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Lukijoiden mielipiteitä
Hintoja ilmoittelusta
Vapaassa Sanassa julkaistuja toimittajien kolumneja. Keväällä 2009 kolumneja on kirjoittanut Aku Karjalainen.

Toronto uudelle?
Mitä kaupungin perinteinen suomalaiskenttä voi tarjota tulokkaalle? Kaupungin "vanhat suomalaiset" varmasti yllättävät nykysuomalaisen, mutta kokemus voi olla kiinnostavakin.

Meille töihin?
Vapaa Sana ottaa vastaan Suomesta Centre for International Mobilityn kautta harjoittelijoita. Monikulttuurinen Toronto ja sen mediakenttä ovat todennäköisesti mielenkiintoinen kokemus. Muuhun palkkaamiseen VS:llä ei ole taloudellisia mahdollisuuksia. Hakemukset hoitaa CIMO Helsingissä. Lue tästä mitä Vapaa Sana edellyttää.

Mikä ihmeen Vapaa Sana?

Vapaa Sana on riippumaton viikkosanomalehti, joka ilmestyy kerran viikossa Torontossa. Lehden nimi periytyy 1930-luvulta.

Nimi johtaa joskus lehteä tuntemattoman pitämään Vapaata Sanaa ns hengellisenä lehtenä. Sitä se ei kuitenkaan ole.

Näillä sivuilla tarjoamme poimintoja sisällöstä, emme koko aineistoa. Vapaa Sana on tilauspohjainen lehti. Vuosikerta maksaa Kanadassa 100 dollaria ja GST-veron, nopeammin kirjepostina 150 dollaria.Tilaukset numeroon 1(416) 321 0808, klo 10-13 Toronton aikaa arkisin.


Kustannusyhtiö Vapaa Sana Press julkaisee viikkosanomalehtiä Vapaa Sana (Toronto) ja Canadan Sanomat (Thunder Bay). Yhtiön internetsivustot ovat, ja

Yhtiön omistajapohja käsittää toistakymmentätuhatta kanadansuomalaista.

Kyselyjen johdosta ilmoitamme, että internetosoite ei liity tämän kustannusyhtiön toimintaan.


Kesällä 2008 ilmestyi Lauri Toiviasen kirja Vapaan Sanan vaiheista. Tämän linkin takana voitte lukea myös VS:n 75-vuotisjuhlanumeron reportaaseja ja haastatteluja.



Man of conviction
-Jules Paivio is an unwavering left-winger, academic
and Spanish civil war veteran

Jules Paivio has throughout his life been a believer in human ability to change the world for the better. He is also the kind of man that follows his convictions as opposed to just talking about them. As a young man Paivio left home to fight in the Spanish civil war. It was a war that attracted a large number of volunteers from other countries to defend Spain against fascism. He has also been actively involved with leftwing causes and he is a long time peace activist.
“I’ve been an activist since I was seven”, Paivio states.
Now, approaching 90, Paivio is still very much a man of conviction. A lifelong leftist he now lives in Finlandia Village in Sudbury where he, with a former university professor’s patience, answers the Vapaa Sana journalist’s questions about his experiences and thoughts about his time in Spain and his life in Canada.

