Author Topic: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage  (Read 35766 times)

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Offline Canadian.Trucker

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http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/06/14/f-sunday-edition-government-history.html

Was reading through cbc.ca (something I try to not do a regular basis anymore as it grates on me), but I found this article interesting as I did not know the Federal Government was doing a review of Canadian history.

I do agree with the statement in the article "whereas trained historians ask questions about the past" when focusing on the research of history, I wholeheartedly disagree with the cries that are coming out of the article that there is too much of a focus being placed on Canada's military past.  For almost our entire history the role of the Canadian military seems to be downplayed and not celebrated with significant earnest because we didn't want to be viewed as "war mongering" or any other buzzwordical nonsense. (yes, I did just make up a word)

We should be proud of our achievements and if that means honest truth about the accomplishments that were done during war time, and the subsequent effects on our Nation come to light then I'm all for it.  I don't believe that the review should be only military in nature, but I for one feel that our military accomplishments are not well known beyond the military community.
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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2013, 12:20:38 »
The first few comments with the CBC story were enough to ruin my day. More importantly, for the past few decades history had been moving away from leaders and events and emphasiing social history. This could also have been said to have caused the boom in victims' studies. From my point of view there is nothing wrong for questioning this approach, which after all grew out of discomfort with the traditional point of view.

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2013, 12:32:35 »
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/06/14/f-sunday-edition-government-history.html

Was reading through cbc.ca (something I try to not do a regular basis anymore as it grates on me), but I found this article interesting as I did not know the Federal Government was doing a review of Canadian history.

I do agree with the statement in the article "whereas trained historians ask questions about the past" when focusing on the research of history, I wholeheartedly disagree with the cries that are coming out of the article that there is too much of a focus being placed on Canada's military past.  For almost our entire history the role of the Canadian military seems to be downplayed and not celebrated with significant earnest because we didn't want to be viewed as "war mongering" or any other buzzwordical nonsense. (yes, I did just make up a word)

We should be proud of our achievements and if that means honest truth about the accomplishments that were done during war time, and the subsequent effects on our Nation come to light then I'm all for it.  I don't believe that the review should be only military in nature, but I for one feel that our military accomplishments are not well known beyond the military community.


History is all about asking questions but, as Margaret MacMillan has pointed out it is also about facts and order - facts matter, even when they are uncomfortable - and the order of events matters, too. For example: Canada's naval and military performance in World War II were not always "glorious." The RCN was poorly trained, badly equipped and, with a handful of exceptions, not very well led. The Canadian Army suffered from similar problems. Those are facts; another "fact" is that Canada slashed and burned its national defences in the 1930s because, quite simply, the Great Depression was a far, far greater and much more immediate problem than was the rise of fascism; a final fact is that we, a small nation of only 12 million souls, put over 1 million of them - mostly men aged 18-35 - into uniform. That we had leadership and management and equipment problems is hardly surprising. The historical lessons might be harder to remember.

In my experience the "military community" is not well informed about our military history. We are, mostly, well schooled in our regiment's, our corps' or branch's or our service's version of its slice of history but that's a far cry from what one gleans when reading the full historical record.

History is, also, always biased. I don't care how ancient it might be. Herotodus had his biases, ditto Tacitus, the Venerable Bede and Harold Innes; so do Niall Ferguson, Margaret MacMillan and Jack Granatstein. I am biased and my biases extend to what and even how I read.

Finally all history is always revisionist, we cannot change history be we can, and constantly do reinterpret (revise) it.


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Offline UnwiseCritic

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2013, 12:49:48 »
CBC ruined my day twice now.

Having not been out of school for too long now. There was not a huge emphasis on our combatant military history. We really focused on Trudeau and peacekeeping. For some reason they (teachers) have this idea that Canada has a long and lasting "history" of peacekeeping. We did touch on WW1 and WW2. And a little on upper and lower Canada.
As for the war of 1812, where would we be if we lost?
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Offline Canadian.Trucker

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2013, 12:56:54 »

History is all about asking questions but, as Margaret MacMillan has pointed out it is also about facts and order - facts matter, even when they are uncomfortable - and the order of events matters, too. For example: Canada's naval and military performance in World War II were not always "glorious." The RCN was poorly trained, badly equipped and, with a handful of exceptions, not very well led. The Canadian Army suffered from similar problems. Those are facts; another "fact" is that Canada slashed and burned its national defences in the 1930s because, quite simply, the Great Depression was a far, far greater and much more immediate problem than was the rise of fascism; a final fact is that we, a small nation of only 12 million souls, put over 1 million of them - mostly men aged 18-35 - into uniform. That we had leadership and management and equipment problems is hardly surprising. The historical lessons might be harder to remember.

In my experience the "military community" is not well informed about our military history. We are, mostly, well schooled in our regiment's, our corps' or branch's or our service's version of its slice of history but that's a far cry from what one gleans when reading the full historical record.

History is, also, always biased. I don't care how ancient it might be. Herotodus had his biases, ditto Tacitus, the Venerable Bede and Harold Innes; so do Niall Ferguson, Margaret MacMillan and Jack Granatstein. I am biased and my biases extend to what and even how I read.

Finally all history is always revisionist, we cannot change history be we can, and constantly do reinterpret (revise) it.
Agreed, so why not tell the truth no matter how difficult it may be regardless of if it was glorious or not.  Sometimes the best lessons learned are from failure and not achievement.  The old adage "if we don't learn from history we're doomed to repeat it comes to mind".  And while we as a military community might not be well informed, we're still ahead of the game when it comes to the general public.  I too have a bias, everyone does, but knowledge is knowledge so why not include more of it for the benefit of all.

CBC ruined my day twice now.

Having not been out of school for too long now. There was not a huge emphasis on our combatant military history. We really focused on Trudeau and peacekeeping. For some reason they (teachers) have this idea that Canada has a long and lasting "history" of peacekeeping. We did touch on WW1 and WW2. And a little on upper and lower Canada.
As for the war of 1812, where would we be if we lost?
The same can be said of my history lessons in school.  As for where we would be, I think we all know the answer to that, singing the Star Spangled Banner vice Oh Canada.
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Offline Staff Weenie

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2013, 13:27:53 »
Old Sweat - These days, I actually prefer many aspects of social history.  I can, if needs be, find out the key names, dates, places, and factors involved in an event such as a battle.  What I like to read now, are books that are more focused on the participants, their thoughts and perceptions, etc.  I've been able to find a number of books compiled from diaries and letters, etc, from WWI and WWII soldiers/sailors/aircrew. It rounds out the picture for me.

My concern, is when social historians attempt to apply blame to my generation for events that are far in the past.

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2013, 13:43:15 »
Indeed, and personal accounts help bring the dryness of the official record to life. One methodology, however, cannot stand alone. I was once asked to comment on a draft regimental history made up of transcritps of "oral" accounts only. It was impossible to put it in any sort of context and even to follow the campaign. When I suggested to the author that the apporach was not working, he got most annoyed and that, fortunately for all concerned, was that.

In a piece I did on the Boer War back in the nineties, I cautioned the reader to avoid judging the Canadians who fought in South Africa by today's social standards. I wrote something along the lines of "Most believed anyone who was not a white male, English speaking citizen of the British Empire to be an inferior being, and that was probably among the more liberal of their attitudes." And to be brutally frank, the Canadians had far from the reddest necks on the veldt.

Offline Danjanou

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2013, 15:36:06 »
Well there's 10 minutes of my life I'll never get back.  The PCs are trying to change something and the CBC is agin it and manages to trot out a talking head from Patrice Lumumba oops sorry York University to rile up the masses with thier laptops in Starbucks to flood the information superhighway with poorly written, mundane, self righteous "sky is falling" comments. In other breaking news the sun will set in the west this evening and rise tomorrow in the east. If for some reason it fails to, blame Harper.   ::)
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2013, 19:49:18 »
Edward is right about hstory constantly being "revised".

I have an interesting book about the Gettysburg campaign in my library (The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command by Edwin B. Coddington), which was written before social history was in vouge. Comparing it to more "modern" studies you would have a hard time recognizing this is the same battle.

An amusing side note about bias; I also have books by Strome Galloway and Farly Mowatt in the library, covering the same period of history. Once again, reading accounts of the same battle by the two authors are difficult to reconcile as the same event. Galloway would describe an action by saying "The Hasty P's tried a right flanking, but were held up until the RCR made a bold frontal assault and saved the day" while Mowatt would say "The RCR attempted a frontal, but were stopped by heavy fire until the Hasty P's made a daring flanking and saved the day..."

I have personally seen heads spin when I gave talks in my daughter's school about my experiences abroad; very little of my experience was "peacekeeping" yet decades after the fact that is still the meme that teachers and students know and accept.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline UnwiseCritic

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2013, 21:14:45 »
If only schools would bring in guest speakers.

