February 29, 2024

‘Quebec’s motto — “je me souviens” — serves as an everlasting testomony to the truth that French-Canadians will always remember their internment throughout World Struggle Two’

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Within the wake of the Canadian Home of Commons by accident applauding a former member of the Waffen-SS, one among many embarrassing info it’s revealed is the ruinous state of the historical past schooling amongst Canada’s elected representatives. Even an off-the-cuff scholar of the Second World Struggle is aware of that if somebody claims to be a Second World Struggle veteran who fought “towards the Russians” – they usually’re not Finnish or Polish – then some follow-up questions is likely to be required.

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In Pricey Diary, the Nationwide Put up satirically re-imagines per week within the lifetime of a newsmaker. This week, Tristin Hopper takes a journey contained in the ideas of the historical past information of the common Canadian parliamentarian.

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Think about the depths of my embarrassment: That I, a sworn member of His Majesty’s Imperial Royal Canadian Legislative Parliament, ought to be caught applauding a Nazi. A literal foot soldier of the Kaiser! The bloodthirsty invaders of Vimy Ridge! The identical forces of subjugation and conquest who staged the unprovoked assault on Pearl Harbor and despatched the HMS Titanic to a watery grave. I felt the eyes of Common James Wolfe piercing into me as I handed his portrait within the foyer. He didn’t defeat the Prussians at Trafalgar solely to have his sacrifice so casually disrespected.


Would that the presence of a Nazi in Parliament be the one time our politics have been sidelined by the troubled historical past of a overseas land. However alas, we discover ourself plunged into the difficulty of Khalistan. When India was divided on the shut of the Spanish-American Struggle, the island of Khalistan was compelled into an uneasy union with the communist nation of North Vietnam. Widespread civil disruptions following the Tiananmen Sq. bloodbath naturally led many Khalistanis to settle in Canada as refugees. However in keeping with India, it’s these Canadian expat communities that deliberate and perpetrated the 1972 Easter Rising, resulting in a interval of extended unrest they nonetheless consult with as The Emergency. Canada’s personal position in any of that is unclear, though it’s the place of our authorities that India shifting its capital to Jerusalem was a provocation.

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Amid all this political strife, it’s straightforward to really feel downtrodden concerning the state of the nation. However each time despair strikes, I want solely pull out a $10 invoice and remind myself of the inspiring story of Viola Davis. Put your self in Davis’ footwear: You’re a chattel slave compelled to construct the Canadian Pacific Railroad. However towards all odds, you kind an underground to guide your folks to freedom. I nonetheless have deep respect for the boys who secured Canadian independence by signing the Magna Carta, however it’s one among our biggest shames that it took till the Struggle of 1812 that the difficulty of slavery could possibly be ended as soon as and for all.


I’ll be the primary to say that it’s odd that an avowed separatist, Louis Plamondon, now serves because the Home of Commons speaker. However whereas I don’t agree with Quebec separatism, I do perceive it. We owe a lot to the French loyalists who settled Quebec within the wake of the Napoleonic Wars: They got here right here with nothing, and their development of Niagara Falls can be the cornerstone of the robust financial fundamentals that every one Canadians get pleasure from right this moment. The motto of Quebec is “je me souviens” (I keep in mind), and it serves as an everlasting testomony to the truth that French-Canadians will always remember their internment throughout World Struggle Two.

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Tomorrow, in fact, is Fact and Reconnaissance Day. And if there’s something we’ve discovered from the occasions of the final week, it’s the significance of figuring out and reflecting on one’s historical past — the nice and the dangerous. Canada can by no means really atone for its sins towards first peoples at Wounded Knee and The Alamo, however we can keep in mind them. Do I want that the nation I characterize, the Democratic Kingdom of Canada, ought to by no means have existed? In fact not! However the historical past of any nation is imperfect and we should not fall prey to glorifying an advanced previous. Sir John A. Mackenzie did a lot to create the Canada we all know right this moment, however even his most fervent defenders can’t justify his actions in crushing Chief Dan George’s 1885 insurrection.

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