It’s time new and old Canadians truly own our history

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Pradip Rodrigues

A recent poll from the Association for Canadian Studies that found Canadians take pride in their present day rather than Canada’s history is really not surprising at all. The online poll found that 73 per cent of respondents see universal health care as a very important source of personal or collective Canadian pride, while 70 per cent are proud of their Canadian passport. The Canadian flag takes the number three spot on the list of symbols of pride, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom comes fourth.

The left would have you believe that we came to this point only due to the work put in by modern day individuals and politicians with a progressive agenda while those past were evil backward men mostly who contributed nothing to Canada.

How can Canadians and new Canadians in particular be expected to respect and be proud of Canadian history when our children in school are taught that the early settlers were downright evil racists who destroyed the Indigenous people and stole their land?

Only last month, the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), commissioned by the Liberal government in response to the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, in its final report concluded that there are “serious reasons to believe that Canada’s past and current policies, omissions, and actions towards First Nations Peoples, Inuit and Métis amount to genocide, in breach of Canada’s international obligations, triggering its responsibility under international law.”

So now Canada joins the ranks of countries like Rwanda and Bosnia that carry the dark stain of genocide. This is the history revisionists want you to know, believe and own. No wonder Canadians are embarrassed by its history and repelled by it.

Over the last few years there has been an effort to erase the names of Canadian icons and historical figures for things we now find offensive.

Canada’s first Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald has been vilified by social justice warriors who’ve defaced his statues across the country. Macdonald image was removed from the $10 bills that are common currency for Canadians who still carry paper money. This is a case of casting 21st Century judgment on 19th Century leaders’ actions. Critics point to Macdonald’s government treating different groups while building our railway or quashing Prairie rebellions as reason to erase his name from Canadian history. Given that our current government has difficulty getting oil and gas pipelines built, it is quite possible that if we had the kind of roadblocks in place, nothing would ever be built least of all a railway system or a country for that matter, in fact Canada would be little more than one giant conservation park. There would be few immigrants interested in immigrating to a country with no real economy to talk about, leave alone the cherished health care we Canadians love. We would certainly not be one of the richest nations on earth that affords its citizens a great standard of living. Our earlier settlers and leaders made decisions and took actions we now see as disappointing which made Canada possible. They provided the building blocks though no one seems to want to accept that anymore.

Another icon that is loathed today is the founder of Halifax Edward Cornwallis. His bronze statue which stood for 87 years came down a couple of years ago. It was over Cornwallis’s so-called scalping proclamation that offered a cash bounty to anyone who killed a Mi’kmaw person. Sure, it sounds really awful without the background and history, unfortunately, millions of Canadians now conclude that Cornwallis was a terrible person without knowing the history of the time.

And then you have our PM Justin Trudeau who has built quite the reputation for apologizing for Canada’s historical mistakes. The Komagata Maru incident has been flogged to death and the only reasons many South Asians insist on never forgetting or letting Canada’s guilt-ridden Whites forget it to be able to leverage political and economical advantage.

New Canadians are bewildered to learn about Canada’s racist and genocidal history so how on earth are they to feel proud of Canada? No wonder they gravitate back to learn about the histories of the countries they left behind, histories that often gloss over inconvenient truths.

The problem is that the guilt-ridden white man in the western world has his back against the wall. As the number of Caucasians dwindle, they seem to be bending backwards in order to appease the new majorities or the ethnicities that are poised to assume control over the levers of power in the decades to come.

Whites in Canada and elsewhere will soon be like whites in South Africa who are increasingly marginalized, outnumbered and outwitted.

With so much of Canadian history being viewed as simply awful it is no surprise Canadians both new and old would rather dwell upon our cherished ‘free’ healthcare, Canadian Charter of Rights which new Canadians in particular make full use of and our current crop of leaders who never tire of reminding all that Canada is a multicultural paradise. How we got to this happy place and how we actually became a country is all part of a history which we are schooled to question and despise.

The history of every country on earth has a dark side which often gets white-washed in the history books. History books in many countries including India often gloss over parts that would cast the country in a bad light. To truly get to the truth, only historians and others with that bent of mind would have to take a deep dive into the history books. In Canada we are doing quite the opposite by focusing on the bad parts and erasing or glossing over anything positive that was done. Padma Bhushan and Padma Shree awardee art historian and critic, BN Goswamy said: ‘A country without a history is like a man without memory.” How true!

No wonder many new immigrants feel contemptuous about Canadian history and gravitate toward their own history and bring to this land that baggage. -CINEWS

 

 

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