Eg Someone who served in a "peacekeeping" role in say bosnia. Come to the school and give a personal account. I'm sure there's plenty of current ex or serving members who are intelligent enough to talk to a highschool class. History/social studies would be more entertaining and personal. Though somehow the program would have to keep the journalists out.

Then again schools don't like teaching the truth. I think my teachers enjoyed indoctrinating students to advance their own agendas.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 21:18:26 by UnwiseCritic »
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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2013, 21:23:11 »
Please don't blame schools, much less individual teachers. The curriculum is set by educrats in each provincial capital. They decide what and how much history is taught, they commission text books and set the course outlines. The educrats work for the Minister of Education ... who we elect.
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2013, 13:47:52 »

History is all about asking questions but, as Margaret MacMillan has pointed out it is also about facts and order - facts matter, even when they are uncomfortable - and the order of events matters, too. For example: Canada's naval and military performance in World War II were not always "glorious." The RCN was poorly trained, badly equipped and, with a handful of exceptions, not very well led. The Canadian Army suffered from similar problems. Those are facts; another "fact" is that Canada slashed and burned its national defences in the 1930s because, quite simply, the Great Depression was a far, far greater and much more immediate problem than was the rise of fascism; a final fact is that we, a small nation of only 12 million souls, put over 1 million of them - mostly men aged 18-35 - into uniform. That we had leadership and management and equipment problems is hardly surprising. The historical lessons might be harder to remember.

In my experience the "military community" is not well informed about our military history. We are, mostly, well schooled in our regiment's, our corps' or branch's or our service's version of its slice of history but that's a far cry from what one gleans when reading the full historical record.

History is, also, always biased. I don't care how ancient it might be. Herotodus had his biases, ditto Tacitus, the Venerable Bede and Harold Innes; so do Niall Ferguson, Margaret MacMillan and Jack Granatstein. I am biased and my biases extend to what and even how I read.

Finally all history is always revisionist, we cannot change history be we can, and constantly do reinterpret (revise) it.

I was reading somewhere that McKenzie King was instrumental in modernizing the fleet prior to WWII, but my knowledge of the ship pre-war is sparse.

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2013, 14:13:32 »
The pre-war RCN was tiny, ill-equipped and its welfare was far from the top of McKenzie King's priorities. There was an increase in the defence budget circa 1937-1938 and most of it went to the RCN and RCAF, but it was too little and far too late.

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2013, 16:50:12 »
If only schools would bring in guest speakers.

Eg Someone who served in a "peacekeeping" role in say bosnia. Come to the school and give a personal account. I'm sure there's plenty of current ex or serving members who are intelligent enough to talk to a highschool class. History/social studies would be more entertaining and personal. Though somehow the program would have to keep the journalists out.

Then again schools don't like teaching the truth. I think my teachers enjoyed indoctrinating students to advance their own agendas.

Some schools in my area ( East York) actually do this, mind it's only during the first week of November.  Our local RCL branch gets swamped with requests for speakers WW2 up to the most recent deployments.
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Offline UnwiseCritic

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2013, 18:27:18 »
That's good. But yes it would be nice if they used the wealth of knowledge year round when it pertained to the class.
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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2013, 10:20:22 »
That's good. But yes it would be nice if they used the wealth of knowledge year round when it pertained to the class.

Agreed, but small steps and all that, after all it is East York/Danforth/East Toronto Saint Jack of the Soundbites former riding/neighbourhood
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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2013, 10:43:51 »
That's good. But yes it would be nice if they used the wealth of knowledge year round when it pertained to the class.


I'm less sure. Student's knowledge of history may, or just as likely may not be served by Old Bill's recollections of Hill 187 or the Medak Pocke or Panjwai. Perhaps it is more important to understand how countries, Canada especially raises and maintains (or fails to maintain) the armed forces it needs for crises. Maybe an accountant or and academic can shed more light on military history than any admiral or sergeant.
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Offline Canadian.Trucker

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2013, 10:54:01 »

I'm less sure. Student's knowledge of history may, or just as likely may not be served by Old Bill's recollections of Hill 187 or the Medak Pocke or Panjwai. Perhaps it is more important to understand how countries, Canada especially raises and maintains (or fails to maintain) the armed forces it needs for crises. Maybe an accountant or and academic can shed more light on military history than any admiral or sergeant.
I agree overall with your statements regarding how a country deals with history, but the stories and personal experiences that were dealt with by the person on the ground in the air or on the sea help to lend context to the event.

Overall I simply feel that we as Canadians and our education systems needs to get better at informing subsequent (and current for that matter) generations about their nations history.  Does every piece of history need to have a military viewpoint or context placed into it?  Absolutely not, but from the article the discussion that our history might become too focused on military aspects is laughable.  Seeing as how we have done a horrible job passing on the lessons learned or even the basic information of what happened throughout the major conflicts of Canadian history, I see it being important to improve this passage of knowledge and information.  I'm also quite aware that there is only so much time in a school day to cover all the topics needed, but history is something that can capture the imagination and feed into so many more topics and fields of study for people.
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Offline Danjanou

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2013, 13:37:21 »

I'm less sure. Student's knowledge of history may, or just as likely may not be served by Old Bill's recollections of Hill 187 or the Medak Pocke or Panjwai. Perhaps it is more important to understand how countries, Canada especially raises and maintains (or fails to maintain) the armed forces it needs for crises. Maybe an accountant or and academic can shed more light on military history than any admiral or sergeant.

I see your point Edward, and I agree to an extent, however I'm in no way suggesting that this be the sum total of teaching Canadian History, but merely one part.  I spent some dreary years being bored to death by some very dull and dry pompous Professors while obtaining my History degree ( I survived by mentally grading their  lack of M of I skills and how long it took them to violate all 6 princlples of instruction ICEPACin a given lecture ).

History can at the purely academic level be rather dry reading. This would be maginifed by in this case  a rather youthful audience, especially one with  today's rather limited attention span (twitter). Some form of personal or social history can be a useful gateway into  the subject.  I always thought Pierre Burton's books would have  made good intro history texts at the junior highschool level. Yes they are short on a lot of the analysis  and deep thoughts and read more like some good adventure story, but there is nothing intrensically wrong with that as a starter.
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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2013, 02:05:20 »

This has been a popular theme with a number of media outlets over the past month.  I think it is hard to accuse the Conservatives of being the ones to “politicize history” – it seems the telling and presenting of history has probably always been manipulated by political, academic and special interest agendas.  The question needs to be the role and extent to which each of these groups should influence the collective interpretation of history.  All three need to be involved, because nobody else is going to do it.

I do find interesting the theory that the Conservatives are seeking a new national identity to replace multiculturalism – something to bring us together focusing on the shared symbols and identity as opposed to the differences.

Quote
Critics accuse the Conservative Party of ‘politicizing history’ as national museum mandates change
National Post
Joseph Brean
31 July 2013


The release of the Canadian Museum of Civilization’s first research strategy — following a two-year process of reflection that was nearly derailed by the federal government’s decision last year to rename it the Museum of History and rewrite its mandate — has revived the age-old debate over the politicization of Canadian history.
 
With Canada’s 150th birthday approaching in 2017, and the bicentennial of the War of 1812 just passed with unusual fanfare, the public’s appreciation of Canadian history is ripe for revision, and not just because some of the flagship national museum’s exhibits date to the 1990s, not long after it was renamed from the National Museum of Man. From the rewritten citizenship guide that undid years of Liberal ideological dominance, to the renaming of Canadian military units to honour the monarchy, history is increasingly the lens through which the country sees itself, and a ripe target for those who wish to change it.
 
Now that the words “critical understanding” have been struck from the museum’s mandate, however, critics fear that history without criticism becomes propaganda.
 
“The proof is in the pudding,” said Jean-Marc Blais, director general and vice-president of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, in an interview Tuesday. “There are four principles in this research strategy, and one of them is credibility. … In that sense, being critical, the critical understanding, is fundamental. That doesn’t really change.”

The other principles outlined in the newly published document, which also applies to the Canadian War Museum, its “sister,” are accountability, relevance and inclusiveness. Mr. Blais also said that, by the time the new vision is brought to life over the next few years, visitors “will see more of a presence of aboriginal history into the overall narrative of Canadian history itself. This is something that, in the current hall, is missing, which is a reflection of the past.”
 
Mr. Blais said he has heard criticisms over the years about topics the museum should display with greater prominence, such as the Acadian expulsions. But those complaints never coalesced into a single theory, until the recent efforts of federal Conservatives to put their own stamp on Canadian heritage, led by former Heritage Minister James Moore.
 
The museum’s new mandate is “to enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of events, experiences, people and objects that reflect and have shaped Canada’s history and identity, and also to enhance their awareness of world history and cultures.”
 
Ian McKay, professor of history at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., said the Conservative government is “definitely politicizing history, and are quite candid about it.”

