BPC Bulletin: Ontario School Board Removes More Than 4,700 Books from Shelves; Burns or Recycles Many
In southwestern Ontario, a Roman Catholic francophone school board removed more than 4,700 books about Indigenous people from library shelves in 30 schools in 2019. The school board also destroyed an unknown number of books.
The Conseil scolaire catholique Providence, which oversees 23 primary schools and seven secondary schools, burned 30 books in a “flame purification” ceremony. School officials then used the ashes as fertilizer to plant a tree.
School officials intended the book burning as a gesture of reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous people (First Nations, Inuit and Metis).
“We bury the ashes of racism, discrimination and stereotypes in the hope that we will grow up in an inclusive country where all can live in prosperity and security,” says a video prepared for students about the book burning, Radio-Canada reported.
School officials subsequently destroyed or recycled other books.
This act of censorship — one of the worst in recent Canadian history — began in 2019 but caught the attention of journalists only in September 2021.
THE LIST OF AFFECTED TITLES
A detailed list of book titles that the Conseil scolaire catholique Providence removed, burned or recycled appears on Google Drive. The list is 165 pages long:
A PDF version is available too. Email Franklin Carter for a copy.
REPORTAGE IN ENGLISH
In the National Post, Tyler Dawson reports:
In BlogTO, Becky Robertson reports:
In the Post Millennial, Alex Anas Ahmed reports:
News in 24 reports:
COMMENTARY IN ENGLISH
In Spiked, Brendan O’Neill comments:
REPORTAGE IN FRENCH
Thomas Gerbet of Radio-Canada broke the news story. His reportage appears in three parts.
September 7, 2021:
September 8, 2021:
September 8, 2021:
At TVA Nouvelles, Marc-André Gagnon reports:
In Métro, Naomie Gelper reports:
Stéphane Rolland of La Presse Canadienne reports:
COMMENTARY IN FRENCH
In Le Devoir, Marie-Andrée Chouinard comments:
In Vanity Fair, Simon de Saint-Vincent writes:
In La Presse, Isabelle Hachey comments:
In La Presse, Philippe Mercure comments:
La Presse publishes letters to the editor:
Thanks go to Charles Montpetit who forwarded the news.
The Book and Periodical Council was formed in 1975 as the Book and Periodical Development Council to provide a venue for members to discuss industry issues, address mutual concerns and undertake projects for the benefit of Canadian writing and publishing.