Monthly Archives: January 2023

Wed: Canada’s effect on US immigration; plus, BC’s radical new drug policy

Some events from a fellow Canadian organization here in the Bay Area.

Canadian Studies Announcements

In This Issue:

Upcoming Events

  • “Historical Connections Between Canada and American Immigration Policy”
  • “Come from Away: Newfoundland and Labrador’s Food Security Dilemma”

News from Canada

  • British Columbia begins three-year drug decriminalization pilot
  • Former Fulbright Fellow Laverne Jacobs is first Canadian on UN disability rights committee

External Events

  • “Roots, Routes, and Reckonings: On Blackness and Belonging in North America”


If you require an accommodation to fully participate in an event, please let us know at least 10 days in advance.

Historical Connections Between Canada and American Immigration Policy

Wed., Feb. 1 | 12:30 pm PT | 223 Moses | RSVP

Canadian Studies faculty affiliate Hidetaka Hirota will explore historical connections between Canada and American immigration policy in the long nineteenth century. Based on his earlier and current works, Professor Hirota will discuss three aspects of this history: Canada as a destination of deportation from the United States; Canadians as targets of restrictive immigration policy; and Canada as a potential ally of the United States in migration control. In doing so, he will illuminate the experiences of Irish migrants in the mid-nineteenth century, Canadian migrants in the late nineteenth century, and Japanese migrants in the early twentieth century. These migrant groups’ experiences demonstrate that Canada remained an important part of the history of American immigration policy.

About the Speaker

Hidetaka Hirota is a social and legal historian of the United States specializing in immigration, and an associate professor of history at UC Berkeley. He is particularly interested in the history of American nativism and immigration control. His first book, Expelling the Poor: Atlantic Seaboard States and the Nineteenth-Century Origins of American Immigration Policy, shows how an influx of impoverished Irish immigrants to the United States in the early 19th century led nativists to develop policies for deporting destitute foreigners to Europe and Canada, and laid the groundwork for later federal legislation. His current projects include an examination of long-running tensions between nativism and a demand for migrant labor in the United States, as well as an exploration of the Japanese immigrant experience before 1924.

“Come from Away”: Newfoundland and Labrador’s Food Security Dilemma

Wed., Feb. 15 | 12:30 pm PT | 223 Moses | RSVP

This presentation illuminates past and current complexities of Newfoundland and Labrador’s unique food system. Following confederation with Canada in 1949, the province’s once- abundant fisheries fed North America to the point of over exploitation, creating both cultural and food system disruption. Currently, most food is imported into the province and transported by ferry, including produce from California’s Central Valley. Though hunting is prevalent in rural communities, high priced, pre-packaged, and processed food, rather than fish, are the dietary mainstay. Recent efforts to expand agricultural production within the province would improve local control over the food system. This would ostensibly be more expensive than most imported foods, given the province’s short growing season and relatively small, diffusely located population. Yet financially supporting such endeavors might be justifiable to facilitate a basic human right to access and produce food.

Note: The speaker will also share Newfoundland and Labrador artwork and handicrafts at the in-person presentation.

About the Speaker

Dr. Catherine Keske is a professor of management of complex systems in the School of Engineering at UC Merced. She is an agricultural economist and social scientist who studies sustainable food, energy, and waste systems. Prior to joining UC Merced in 2017, she was associate professor of environmental studies (economics) in the School of Science and the Environment at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her research on food security and Newfoundland and Labrador includes an edited book, Food Futures: Growing a Sustainable Food System for Newfoundland and Labrador, and “Economic feasibility of biochar and agriculture coproduction from Canadian black spruce forest” published in Food and Energy Security.


British Columbia Begins Three-Year Drug Decriminalization Pilot

For several years, British Columbia has been an epicenter of the opioid crisis sweeping North America. Now, the provincial government is adopting a radical – and controversial – new approach to solve this crisis. In effect, it’s making the drugs legal.

Under a law passed last summer, British Columbia has been given a three-year exemption from Federal drug legislation. Beginning tomorrow, all legal penalties have been eliminated for adults who possess small amounts of four key narcotics: cocaine, methamphetamines, MDMA, and opioids like heroin and fentanyl. Police will no longer confiscate drugs from users, instead providing them with information about treatment services. Sales of these drugs will remain illegal, as will possession of large quantities

This dramatic shift in policy comes as BC struggles with some of the highest rates of opioid-related deaths in Canada. The province has nearly as many drug-related deaths as Ontario, despite having only one-third the population; 1,600 people died in the first nine months of 2022 alone. The provincial government has struggled unsuccessfully to halt the rapid rise of drug use, and accompanying increase in overdoses and deaths.