He said they take an anachronistic “Victorian” view, dominated by militarism, monarchism, imperialism, and all-round Britishism. The motivation, he thinks, is nothing so crass as vote-buying or simple politicking, but an effort to redefine the country.
 
“I think there is, in contemporary Canada, a strong attempt to create a pervasive climate of fear, and something like a war panic environment,” he said, and cited Robert Borden as the closest historical precedent, when he tried to win Canadians over to the side of conscription with “a strongly worded argument for their being just one correct way to be Canada.”
 
Former Museum of Civilization CEO Victor Rabinovitch similarly called the new mandate “narrow and parochial” and feared that its research will become “a form of enhanced journalism that is aimed at popularization,” according to a CBC report.
 
Nova Scotia Conservative MP Scott Armstrong, speaking in the House of Commons last month, played down the changes to the museum, and said the removal of the word “critical” will have no effect other than relief for museum staff.
 
“Would anyone suggest that, in the absence of the word in the text proposed by [the bill that changed its mandate], the highly professional staff undertaking important research at the museum would somehow now abandon their professional ethics and judgment?” Mr. Armstrong said.

Mr. Blais was also dismissive of the suggestion of political meddling. “I’ve been in the museum for 25 years almost. I can testify personally that I was never pressured for selecting one topic over another,” he said.
 
There is a clear military slant, however, to the topics flagged as important by the standing committee on heritage, which is examining how history is taught across the country. These include “pre-confederation, early confederation, suffrage, World War I, with an emphasis on battles such as Vimy Ridge, World War II including the Liberation of Holland, the Battle of Ortona, Battle of the Atlantic, the Korean conflict, peacekeeping missions, constitutional development, the Afghanistan conflict, early 20th century Canada, post-war Canada, and the late 20th century.”
 
Andrew Cash, deputy heritage critic for the NDP who sits on that committee, said the government has spent “a lot of money on getting Canadians hyped up and excited about specific historical events.”
 
“It’s been a bit of an obsession,” he said. He also said there is a tendency to meddle in supposedly independent institutions.
 
“They’re trying to do something more long term,” Prof. McKay said. “They’re trying to change our vision of the country…. If it starts to take on the flavour of an exercise in propaganda, that’s when line is crossed. With this regime, I’m not sure I’m fully trustful of their scholarly, intellectual probity in putting forward a museum of Canadian history.”
  http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/07/30/critics-accuse-the-conservative-party-of-politicizing-history-as-national-museum-mandates-change/

 
Quote
Canada and the New Colonialism
ActiveHistory.ca
Jon Weier
23 July 2013


The Canadian government announced this past week that Canadian forces members will no longer wear the Maple Leaf as a symbol of rank.  The Maple Leaf is to be replaced on the shoulder boards and collar tabs of Canadian soldiers’ uniforms with the crown or pip that had been used to indicate rank in the Canadian Forces before unification in 1968.  Further, the most junior Canadian enlisted personnel will be referred to by new rank designations.  These new rank designations, and the re-introduced pip and crown, mirror rank and rank indicators that are used in the British armed services, and represent a return, in the words of former Defence Minister Peter McKay, “to the insignia that was so much a part of what the Canadian Army accomplished in Canada’s name.”
 
This new policy comes two years after the three component arms of the Canadian Forces were renamed.  Rather than being Land Command, Maritime Command and Air Command, their names since unification, they became the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force, again mirroring the Canadian Forces’ British counterparts.  This change was, in the words of Peter McKay, about fixing a “mistake,” suggesting that somehow a move away from British symbols and names was taking the Canadian Forces away from their true identity.  These changes met with widespread criticism and were characterized by military historian Jack Granatstein as “abject colonialism.”
 
These are the latest in a series of initiatives within the Canadian Forces, and the Canadian government more broadly, that have sought to align Canada with and remind Canadians of our ties to the United Kingdom and the Monarchy.  These initiatives have included hanging pictures of the Queen in all Canadian embassies and offices overseas, an increase in royal visits, and, just last year, a proposal to share consular resources with the United Kingdom.  They have also been reflected in the themes and narratives used in the commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, and will likely be apparent in the upcoming anniversary celebrations of the outbreak of the First World War in 2014 and of Confederation in 2017.
 
In an article published in the Globe and Mail on Canada Day, Université Laval historian Jocelyn Létourneau suggested that this emphasis on royal symbolism and on promoting Canada’s ties to the Commonwealth and, historically, to the British Empire, has been part of a concerted campaign by the Conservative government to find a replacement for multiculturalism.
 
In this article, published under the title “Multiculturalism Died, and Harper replaced it with ‘Royalization’”, Létourneau suggests that multiculturalism has been largely unsuccessful in accomplishing one of its primary goals; undermining the power of Québecois nationalism and replacing it with a shared Canadian identity.  As such, Létourneau argues that the current government has seen the writing on the wall and has sought to bolster four distinct Canadian identities that together make up an idea of Canada.  This strategy has involved recognition of Québec’s distinctness, progress in transforming the relationship between First Nations and the federal government, the continuing need to maintain Canadian sovereignty and independence in the face of American hegemony, and, in the case of English Canada, the renewed emphasis on traditional markers of an English Canadian identity.  Létourneau concludes that this is all centred on a shared sense of Canada as an immigrant nation with common values.
 
Létourneau generally avoids judging the value of this new exercise, simply suggesting that this is the direction in which the current government is moving as it seeks to transform ideas of Canadian identity.  And he seems to be right, though he describes this new direction more eloquently and more explicitly than anyone in government has.
 
What then are the implications of this transformation?  Does this return to a Loyalist/Imperialist idea of Canadian identity reflect the shared reality that is Canada in the first decades of the 21st Century?  I would argue that this attempt to return to an antiquated English Canadian identity is quite problematic in that it essentially seeks to ignore the evolution of Canadian identity over the last forty years.
 
On a very basic level, what do these changes mean for the Canadian military?  Though it is true that Canadian soldiers fought in the First and Second World Wars in close cooperation with, and often under the command of, the British military, the post-war period was characterized by a process in which the Canadian Forces became more closely aligned with the United States’ military, and in which Canadian defence and foreign policy were freed from Imperial and then Commonwealth considerations.  While we may be returning to imagery that means something to an older generation of veterans of the Second World War, what do these colonial symbols mean for generations who have fought and kept the peace under the auspices of NATO and the UN in Afghanistan, in Korea or in the Sinai Peninsula?
 
This symbolic return also plays into ideas of the First and Second World Wars as nationalist stepping stones that reflect a shared and uncontroversial progression to the Canada we know today.  They ignore all of the conflicts and difficulties that have actually accompanied Canada’s history of war.  This new English Canadian identity seeks to ignore the conflict in Québec over conscription and the internment of Ukrainian-Canadians during the First World, as well as the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War.
 
What are new Canadians supposed to make of this new emphasis, especially those who have made Canada their home in the decades since the Canadian government started emphasizing our shared multicultural future?  How are generations of Canadians who have embraced an increasingly multicultural and republican idea of Canadian identity supposed to react when the government presents us with an identity that values the colonial trappings many have worked so hard to shed?  Why do we focus on only one aspect of our heritage when Canada has always been the destination for immigrants from many different, non-Commonwealth, countries.  Finally, how do we react to these new changes as historians, and what is our responsibility in the face of this new/old idea of who we are?
 
Jon Weier is a PhD Candidate in the History Department at Western University.
http://activehistory.ca/2013/07/canada-and-the-new-colonialism/

Quote
Canadian Museum of History plans revealed
More focus on politics, conflict and First Nations

CBC News
30 July 2013


The Canadian Museum of History will have more politics and more First Nations history than the current Canadian Museum of Civilization.
 
That is according to a new research paper issued by the museum that gives the public a better idea of what the new Canadian Museum of History will have inside.

The paper is a blueprint on how the museum will rebrand itself following a nationwide consultation.

Canada Hall, the exhibition devoted to the settlement of Canada, is going to get a major overhaul. Some sections of the exhibition have already been removed.
 
"The Canada Hall starts essentially with the arrival of white people in the 11th century and ends in the groovy years of the 1970s," said Dean Oliver, the museum's director of research, about the current display.

He said the history of the First Nations people will play a more prominent role in the revamped Canadian History Hall.

There will also be a new focus on the political movements and conflicts that have shaped the country.
 
"A concerted effort to look at how we tried to govern ourselves, lived together, fought together, so we would look at things like political leadership for sure, but we would also look at things like grassroots politics," said Oliver.
 
Rosa Barker of the Canadian Association of University Teachers said she worries the current political climate could interfere with what's on display at the new museum.

"In the context of the muzzling of government researchers to what extent will researchers here have the freedom to critically explore Canada's history?" said Barker.
 
Barker is also critical of recent losses of curatorial staff at the museum, in which a third of the staff involved in research went from 39 to 32.
 
