John Foster

Interview with John Foster conducted by Ruth Belay

27 February 2020 | A2020-0010/014S | Transcript (PDF)

Interview description

John Foster, Sessional Lecturer in International Studies and Justice Studies at the University of Regina, formerly in interdisciplinary studies, Carleton University, completed his graduate studies at the University of Toronto in the late 1960s (M.A., 1973, Ph.D. 1977). In his interview, Foster comments on how the growing social consciousness of the era shaped student organizing, protest movements, and interest in cooperative models. He discusses his early experiences with student activism both in Saskatchewan and Toronto, including with the Student Union for Peace Action (SUPA) and the Christian youth movement.

The interview focuses on his involvement in the establishment of accessible and affordable childcare at U of T that provided students and working parents with the necessary supports to pursue their education. Foster connects the founding of the Campus Community Cooperative Daycare Centre to the women’s movement, as well as with new and developing ideas around early childhood education. For example, the cooperative approach used at the daycare was challenged by the provincial government’s daycare branch who were critical of the model. Foster recalls key moments in the Cooperative’s history, including the sit-in at Simcoe Hall and occupation of 12 Sussex Ave., the second centre on Devonshire Place, his personal experiences as a parent-volunteer, and the coordination of member’s contributions to the collective.

Note: This interview was recorded remotely on a video call. This has affected the audio quality in some areas.

 

Organizations

  • Campus Community Cooperative Daycare Centre
  • Student Union for Peace Action (SUPA)
  • United Church of Canada
  • Student Administrative Council (SAC)

Subject Topics

  • Child care
  • Early childhood education
  • Cooperatives and collective models
  • Peace movement
  • Women’s movement
  • Institutional response
  • Community engagement
  • Institutional response
 

Citation: University of Toronto Archives. Oral History Collection on Student Activism. Oral history interview with John Foster conducted by Ruth Belay, 27 February 2020. A2020-0010/014S.