It may seem odd to be highlighting immigration when borders are largely closed here in Canada and around the world. And yet, there are good reasons for doing so. First of all, finding the right balance on immigration is bound to be a major challenge for Western governments after the pandemic, as it was before. Second, at least in Canada as Anne Michèle Meggs and Mark Stobbe explain from different perspectives, immigration is not only, or even primarily, about crossing borders – it’s about people who are already here.

Click to read by How Immigration Really Works in Canada by Anne Michèle Meggs, and The Postsecondary Education Extortion Racket for International Students by Mark Stobbe.

Meggs meticulously examines all the various routes that people take to attain permanent resident status in Canada, and finds that the points system, supposedly the pillar of our immigration policy, plays a much smaller part in the process than is generally believed. A large proportion of Canada’s immigrants enter the country under various temporary work and education programs and then transition to permanent resident status. In her article in this issue, the first in a two-part series, she focuses on international students. Stobbe draws on his own experience teaching college classes with significant numbers of international students to question a system in which postsecondary institutions become a back door to immigration.

In the current context, no explanation is needed for paying close attention to events in the United States, and especially the Black Lives Matter protests that followed the killing of George Floyd in May and the election campaign that culminated in the defeat of Donald Trump in November. Derek Shearer, who has observed his society as scholar, political activist and government official, provides a personal account of what it has meant to be White in America from the 1950s to the present. Over the summer, the Inroads listserv kept coming back to a web of interrelated topics including policing methods, high homicide rates in U.S. cities and the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. We offer a selection from late August. In his postelection editorial, Henry Milner sees institutional reform as key to stopping the next populist wave.

Click to read Growing Up White by Derek Shearer, Hobbes, Lee Kuan Yew and Black Lives Matter from the Inroads listserv, and Picking Up the Pieces After the U.S. Election by Henry Milner.

In another section, John Richards and Harold Johnson present analyses of social pathologies in First Nation communities and ask “What’s to be done?” For Richards, addressing these pathologies – as manifested in the disproportionate number of “deaths of despair” – requires addressing high unemployment first and foremost. Johnson sees a different way forward: land-based healing.

Click to read First Nations, Employment, and Deaths of Despair by John Richards, and Land-Based Healing by Harold Johnson.

Also in this issue:

Gareth Morley asks whether the “new intolerance” reflected in “cancel culture” is really either new or intolerant in Is Cancel Culture a Thing?

In an interview, Craig Jones advocates legalizing and regulating all drugs and dealing with substance use through a lens of harm reduction, in Finding Better Solutions to the Opioid Crisis.

Jon G. Bradley and Sam Allison find that Canada’s electoral map, far from promoting equal representation, maintains old strongholds and denies new realities. Click to read Canada’s Unreasonable Electoral Districts.

While acknowledging that the West has flaws, Kamel Daoud maintains that it needs to be perfected, not destroyed. Click to read Don’t Destroy the West.

In their columns, Reg Whitaker writes about how current policy, partisan and regional divides play out in federal politics; Arthur Milner draws lessons from speeches by three prominent figures on Canada’s right – Andrew Scheer, Scott Moe and Erin O’Toole; and Julia Smith maintains that if we want to promote equality, we need to do a better job of teaching children to read.

Click to read The Changing Ottawa Dance Card by Reg Whitaker, Candy Before Supper by Arthur Milner, and Without Literacy there is No Equality by Julia Smith.

In Life Among the Far-Right Rasputins, Ronald Beiner wonders whether Benjamin Teitelbaum got too close to his subjects in writing a book about former Trump adviser Steve Bannon and his ideological soulmates in other countries. Meanwhile in his review of Eric Kaufmann’s Whiteshift, Andy Hira finds that Kaufmann pays too little attention to economic factors in accounting for populism. And Henry Milner takes us to the world of Russia’s “illegals” program in his review of Gordon Corera’s Russians Among Us in Russian Spies and the Spymaster-in-Chief.

Philip Resnick continues his poetic diary of this year of COVID-19 with Pandemic Poems: The Second Wave.

And I review Philip’s recent memoir, Itineraries in The Political Scientist and the Poet.