The museum has said the jobs affected were not cut but involved those who left through attrition.
 
The museum's new mandate will be in place for the celebrations of Canada's 150th birthday in 2017.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/07/29/ottawa-canadian-museum-of-history-plans-come-out.html

[Note: The re-royalization of the CF and rank change discussion have a home in another thread.  Despite the extensive reference in one article, lets try not to go down that hole in this thread.]

Offline Canadian.Trucker

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2013, 09:56:12 »
The flaw I potentially see in some of these arguments is where the authors talk about and condemn how the Conservatives are trying to change how we view ourselves, but in the same breath talk about how Canada has changed over the last few decades and we need to be open and aware of this.  Change is change, and we as a nation have grown and developed beyond what we were and how we thought of ourselves over the last 20 years.  What is so wrong with being proud of our military accomplishments while simultaneously sharing and discussing the trials and issues that Canada faced during the same period?

Call me naive (sp?), but I believe history and the facts associated with history should be pure information so we can learn about where we came from.  Take the bad with the good.  I know history is written by the victorious, and that history is anything but pure fact because it's told from the slant of the person/group/government that is writing it, but it doesn't mean I have to like it.

I guess in the end we should always be wary and question why change is taking place, but we should also keep an open mind and understand that Canadians are not the same people they were 20 years ago and we quite possibly identify ourselves very differently than we did back then.
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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2013, 16:12:44 »
Armed forces like tradition - the older, the better.  I see the Indian Army manages with its own variation of pips and crowns, and is a far, far more multicultural institution in a far, far more multicultural country than Canada.

The further up the nose of the cultural transformationists this stuff goes, the more I like it.
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Offline MCG

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2013, 01:16:55 »
Here is a more rounded view of the situation:
Quote
How Stephen Harper is rewriting history
Starting with a $25-million museum overhaul, the Conservatives want to change the way Canadians perceive their past

Maclean’s Online
John Geddes
Monday, July 29, 2013 5:00am


Mark O’Neill, president of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the country’s biggest and most-visited museum, is typically an upbeat guy. But as he leads a reporter around Canada Hall, the winding stroll through Canadian history that is one of the museum’s central features, he doesn’t exactly offer a seminar in cheery tour-guide patter. At about the midpoint of the walk, which starts with the Vikings arriving and ends in a 1960s-vintage airport lounge, O’Neill steps into one of his favourite installations—an intact early 20th-century Ukrainian Catholic church, painstakingly relocated to the museum from Smoky Lake, Alta. “Look around,” he says. “You will learn virtually nothing about Ukrainian Canadians. You will learn nothing about the first Canadian internment camps. You will learn nothing about the Ukrainian community today.”
 
His frustration is not limited to how the charming St. Onuphrius Church seems cut off from any wider historical context. In fact, O’Neill voices similar complaints at just about every turn. He shakes his head at the way the hall’s Acadian section teaches about how early French settlers farmed salt marshes on the Bay of Fundy, but little on their expulsion in 1755. The mock-up of a square in 18th-century New France is lovely, and O’Neill admits it’s popular, but he complains that it conveys next to nothing about actual historical events. There’s a convincing Red River cart, but he bemoans the lack of much, aside from a lonely text panel on the wall, about Louis Riel’s rebellions. A little further along, he slumps into a vinyl kitchen chair in a meticulously reconstructed—O’Neill actually calls it “sort of bizarre”—Chinese laundry. “How does this deal with Chinese-Canadian history?” he asks.
 
O’Neill gathers all these flaws and failings together in a sweeping critique. “It’s not sufficient,” he sums up, “that you can walk through this hall and learn very little about the history of Canada.” He’s willing to be so blunt because the government has given him $25 million to overhaul Canada Hall as his museum is rebranded the Canadian Museum of History. And the revamping of this major federal institution—in its prime location on the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Que., just across from Parliament Hill—is just one element in the Conservatives’ wider strategy for changing the way Canadians perceive their past. It’s all timed to build to a crescendo for the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.
 
A history-heavy advertizing blitz leading up to the sesquicentennial, with a proposed $20-million budget, is in the works at Heritage Canada. Last month, the department announced $12 million for a Canada History Fund. It will pay for, among other things, new awards for outstanding high school history students and teachers. Who could object? Yet the push is prompting angry charges that the Tories are manipulating history for ideological purposes. In the political arena, the New Democrats accuse them of “remaking the Museum of Civilization in their image.” The NDP points to the Harper government’s high-profile, high-cost commemorations of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 as evidence of a Conservative bias for celebrating military exploits over, say, exploring social history.
 
Professional historians are debating the issue too, sometimes hurling accusations that wouldn’t be out of place in the House during question period. The Canadian History Association detects “a pattern of politically charged heritage policy” that includes both the planned revamping of O’Neill’s museum and the War of 1812 publicity campaign. “Canadian history has been conscripted,” declared Queen’s University history professor Ian McKay in a widely noted 2011 lecture, provocatively titled, “The Empire Fights Back: Militarism, Imperial Nostalgia, and the Right-Wing Reconceptualization of Canada.”
 
McKay charges the Harper government with promoting a narrow, war-obsessed version of Canadian history, a slant he traces largely to the writings of prominent historians like Jack Granatstein and David Bercuson. There’s no doubt that Granatstein, in particular, is an inspiration for the Harper government’s approach to history. James Moore, who as heritage minister from the fall of 2008 until this month’s cabinet shuffle, which saw him become minister of industry, spearheaded the government’s history offensive. Moore often mentions “Jack” in speeches and, in an interview with Maclean’s, the sole historian he refers to by name is Granatstein.
 
And the book Moore cites is Who Killed Canadian History?, the polemical 1998 bestseller in which Granatstein framed his side of the debate that’s still raging. He complained that political and military history had been all but banished from Canada’s classrooms in favour of social themes, especially trendy topics such as regional and ethnic history. In danger of being lost, Granatstein wrote, was the shared military, political and economic history that undergirds “the larger national and pan-Canadian identity.”
 
Granatstein’s lament is echoed in Moore’s speeches on the government’s goal of fostering national pride through knowledge of history. “We have an enormous history to be proud of,” he said last month. “But, unfortunately, we live in a country where so many young people aren’t taught and don’t know and don’t have access to those stories that made this country so great and so brilliant.” Harper’s top election strategists, including the late Sen. Doug Finley, have framed patriotism, especially linked to Canada’s military heritage, as a key element in the Conservative brand.
 
Still, Moore says no Conservative politician will order federal museums to showcase any particular version of the past. ...

...
Full article at:  http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/07/29/written-by-the-victors/

Offline Baden Guy

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2013, 09:07:29 »
Thanks for the link MCG. Nice to hear differing perspectives; and that includes the comments section of the article.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2013, 10:16:39 »
>Finally all history is always revisionist, we cannot change history be we can, and constantly do reinterpret (revise) it.

This is the stake that is really being argued - control of the narrative, and its influence over people.
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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2013, 10:51:39 »
There were few better 20th century historians than Hugh Trevor-Roper.

Trevor-Roper wrote, in his essay The Idea of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire*, "What was the lesson which Gibbon learned from Montesquieu? Briefly, it was that human history is . . . a process, and a process governed, in its detail, not by a divine plan . . . but by a complex of social forces which a 'philosophic historian,' that is, a historian who looked behind mere events for fundamental ideas, causes and connexions . . . could isolate and describe."

So, history is, as Margaret MacMillan said, about "facts and order" and it is also, as Hugh Trevor-Roper suggests, about isolating and describing the "complex of social forces" that act on people in any given time and space. How we interpret the facts, in their proper order, and how we interpret the many social forces that impacted them, is how we write, rewrite and continuously revise history. Facts can be unpleasant, especially when they interfere with our beliefs, and revisionist historians are always valuable because they make us reevaluate the "facts and order" and the "social forces" and allow us to draw new conclusions in light of all the available evidence. And history is, like the "hard" sciences, an "evidence based" field, you cannot make up history just because you believe something should be true, or not.

_____
* Which is found in the posthumous collection of his essays entitled "History and the Enlightenment", which is one of my favourites from Trevor-Roper for both its erudition and the elegance of its prose.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
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Offline pbi

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2013, 13:07:30 »
If only schools would bring in guest speakers.

Eg Someone who served in a "peacekeeping" role in say bosnia. Come to the school and give a personal account. I'm sure there's plenty of current ex or serving members who are intelligent enough to talk to a highschool class. History/social studies would be more entertaining and personal. Though somehow the program would have to keep the journalists out.

Then again schools don't like teaching the truth. I think my teachers enjoyed indoctrinating students to advance their own agendas.

This was never my experience when I was in uniform (up until 2012), no matter where I served in Canada. I found  that schools (at all grade levels and including post-secondary)were constantly looking for military speakers. The demand was higher around Remembrance Day, but it existed all year long. I always tried to take advantage of as many of these opportunities as I could, and encouraged the folks who worked for me to do the same.
When I did speak, I almost always found the students to be attentive and genuinely interested in Canadian military history. Neither they nor their teachers were very well informed, but at least we can give them credit for trying.

