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I can’t believe we’re still blogging in 2015. Didn’t we kick that habit when Friendster died? Even the word sounds so hopelessly out of date, tipped for the dustbin along with Napster, livejournal and Internet Explorer. But every major news website still has them for some reason, even though the lines that used to differentiate them from classical journalism or op-eds have long since blurred.

One thing I would say about blogs at rabble is that they are fiesty. They bite. They didn’t come here to give a damn, they came here to change the world. And that was never truer than in 2015, a year that felt like it had two or three years jammed into 12 calendar months.

It’s impossible, as I am tasked to do as blogs editor at, to adequately list the best blogs out of the hundreds and hundreds we publish each year, so instead, I’ve collected 12 killer blogs that fought back.

Jesse McLaren kicks off our list with a taut piece of mythbusting. 2015 marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir John A. MacDonald, our inestimable first prime minister. He was a nation builder, we were told. A Great Man. Dr. J tells us that, in fact, he was kind of a racist, genocidal asshole.

Reason number one loves Pamela Palmater: she wears camo to Canadian Senate hearings. And in a blistering tour de force, Dr. Palmater shreds Canada’s reputation as a responsible steward of its First Nations and in no uncertain terms, lays out how Canada’s indifference is killing its Indigenous people.

Sometimes fiesty comes with generosity and verve — which is why Erin Wunker‘s eloquence on the plight of contract academic faculty at Canadian universities is so desperately arresting. In a succession of simple, gentle strokes, she crafts a picture so clear and incriminating of the state of higher education that will leave you shaking.

Susan Wright takes Stephen Harper’s flagship law, Bill C-51, and with some biting satire, offers some advice as to how we might manage to avoid its clutches once one of the most undemocratic, sweeping and frightening legislation comes into law. (Surely though, this is just for posterity’s sake since our man in Ottawa Justin Trudeau will take care of it in no time, eh Justin?)

Normally this is the place where I feign embarrassment for having included a blog that I wrote, but I’ll spare you this year. It’s a story that’s close to my heart: a brave, award-winning and truly fearless journalist who saw her career destoryed and reputation slandered because she took the side of 45 First Nations children against one powerful white man who is a proven liar. Laura Robinson teaches us extraordinary lesson about fairness in media.

If there was a high point in 2015 for progressive politics, it came on May 6. Alberta elected a majority NDP government sweeping out decades of unbroken Conservative rule. I still don’t believe it. I have to check every now and then to see if Rachel Notley is still in office. David Climenhaga has been sowing the lonely row of progressive politics in Alberta for years, posting almost daily to hold corrupt, out-of-touch and contemptuous Tory governments to account. So allow him a moment of pure delight when the Orange Wave swept the bums out.

2015 was also the year of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Canada’s disgraceful Indian Residential Schools. The entire process was immense, in scope and spirit, and its reverberations will be felt for generations. And yet, as Samantha Nock points out to us in her characteristic grace and force, the Métis people were excluded. The chance for Canada and First Nations to hear their stories must yet wait.

There was a federal election too. Remember that? made it our mission to challenge the mainstream media’s received narratives about the three major parties. Toby Sanger‘s look at fiscal responsibility was exemplary. You know how everyone was going on about Stephen Harper’s economic bona fides? Naw, son. The NDP, by far, have the most fiscally responsible record of any federal party.

(I’m not mentioning the election again, OK? It’s the damn holidays.)

Nora Loreto had the unfortunate experience of watching Jonathan Kay and Tasha Kheiriddin debate feminism with former rabble intern Scaachi Koul on CBC’s The National. The good news is that it led Nora to let some germiniating thoughts about the state of Canada’s feminist movement out to breathe. Without a space where all women — women of colour, Indigenous women, sex workers, trans women — can hold a respectful and energetic dialogue, Nora argues, the neoliberal model of feminism — every woman for herself — will continue to dominate.

Finally, the always rebellious Lucia Lorenzi looked back on the year that feminism broke out. Or was supposed to — after campus rape chants, Jian Ghomeshi, and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women finally making primetime news clips — only to find that little had changed and the bulk of the work to heal was still left to women and survivors. 


12 blog posts that didn’t take 2015 lying down:

Jesse McLaren, Ten crimes of John A. Macdonald, Jan 9

Pamela Palmater, Canada’s negligence and indifference is killing Indigenous people, Feb 20

Erin Wunker, Crisis in academic labour puts Canadian universities on the brink, Mar 10

Susan Wright, How to stay under the radar when Bill C-51 becomes law, Mar 22

Michael Stewart, The media’s responses to Jian Ghomeshi and John Furlong exposés are extraordinary April 9

David Climenhaga, Pinch me! Am I dreaming? Canada’s ‘most conservative’ province elects an NDP majority, May 6

Samantha Nock, Metis survivors of residential schools still waiting for reconciliation, June 9

Michael Keefer, The dimensions of the 2011 voter suppression fraud gravely underreported, Sept 9

Bonnie Burstow, Standing tall, thinking clearly: Threats against feminists at University of Toronto, Sept 13

Toby Sanger, The NDP, by far, have the most fiscally responsible record of any federal party, Sept 29 

Nora Loreto, The problem of representation in the neoliberal age, November 3 

Lucia Lorenzi, One year after Ghomeshi watershed moment, the labour of healing still falls on women, Nov 12

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Michael Stewart

Michael Stewart

Michael Stewart is the blogs coordinator at and a freelance writer. He is a bad editor, a PhD dropout and a union thug. He lives in Victoria, B.C. Follow him on Twitter @m_r_stewart