish County. Marshall helped weight and load his eels onto a truck belonging to South Shore Trading Company, New Brunswick. South Shore is engaged in the purchase and sale of fish. Marshall sold 463 pounds of his eels to South Shore at $1.70 per pound. Marshall did not at any time hold a license within the meaning of S. 4(1)(a) of the Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations and S. 35(2) of the Fishery Act with respect to fishing for or selling eels from Pomquet Harbour (R. v. Marsha/I [1999] 3 S.C.R 26014).

Stote on legal and extralegal sterilization of Aboriginal women

Karen Ann Stote, a recent doctor of philosophy in interdisciplinary studies from UNB, has an article "The Coercive Sterilization of Aboriginal Women in Canada" appearing in  volume 36, issue 3 of American Indian Culture & Research Journal.

Here's the abstract:

The article discusses the history of the coercive sterilization of Aboriginal women in Canada, in both legislated and non-legislated contexts. It comments on the Sexual Sterilization Act in Alberta and British Columbia, and also considers federal legislation. The author also addresses sterilization in Ontario and Northern Canada. She explores the perception of sterilization as a cost-effective public health measure and analyzes eugenic aspects of sterilization. The larger contexts of industrial capitalism and Canadian Indian policy also are addressed.