Jane Harris-Zsovan’s Weblog

A Professional Site About Jane’s Books, Articles and Ideas

Posts Tagged ‘Alberta


leave a comment »

June 7, 2016 — Finding Home in the Promised Land, a personal history of homelessness and social exile will soon be available in e-book format through Signature Editions. Stayed tuned for more details in the next few weeks.Finding Home cover_HR


May 13 Reading Event

leave a comment »

I will be sharing insights and reading from Finding Home in the Promised Land, a personal history of homelessness at the Lethbridge Public Library, May 13, 2016 at 7:00 pm.

Finding Home in the Promised Land, Lethbridge Book Event

with one comment

Lethbridge launch of Finding Home in the Promised Land, a personal history of homelessness and social exile starts at NOON at Chapters Lethbridge.

Finding Home in the Promised Land is heading to bookstores!

leave a comment »

It’s out! Finding Home in the Promised Land a personal history of homelesssness and social exile is now in print and heading to bookstores. I will be at the Whistler Writers’ Festival, October 16-18th. More Tour and launch news to follow soon!

News, News, News

with one comment

It’s less than a month until Finding Home  in the Promised Land, a personal history of homelessness and social exile  is in bookstores. Launched details coming soon. In the meantime,  I’m pleased to say that Finding Home and I will be at the Whistler International Writers Festival October 16-18.  By the way, I’ve posted a short pre-launch book trailer up on my Youtube channel.


leave a comment »

Finding Home cover_HRSEPTEMBER RELEASE UPDATE: Finding Home in the Promised Land: A Personal History of Homelessness and Social Exile is the fruit of Jane Harris’s journey through the wilderness of social exile after a violent crime left her injured and tumbling down the social ladder toward homelessness –for the second time in her life—in 2013. Her Scottish great-great grandmother Barbara`s portrait opens the door into pre-Confederation Canada. Her own story lights our journey through 21st Century Canada.

She asks why Canadians fell into accepting diminished dreams, and ignoring the obvious—that trauma and poverty are inextricably linked, and it is social exiles who fall through the cracks. She asks why Canada, a nation of exiles driven to create their own Promised Land came to accept first poor houses; then soup kitchens, food banks, shelters, and silent suffering class of working poor? Why did charity, another word for love, become cold bureaucracy? She uncovers that sad truth, that the taxes and charitable gifts the prosperous among us pay as tolls to avoid looking at the poor, fix nothing. Instead, they fund a poverty industry that keeps the dispossessed in an exile thornier than any back bush squatter’s camp. But she also uncovers a path out of the bureaucratic wilderness that could eliminate social exile in Canada.

Jane Harris turns complex research into engaging scenes and easily understood messages.Finding Home in the Promised Land is her second book to be published by J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing. The first Eugenics and the Firewall: Canada’s Nasty Little Secret was published in 2010.
Jane has also contributed to two Canadian anthologies. Her articles about business, personal finance, history, faith, politics and social issues have appeared in more than a dozen publications including the Winnipeg Free Press, Canadian Capital, The National Post, Alberta Views, Alberta Venture, Lethbridge Herald, and The Anglican Planet.
She is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada and the Writers’ Guild of Alberta.Finding Home cover_HR

Culture and Politics

leave a comment »

Does politics reflect culture? Or obliterate it? In the Province of Alberta, many poltical scientists love to talk up the American influence on this part of Canada. They manage to get on just about every national newscast where the topic of Alberta's role in Canada comes up. And they often trounce and complain about our political system. But they seem oddly unaware of the basic elements of our history.

In particular, they seem to lack understanding that Central Canadians and Representatives of the Crown encouraged the independent streak they laud as unique. They insist it's an American influence. Or a perspective based on alienation from political elites in Ottawa. But our independent streak is clearly rooted in our family ties (not our grievances) to the Crown and to Central Canada:

Take a look at our symbols: The Province's motto Liber and Fortis (Strong and Free) was granted by the Crown. It's a British as you can get.

There's more: Alberta was named by a Governor General, The Marquis of Lorne, in honour of his wife. Louise Caroline Alberta, a princess with an independent streak, Queen Victoria's youngest daughter. And she was the only one of Victoria's daughters to refuse a political marriage to foreign Prince. Alberta (Lorne preferred to call her Alberta or Alba) insisted on choosing her own husband.

More than that, Louise Caroline Alberta may be the only 19th Century Princess to have had her own career -- she trained in Berlin as a sculptor and painter. She also cooked, cleaned and ironed. And snuck out to public lectures without her bodyguards. Oh and she did temperance and social justice work. So did Lorne. 

Lord Lorne insisted on calling this NWT territorial district a province in the 1880's. It wasn't a province, but he knew it would be.  And he knew it would be a rich one with a key role to play in Confederation.

The Cross of Saint George still soars above the mountains and wheat fields on the Province's Coat of Arms. Clear testimony to the allegiance of our early legislators.  

Our first five premiers, often touted as rebels against Ottawa, were born in Ontario. And reformers like the Famous Five sought to bring legal changes to the whole British Empire. They saw the Crown and our imperial connection as a guardian of their rights. Which it turned out to be!

But most Albertans know little about this heritage. That's really too bad, because if you don't know where you've been, you can't chart where to go. Or imagine all the things you can accomplish. Worse yet, the pundits can get away with saying almost anything. No one will question them. And as people lose their identity, they do become disenfranchised. Remember the low voter turnout in the last provincial election? Could it be that the obliteration of our symbols and constant denigration of our heritage by pundits and politicians be a factor?  

Written by janeharris(harris-zsovan)

February 12, 2008 at 3:07 am