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From the archives

The Other Side of “Irish Eyes”

Brian Mulroney abroad and at home

The Ramble

Memories from the PMO

Vintage Years

Two political memoirs

Christopher Dornan

Christopher Dornan teaches in the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University. He contributed chapters to the first two volumes of the How Canadians Communicate series.

Articles by
Christopher Dornan

Out of Bounds

Sport’s head-first slide from the pitch to the pixels June 2015
As I write this, the streets of my city are dotted with people proclaiming their happy commitment to a public narrative by all wearing the same jersey. Our team is in the running! For weeks it was touch and go. Spirits were buoyed and dashed and buoyed again. But as our team confronted the odds, our civic leaders enjoined us to show our…

Sympathy for the Devil

Gary Bettman’s rise to head enforcer for the NHL ownership December 2012
Spare a thought in your more charitable moments, citizens of Canada, for the one named Gary Bettman. What must it be like to know you are the most vilified man in the country, and not even live here? Detested prime ministers come and go, but the most unpopular man in Canada has staying power. He was named commissioner of the National Hockey League in December 1992—Brian Mulroney was still in office and eBay had not yet been invented—and almost immediately the fans soured on…

Funny, Sad and True

A middle-aged man circles the painful secret of his adolescent years December 2011
Oh, to be young again. Those heady undergraduate days as a new-grown adult living for the first time without adult supervision. The sheer exhilaration of it: The blundering self-confidence. The roiling, incoherent desire. The beauty and privilege of being all but completely ignorant of one’s own ignorance. Inevitably, some guys had a house off-campus where the furniture should have been taken out and…

Quebec's Eternal Hero

How a sports icon came to symbolize the entire province September 2011
Is it possible for a book to be compact, illuminating, admirable and yet also poetically, insistently, too-much-overwritten? Why, yes. And here it is, Charles Foran’s retelling of the remarkable life and career of Maurice Richard—hockey legend, icon of yesteryear, champion of a people, forgotten hero, fulcrum of history, etc. Brace yourselves. “To skate fast and…

Our Violent National Game

The great hockey debate continues April 2010
Unless you don’t own a television, you will be altogether familiar with the Tim Hortons ad featuring Sidney Crosby on screen and in voiceover. Cue the slow plinking of the piano and the home movies of kids and old timers, sticks in hand: “Hockey?” asks the Next One. “Hockey’s our game. But really it’s much more than just a…

“Big Media Bad Thing”

How a Senate committee wrote a media report with its head in the sand December 2006
Once upon a time, a committee of the Senate of Canada undertook to “consider and report upon the ownership and control of the major means of mass public communication in Canada.” Diversity of voices, that was the issue. “The more separate voices we have telling us what’s going on, telling us how we’re doing, telling us how we should be…