Sanders' 'Captive Canada' is an exceptional piece of research that successfully
interweaves a number of related stories some of which stretch over a hundred
years. I'm thinking, for example of the oppressive roles of the Church and the
State with respect to the indigenous peoples. Another is the roles of various
revered leaders of the social gospel movement together with the RCMP in hounding
out more radical elements of the left from its midst, a variation of which
combined much later to expel the Waffle movement from the New Democratic Party.
"Sanders' research uncovers the strenuous efforts to protect Canada from being
contaminated with, let alone captured, by dangerous thoughts and actions."
Cy Gonick is publisher and founder of
Canadian Dimension magazine, Canada's
oldest socialist and now ecosocialist magazine. Cy was the only avowed member of the
(Movement for an Independent Socialist Canada)
during during his term as an NDP member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba
He taught at the University of Manitoba and was program coordinator for the
Labour and Workplace Studies Program, and retired in 2001.
"Captive Canada importantly includes the psychological component. Sanders
directly identifies how Canadians in positions of responsibility, people
generally revered for their goodness, are deeply hypocritical, narcissistic, and
cruel. Who colludes with the self-deceptive delusions of grandeur? Why has the
idea of the “Peaceable Kingdom” remained unchallenged? And considering the
facts of Canadian brutality, why is it that there continues to be an entitled
sense that Canada can be a “leader”? These are crucial questions not only of
legality and morality, but of psychology. Here is a deep pathology of
conscience. Being conscientious involves the capacity for self-observation and
self-criticism, for experiencing the anguish of guilt, for valuing others as
full human beings, for truly making reparations. In his previous work, Sanders
details Canada’s duplicitous role in Iraq, in Haiti, in Israeli apartheid and in
Israel’s wars. The hypocrisy and killing continue..."
Judith Deutsch, M.S.W. University of California
Berkeley, is a practicing psychoanalyst and is on the faculty at the Toronto
Psychoanalytic Institute. She is past president of Science
for Peace, is active with Independent Jewish Voices
and writes a column for Canadian Dimension magazine. She researches and
writes about the militarization and securitization of climate change.
"'Captive Canada' is an important contribution to understanding
"Richard Sanders has again shined a light on a dark side of Canadian political
life that few are willing to investigate.
Yves Engler has been dubbed "Canada's version of Noam Chomsky" (Georgia Straight), "one of the
most important voices on the Canadian Left today" (Briarpatch), "in the
mould of I.F.Stone" (Globe and Mail), "part of that rare but growing
group of social critics unafraid to confront Canada's self-satisfied myths" (Quill
& Quire), "ever-insightful" (rabble.ca), "Chomsky-styled iconoclast" (Counterpunch)
and a "Leftist gadfly" (Ottawa Citizen). Yves has published
"The latest issue of Press for Conversion! "Captive
Canada," was packed with background that I didn't know (even though I'm an
historian). Especially intriguing were the family histories of prominent
Canadians on the left, from J.S.Woodsworth to the NDP's Desmond Morton, which
showed their long tradition of racism and imperialism. I didn't realise Morton
was the grandson of Sir William Otter, who oversaw Canada's WWI concentration
"Family is very important in forming many people's politics and world outlook.
Your examination of the slave-owning and Confederate family of Cold-War RCMP
Commissioner Stuart Taylor Wood (who himself was an arch-conservative) is a good
illustration of that."
Author and Historian,
Camosun College, Victoria, BC. His work includes: The Infernal Machine: Investigating the Loyalty of Canada's Citizens
(author); The Politics of Passion: Norman Bethune's Writing and Art
(editor); Champagne and Meatballs: Adventures of a Canadian
Communist (editor); The Spirit Wrestlers, a documentary film on the Doukhobors
(script co-writer); "Explosion on the Kettle Valley Line: The Death of Peter Verigin" and "Death of a Diplomat: Herbert Norman and the Cold War" (The
Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History) (research director).
