NEWS "What Do You Know About Our War Effort" 1941

Cover Page of NEWS questioning Canada’s efforts in WWII. Additionally, it has headlines from other newspapers on the topic. 

“Bring Him Home! Calling Canada

One of the Calling Canada advertisements calling for the removal of General Andy McNaughton as the leader of Canada’s armed forces.

Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland in September 1939 resulted in commencement of World War II1. Britain and France both declared war against the Adolf Hitler’s fascist regime. However, Canadian Prime Minister William McKenzie King seem hesitant to fully commit to the war. Canada’s initial involvement was deemed stagnant and slow2. The country failed to successfully assemble soldiers for their army. Also, they lacked the necessary resources (planes and tanks) and effective training for their military2. This resulted in widespread condemnation from both political rivals as well as journalists within the country.

One of those Canadian journalists was Judith Robinson. She was the daughter of John Robinson, a former editor of The Telegram3.  Following her father’s death, Judith decided to follow in his footsteps and purse a career in journalism. In 1929, Judith was hired at The Globe, which eventually became The Globe and Mail in 19363. She was revered for her work as a columnist and began to garner a large following. During the early stages of World War II, Judith began to openly criticize the Canadian government’s lack of effort concerning the war. The Globe and Mail did not take well to Judith’s forthright stance on the issue and asked her to temper the criticisms of the current administration3. Nevertheless, she would not agree to compromise her on journalistic integrity, and she parted ways with the organization.

Following her time at The Globe and Mail, Judith began to purse other journalistic endeavours. In 1940, Judith and her ex-colleague Oakley Dalgleish created a campaign titled “Calling Canada”3. These advertisements would denounce Canada’s WWII military mobilization inadequacies. One of these adverts included the blasting General Andy McNaughton for his shortcomings as the leader of Canada’s armed forces4. The subsequent year, Robinson and Dalgleish founded “NEWS”, an independent newspaper3. NEWS would run from 1941-1946 and would serve as a platform for Judith to continue to her unadulterated attacks on Canadian politicians3. This OMEKA project will evaluate the conception of the Calling Canada and NEWS. Furthermore, it will examine the trials and tribulations that Judith Robinson endured for speaking out against the Canadian political establishment.