The Beaverton sinks satirical teeth into Canada's past

A new book by the team behind The Beaverton reimagines Canada's history — even the darker parts — through a sly, satirical lens.

New book reimagines country's sometimes turbulent history through sly lens

The Beaverton's new book takes a satirical look at Canada's history, including the darker bits. (Alistair Steele/CBC)

Browsing the headlines these days, it's difficult to know whether to laugh or cry. The Beaverton would like you to laugh, even when the topic's not exactly funny.

The Beaverton began as a satirical newspaper in Kingston, Ont., in 2010, and has since grown into a weekly newscast broadcasting funny takes on real current events. 

"Italy didn't qualify for the World Cup because you're too skinny, claims Nonna" was one recent headline.

Now a new book, Glorious and/or Free: The T̶r̶u̶e̶ History of Canada, reimagines the history of the country through The Beaverton team's sly lens.

No topic off limits

"We have a lot to say about Canada's history," co-author Alex Huntley told CBC Radio's All in a Day. "I think many Canadians are smug about their Canadian history, or just plain ignorant of it."

Many satirical publications steer clear of darker topics, he said, but not The Beaverton.

"We often go to places other satirists don't want to go," Huntley said. "The serious point we're trying to make with our satire is … addressing our serious history."

Some of book's edgier headlines tackle include "Loyalist fleeing oppression, abuse brings slave with him to Canada," "Lazy eight-year-old still has no job," "Race rioter mortified after using Chinese slur on Japanese immigrant" and "Coat hanger industry decries Morgentaler's Supreme Court victory."

With files from CBC Radio's All in a Day