"Richard Sanders' new work in the Spring 2016 issue of
Press for Conversion! exposes and dispels the lies that throughout
Canada's history justified its wrongdoing. As Sanders shows, these lies,
sometimes called 'myths,' hold our minds captive, preventing accurate
perception of the conditions of our existence that follow from history.
"To strip away this veil of lies exposes the frailty of the
heroes of our immaturity. Not easy work this, either in the writing or
reading, but essential in order to understand Canada, and to restore honour to
the legacy we leave for coming generations. The impressive compilations of
historical research and the insightful writing make this a foundational
document for the praiseworthy task."
Philip Kienholz immigrated from Minnesota to Manitoba resisting the Vietnam
war. He received a B. Arch from the University of Manitoba in 1970. He resides
in Peterborough, Ontario. Philip's book of poems, Display, will be published
in fall 2016.
"'Captive Canada' is a hair-raising but richly documented
historical profile of what has long been kept under wraps
Canada's domestic history of attacks on poor, foreign-born,
working-class and politically deviating people who are innocent of all
wrongdoing but what is projected onto them by official propaganda. Those
suspecting the worst of Canada's junior-imperialist actions of mass persecution
and detention will find the repressed facts here
from Canada's pro-Nazi Ukrainian right joining with state
forces to imprison thousands, to the imperialist anti-communism of the CCF/NDP
hero J.S.Woodsworth and descendants, all of them oozing self-righteous cant.
"Sanders uniquely exposes 'the captivating mass psychosis' which sweeps across
Canada again and again to the present day but is usually silenced in the public
John McMurtry is Professor of Philosophy and University Professor Emeritus at
the University of Guelph, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. His
numerous books and articles have been published and translated around the
world, and his principal work is his three-volume study for UNESCO,
Philosophy and World Problems. His most recent book is the expanded
second edition of The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: From Crisis to Cure.
Philpot"I am keen on 'Captive
Canada' since my first look at it impressed me. We are concerned about
the saintliness that Canada ascribes to itself which prevents it from playing a
good role in international affairs and from undergoing fundamental change in
Canada and Québec, including the right of Québec to determine its own future. Canada’s cruel history as a settler state is not known to our kids. Our
recent governments, both Conservative and Liberal, continue in the same
direction. We must be concerned about close police surveillance, mistreatment
and the demonization of Muslim and African immigrants, and the misuse of immigration
proceedings to further Canadian foreign policy. 'Captive Canada' is a good place
John Philpot is an expert in international criminal
law, a criminal defence lawyer and co-editor (with
Sébastien Chartrand) of a recent book called
Justice Belied The
Unbalanced Scales of International Criminal Justice. John has defended three
cases at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and one case at the
International Criminal Court. He is active in the
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and in the
International Tribunal for Rwanda prisoners network.
"The report by Richard Sanders
in the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade's latest magazine documents the
shameful history of how at different times Canadian governments have made use of
internment camps, forced labour and deportation in order to silence, intimidate
and oppress large numbers of citizens because of their ethnic background or
because they were seeking to improve the terrible working conditions and
exploitation of workers of the time and were seeking to advance social justice.
This history is largely unknown, as is the fact that so many political leaders –
including members of the CCF – were complicit and failed to oppose these
appalling injustices. We need to bring this history to light and we need to
learn important lessons on how to prevent such crimes and such complicity."
is a long-time campaigner for human rights and was an early activist with the
Voice of Women and the Victoria Status of Women Action Group. She was a founder
of the Canadian Human Rights Reporter, and a former director of the
Court Challenges Program of Canada and the
BC Human Rights Commission. She founded
RightOnCanada.ca and is the founder and coordinator of the
Rotterdam Convention Alliance,
whose members work to control the global trade in hazardous chemicals. In June
2016, she received the
Quebec National Assembly's medal for efforts to stop Canada's asbestos
"When I began leafing through the complimentary copy of "Captive Canada," the latest issue of Press for
Conversion, I was drawn to the amazing assortment of highly topical subjects
that were addressed in various articles – to the point where I filled in a
subscription form and made out a cheque.
