Thursday, March 20, 2014

Heather Robertson 1942-2014 RIP

Heather Robertson probably thought of herself as writer or journalist more than historian, but a lot of her subject matter was history. And the Robertson v Thomson class action she led made history itself. Her friend and colleague Elaine Dewar:
Canadian writer Heather Robertson passed away this morning on her 72nd birthday.She was an early bestselling author of Canadian non fiction books (Reservations Are for Indians and Salt of the Earth are two early works that found large audiences.) Early in her career she was a very well read and controversial columnist for Maclean's, as well as a writer of well reported and beautifully written feature stories for most of the magazines in the country.   She was also a co-founder of various writers' organizations including the Periodical Writers' Association of Canada, and The Writers' Union of Canada, and helped talk the Canada Council into recognizing non fiction writing as an art form. Most recently Heather was lead plaintiff in two electronic rights class actions, the first of which clarified who owns the electronic rights to freelance works appearing in newspapers and periodicals.  Robertson 1 as it is called went all the way to the Supreme Court and then was settled, to the great benefit of Canadian periodical writers, as was Robertson II.  Her career spans a very interesting period in this country and her writing changed the way we think about ourselves.

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