Let the Eastern Bastards Freeze in the Dark
The West Versus the Rest Since Confederation
By Mary Janigan
(Vintage Books Canada, Paperback, 9780307400635, 448pp.)
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
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The first big book on one of the most overlooked episodes in Canadian history, and the origin of today's greatest national debate, Let the Eastern Bastards Freeze in the Dark relives the 1918 attempt by 3 premiers to wrest control of their natural resources away from Ottawa--and end their role as second-class provinces.
The oil sands. Global warming. The National Energy Program. Though these seem like modern Canadian subjects, Mary Janigan reveals them to be a legacy of longstanding regional rivalry. Something of a "Third Solitude" since entering Confederation, the West has long been overshadowed by Canada's other great national debate. But as the conflict over natural resources and their effect on climate change heats up, 150 years of antipathy are coming to a head. Janigan takes readers back to a pivotal moment in 1918, when Canada's western premiers descended on Ottawa determined to control their own future--and as Margaret MacMillan did in Paris 1919, she deftly illustrates how the results reverberate to this day.