"Keep up the great work, Richard!"
Sid Shniad was the Research Director of the Telecommunications Workers Union
for more than twenty years. A former public school teacher, Sid is
a founding member of the Trade Union Committee for Justice in the Middle East
and remains active in the antiwar movement. He is a member of
the national steering committee of Independent Jewish
Voices Canada, a progressive national association of
Jewish Canadians who are critical of Israeli
policy towards the Palestinians.
"I was very pleased to see the new issue of Press for Conversion,
called 'Captive Canada.'
"I have been an admirer of Richard Sanders' work for many
years and an avid reader of his meticulously researched and highly articulate
magazine. He has the courage to tell it like it is and there is little hope
for our species if we cannot listen.
"Bravo Richard! I am deeply thankful for
your extraordinary tenacity."
Alan Scarfe is a Canadian actor, director and author. Scarfe
began his career as a classical stage actor in the 1960s and has performed
well over 100 major roles in theatres across Europe, the US and Canada,
including two seasons at the
Shaw Festival and eight seasons at the
Stratford Festival. He has also been familiar face on television and film
for nearly forty years. Alan has recently turned to writing novels
under the pseudonym Clanash Farjeon, including The Vampires of 9/11, a
political satire about America's blindness and inability to accept who the
real culprits are.
"Thanks, Richard, for your research on J.S.Woodsworth, Charles Gordon (pen named
"Ralph Connor") and the Social Gospel movement. I knew Charles' son, King
Gordon, very well. We co-founded the Group of 78 and I spoke at his remembrance
service. King was a strong UN supporter, having represented it in the Middle
East and Africa as its Information Officer. I was distressed to learn that
King's father and J.S.Woodsworth shared the myth of the supremacy of the
Anglo-Saxon culture, and that immigrants were stereotyped as 'Strangers in our Midst.' I had no idea that Charles Gordon and my hero J.S.Woodsworth had such views.
Good research – though sad."
Murray Thomson was born in China to
United Church of Canada missionaries. After graduating in 1947 he worked
in the adult education division of Saskatchewan's CCF government. As a
pacifist and member of the Society of Friends (Quakers), Murray worked in
Thailand and India (1956-1962) and for CUSO (1970-1974). He was the Peace
Education Secretary for Canadian Friends Service Committee (1962-1969). Over the decades,
Murray helped found groups such as the Quaker Peace
Education Centre - Grindstone Island (1963), Project Ploughshares (1976), Peace
Brigades International (1981), Peacefund Canada (1985), and Canadian Friends of Burma
"Over the years Richard Sanders has helped to
rectify the delusion that Canada is a benevolent, peace-building nation. His
articles are scrupulously researched.
'Captive Canada' is a devastating documentation of domestic exploitation,
racism, slavery, genocide, internment and work camps. It demonstrates how
even sincere reform-motivated Canadians have been duped into supporting
outrageously unjust government policies. Only by acknowledging the atrocities
that we continue to support and profit from can we achieve a state of genuine
social justice and moral leadership. Canadians owe Mr. Sanders a debt of gratitude for his brutally honest
portrayal of the crimes against humanity that we have been guilty of, from the
killing of Iraqi children to the savage segregation imposed on First Peoples.
We also need to explore his insights into how current policies packaged as
protecting human rights actually promote and support war and the arms
Carol Winter is a social justice activist on the Peterborough Social Planning Council's
Board of Directors. Epitomising the adage: "Think globally and act locally!"
Carol is an outspoken community advocate for those oppressed by poverty,
racism and war. She has, for example, been involved in many protests against
Canada's indefinite detention of migrants awaiting deportation in Lindsay
Ontario's high-security prison. Although named by a local newspaper as one of
the "20 most influential people in Peterborough" and very foolishly heralded
as "Saint Carol," she roundly rejects all such ridiculous honorifics, calling
herself "crotchety, moody, stubborn and even pig-headed. Keep at it Carol!