Finnish-Canadian freedom fighter
“I’ve always had difficulties explaining that”, Jules Paivio says when I ask him why he in 1936, as a 19-year old lad, decided to leave his home and volunteer to fight in the Spanish civil war. He seems to sense that for someone of my generation, volunteering in other people’s war is a concept that is hard to grasp. Paivio explains that he grew up in a leftwing home as a son of a well-known leftwing Finnish-Canadian poet and newspaperman.
“I was an antifascist and I read a lot of leftwing literature -Vapaus newspaper for example”. He tells that when he saw what was happening in Spain –a democratically elected government being challenged by fascist insurrection- he couldn’t just ignore it. The newsreels of the Madrid bombings had touched Paivio deeply.
So when Paivio heard that couple of his friends had left for Spain he realized that he actually had a chance to make a difference.
“I thought here was something I could do that was worthwhile”.
Around 1500 Canadians went to Spain in spite of Canadian laws against volunteering. Of those Canadians a disproportionately large number were of Finnish origin. According to Finnish author Jyrki Juusela 225 Finns in total fought in the war and of these over 70 were Finnish-Canadians. Paivio joined the Canadian Mackenzie-Papineau battalion, which was formed in 1937 after having served a while in an American battalion. Both battalions were part of the famous International Brigades that consisted of 40,000 foreign volunteers.
“Fighting fascism was the main reason for going to Spain”, Paivio explains. This was the uniting factor among volunteers who came from all walks of life and from all over Europe and North America. There were for example quite a few American Jews fighting on Paivio’s republican side. Most volunteers also held leftwing views.
“Probably most of the volunteers were leftwing”, Paivio says. There were also the
odd adventurer and people who wanted to escape their lives back home.
“There was for example this interesting French-Canadian guy from Montreal”, Paivio chuckles.
“He had robbed a bank and the reason he was in Spain was because things back home had got kind of hot”.
Paivio claims that the experience didn’t change him at all. “I matured but I didn’t change as a person”, he states. On the contrary, he says his beliefs were strengthened by his experience.
“My belief in the threats of Nazism and fascism were heightened”. As it turned out, the Spanish civil war became a prologue for the Second World War that began in 1939.
The Canadian government did not welcome the Canadian volunteers when they came back from Spain in 1939.
“When we came back we were criminals”, Paivio says. When the Second World War got started Paivio nonetheless joined the Canadian army. He, a Spanish civil war veteran and a left-winger, wasn’t allowed to go overseas, however.
“I was under surveillance from central intelligence from Ottawa”. So instead of continuing his fighting career in Europe he taught map reading to soldiers in Canada. The Canadian government never prosecuted the Canadian civil war veterans but until recently it had refused to officially recognize them.

Activist and academic

After the war Paivio pursued studies in architecture and later became a professor at Ryerson University in Toronto. Education was important for Paivio who says that without it he would have felt “left out”. Paivio enjoyed the academic environment and the open attitude at Ryerson. “They for example asked me whether I could tell the students about my experiences in Spain. –I was well received there”. He also enjoyed teaching at the university.
“I’m an educator at heart,” Paivio, who taught architecture for 21 years, says.
Paivio’s activist spirit has not subdued over the years. He has been actively involved in the Veterans Against Nuclear Arms (VANA) and the peace movement in general. His latest involvement in VANA-related activities was a participation in a documentary video project as an interviewee. The video is about the Veterans’ experiences and convictions and it is shown at the World Peace Forum in Vancouver on June 23-28.
“Citizen involvement is something close to my heart”, he states, not surprisingly. When asked whether he would be an activist today if he were 19 years old again one gets a unhesitating answer:
“Oh, I would definitely be an activist!”.
When talking to Paivio it becomes clear that he is a man who enjoys good discussions and is prepared to exchange views also with people who hold opposite views. As an academic he prefers a well-argumented gentlemen’s discussion to a heated debate, however.
“I find some fellow left-wingers attitude kind of confrontational”, he says. For example when people tried to get a monument in Ottawa, BC and Ontario for the “Macpaps”, i.e. people who served in the Mckenzie-Papineau battalion, they sought confrontation with their demands, he explains.
“Who is going to listen to you if you behave like that?” he asks. Paivio himself favours a more constructive approach.
“If you are honest and willing to discuss and see the other side of the issue people will respect you”, he states.
“That’s been my experience”.

Virpi Oinonen text and photo




Jules Paivio was born near Port Arthur (Thunder Bay) to a Finnish leftwing family.

Young Jules Paivio.

Jules Paivio's father, Aku Paivio, a wellknown Finnish Canadian poet, wrote a poem to “My Son in Spain.” Here is an excerpt:

A hard firm handshake, yet
You disappear into the wintry darkness
I slowly into the cabin stagger,
Such contradictory emotion seethe through me
Now depressing me, then again
such elation.
Pride in a son, who does not fear
Who wants to fight for right.
That feeling strengthens, inspires me.
A son’s loss, a life so young...

Spanish civil war republican propaganda poster featuring the International Brigades. The text reads : “Internationals, united with the Spanish people, we fight the invader”.