IMHO, the CF  (particularly at the senior levels) over the decades must share a large chunk of the historical blame for this misunderstanding. We have, at times, been only far too happy to cultivate our image as peacekeepers when it suited us to do so. When you tell people you are something that you aren't,  don't be surprised at what happens when you reveal who you really are.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

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Offline MCG

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2013, 12:04:11 »
Seems Quebec is getting in on the same act.
Quote
PQ wants to improve teaching of “national history”
Monique Muise
The Ottawa Citizen
03 September 2013


The provincial government has announced it is taking steps to improve the teaching of “national history” in elementary schools, high schools and CEGEPs in Quebec.

A “reinforcement of identity” and a more thorough grounding in history in schools is something that Quebecers have been calling for, said Parti Québécois Higher Education minister Pierre Duchesne in a release issued Monday.

“It is time to discuss what defines us,” said Duchesne. “This will help produce open-minded students, action-oriented citizens and Quebecers with more self-confidence.”

Two people have been tasked with studying where changes can be made in the primary and secondary school curricula. Jacques Beauchemin, the interim director general of l’Office québécois de la langue française, and Université du Québec à Montréal history professor Nadia Fahmy-Eid will consult with teachers and historians, the release said, and then prepare a report to be submitted by the end of this year. Pilot projects in various schools are expected to be launched in September 2014.

The government’s release does not specify if the teaching of “national history” at these levels refers to the whole of Canada or just to Quebec. Calls to the government on Monday to request clarification were not immediately returned, but the appointment of Beauchemin to spearhead the efforts is telling. He is considered an expert on Quebec society and culture.

At the CEGEP level, the PQ government was more clear: it is aiming to introduce a new, mandatory course in “Quebec’s national history” within the next 12 months. An existing committee of CEGEP teachers and administrators will be asked to determine how best to structure and integrate the new course, Duchesne said. Like the changes to the primary and secondary curricula, it is expected to be rolled out in September 2014.

The Mouvement national des Québécoises et des Québécois — an umbrella group of organizations which aims to “defend and promote Québécois identity and make Quebec a French and democratic country” — reacted swiftly to Monday’s announcement, saying it is very happy with the government’s plans.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/wants+improve+teaching+national+history/8860329/story.html


Offline pbi

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2013, 10:40:57 »
Quote
“This will help produce open-minded students, action-oriented citizens and Quebecers with more self-confidence.”

Whatever might be the outcome of any effort by the Marois government, "open-mindedness" is not likely to be a result. So far they seem to be demonstrating a narrow, ethnically-based version of nationalism that is designed to appeal to a rather ugly strand in Quebec sociey: xenophobia fuelled by ignorance. It's quite telling that the City of Montreal (by far the most diverse city in Quebec) recently passed a resolution countering the thrust of the "Charte".

Quote
The government’s release does not specify if the teaching of “national history” at these levels refers to the whole of Canada or just to Quebec.

Really? Want to hazard a wild-assed guess what it's about?

Quote
“defend and promote Québécois identity and make Quebec a French and democratic country”

I have to wonder if the Marois' government's worldview doesn't risk making these two things incompatible with each other..

I'm not any fan of the hard Right, but this is the Left at its worst, drifting into "correct thinking".

The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2013, 21:57:09 »
I'm not any fan of the hard Right, but this is the Left at its worst, drifting into "correct thinking".

Yes, doctrinaire Libertarians (with a big "L") can be annoying at social events.  ;)

The correct political form for the PQ at this time is "National Socialism", where correct thinking gate the backing of State power, and the State distributes the spoils of taxpayer money according to their own narrow ethnic definitions.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline pbi

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Re: Review of Canadian History
« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2013, 07:36:27 »
Yes, doctrinaire Libertarians (with a big "L") can be annoying at social events.  ;)

The correct political form for the PQ at this time is "National Socialism", where correct thinking gate the backing of State power, and the State distributes the spoils of taxpayer money according to their own narrow ethnic definitions.


Hmmmm...yesss..."National Socialism"....ethnic purity....state power-why do these phrases seem to ring a bell?
?
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline MCG

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Remembering Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #31 on: October 17, 2013, 00:43:36 »
Not sure what is involved in a "rededication."  I wonder if this will see "Afghanistan" added to the list of wars carved into the monument.
Quote
Veterans groups dismiss war memorial rededication as ‘fluff’
Robert Sibley
OTTAWA CITIZEN
16 October 2013


“Fluff.” That, in a word, pretty much sums up the response of veterans’ groups to the Conservatives’ throne speech announcement that the government intends to rededicate the National War Memorial to honour those who’ve fallen in the service of the country.

“It’s important that veterans be recognized, yes, but the Conservatives are just wrapping themselves in the flag,” said Michael Blais, president of Canadian Veterans Advocacy. “It’s headlines without substance, to make themselves look good.”

On Wednesday, toward the end of his hour-long throne speech, Gov. Gen. David Johnston announced that as part of events next year commemorating the centennial of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War, the government was “rededicating the National War Memorial to the memory of all men and women who fought for our country.”

The government also intends to mark the end of Canada’s decade-long mission in Afghanistan by honouring those in uniform who “made the ultimate sacrifice combating the spread of terrorism,” as well as promote “the proud history of our Canadian Armed Forces by restoring military traditions.”

Gordon Jenkins, president of the NATO Veterans Organization of Canada, said it’s fine to honour the dead of past wars, but it’s the still-living veterans who need the government’s attention. “What are they doing for the living? We’re not getting anything for veterans (in the throne speech) except lip service.”

He and Blais observed that the government boasts of its dedication to Canadian military history and its willingness to spend hundreds of thousands to mark the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. But, they said, such actions haven’t translated into serving veterans well.

“They’re going to spend millions on remembering (the First World War),” said Jenkins. “These are the dead, and let’s give them respect, but is this what Veterans Affairs is now? The war memorial doesn’t need rededicating. We need something substantive.”

Such criticism echoes a recent report from Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent, who chastised the Tory government for shortfalls in the level of financial support given to veterans, particularly those severely wounded or disabled. “It is simply not acceptable to let veterans who have sacrificed the most for their country ... live their lives with unmet financial needs,” the ombudsman said in a study that compared the old system of compensating veterans under the Pension Act with the inadequacies of the new Veterans Charter, legislation backed by the Conservative government when enacted in 2006.

A spokesman for Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino defended the department’s record.   “Our Government has made enormous and substantial investments to support Canada’s Veterans, including nearly five billion in additional funds towards assistance and services for Veterans and their families,” said Joshua Zanin in an email. “As committed in the Speech From the Throne, we will continue to act further to support vulnerable and homeless Veterans and to ensure the successful transition of Veterans into civilian life after their service in uniform.”

Veterans were upset earlier this summer after federal lawyers urged a B.C. judge to dismiss a class-action lawsuit filed by injured Afghan veterans, claiming the government has no extraordinary social obligation toward veterans, and owes them nothing more than what they received under the Veterans Charter.

Add this attitude to defence funding issues — including, for example, delays in a $10-million program to replace the aging Lee Enfield rifles used by the Arctic Rangers — and critics like Jenkins and Blais say it’s hard to take seriously the government’s claim of commitment to the military and its veterans.

“Commemoration is fine,” said Blais. “We have an obligation to the fallen. But we also have an obligation to those who are suffering today.

“We’ve got a government that likes to fly the flag, but look what they are actually doing. It’s all fluff. It’s not in response to the real needs of veterans.”
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/ottawa/Veterans+groups+dismiss+memorial+rededication+fluff/9045278/story.html

Offline pbi

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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #32 on: October 17, 2013, 14:06:59 »
Quote
“We’ve got a government that likes to fly the flag, but look what they are actually doing. It’s all fluff. It’s not in response to the real needs of veterans.”

Patriotism: the last refuge of the scoundrel. And of the politician. People may have faulted Pat Stogran's aggressiveness when he was Ombudsman, but it's interesting to note that his successor is identifying very similar things.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline MCG

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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #33 on: January 14, 2015, 01:22:55 »
Proof that you can't ever please everybody - as the government continues to receive criticism for excesses spent on 1812, WWI, WWII, and Confederation anniversaries, they are simultaneously receiving the opposite criticism of not spending enough for the Canadian flag anniversary.
Quote
As Maple Leaf approaches 50, some in Canada wonder: Where's the party?
CTV News
13 Jan 2015

OTTAWA -- With the 50th birthday of Canada's beloved Maple Leaf flag just a month away, some are wondering why there there's been so little fanfare from the federal government.

Canadian Heritage says National Flag of Canada Day will be marked by educational activities and special events, including at the annual Winterlude festivities in Ottawa in the weeks to come.