Proponents of the experiment say that past enforcement tactics haven’t worked. Government data show a nearly 200% increase in emergency overdose calls between 2012 and 2022, including a 75% increase since a provincial emergency was declared in 2016. Much of this can be attributed to the rising use of fentanyl, which has all but replaced heroin for many users and is exponentially more dangerous.

The new policy is being pitched as a radical rethinking of past deterrence-based approaches. Founded on “harm reduction” principles, it aims to limit the damage done by problematic drug use rather than attempting to force users to quit. Primarily, it seeks to reframe drug use as a personal health issue, rather than a criminal one. Proponents argue that eliminating the secrecy and stigma around drug use will save lives, prevent overdoses, and make users more likely to seek treatment for addiction.

Supporters point to Portugal as a successful model implementation of these principles. Since decriminalizing drug use in 2000, the country has seen a significant decrease in deaths and HIV transmission, while nevertheless maintaining low drug consumption rates by European standards. The harm reduction model has also been implemented in some parts of the US, most notably the state of Oregon, where voters passed a decriminalization measure similar to BC’s in 2020.

Nevertheless, the new law is not without controversy, even among supporters of decriminalization. A major point of concern remains a lack of effective treatment for users. BC’s government has poured millions into mental health and addiction treatment services. However, unlike Portugal and Oregon, which use citations, fines, and other administrative penalties to try and channel drug users into treatment, BC’s law does not include a similar mechanism. And even with these incentives, getting users into treatment remains difficult. A recent government audit in Oregon gave poor marks to its decriminalization regime. It found that only 1% of those cited for drug use sought treatment for addiction, while overdose rates and deaths soared (an increase that supporters blame on the Pandemic). Without treatment incentives, opponents say the change in policy is unlikely to have a significant public health effect.

Still, supporters say it’s too early to judge the effectiveness of the policy, and urge patience until the trial concludes in 2026. The experiment is being closely watched by other parts of Canada as a model for future policy changes. Canada has long been known for a progressive drug policy; it was one of the first countries to legalize medical marijuana, and remains one of only seven countries globally with legal recreational cannabis. It remains to be seen whether this new initiative will mark the vanguard of a new revolution in substance use treatment.

Image: Homeless man and police in Vancouver. Source:

Former Fulbright Fellow Laverne Jacobs is First Canadian on UN Disability Rights Committee

Dr. Laverne Jacobs, a University of Windsor Law professor, has made history as the first Canadian to join the United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Elected last summer, Professor Jacobs will serve a four-year term ending in

Professor Jacobs, an authority on human rights and disability law in Canada and the United States, was a visiting Fulbright Research Chair in Canadian Studies at Berkeley in 2014. She has since become a regular presence at Berkeley, including as a speaker at the Canadian Studies Colloquium and as a guest lecturer at Berkeley Law.

An alumna of McGill University, Professor Jacobs gave an interview with the McGill alumni magazine where she discussed her philosophy of law, and her conviction that “disability” should be viewed as part of the diversity of human experience. She highlighted the importance of designing policy with inclusivity in mind, pointing out how many barriers faced by disabled individuals can be invisible to their able-bodied counterparts.

Canadian Studies extends our warmest congratulations to Professor Jacobs for this great honour.


Roots, Routes, and Reckonings: On Blackness and Belonging in North America

Wednesday, Feb. 1 | 10:00 am PT | Online | RSVP

Western Washington University’s Center for Canadian-American Studies invites you to join their second “Why Canada Matters” talk, featuring Dr. Debra Thompson. Through an intimate exploration of the roots of Black identities in North America and the routes taken by those who have crisscrossed the world’s longest undefended border in search of freedom and belonging, this lecture combines memoir and analysis to highlight the tensions and contradictions that anchor our understandings of race.

Dr. Thompson is an associate professor of political science and Canada Research Chair in Racial Inequality in Democratic Societies at McGill University. She is a leading scholar of the comparative politics of race, with research interests that focus on the relationships among race, the state, and inequality in Canada and other democratic societies. She previously spoke at the Berkeley Canadian Studies Colloquium in 2020.

This talk is co-sponsored by WWU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Department of History, and delivered in partnership with the WWU Alumni Association.

Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308
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Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley213 Moses Hall #2308Berkeley, CA 94720

Serve and Succeed in 2023, Michael Barbour!

Note the date for this year’s Wreaths Across America events – 16 December 2023.  As more details become available about the local ceremony our cadets participate in, those will be passed along.


Dear Michael Barbour,

Each year, millions of Americans come together to REMEMBER the fallen, HONOR those that serve and their families, and TEACH the next generation about the value of freedom. We choose a new theme every year to help volunteers and supporters focus their messaging and outreach in their own communities. We’re excited to share that our theme for 2023 is “Serve and Succeed.”


