I was passing through one of Toronto’s subway stations, Chester station, last week and noticed a pop-up arts store in the station. The store sells refreshments and art works by local artists.
To my delight, they had a rack of postcards by a local artist that offered several political satire postcards.
This one was my favourite:
Glad to see original, humourous, and thought-provoking works being produced in postcard form – something I hope will never expire!
I recently met a relative who had a nice gift for me – some of her old postcards. There were only two but they were great as they were such fine specimens.
The one below is a great example of a protest postcard:
Protest postcards tend to have a pre-set message with spaces for a would-be sender to fill in their name and address (as below) and a pre-set address (often to a government official).
This postcard refers to a high-profile protests in the late 1980s in Ontario about logging an old-growth forest, Temagami. It’s addressed to former Ontario premier David Peterson (premier from 1985 to 1990).
[Top]: “This is a 500-year old forest in Temagami, Ontario that may soon be destroyed by logging.”
[Middle] “Dear Mr Premier, The Ontario Government has a duty to play a more responsible role in Global Environmental Protection. I urge you to save the Temagami wilderness and its old-growth forests for future generation.” [Lines to fill in signature, Name, Address]
In preparing for this article, I discovered that despite the passage of some 20 years the logging and First Nations land claims issues have still not been resolved after all these years! Seems like it’s time to draft a new batch of postcards…
My brother-in-law went out East awhile ago to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Naturally, I asked that he send me some postcards. Upon his return he proudly exclaimed that he found some awesomely amazing postcards that I’d love. He didn’t have stamps so he asked a friend there to mail them.
I waited with great anticipation for days, until days turned into weeks. It’s a mystery what happened to the postcards. It fills me with great sadness to never know the amazingness that was so close and yet never to be.
In lieu of them, here’s a fine specimen from his much earlier maritime travels:
The postcard refers to the moratorium on fishing for cod in Atlantic Canada. It the staple fish of Canada’s fishing industry.
Here’s the back:
[Top] “In Cod We Trust(ed). A tribute to the North Altantic fisher, photo circa 1903”
[Bottom] “Proceeds from this postcard support the Cnaadian Marine Heritage Project…”
“Greetings from the coast EH….. when the weather is nice – this place is beautiful. But do not swim in the Harbour. 25,000 gallons of sewage a day and growing.”
I will continue to wait and hope for those amazing postcards yet to come…
I always wondered who were the people who think that climate change isn’t happening. I’m not referring to people who think that climate change is happening due to natural causes. I mean the ostriches-with-their-heads-in-sand who think climate change isn’t happening at all. Turns out, I know such as an ostrich. Due to the wonders of Facebook, a Facebook friend posted that climate change was all just a conspiracy by lefties.
I’m glad that such people are in the minority (in Canada, at least). I recently received a postcard from my member of parliament about climate change:
My M.P. makes good use of postcards and his franking privileges to solicit feedback from his constituents on vital issues such as this.
“We owe it to our grandchildren to reduce emissions now. Inaction on climate change threatens our way of life and our balanced economy. The good news is that Parliament will soon have a chance to pass an NDP bill setting science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Together, we can get this job done….”
I got the following postcard in my mailbox this week from our member of parliament.
I have been one of many Canadians arguing for electoral reform in Canada. Currently our federal and provincial elections are determined using the first past the post system and we need a system that results in a government that represents actually how people voted, such as proportional representation.
Ontario had a referendum on the issue, but it did not pass. So I’m not hopefully that we’ll see a new electoral system federally. Nonetheless, I’m very excited to support the issue and in postcard form no less!
“It’s time for a new electoral system – one that actually represents us.
Under our current first-past-the-post system, the Conservatives enjoy a majority of seats in Parliament despite receiving only 39% of the vote. It also unfairly shuts out parties like the Greens. There is an alternative. The NDP’s plan for a mixed-member proportional representation voting system would ensure much fairer representations for Canadians. Will you support our efforts?”
I sent this one back to my member of parliament. But luckily, they accidentally left two in our mailbox so I get to keep one!
Over the years, I have filled out comment cards and sent other messages to my member of parliament. But I have never heard back in-person. Until this postcard arrived yesterday:
The m.p. had sent a newsletter earlier last year to all his constituents, with a feedback form attached. I filled it out and mailed it to Ottawa. I wasn’t expecting that the politicians actually read this or react, so I was very surprised to get a hand-written reply. See the back:
Just reviewing correspondance from some time back on The Senate. Realized I’d forgotten to reply to your card. Very much appreciate your feedback.
My comments were on the need for reform of our Senate. Canada’s Senate is an unelected (and undemocratic ) body who’s member “serve” for life – basically appointments are a giant reward for the governing party’s cronies and party hacks. This issue of Senate reform (or, as I hope, abolishment) is particularly relevant recently as two Senators were charged by police last week for corruption, with more charges for other Senators possibly to follow.
BTW, there is no stamp on this postcard as all there is no charge for mail from or to Canadian parliamentarians (I believe this is called franking privilege).
Having dug up some buried treasures from my pile of stuff still kept at my Dad’s place recently, I’ve been showcasing the long-lost postcards. I haven’t seen these in years (okay decades) and forgot they existed.
Like this, my first enumeration card from Elections Ontario. It was the first election I was old enough to vote in. I was really excited to vote (back when I actually felt when there was a chance that self-serving right-wingers wouldn’t always win – yes I’m talking to you Rob Ford and Stephen Harper).
The back side has the details of the election – for the Ontario government – and my polling station.
The election was during my first ever frosh week at university, so I had to go to an advance poll. That election was very memorable (as was the frosh week) as the formerly-popular governing party lost in a landslide to our labour party (the New Democrat Party). It was the first – and only – time the NDP formed a government in Ontario, and we got Bob Rae as a premier (whom I met several times – very nice guy, BTW).