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Writer & Historian

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Histories

Hail a Canadian Labour Hero – A Book Review

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April 5, 2017
Hail a Canadian Labour Hero – A Book Review

Jon Bartlett and Rika Reubsaat, Soviet Princeton: Slim Evans and the 1932-33 Miners’ Strike (Vancouver: New Star Books, 2016), 126 pp., $19 paper. Arthur “Slim” Evans has long been a notable figure in Canadian labour history, most often associated with the famed On-to-Ottawa Trek that he led in 1935 in an effort to improve conditions in the...
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Sandon – A Podcast About a BC Ghost Town

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December 17, 2016
Sandon – A Podcast About a BC Ghost Town

There isn’t much to see when you visit the former mining metropolis of Sandon, BC, just east of New Denver in the Slocan Valley. But you can almost smell the labour history as you stroll through what’s left of BC’s version of Deadwood, the US mining town that was so authentically depicted on TV...
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The Reddest Rose – A Partial Biography

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September 27, 2016
The Reddest Rose – A Partial Biography

Harvey Murphy is not a name that echoes loudly throughout the annals of 20th-century British Columbia labour history. In fact, the tireless trade union organizer, negotiator, and active Communist Party of Canada (CPC) bureaucrat has almost disappeared from most histories of the Canadian labour movement. A brief study at the very active life of the...
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Trail BC’s Fighting Ladies’ Auxiliary – A Podcast

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August 12, 2016
Trail BC’s Fighting Ladies’ Auxiliary – A Podcast

  In June 1944, about thirty women in Trail, BC, were chartered as Ladies Auxiliary Local 131. By 1946 there were 25 such auxiliaries across Canada. Back then, Steel Local 480 was a Mine-Mill union fighting for certification against a company union set up decades earlier by Cominco president S.G. Blaylock. Local 480 was...
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Labour rebels shaped BC history – A book review

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April 21, 2016
Labour rebels shaped BC history – A book review

Mark Leier, Rebel Life: The Life and Times of Robert Gosden, revised edition (Vancouver: New Star, 2013), 183 pages, soft cover, $21; Laura Ellyn, Ginger Goodwin: A Worker’s Friend (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2016), 114 pages, soft cover, $23.95 It’s a minor miracle that labour historian Mark Leier’s revision of his original 1999 book...
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Remembering Salt – A research note

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March 20, 2016
Remembering Salt – A research note

Cold War historians have uncovered much evidence to illustrate how the political intolerance of the early 1950s manifested itself in some Canadian cities. However, little has been revealed regarding McCarthyism’s impact on the country’s non-urban communities nor has there been significant exploration of the Cold War resistance that was mobilized in small Canadian towns....
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Joe Hill and Salt official selections

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March 20, 2016
Joe Hill and Salt official selections

My two short documentary films, Joe Hill’s Secret Canadian Hideout and Remembering Salt, are official selections in the 2016 Reel Work Labor Film Festival. They will be screened on Monday, April 25, 7 p.m., at the Service Employees International Union Hall, 517 Mission St., Santa Cruz, CA. See www.reelwork.org . Coming this summer My...
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The 33 – A Film Review

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November 20, 2015
The 33 – A Film Review

I was bubbling over with questions after seeing The 33, a new film about the 2010 mining accident that buried 33 miners alive in Chile’s San Jose mine. But I was also concerned that the filmmakers had chosen Hollywood star power to tell this story of local courage and community resistance. We too seldom...
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Organizing Immigrant Workers – A History Essay

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November 10, 2015
Organizing Immigrant Workers – A History Essay

My article on organizing immigrant labour at the lead, zinc, and fertilizer smelter in Trail, B.C., during the Second World War has been published by the Pacific Northwest Quarterly, a respected journal that has been providing insightful articles on the history of the region for more than 100 years. My thanks to managing editor John Findlay...
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Remembering Salt broadcast on TV in Kootenays

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November 9, 2015
Remembering Salt broadcast on TV in Kootenays

Remembering Salt, my second short documentary film about the Kootenays, is airing on Shaw Cable Channel 10 on the dates and times listed below. See the attached Castlegar News feature for a comment on the show: http://www.castlegarnews.com/entertainment/350655251.html . See below. The half-hour broadcast includes my comments on the making of the documentary as well as excerpts...
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Books

Radical Rag by Ron Verzuh Underground Times by Ron Verzuh Selling Labour Down Under by Ron Verzuh Changing Images by Ron Verzuh Feasting With Love by Ron Verzuh Tea Leaves by Ron Verzuh Remembering Salt by Ron Verzuh