Listen to my interview with the Wreaths Radio Morning Show to hear my personal thoughts on the 2023 theme.

Remember – Honor – Teach

With gratitude,


Karen Worcester

Executive Director


wreaths day 2023

This year, National Wreaths Across America Day will be held nationwide on Saturday, December 16, 2023.

How Can You Join the Mission in 2023?

Sponsor a Wreath: Honor veterans in your local community by sponsoring a live, balsam veteran’s wreath that will be placed on the grave of an American hero in 2023. It is never too early to support the mission!

Start a Sponsorship Group: As a pay back group, your civic, nonprofit, school or other group can help raise wreath sponsorships for a participating cemetery, and $5 of each wreath sponsorship made will be given back to you to support your program locally. Since 2007, WAA has given back more than $20 million (through January 2023), to other organizations through this program!


As a 3-for-2 group, a third wreath is placed for every two wreath sponsorships made. This is a great way to ensure as many veterans as possible are honored and remembered at the participating location your support!


Add a New Location: Coordinate a wreath-laying ceremony at a cemetery or memorial in your community. Determine if this location is already participating by checking our website. We have resources to help you plan your ceremony and ensure community involvement and success!


Volunteer: Volunteer to place wreaths on National Wreaths Across America Day – Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023 – at any of our 3,700+ participating locations. Involve your friends and family to honor our servicemen, women and families.


Access Wreaths Across America’s Curriculum Resources: Download our lesson plans and share them with educators in your community.


Listen to Wreaths Radio: Wreaths Across America Radio has a live morning show every weekday morning from 6am to 10am eastern, along with a variety of special programs that support the mission to Remember, Honor, and Teach.


Follow Wreaths Across America on Social Media:


You’re Invited!

Join us on VIRTUALLY on Friday, Feb. 3, at 1pm EST/10am PST, as we celebrate the lives and legacy of the Four Chaplains and all those lost on the USAT Dorchester 80 years ago.


Wreaths Across America will be LIVE from the Balsam Valley Chapel and tip lands where balsam is harvested to make veterans’ wreaths for Wreaths Across America.

The Last to Fall: The story of Black Quartermasters in World War II

The legacy of black quartermasters in World War II is a great example of this year’s theme, Serve & Succeed.


“Black quartermasters answered the call to serve, while in uniform they succeeded in quickly learning new skills, adapting to challenges, and committing themselves to mission success. ”


Read more from Joseph Reagan, the Director of Military and Veterans Outreach for Wreaths Across America, by clicking on the button below.

Featured Merchandise

Show your support of Wreaths Across America all year with our 2023 Calendar.


Plan your events and keep track of important military milestones with the WAA calendar, each month a picture from our library!

2023 WAA Calendar

Make sure to follow Wreaths Across America official channels on social media for the most up-to-the-minute news on the mission throughout the year:


Wreaths Across America, PO Box 249, Columbia Falls, ME 04623, United States, 877-385-9504

The Legion Dispatch – January 2023

An update from Dominion Command to its branches (note that items only relevant to branch executive or for Canadian branches have been removed).

40% of Legion members have yet to renew 


Legion Dispatch. Visit branch services.
January 2023
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Keep your Branch informed

Forward this email to your Branch Executives, Committee Members and other members to keep them up-to-date on important updates and information.
All Branch emails are also available on the Member Services Website
In this edition – January 2023
40% of Legion members have yet to renew for 2023
A renewal reminder will be mailed in early February to members who have not yet renewed for 2023. Additionally, you can encourage your Branch members to renew by:

