Tom gives a thumbs up on book reviews

Two authors, two books worth the read

New book from Catherine Nolin. (Submitted photo)

New book from Catherine Nolin. (Submitted photo)

A few months back in the spring, I got a notice from the Smithers Public Library that a book reading would take place on Tuesday. This is one of the benefits of moving to town. You are able to attend many of the city functions by riding your bike rather than driving your truck into town more than once a day.

This particular event included two speakers, Roy Henry Vickers promoting his children’s book A is for Anemone, and Catherine Nolin speaking on her book, Testimonio.

What an interesting evening as Roy spoke on growing up in Hazelton, his family and many of his experiences good and bad, as he grew to become a famous artist with a very successful studio/ gallery in Tofino.

Roy was very entertaining and a polished speaker treating his audience to several parables and quotations, a true story teller. I liked the line from his mother that went something like “now you have achieved success; the next journey is giving back.”

Next on the evening agenda was Catherine Nolin.

She is a Professor of Geography and Chair of the Department of Geography Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Northern B.C. in Prince George. Catherine is a long time researcher and social justice advocate who has been grappling with allegations of Guatemalan genocides from Canadian mining corporations for 25 years. She has co-authored her book with Grahame Russell, a non-practising lawyer and a professor in the geography program at UNBC since 1995.

These two speakers, Catherine and Roy, could be from different parallel universes but somehow their stories intersected.

Listening to Catherine I admit I was abit shocked and taken aback. She chronicled serious allegations stemming from household acceptable mining companies like Inco, Goldcorp, and Hudbay Minerals. Seems our reputable corporations are deeply entrenched in violence, corruption, human rights violations and illegal land dispossession.

Oddly enough the driving forces behind these harms are international stock markets, investors and the Canadian government. Needless to say, I purchased her book and have been struggling to process the situations outlined throughout each chapter.

There is a legal proceeding still active in Toronto courts attempting to convict Hudbay Minerals on rape, human rights abuses and environmental damages.

This book, Testimonio, was due to be printed in 2020 but the publisher declined, citing third party influence. Fortunately BTL, Between the Lines editorial committee was able to publish.

This is a definite read and will help you to understand that even our Canada Pension Plan has made us complicit by investing in these corporations.

Send me your book review and we can debate the situation. Call 250-877-1806 or email