War Resistance in Canadian History

From: Worth Fighting For


Who “counts” as a war resister? This introductory essay surveys the long history of war resistance in Canada and outlines the complex dynamics of opposing military violence both domestically and on foreign territory. Peace movements have expressed this opposition in different ways and the different experiences of class, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and age have combined in unique and often unusual ways to shape how activism has addressed government policy. The way in which historians have reflected on this tradition has shaped larger theoretical structures about Canadian history, which in turn affects how war is taught in Canadian schools and sets the terms in which future policy develops.



Lara Campbell

Lara Campbell is Associate Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University, where she teaches women’s history and the history of social activism. She is the author of Respectable Citizens: Gender, Family, and Unemployment in Ontario’s Great Depression (University of Toronto Press, 2009) and co-author, with Willeen Keough, of Gender History: Canadian Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 2014). Her current project focuses on the gender politics of war resistance in the Vietnam era.

Michael Dawson

Michael Dawson is Professor of History at St. Thomas University. His research has focused primarily on consumerism, tourism, and popular culture and their relationship to regional, national, and imperial identities. With Catherine Gidney and Susanne Klausen, he recently edited E. Maud Graham’s A Canadian Girl in South Africa: A Teacher’s Experiences in the South African War, 1899–1902 (University of Alberta Press, 2015). His current projects include (separate) studies of Jell-O and the Muppets.

Catherine Gidney

Catherine Gidney is an adjunct professor in the History Department at St. Thomas University. She is the author of A Long Eclipse: The Liberal Protestant Establishment and the Canadian University, 1920–1970 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2004) and Tending the Student Body: Youth, Health, and the Modern University (University of Toronto Press, 2015). Her current research focuses on the commercialization of schools in Canada.