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Canadian Dimension

Advocacy magazine reports on the issues too often overlooked by the mainstream

By Vidya Kauri

Canadian Dimension
Edited by Cy Gonick
(Dimension Publications Inc.) $6.95

Canadian Dimension is unapologetically leftist. The opinions expressed in the magazine are passionate and educated. The articles will inspire even the most disenchanted activist to take to the streets, make some noise and continue the struggle for social and environmental justice. Published six times per year, it offers sound solutions to systemic problems and examines how these solutions can be achieved.

Founded in 1963, Canadian Dimension is run by a democratic decision-making collective and draws from a wide range of writers from Canada and around the world. Many are well-known authors and academics, a few are journalists and almost all are actively engaged in social justice.
“From day one to now, we have not been the magazine of observers. We are the magazine of activists looking for social change,” explains editor and publisher Cy Gonick.

At times, the highly opinionated writing can come across as aggressive and dogmatic. Complicated issues and alternative perspectives are presented as though they should be obvious to the reader, and they are not always backed by fact-based analysis. This can be off-putting, especially to the reader who is not 100 percent familiar with all sides of a debate. It leaves a feeling of being told what to think instead of being allowed to form one’s own opinions.

It’s not all serious business with Canadian Dimension. The poetry section provides much-needed relief from the heavy (and often depressing) accounts of corporate, neoliberal malfeasance. The reviews section provides sophisticated critiques of left-wing books.

The best part of Canadian Dimension has to be the regular department called “Cross-Canada Action for Progressive Social Change.” It provides snapshots of activist movements across Canada, explaining why they are taking place and how to get involved.

Reporting on the issues too often overlooked in mainstream publications, Canadian Dimension is true to its slogan: “For people who want to change the world.”

Vidya Kauri is a journalism student at Ryerson University in Toronto.

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