The department also says community groups and schools are being encouraged to mark the anniversary throughout the year.

That pales in comparison to a multimillion-dollar effort to mark Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, and $5.2 million that was spent to mark the bicentennial of the War of 1812.

Roy Mayer, the founder of the Canada Flag Holiday Campaign, has written to Prime Minister Stephen Harper to express his disappointment, saying the Canadian icon deserves a major celebration.

Bob Harper, the founder of the 50 Years of Our Flag Committee, based in Brockville, Ont., also calls Ottawa's party-planning disappointing.

Heritage Minister Shelly Glover's office did not immediately reply to a request for a comment.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/as-maple-leaf-approaches-50-some-in-canada-wonder-where-s-the-party-1.2186902

Offline MCG

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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #34 on: February 02, 2015, 01:14:37 »
The dirth of attention on the flag anniversary is still gathering comment.  I like the idea of investing more in peacekeeping histories; that could be a conduit toward relieving so many Canadians of their misconceptions about the altruistism, means and effectiveness of such missions.

Quote
Will Harper mark the Maple Leaf flag’s 50th anniversary?
Andrew Cohen
Times Colonist
29 January 2015

On Feb. 15, 1965, about 10,000 people gathered on Parliament Hill to watch the raising of Canada’s new flag.

At noon, amid a muffled 21-gun salute, a gust of wind gave the flag “the first flutter of life,” Peter C. Newman observed.

“If our nation by God’s grace endures a thousand years, this day will always be remembered as a milestone in Canada’s national progress,” said prime minister Lester Pearson.

Pearson managed a smile from his flu-ridden body before returning to bed. John Diefenbaker, who had fought the flag as opposition leader, wiped away tears.

Fifty years on, the flag is an imperishable symbol of national sovereignty. More than ever, we are a nation of flag-wavers. But its birth is less than “a milestone.” Indeed, the Conservatives are happy to ignore the flag.

For a government that has made history its mantra, we would expect this anniversary to be a big deal. It’s not.

On Jan. 11, Stephen Harper was in Kingston, Ont., to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir John A. Macdonald. A coin was struck and a stamp issued; the government spent $4 million.

Celebrating the past is the responsibility of a self-aware people and its leaders. The problem is that as much as this government likes to remember, it does so selectively.

The Conservatives spent millions commemorating the War of 1812 (though not the 200 years of peace between Canada and the United States that followed). They lavish money on projects recalling Canada’s role in the world wars and the Korean War.

From Historica Canada, the federal government commissions excellent oral histories from veterans. In our role in international peacekeeping, it is uninterested.

Of other anniversaries — such as the patriation of the British North America Act and the establishment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 — it does little.

See the pattern here? To the Conservatives, peacekeeping, the Charter — even the founding of NATO in 1949 — are achievements of Liberal governments. Why celebrate them?

The Conservatives opposed the flag ferociously in 1964. A bloviating Diefenbaker misplayed it from the beginning, when he proposed a divisive national plebiscite to decide the issue.

As Parliament debated a new flag over 37 days in the autumn of 1964, Diefenbaker mourned the loss of “the Christian crosses, the spiritual elements” from the old flag. An Edwardian in the Jet Age and an unreconstructed anglophile, he could not understand the changing Canada.

True, French Canada was not demanding a new flag (“Quebec doesn’t give a tinker’s dam about a new flag,” sniffed an unelected Pierre Elliott Trudeau in June 1964), but a visionary Pearson saw its importance as a unifying national symbol.

Courageously, he announced his commitment to a new flag before the Canadian Legion in Winnipeg. Amid a chorus of boos from angry veterans, he kept talking.

After 308 speeches and acrimonious debate, the flag was approved on Dec. 15, 1964. The vote was 163 to 78. Almost all the opposition came from Conservatives — though francophone Tories voted with the majority — who immediately found themselves on the wrong side of history.

So it’s unsurprising to learn that a Conservative government — which is building a (misplaced) Memorial to the Victims of Communism in Ottawa and finds $1.5 million to raise awareness of the Holodomor, the state-sponsored Ukrainian famine in the 1930s — is spending all of $50,000 to commemorate the Maple Leaf.

It is left to patriots like Mauril Bélanger, the MP from Ottawa-Vanier, to wave the flag on its golden anniversary. He has designed an attractive poster tracing the flag’s history, which he is distributing to 14,000 students.

Belanger, bless him, is doing what the government should be doing.

Today, in the relentless politicization of our culture, we have Conservative history and Liberal history.

It raises the question: At noon on Feb. 15, will Stephen Harper and his ministers stand with Liberals and New Democrats under the Peace Tower and honour the Maple Leaf?
http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/columnists/andrew-cohen-will-harper-mark-the-maple-leaf-flag-s-50th-anniversary-1.1745570

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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #35 on: February 02, 2015, 10:44:15 »
My French-Canadian girlfriend got mad at me for talking about Napoleon, she said "I don't care about that English history"  ::)

I found French-Canadians were either very very interested in the world around them or very very insular, not a lot inbetween. 

Offline krimynal

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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #36 on: February 02, 2015, 11:05:12 »
sadly us french Canadian , have little to no knowledge of history , wether it's because of school system or whatever ....

I remember back in high school were the only history class we had was about Quebec , How it was discovered , How it was built , etc.

It's sad that we are very closed minded , and that our school system is actually happy about having the students completely shadowed to what is going on outside of Quebec .... If you had decent teachers , they would go out of the "norm" to give you info on World History / World Geography ... but sadly a lot of teachers were simply giving us lessons on what was in the book ....
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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #37 on: February 02, 2015, 11:14:04 »
sadly us french Canadian , have little to no knowledge of history , wether it's because of school system or whatever ....

I remember back in high school were the only history class we had was about Quebec , How it was discovered , How it was built , etc.

It's sad that we are very closed minded , and that our school system is actually happy about having the students completely shadowed to what is going on outside of Quebec .... If you had decent teachers , they would go out of the "norm" to give you info on World History / World Geography ... but sadly a lot of teachers were simply giving us lessons on what was in the book ....

Sadly, I remember a CBC documentary that showed that even the teaching of Quebec history was contrary to what other provinces were teaching.  The documentary showed a Quebec teacher actually teaching that the English conquest took away the Rights of the French to their French language, the Catholic Church, the Seigneurial System, and Civil Law.  All false.  Quebecers still have the right to speak French, attend the church of their choice, and they are the only province to use Civil Law.  The Seigneurial System is probably the only thing that has changed, more due to the passage of time than English conquest.
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Offline krimynal

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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #38 on: February 02, 2015, 11:18:34 »
Yeah I remember being told the same in my history class back in high school !  But yeah good thing that a year later I had the chance to get a "out-of-the-box-thinker" teacher that basically told us , that we had been brain raped last year , and here are the real facts , and by the way , here is some part of history that you guys never heard before !

that teacher was awesome sadly , he was in a "one-of-a-kind" group , you can count those type of teacher on your finger !
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Offline Cloud Cover

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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #39 on: February 03, 2015, 21:51:53 »
George: The Royal Proclamation of 1763 did in fact extinguish many of those rights in the newly acquired territories after the French defeats in the 7 years war. The same rights were subsequently and in the main re-established in the Constitution Act 1791, including the Seigneurial system and Civil Code and in fact this was an ongoing restoration process right up until the Constitution Act 1982.

The same Royal Proclamation is also the legal basis on which many present day Indian land claims and other perceived injustices to first nations are founded. If anybody was screwed by the British, it was the Canadians as we have come to know ourselves today. At least the Brits got it right when they left India, not that they had any real choice in that case anyway.     

Offline MCG

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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #40 on: February 05, 2015, 09:32:44 »
I guess universities are joining museums in the group of oppressed historians.
Quote
Harper changing Gregg centre's purpose
Re: Military history

The Daily Gleaner
30 Jan 2014

It will surprise nobody to be reminded that the Stephen Harper government does not encourage informed discussion of national policies.
 
It is, however, disappointing that UNB's Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society, intended "for the study of war and society" should be starved of funds for its intended purpose, but funded to divert its energies into the new rhetoric of military heroism - preparing hagiographies of Victoria Cross soldiers.
 
For decades the Department of National Defense provided modest funding to universities with scholars using the discipline of historical analysis to discover, record, and evaluate the significance of Canada's military forces as part of the Canadian place in international relations. UNB interpreted its remit as extending from interpretative military history, to the study of terrorism, the laws of military action, and family violence in the military. An annual forum in Ottawa made sure that such findings were known where they could be applied.
 
All that is swept away now, and the historians are put to work polishing up the military image which Harper finds politically useful.
 
Nicholas Tracy
Associate, Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #41 on: February 05, 2015, 09:52:30 »
George: The Royal Proclamation of 1763 did in fact extinguish many of those rights in the newly acquired territories after the French defeats in the 7 years war. The same rights were subsequently and in the main re-established in the Constitution Act 1791, including the Seigneurial system and Civil Code and in fact this was an ongoing restoration process right up until the Constitution Act 1982.

