In Our Opinion: More than 100 Years of Canadian Newspaper Editorials.


320 pages
ISBN 978-1-55041-987-0
DDC 070.4'42




Edited by Selected and edited by Don Sellar
Reviewed by Tami Oliphant

Tami Oliphant is a Ph.D. candidate in Library and Information Studies at the University of Western Ontario.


Don Sellar’s collection of over 200 newspaper editorials spanning more than 120 years provides a “through the looking glass” tour of Canada as seen through the eyes of editorial writers from every corner of the country. Sellar states that, “Editorial pages are not archives of great Canadian events, this is not a history book …” and consequently he does not focus solely on great historical events or prominent leaders of the day. Instead, the reader is treated to a glimpse into the life and minds of a very peculiar thing: everyday Canadians and their concerns.


Sellar’s keen eye and expertise as an editorial writer himself has enabled him to collect a motley assortment of entertaining, passionate, odd, and sometimes cranky editorials that comment on every aspect of Canadian life from walking in the woods, to instructions on how to address royalty, to the importance of roadside check stops, to Brad Richards, the pride of P.E.I., bringing home the Stanley Cup in 2004. Sellar has divided his editorials based on topics that range from health, booze, sports, women, farewells (to famous and not-so-famous Canadians), justice, and war.


Most importantly, Sellar does not shy away from including revealing editorials about previously accepted prejudices of Canadians living at the time the editorial was published. For example, the chapter titled “Not Our Proudest Moments” explores anti-Chinese sentiment among Calgarians and anti-Sikh sentiment in Vancouver. The reader gets the distinct sense of a country growing up while reading these editorials. There certainly has been great social progress in Canada over the last 120 years.


What is most striking about this collection is that, in many ways, Canadians are grappling with the some of the same issues they have been for years: smog, air pollution, and the deplorable conditions on Native reserves. Each of these issues has received editorial ink since the early 1960s, and gun control editorials have been written about regularly since 1910.


In Our Opinion is a highly entertaining and enlightening read. It is recommended for all libraries, journalism students, or anyone interested in an unorthodox look at Canada.


“In Our Opinion: More than 100 Years of Canadian Newspaper Editorials.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 17, 2024,