O'HARA, Jane




Author Tags: Humour, Labour

Jane O'Hara, as a transplanted Ontario journalist, worked as a Toronto Sun sportswriter and an Bureau Chief for Maclean's magazine in New York and Vancouver. She edited a lightweight compendium of satire, British Columbia: A Lampoon (D&M, 1986) and co-authored the memoirs of union leader Jack Munro for Union Jack (D&M, 1988), a profile of the 16-year president of the International Woodworkers of America in B.C. who was accused by other labour leaders of selling out the province's union movement by derailing the Operation Solidarity movement in 1983. For his part, Munro claims he was forced to make concessions when he went to Premier Bill Bennett's home in Kelowna. "I was left to face [Norman] Spector and [Bill] Bennett alone," he wrote. "Bennett was acting like a premier who had really been challenged. He didn't care about a bunch of working people telling him he couldn't do what he wanted. But I think we both understood the seriousness of it. It wasn't the type of situation where either party could screw up. It was do or die. My decision was to salvage what we could. I think that if we hadn't stopped Solidarity, it would have set the trade union movement back 20 years. They would have smashed us if we'd collapsed--and there's little doubt we would have collapsed." Those who contend that it was Munro who blinked can point to the erosion of unionism in British Columbia ever since Munro chose to declare a truce with Bennett.

While living in Ottawa, Jane O'Hara co-wrote Marjorie Nichols' Mark My Words: The Memoirs of a Very Political Reporter (D&M 1992). [See Marjorie Nichols]

[BCBW 2004]