Not only is Whiskey601 almost correct (I think he refers to the Quebec Act of 1774, as it is the one that recognized these rights anew for the first time), but in an interesting flip side of the said Quebec Act of 1774 that just shows how everything is connected, the said Quebec Act is one of the unacceptable actions of the English King directly mentioned in the American Declaration of Independence. The Act whereby the King unilaterally "deprived" a "neighbouring British Colony" of the "benefits of English Common Law" is Canada, and the deprivation came from the re-institution of the Customs of Paris civil law (no Napoleonic code in existence yet, Napoleon was 5 years old at the time.)

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #42 on: February 07, 2015, 17:11:07 »
The dirth of attention on the flag anniversary is still gathering comment.  I like the idea of investing more in peacekeeping histories; that could be a conduit toward relieving so many Canadians of their misconceptions about the altruistism, means and effectiveness of such missions.
http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/columnists/andrew-cohen-will-harper-mark-the-maple-leaf-flag-s-50th-anniversary-1.1745570

Sadly, I rather doubt that the bulk of "peacekeeping" historians will focus on the use of peacekeeping missions as economy of force measures to maintain the bulk of our military capability in Germany and to a lesser extent Norway...
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #43 on: February 07, 2015, 17:17:20 »
As I recall, during the sixties, seventies and eighties, other than for Cyprus there was very little combat arms involvement in peacekeeping. There were a few observer missions that drew officers from across the army and later the forces, but most of the peacekeeping forces we provided had logistics and communications roles. The rationale was that we had sophisticated capabilities in those fields, really that was the explanation, that most armies did not.

Offline MCG

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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #44 on: February 12, 2015, 02:35:06 »
The flag flap continues over which elements of Canadian heritage receive or do not receive attention from Conservative promotions.  The upside of the Conservatives not going full-retard on the flag's 50th (aside from saving money) is that we did not have another special, tacky anniversary pin throw onto our service dress uniforms.

This article covers the same ground as previous, but has several embedded videos to entertain (maybe):
Quote
Canada flag's 50th anniversary a low-key affair
Government's plans to fete the flag are minimal

By Bruce Chambers, for CBC News
11 Feb 2015

It's the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag on Feb. 15, but the marketing of this celebration is somewhat muted compared to other recent anniversaries.​

In a 1971 television ad, a group of schoolchildren in red ponchos is singing in sub-zero temperatures. As the camera slowly pulls back, we see that the children form the Canadian flag against the white of a snow-covered field. This commercial was created by a group of Canadian ad agencies to promote national unity in the aftermath of the FLQ crisis.

Fourteen years later, crown corporation Petro-Canada also celebrated the flag, with hundreds of people holding up red and white cards to create the familiar maple leaf.

Even private corporations have, on occasion, enjoyed wrapping themselves in the flag. In 2000 — when Molson was still Canadian — CBC Radio's As It Happens’ host Jeff Douglas delivered the beer company’s famous “I Am Canadian” rant before a huge Canadian flag.

But here on the eve of our flag’s 50th birthday, the celebrations have gone almost silent.

The government has allotted $50,000 for the anniversary, along with another $200,000 to fund celebrations by provincial lieutenant-governors and other organizations.

This is in stark contrast to the splashy commercials and $5.2 million spent commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812.

And this year, the government is spending $4 million to mark Sir John A. Macdonald’s 200th birthday.

In addition to several historic moments funded at least in part by the government, there are major birthday events, and Sir John A. is featured on the new Toonie, special gold and silver coins, and a new stamp.

Sure, one previously-produced historic moment is available about the development of the flag, but it doesn’t mention the 50th anniversary.

With so little marketing allocated to our national emblem's 50th anniversary, if we want to see a truly stirring celebration of Canada’s flag we’re going to have to look back at old beer and gasoline commercials.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/canada-flag-s-50th-anniversary-a-low-key-affair-1.2950315

Meanwhile, globe news looks a little deeper at the same:
Quote
Are the Conservatives playing politics with the Canadian flag?
By Amy Minsky, for Global News   
11 Feb 2015

OTTAWA — The Harper government may not be completely ignoring the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag, but the relatively modest plans to mark the day have some claiming the flag is getting the shaft.

Technically, plans in the works; one page of Heritage Canada’s website invites citizens to celebrate the flag … by doing their own thing.

“Canadians are invited to join together and celebrate our flag by organizing their own public events or by showing their pride on social media,” Heritage Canada’s website suggests.

Another page on the site offers activity ideas for the proactive patriots among us. Suggestions include: drawing a mural at school, organizing and inviting a veteran to a singing of the national anthem or flag raising ceremony, and hosting a bake sale with a National Flag of Canada theme. 

Is the beaming red and white flag — the one Canadians wave proudly when the country’s athletes win gold, sew to backpacks when touring foreign countries and draw on their cheeks every July 1 — being brushed off?

The Liberals think so.

“It’s unfortunate because Canadians are proud of their flag,” Liberal heritage critic Stephane Dion said in an interview.

It was Feb. 15, 1965 when the maple leaf flag was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill, the successful end to a project Liberal prime minister Lester Pearson spearheaded. Today, the same familiar design tops each of the three main buildings on the Hill. It hangs from buildings and balconies each Canada Day and is lowered to half-mast when the nation mourns the deaths of those who helped shape the country.

As of Feb. 11, the calendar of events on Heritage Canada’s main page listed Sir John A. Macdonald Day (celebrated every Jan. 11) and Winterlude (an annual Ottawa-area winter celebration running Jan. 30 to Feb 16).

The flag’s anniversary does receive billing elsewhere on the site, but clicking a 50th anniversary link only gets a visitor to a page inviting them to do their own thing or to share a photo of the flag on social media.

A spokeswoman for Heritage Minister Shelly Glover wrote that government representatives would attend some events suggested online (flag-raising ceremonies in communities), are “partnering” with organizations like Royal Canadian Legions to promote the anniversary and that there will be a flag-raising and some birthday cake at Winterlude on Sunday.

Additionally, the Museum of History will have an exhibit on the creation of the flag, and the Canadian Mint and Canada Post are introducing commemorative coins and stamps, the spokeswoman wrote.

Though she offered these events, the spokeswoman didn’t comment directly on the comparatively small scope of the celebrations.

“It’s the bare minimum,” Dion said of the Conservatives’ plans for the anniversary. “Why not a national celebration on the Hill? It’s very strange the government is not doing that.”

By contrast, the day last month when Canada’s first prime minister, Conservative John A. MacDonald, would have turned 200 years old attracted the prime minister to Kingston, Ont., as well as former prime ministers Kim Campbell and John Turner, government House leader Peter Van Loan and Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, among other distinguished guests.

A celebration for the War of 1812, meanwhile, warranted its own government website, 1812.gc.ca, and five years’ worth of news releases.

“The Liberals think the flag should have been celebrated at least as much as the War of 1812,” Dion said. “We are very proud of what Sir John A. did for the country. To celebrate him is very important. But it’s also important to celebrate the flag.”

The price tags for the celebrations are also revealing; Ottawa earmarked $50,000 for celebrations for the flag’s birthday, compared to almost $4 million for the celebration of Sir John A.’s birth, and $5.2 million for the bicentennial of the War of 1812.

Asked why he believes the Conservatives are doing only the “bare minimum,” Dion said he didn’t want to “speculate about something that should be so far above partisanship.”

Although a Liberal prime minister was in power when the national flag was born, the flag has come to symbolize the country — not a party or dogma or class of people, Dion said.

“It’s clearly Canadian. It’s beautiful, it’s a celebration of our immense nature,” he said.

By the time Pearson even launched his hunt for a flag, Parliament had been bouncing the idea around for a half century.

It began with a committee struck in 1925 that never finished its job.

Twenty years later, another committee was tasked with researching potential Canadian flags and received upwards of 2,500 submissions. Again, this committee never settled on anything, and Parliament was never called to vote on a favoured design.

Finally, in 1964, Pearson set a goal to adopt a Canadian flag ahead of the centennial Confederation celebrations three years down the road. An all-party committee soon short-listed three designs.

Settling on one of the three wasn’t easy — different influencers preferred different designs. Pearson preferred the blue flag with three red maple leafs on a white square in the middle; others preferred the design similar to the winner, but adorned with a Union Jack and three fleurs-de-lys.

Those embellishments — the triple maple leaf, Union Jack and fleurs-de-lys — were all throwbacks to the Red Ensign, the flag that had long represented Canada though never officially adopted.

Eventually, the committee chose the now familiar flag bearing a red maple leaf on a white square between two vertical red bands. The design was brought to Parliament for a vote, which it passed, 163 to 78.

