One of our contributors, when I said we were doing an LRC issue focused on Ontario, quipped that this would be “kind of like discussing vanilla ice cream.”
Well, vanilla ice cream with hot sauce is more or less what we’ve got here. Forget “bland works,” forget Toronto the Good, forget Ontario the responsible Big Brother of Confederation. This month’s trio of essayists — economic historian Dimitry Anastakis, media executive and cultural analyst Trina McQueen and political scientist Matthew Mendelsohn, now head of the prestigious Mowat Centre at the University of Toronto — have found myriad challenging ways of saying essentially the same thing: get out of our way, here comes Ontario. Whether it’s Anastakis’s shrewd analysis of the changing manufacturing sector, or McQueen’s reportage on Toronto taking its place among the world’s great cultural capitals, or Mendelsohn’s quietly devastating demonstration that all the structural underpinnings of Confederation need to be rethought, you’ll never look at Canada’s biggest province in the same way again.
And just when you’ve had enough, just when you’re saying “Dalton, let me out of here,” we invite you to read Patrick Brethour’s absorbing review of one of the most controversial books of the season, Ezra Levant’s Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada’s Oilsands, which will take you a couple of thousand kilometres further west and many fathoms deep into one of the most difficult (and slippery) ethical problems we in modern western countries need to face.