Thomas Robert Edward MacInnes (né McInnes) (October 29, 1867 — February 11, 1951) was a Canadian poet and writer whose writings ranged from "vigorous, slangy recollections of the Yukon gold rush" (Lonesome Bar, 1909) to "a translation of and commentary on Lao-tzu’s philosophy" (The Teaching of the Old Boy, 1927). His narrative verse was highly popular in his lifetime.


He was born Thomas Robert Edward McInnes in Dresden, Ontario. He moved to New Westminster with his family in 1874, and grew up there. His father, Thomas Robert McInnes, served in the Canadian Senate from 1881 to 1897, and as Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia from 1897 until 1900. Tom MacInnes was educated at University College, Toronto, graduating with a B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1887. Tom MacInnes studied law at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Ontario, and was called to the bar in 1893. McInnes served as secretary to the Bering Sea Claims Commission in 1896 and 1897, and for part of 1897 was a member of the Yukon special police and customs force at Skagway. He acted as private secretary to his father, the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, from 1898 until 1900 (when the elder McInnes was dismissed from the office).He was still spelling his surname "McInnes" as of 1916. MacInnes spent long periods in China, where he had business interests, between 1916 and 1927. One source says that he "returned to Canada with a lifelong hatred of Communists and Chinese."

MacInnes wrote a series of articles on his Chinese experiences, published in 1926 in the Vancouver Morning Star and Vancouver Province, that became the basis of his 1927 book, Oriental Occupation of British Columbia. According to more than one sources, the book proposes that British Columbia adopt apartheid-like policies in dealing with what MacInnes perceived to be an undesirable influx of Chinese immigrants. Another source, though, calls Oriental Occupation... "a pamphlet," says that MacInnes had "developed a sympathy for Orientals living in British Columbia," and says that the pamphlet reflects his "views of British Columbia prejudice" against Orientals. In Vancouver, MacInnes joined the Canadian Union of Fascists.He became a leading activist in the fascist scene, founding the Nationalist League of Canada.

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