The profligate province: Roderick Haig-Brown and the modernizing of British Columbia

TitleThe profligate province: Roderick Haig-Brown and the modernizing of British Columbia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsKeeling, A, McDonald, RAJ
JournalJOURNAL OF CANADIAN STUDIES-REVUE D ETUDES CANADIENNES
Volume36
Pagination7-23
ISBN Number0021-9495
Keywords20th century, Canada, Economic development, History, HUMANITIES, Modernization, MULTIDISCIPLINARY, POLITICS, Writers
Abstract

After the Second World War, British Columbia experienced a period of rapid expansion and modernization, when politicians and the public alike brimmed with optimism about the prosperity and luxury to be harvested from the province's bountiful resource hinterland. Amidst the panegyrical promise of development, few voices, either left or right, questioned the ideology of progress, and historians intrinsically link the period with capitalist growth and modernization. by contrast, the British-born popular writer, magistrate and conservationist Roderick Haig-Brown articulated a different vision of British Columbia, one that questioned the modernist project in its cultural nad physical manifestations. Haig-Brown was not an anti-modernist, but his critique, particularly through his conservation messages, promoted the values of civility, tolerance and respect for community and nature. The configuration fo modern ideas int he thought of Haig-Brown tempers the notion of a hegemonic, universal modernity and supports the idea of 'multiple modernities'.