Whitewashing history

It never ceases to amaze me how the left continue to defy common sense. For years the left have criticized the Canadian government for implementing American policy. They are doing the same thing now in the aftermath of the rally and protests in Charlottesville Virginia.
They seem to think that by removing the evidence of statues it will remove the incentive for these misguided zealots to continue to fight for their cause.
The left, especially in Ontario, want to emulate what is going on in the US by removing the names of some of our historical figures that implemented polices that in hind sight were mistakes.
The teacher’s union in Ontario wants to remove the name of Sir John A. MacDonald from schools in that province.
Removing his name from a school will not change what he did or didn’t do. The students attending those schools need to know why the school was named after him in the first place.
They should be taught that if it were not for MacDonald, Canada would not exist as a country today. It would be part of the USA.
There were strong forces in the United States that were trying to have what are now the provinces of Ontario and Quebec annexed to the US. That movement was part of the reason for the war of 1812.
Sir John A. MacDonald understood that by having the colonies unite into one entity, Canada could exist as a separate country.
Under his leadership the British North America Act that created the Dominion Canada was passed by the British Parliament in 1967.
It was his vision that eventually put the rest of what is now Canada together. The real key was to have British Columbia become part of Canada.
For that to happen there had to be a railroad built to connect BC to the rest of the country.
It took many years to overcome the difficulties of achieving that objective but it was finally achieved in 1885.
The other major problem for Canada at that time was what to do about the original inhabitants of this vast area especially in the prairies.
At that time it was thought that if there was a way to have them integrate into the rest of the then Canadian society, the problem would go away.
It was thought that if the children were taken away from their parents and sent to residential schools and indoctrinated into the Canadian culture of the time, the problem would solve itself in a generation or two.
Well, that didn’t happen.
We know now, that the residential school policy of the day was a huge mistake. It did not achieve that objective as those policies of managing indigenous people still treated them as second class citizens.
One hundred and fifty years later nothing has changed as they are still treated as second class citizens. Successive governments have continued to manage the indigenous people with paternalistic polices. That will never change until they are given full property rights and take equal responsibility for their welfare.
Removing the names of historical leaders such as MacDonald, Langevin and Cornwallis, who were involved in implementing the residential school policy, will not change anything.
That was then and this is now.
Governments have always implemented policy that ended up being disastrous.
A good example is Pierre Trudeau’s 1981 National Energy Program.
Trying to whitewash history is stupid. We need to learn from history or it will be repeated.
Removing the names of controversial historical leaders from infrastructure such as schools, bridges etc. denies us the opportunity to learn from the past.
The left have this strange idea that by whitewashing history, issues that they disagree with will not happen again.

by Herman Schwenk

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