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Let the Eastern Bastards Freeze in the Dark: The West Versus the Rest Since Confederation Hardcover – Nov 6 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Canada; 1st Edition edition (Nov. 6 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030740062X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307400628
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3.8 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


A Maclean’s Best Book [2012]
WINNER 2013 – John W. Dafoe Book Prize for Non-Fiction
FINALIST 2012 – Donner Prize
LONGLISTED 2014 – RBC Taylor Prize

“Entertaining and informative…. Janigan’s technique of focusing on this crucial 1918 conference is effective…. Mary Janigan knows politics and how they play out in federal-provincial relations. A well-regarded journalist and a former Globe and Mail editorial writer, she has covered many federal-provincial conferences…. Janigan’s eye for detail extends to context as well as personality…. The North today, like the West in 1930, wants control over its land and resources. Janigan’s book is a blueprint for how this last vestige of Canadian colonialism can be ended.”
The Globe and Mail
“Timely relevance to the issues that are as ever present as they were in the 1870s…. The author meticulously explores Canada’s history and how the fight for resource control is traced back to Confederation.”
Rocky Mountain Outlook
Let the Eastern Bastards Freeze in the Dark is a necessary and timely addition to the ongoing debate around the current rise of the West and its conservative brand of politics.”
Toronto Star
“A very interesting and readable book.”
The Chronicle Herald
“Mary Janigan has done all Canadians a service with her exhaustive, but never exhausting, dissection of the fight for control of land and natural resources in the West.”
Winnipeg Free Press
“An entertaining history of Western alienation in Canada, more than ever an important and little-understood driver of national politics.”
“Does more than explain the region’s ongoing alienation. It explains just about everything you need to know about how Canadians think about one another.”

About the Author

MARY JANIGAN is a journalist who has written extensively about Canadian public policy, including politics and economics, for the Toronto Star, Maclean's and the Globe and Mail. She has won the prestigious Hy Solomon award for policy analysis, and the National Newspaper Award for her clause-by-clause scrutiny of proposed Constitution changes. She has never lost her curiosity, and she has always wanted to understand how the blunders and triumphs of the past complicate the present. She lives in Toronto, but travels as much as she can, at the flicker of a passport.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As one who was born in Moose Jaw, Sask., and studied and worked and lived in Western Canada---specifically Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta---for the first 25 years of my life, this book was a form of "homecoming". In the book's 342 pages, many cities, towns, villages, and geographical locations once visited---such as Fort Walsh, Canmore, Drumheller and Jasper National Park in Alberta ; Moose Jaw, the Cypress Hills, Qu'Appelle, Regina, and Saskatoon in Saskatchewan; and Winnipeg, Portage la Prairie, and Seven Sisters Falls in Manitoba---brought back fond memories. Western resources---who owns them and who controls them---is the focus of Janigan's book. She argues that the Western Canada resource debate is not new; and has been---and continues to be---a central political dispute in Canada. The current wranglings about the Alberta oil sands, the Northern Gateway pipeline, and aboriginal rights and self-government, have enjoyed a long and tempestuous history.
Janigan identifies the early 1900s as the pivotal point in the struggle between the Western provinces---Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan and best known as the Gang of three---and the federal government. The position of the Western provinces was that they should have control of their own resources, not the federal government. The other provinces, naturally and understandably, argued that if the federal government caved in to the Western demands, then they should be awarded, or have transferred to them, what they called "a proportionate allowance".
In supporting her central position, Janigan skillfully and in detail describes many events that led up to, and resulted from, the struggles between the Western provinces and the federal government, known today better as federal-provincial relations.
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By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on June 10 2013
Format: Hardcover
Canadians who have followed the national energy scene over the last few decades know full well that there is little love lost between western Canadian provinces and Ottawa as to who ultimately benefits from the development of critical natural resources such as oil, natural gas and coal. Janigan, in this very hard-hitting study, describes the background history of this ongoing conflict as a continuing battle between a central government set on exercising absolute control over natural resources for the greater good of the country and four western provinces fighting to secure what they believed was their constitutional right to develop, like Quebec and Ontario, their natural resources. For a good part of the twentieth century the three Prairie provinces have ganged up to demand the same transportation subsidies other provinces were getting to develop resources like coal. It was always Ottawa's belief that it had the main claim on tax revenue arising from the mining and shipping of materials such as coal and, later, oil. From the outset when Riel and the Metis Council began to stand up to Ottawa's plans to take over the Hudson Bay lands and sell them to the CPR, western Canadians realized that they were the underdogs in a process that took from them, without much compensation, resources intended for central and eastern Canada business interests. This problem became especially acute after WW I when those western provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan, desperately short of money, started lobbying the Federal government for a bigger cut of resource revenue. In Canada's boom-and-bust economic cycles, Ottawa seemed to be forever vacillating between giving more during the good times to western provinces and then taking it away when times got tough.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Let the Eastern Bastards Freeze in the Dark", is a very well written history of Canada East versus Canada west. It is a slow read because of its indepth study of Canada's history. The story goes back much further than just Ralph Klein and the energy disagreements of the 1980's. Like how about reading some of Canadian history before 1900!!! The reader will soon understand how little has changed in Canada's political attitudes since the times of Sir John A. MacDonald and today's current attitude. The book is a must have for anyone building a Canadian history library.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Want to have a close look at the causes of western angst and the outright hatred they have for the eastern bastards, then this is a must read!
Intelligent, cogent, insightful and thoroughly researched; Mary Janigan explains why we all feel the way we do towards our brothers and sisters across our country.
From Robert Borden on, Ms Janigan gives us an in detail and lucid look at the facts, decisions, economics and emotions throughout the years about the players, the gamesmanship and the ways that the human condition has brought us to this point.
This is a wonderful read, with a flow and pace that make it hard to put down.
The bottom line, for me at least, from reading this book is that it is time for us all to cut each other some slack.
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