Disengaged: Fixed Date, Democracy, and Understanding the 2011 Manitoba Election
University of Regina Press / 21 October 2015

Disengaged? Fixed Date, Democracy and Understanding the 2011 Manitoba Election By Andrea D. Rounce and Jared J. Wesley Published by University of Regina Press Review by Allison Kydd $39.95 ISBN 9780889773554 A book written primarily by academics for academics may not initially jump off the shelf. Then there are the realities of publishing date-sensitive material; contributors’ reasonable comments and assumptions can be out of date by time of publication. Yet Disengaged?, a disassembling of a particular election, identifies important issues and has implications beyond the province of Manitoba in 2011. It also made fascinating reading while the country was in the midst of the 2015 federal election campaign. As suggested by the title, Andrea Rounce, Jared Wesley and nine other contributors focus on voter engagement, as democracy depends on an engaged electorate. Insights about voter participation are also relevant outside Manitoba, and political science professor Wesley compares Manitoba voter trends with federal rates and those of other provinces. He also provides some historical background. Unfortunately, some comments are out of date. For instance, Wesley makes no mention of “the orange sweep” and election of New Democratic poster girl Rachel Notley in Alberta. Neither do speculations about the significance of a…

Human on the Inside
University of Regina Press / 20 October 2015

Human on the Inside: Unlocking the Truth About Canada’s Prisons by Gary Garrison Published by University of Regina Press Review by Kris Brandhagen $29.95 ISBN 9780889773769 Gary Garrison’s book Human on the Inside: Unlocking the Truth About Canada’s Prisons is a work of nonfiction that expounds upon different aspects of the prison system in Alberta, with some references to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Garrison was a volunteer (and subsequently a coordinator) of a program called M2W2 which places volunteer visitors with prisoners of the same gender. Garrison’s position “as a person with a community agency” is to be impartial, supporting convicts, guards, police, chaplains, native elders, victims, and potential future victims. From this point of view, he must let the reader know where he comes from, what he believes, and where he stands; therefore, in actuality, much of this book is, selflessly, and earnestly, about him. Initially I thought that the book was going to go into gory detail about crime, but that’s not the bent here. There are few crimes that are actually briefly described within these pages. Garrison’s focus is not on the crimes themselves so much as the people involved, how they are affected, and how they go forward in life….

Catherine of Cannington Manor
DriverWorks Ink / 2 October 2015

Catherine of Cannington Manor by Shirley Harris Published by DriverWorks Ink Review by Keith Foster $19.95 ISBN 978-1-927570-14-2 Shirley Harris’s Catherine of Cannington Manor shows how a young woman with a brave heart sets out to escape a tragic memory. Along the way, she finds love and adventure while developing many deep friendships. After her father and lover are killed in a tragic accident, twenty-year-old Catherine Henson leaves England in 1897, bound for a fresh start in Canada. She settles in Moosomin, District of Assiniboia, North-West Territories, which later becomes the province of Saskatchewan. While listening to a choir at a Christmas concert, Catherine hears “the voice” of Michael Jones, a handsome architect and contractor. From the outset, she knows she wants to hear that voice for the rest of her life. When she compliments Michael on his dancing, he says it’s easy when he has “an angel in his arms.” Their courtship is immediate and swift, and romance blossoms into marriage. Together, they buy a cottage just outside Cannington Manor and name their farm Tanterra. They treat their business associates and friends like an extended family. A neighbour comments, “Nobody else treats the hired help like that.” Catherine writes…