Books, Books and More Censorship

Updated February 14, 2024 with special note at end.

Good day Canadians and other earthlings as well. Happy Labour Day. Below are photos of books that, by and large, should have been official textbooks in the Province of Ontario. But just a few were, and I’ve included those because their evaluation sparked important discussions within the Ministry of Education.

For the most part the photographed titles were covertly and fraudulently censored during the Baby Boomer and Generation X eras. Typically they were first majority approved by the Province’s paid subject experts, sometimes unanimously. Then they were rejected by a lone education bureaucrat or two, often with pressure from above. This weight could have been applied immediately during the evaluation. Or, the education officer, having worked in the department for a spell, may have internalized what was expected from their service.


In a few other cases the books weren’t even given the chance to be evaluated even though that had been the Ministry’s promise to publishers from 1960. Ontario’s Ministry of Education sent fraudulent rejection letters to publishers suggesting their books had been found unusable according to the panels. This was relevant to all of Canada. The Province published an annual catalogue of its officially approved textbooks titled Circular 14 and distributed it across the country. Other provinces used Ontario’s financial blessings to concentrate and apply this specialist depth to its curriculum production in their own settings.

This grotesque destruction squeezing of Canadian culture and wealth by one of its own governments lies at the core of my forthcoming book Canadian Mockingbird: Exposing Censorship and Textbook-Mediated Social Engineering. This book builds on another, the 2014 NO SCHOOL FOR SUCKERS, and the feedback from education specialists it received as well as additional censored texts discovered afterwards. This line of research was enabled by the Archives of Ontario‘s approval of an application to study restricted Ministry of Education fonds RG 2-243 (-1, -3 and -4) and corresponding publisher holdings at McMaster University’s William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections. Staff at Ontario’s archives, now located on York University‘s Keele campus on Toronto’s Yonge-University subway line, approved a draft monograph and have been extremely helpful.



What’s important to clarify is that the eighty-five or so titles I can confirm as being covertly censored by one of the two criteria described are only a representative sample from the greater work undertaken by the controlling apparatus. I sought history and politics, business and social sciences. Some biology texts, usually about drugs, were caught up in the activity. My studies only covered the Baby Boomer and Generation X eras. Also apparent was that not nearly all of the Ministry’s records were transferred as statutorily required.

Canada’s publishing industry grew in anticipation of Ontario’s big change, that as of 1960, books could be submitted and then be considered for use in public schools. By the end of the decade hundreds of books were being submitted annually. Although it is difficult to estimate the total number of authors, who suffered the fate of being secretly led along, approved by the country’s intelligence, and then nefariously prevented from contributing, the number is clearly in the hundreds. I wanted to find them all. The bankers’ boxes of documents discarded between administrations meant that I couldn’t.


With apologies to the original people whose cultures began to suffer eradication of indigeneity more brutally long before required residential and public school attendance, Canadians are always hearing or reading about how we’re just not as productive or innovative as our American cousins to the south. The Globe and Mail‘s columnist Tony Keller resurfaced this theme as late as September 1st. With Britain’s demise and the United States’ expansion into those imperial crevices, financially Canuckistan has been a branch plant providing natural resources to the south for decades.

Public school, whether religious or agnostic, is not designed to graduate student bodies of layered diplomats and senior managers. Employees who made it out of high school without caring to analyze societal income brackets or the relationships between bureaucrats and winning tenders likely made for happier factory and mine employees, more doting FPTP electors. Caution is used not to insult either myself or my potential readers when suggesting Canada may have in fact worked smoother as an industrialized economy where only the 3 to 5 percent of private academy attending citizens were granted some important higher concepts and social nuance, give or take a few labour wars. Please note it’s Ronald Reagan’s Education Secretary Terrell Bell who is recognized as coining the phrase “dumbing down” in the 1980s, in the context of school textbooks.



Even if national identity will always be splintered between its Anglo and Franco factions, Canada’s productivity can be said to have moved along the conveyor belt more widely profitable and equitably with fewer issues grievances prior to North American consolidation and corporate owners finding cheaper and even more obedient employees in Asia. If public schools made you us into stupid adults, they likely would have accomplished the feat less effectively before families began falling apart in ever greater numbers, prior to corrective home-based instruction becoming the sole responsibility of a single overworked parent. We’re not all born to Atticus Finch. Television accelerated the apocalypse.

Four of seven chapters making up “Part II: TEXTBOOK RACKET, 1960s-1980s” in Canadian Mockingbird, which “quietly” launches tomorrow from a range of electronic vendors, are specifically about these books’ journeys through Ontario’s the bureaucratic organization educational bureaucracy. A press release across the wires, likely before the end of September, will signal availability of final printed copies. An electronic format is under consideration.



The first two chapters forming “Part I: BRITISH INVASION” cover known historical characters in Canada’s past, how individuals such as “radical” John Lambton, Earl of Durham, and Egerton Ryerson concentrated the Crown’s force to displace French and Indigenous systems of education already in operation. Part I re-introduces George Drew, the first and most aristocratic of Ontario’s Conservative Big Blue Machine dynasty, 1942-1985, who stalled education’s potential leap forward like other contemporaneous jurisdictions were making.

Canadian Mockginbird‘s “Part III: SNEAKY MEDIA” takes readers beyond the final elected Conservative premier of the 1980s, Bill Davis. Its sole chapter, Veiled Architects, and an afterword confirm that David Peterson’s Liberals, upon election, did not immediately rush to correct a textbook evaluation system that conflicted with Canadian and international freedom of information rights. Other censorship regimes, such as the CIA’s use of American mainstream journalists during the United States’ 1960s and 1970s involvement in Southeast Asia, labelled “Operation Mockingbird”, are described for comparison. (Why were there no textbooks approved on explaining Canada’s involvement in Vietnam?) Following the book’s seven chapters and afterword, several of the hundreds of transcribed Ministry documents (no photographs permitted) that convey particularly well how the educational bureaucracy apparatchiks shrunk students’ understanding of their world are collected in an appendix. 434 references and a professional index by Index Busters complete the new text.

Special Note: The book Experiencing History: Cold War was photographed but not part of the collection of censored books. Difficulty was experienced locating an Ontario textbook that even discussed the Vietnam War until landing on Victor Zelinski’s Cold War.