  • Placing the Renewal poster in a prominent space in your Branch
  • Reaching out by mail or email with this renewal reminder message
  • Updating member profiles with emails on this template so members can be notified automatically when it’s time to renew
  • Encouraging your members to sign up for auto-renewal with this poster
3rd week of September named National Legion Week
At the November 2022 Dominion Executive Council meeting, DEC carried the motion that “commencing in 2023, the 3rd week of September be pronounced as National Legion Week across Canada, allowing all Commands and Branches to consistently participate to attract and welcome Canadians to the Royal Canadian Legion.”
More information and marketing materials will be provided at a later date.
Help spread the word – Veterans’ families get first year of membership free!
Do you know a spouse, child over 18 years of age, parent or guardian of a Canadian Veteran who has not yet joined the Legion? Let them know we offer the first year of membership free to Veteran Family Members. Encourage them to register and get to know their Legion!
Promotional poster  ‣ | Register online  ‣ | Registration form  ‣
Ross Munro Award: Call for nominations
The Ross Munro Award recognizes Canadians whose outstanding work in journalism, videography, photojournalism or writing represents the very best in defense and security storytelling.
Nominations for the award are being accepted until January 31. If you know someone whose work may be eligible, please pass this information on.
Learn more  ‣
Branch Membership Administration
Resources and tips to support your Membership Chair
+ The Auto Renew process is complete
The Auto Renew process is now complete and has billed all members who have signed up for auto renew with valid credit card information on file.
If you have a member who signed up for Auto Renew but does not have their 2023 membership year processed, the branch can collect their 2023 membership payment OR the member can renew online or contact Member Services by phone at 855-330-3344.
Branches can view all members who renewed online and by auto renewal on the Member Services Website under Reports / Membership – Branch Online Member Renewals [PDF].
+ 2022 Membership Numbers
2022 Final Membership Numbers will be available on the Member Services Website the first week of February. Please ensure your Branch memberships have been processed through Member Services by January 31.
+ New membership training tools
Five new training videos are now available to assist in processing members on the membership website. They can be found on the Member Services Website under Branch and Command Resources/Membership by clicking on New! Membership training videos.
+ New Digital Membership Card now available!
Over 10,000 Legion Members have already signed up for the Digital Card!
Members can now choose a traditional plastic card or a Digital Card. Learn about the Digital Card technical requirements, how to request a card, branch notification and more!
Get all the details  ‣
Get access to Marketing and PR resources
Promote membership with free Branch resources
Order FREE recruitment and retention resources through the Legion Supply Department to help promote membership at your Branch.
Check out our flyer  ‣
PR Tip of the Month
Discuss before taking on media interviews
Check with your Branch President or Provincial Command before agreeing to do a media interivew. Discuss with your local and regional leadership teams before taking on a serious or controversial topic.
Have questions or need advice? Contact your Command Public Relations Officer or Nujma Bond, Dominion Command Communications at
Your Legion calendar
The 2023 Legion calendar of notable dates is now available. Promote important dates and organize activities at your Branch with this list of upcoming days that raise awareness of an issue, commemorate a group or event, or celebrate an important topic.
Download your copy to help with Branch planning for the new year.
Download the 2023 calendar  ‣
MemberPerks®: Exclusive offers and preferred pricing through Venngo
MemberPerks® is more than a member benefit package. It’s also a tool Branches can use to promote membership. Plus, you can partner with local businesses in your community to offer exclusive discounts for your members.
Learn more  ‣
Partner promotions
The following is brought to you by our partners, highlighting special offers and other information.
Special offer from Legion Magazine
If you have any questions, please contact Member Services and we will be pleased to assist. 1-855-330-3344 or

Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST

Working together to serve Canada’s Veterans.
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Administrative emails from Legion National Headquarters are sent to the email address on file for your local Legion Branch. If this is no longer the correct email address for your Branch, please forward this email to the new contact and request the Branch update their contact information.

The Branch may update the email address at any time by updating their Branch Profile on the Member Services Website or by contacting Member Services. Learn more about All Branch emails.

Our contact information is:
The Royal Canadian Legion National Headquarters
Member Services Department
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Toll free: 855‑330‑3344


Vikings’ genetic diversity greater than present-day Scandinavia: study

An item from the Legion Magazine.

Front Lines
Stephen J thorne


Vikings’ genetic diversity greater than present-day Scandinavia: study


Mention the word Vikings and one is likely to conjure images of blond-haired, blue-eyed brutes in beards sailing distinctive ships, wielding axes and shields.While the ships, axes and shields are a sure thing, and the beards are a pretty good bet—at least for the men—a new study has found that the adventurers and plunderers who settled in Newfoundland some 500 years before Columbus crossed the ocean were more genetically diverse than the myths would suggest.

In the largest genetic analysis of Viking remains ever conducted, palaeogeneticist Ricardo Rodrı́guez-Varelal and his colleagues at Stockholm University and the Stockholm-based Centre for Palaeogenetics analyzed Scandinavian burials going back 2,000 years.


Exclusive Pre-sale 1943: The Allies gain the advantage in the Second World War
Military Milestones


The Canadian who was the real life James Bond


William Samuel Clouston Stanger was born on Jan. 23, 1897, in Winnipeg.

He had a humble childhood, but was destined for greatness.

His birth parents gave him up for adoption because they couldn’t care for him. He took his adopted parents’ surname, Stephenson, and dropped out of school to become a telegrapher.

He eventually became a decorated First World War air ace, a business titan and a spymaster who set up the British espionage system in the Americas, schooled the United States in undercover operations and established a spy school in Canada.


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