Paul Gross’ Hyena Road may be the best Canadian war movie ever made. But that’s not saying much because there are so few Canadian war movies, good or bad. Despite our rich military history, Canada’s tiny coterie of government-subsidized moviemakers mostly prefer to create art-house fare, modern urban dramas for the indie-fest circuit. We line up for Hollywood’s inexhaustible supply of American war stories but mostly ignore our own, including Gross’ big, bold, bloody and beautiful account of Canada’s war in Afghanistan. That’s a shame, writes Colman Byfield, because it leaves so many great Canadian stories untold, and weakens our appreciation for the men and women who fight for our country.
Author: Colman Byfield
The stunning NDP victory in last spring’s provincial election marked a big leftward shift in Alberta politics. Yet polls consistently indicate another near-sweep of the province for the federal Conservatives this fall. How can this be? On policy and principles, the two parties are as different as night and day. Conservative leader Stephen Harper has made NDP Premier Rachel Notley his primary campaign target in Alberta, blaming her government for making the oil patch recession “much, much, worse”. She coolly replies that Harper is out of touch with the province’s new “values”. Whatever happens October 19, writes Colman Byfield, it won’t end this fight for the political soul of Alberta.
Despite Alberta’s reputation as a bastion of conservatism in Canada, some would argue that its voters have a long history of electing big, intrusive governments. Under Social Credit in the 1930s, the government started a bank, and even invented its own currency. Peter Lougheed’s very Progressive Conservative regime bought an airline, created an oil company, and salted billions away in the Heritage Savings Slush Fund. It was probably inevitable the province would one day elect an actual socialist government. The only surprise, writes Colman Byfield, is how long it took, especially in light of how hard the ruling Tory dynasty worked to dethrone themselves.
Naomi Klein’s new book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. Climate, is not just another earnest plea for a return to Eden (although it is that too). More importantly, it’s a take-no-prisoners attack on the greenwash that muddies the whole debate about climate change. Not content to merely reject market-based solutions, Klein contends the sky is falling because of capitalism itself, and calls for its destruction. If Klein’s “Love Revolution” succeeds, writes C2C reviewer Colman Byfield, expect the proletariat to start stringing up eco-capitalists like Richard Branson and Bill Gates from LED lamp posts.
Western Canada’s Byfield publishing clan is mourning the death of their 85-year-old matriarch, Virginia, who passed away at her home in Edmonton on July 21. A journalist and historian, she was the wife and partner for 65 years of Ted Byfield, founder of the influential Alberta Report group of newsmagazines that championed western, conservative and Christian causes from 1973-2003. Her grandson Colman, son of long-time Alberta journalist and political activist Link Byfield, recalls the turbulent life of an extraordinary woman…