Liberal stalwart Jean Chretien and party leader Justin Trudeau will host a public event on Sunday afternoon at the University of Toronto Mississauga athletic centre.
http://globalnews.ca/news/1824425/are-the-conservatives-playing-politics-with-the-canadian-flag/

And there are plenty of online comments and letters to editors on the topic.  Some are fairly tame:
Quote
CELEBRATING OUR FLAG
Liz Seger, Port Colborne
St Catharines Standard
11 Feb 2015

Feb. 15 marks the 50th anniversary of the adoption of our distinctive red maple leaf flag by the Liberal government of Lester Pearson.

Other countries celebrate their flag with a special day. The government of Canada should have done so as well, especially this year. There may not have been any military battles over our maple leaf flag, but there certainly were personal ones.

I’m proud to have been able to travel throughout the world and that my maple leaf flag, whether on my back pack, my luggage or as a pin on my shirt tab or blazer lapel. Happy 50th birthday to our flag,
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2015/02/11/letters-to-the-editor-for-february-12

but there is a lot more ludicrous (including accusations that the Conservatives want to bring back the Red Ensign). 

Offline MCG

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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #45 on: February 12, 2015, 02:37:51 »
Here is one of the more extreme takes on the lack of attention being given to the Canadian Flag's 50th anniversary and with a CAF connection.  I appreciate this guy's position on cosmetic changes that we are going through, but his arguments suffer from some errors of fact (while the Order of the Bath is an order of knights, the name used below is just wrong) and I think it is a little over the top to suggest that the three maple leaf insignia is less Canadian than the single maple leaf Army insignia (though, I do prefer the look of the single leaf).

Quote
Harper purposely aiming for Canadians to ignore flag’s anniversary
John Raulston,  Colwood, BC
The Gateway
04 Feb 2015

If one could almost miss the 50th anniversary of Canada’s distinct Maple Leaf, it is because that is exactly as PM Harper wants it. Unveiled under a Liberal PM, Harper would rather minimize, ignore, belittle or dismiss this national icon from our Canadian history. In fact, he has removed this distinct emblem of national identity from some places already.

After serving for years as the shoulder “pip” in Canadian Army general ranks, PM Harper has stripped the Canadian Maple Leaf from the shoulder of Army uniforms to replace it with the British Star of the Knightly Order. It does not matter that the star represents a class system inconsistent with Canadian values and a British social rank that Canadians are barred from holding. Harper would rather see Canadian officers wearing a British Star before a “Liberal Leaf”.

He has found other places to rub-out that big, solitary Maple Leaf that Canadians have come to so strongly identify with. In the mid to late ‘90s, a revived Canadian Army badge was created. It brought together the historical, heritage badge with the modern single Canadian Maple Leaf. It was the perfect balance of modern and historical identity. But this Army badge, like the strong unitary leaf upon it, was too Liberal for PM Harper. It has been scrapped along with the Maple Leaf rank as some unknown cost to tax payers. The Army is returning the 1950’s badge with three small connected Maple Leafs. Back in the 50’s, those three connected leafs were the only distinctly Canadian thing barely visible at the bottom of the shield in our Red Ensign flag. Today it is the unitary leaf that Canadians define their identity and that is the one that should be in our national symbols.

But maybe that is where PM Harper wants to go anyway. He hopes we all might not notice as the 50th anniversary of our flag passes by because he would rather celebrate the old Red Ensign and Union Jack over any Liberal invention.

http://thegatewayonline.ca/2015/02/print-issue-february-4-2015/

Offline Colin P

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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #46 on: February 13, 2015, 10:31:58 »
wasn't there a insignia with 3 branches and maple Leaf on each end?

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #47 on: February 13, 2015, 14:04:55 »
Here is one of the more extreme takes on the lack of attention being given to the Canadian Flag's 50th anniversary and with a CAF connection.  I appreciate this guy's position on cosmetic changes that we are going through, but his arguments suffer from some errors of fact (while the Order of the Bath is an order of knights, the name used below is just wrong) and I think it is a little over the top to suggest that the three maple leaf insignia is less Canadian than the single maple leaf Army insignia (though, I do prefer the look of the single leaf).
http://thegatewayonline.ca/2015/02/print-issue-february-4-2015/

He's from Colwood.

I can see Colwood right now from where I'm sitting in downtown Victoria.

It's a bit distant, and foggy.

That is all  ;D
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Colin P

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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #48 on: February 13, 2015, 16:58:37 »
ah this was what I was thinking of


Offline MCG

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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #49 on: February 13, 2015, 17:06:43 »
wasn't there a insignia with 3 branches and maple Leaf on each end?
ah this was what I was thinking of

You might also have been thinking of the "Pearson Pennant."

Offline MCG

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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #50 on: February 17, 2015, 22:03:31 »
Media continued to take a few shots on this over the weekend, and the laments continued into today.
Quote
Canada's flag debate flaps on, 50 years later
Now the question is whether Ottawa is spending enough to mark the flag's anniversary

Terry Milewski, CBC News
15 Feb 2015

For Robert Labonte, there is no flag debate.  Labonte, who proudly wears the title of Flag Master on Parliament Hill, slogs up the steps inside the Peace Tower every weekday to make sure a fresh flag flies straight and true. No wrinkled or tattered flags allowed.

"It's an honour," he says. "It's the shot you will see everywhere: the Peace Tower with the flag on top. Coast to coast, people will identify themselves with it."

Don't tell John Diefenbaker. As opposition leader, Diefenbaker fought long and hard to stop his Liberal rival, Prime Minister Lester Pearson, foisting the new-fangled Maple Leaf upon the nation.

But Dief didn't have enough votes. The battle ended on Feb. 15, 1965, when Gov.Gen. Georges Vanier, elegant in tails and covered with medals, urged Canadians to take the new flag to heart.

"Our flag," said Vanier, "will symbolize to each of us — and to the world — the unity of purpose and high resolve to which destiny beckons us."

Pearson was up next. He'd won the vote, but the wounds were still fresh. He announced that, on that frigid day, "Our new flag will fly for the first time in the skies above Canada."

Then, glancing at the well-dressed crowd seated in the Centre Block beneath the Peace Tower, Pearson went magnanimous.

"There are many in this country who regret the replacement of the Red Ensign by the red maple leaf, and their feelings and their emotions should be honoured and respected."

Debate lingers

In the years since, of course, those emotions did subside. Young Canadians sewed the maple leaf onto their backpacks and the red maple leaf came to be one of the most recognized flags in the world.

And yet, something lingers. The man who wrote the book on the flag has no doubt about it.

Rick Archbold detects a lack of enthusiasm in the present government for the 50th anniversary of the supposed end of the flag debate. Actually, he says, it's still on.

"I'm actually saddened by what the government isn't doing — which is celebrating, in a meaningful way, one of the great accomplishments of nation-building that we can look back on," says the historian.

Archbold says the government has poured money into ad campaigns about the War of 1812 and the 200th birthday of Sir John A. Macdonald. The 1812 campaign cost more than $5 million; the Sir John A. ads cost more than $4 million. For the celebrations of the flag's 50th, there's a much more modest $50,000, plus another $200,000 for provincial celebrations.

Archbold says, "One can only conclude that it's for purely partisan reasons that they are ignoring the flag anniversary — and it's just because it was brought in under a Liberal administration."

A symbol for Canada

The heritage minister, Shelly Glover, scoffs at the charge.

"The flag doesn't belong to any party," Glover insisted. "In fact, the flag is a symbol for Canada that all of us are proud of ... whether they are Conservative, Liberal or NDP, I know they're celebrating. That doesn't have to cost money. I don't think who we are as Canadians, and our pride in the flag has anything to do with how much money is put out."

At least one Liberal MP agrees. Mauril Belanger, MP for Ottawa Vanier, has been going around to schools and talking up the importance of the flag and its history — but he is reluctant to accuse the government of playing political games.

"Some people have said they are not doing enough," says Belanger, "but I think the community is picking it up. I've seen it in schools now, I've seen it in the media. It's happening, I think, because Canadians realize this is our flag, we should be proud of it.

"Perhaps the government could have done some more, but, you know, things are what they are and we just move on."

So it's not exactly a five-alarm fiesta of rabid partisanship. Rather, the parties seem unwilling to do battle over this — and united in using the flag any way they can.

Does Stephen Harper use a huge flag as a backdrop for his political rallies? Of course he does. And does the Liberal Party have a handy "Donate" button on its web page promoting the anniversary? Of course it does. Does the maple leaf find its way into all the party logos? Oh, yes.

So call it a unifying influence. And Happy Flag Day!
Quote
Our flag deserves a party
Times Colonist
17 Feb 2015

On Sunday, Canadians celebrated the 50th birthday of our Maple Leaf flag. Although the current federal government has tried to ignore the anniversary, Canadians have embraced the flag as a symbol of their nationhood.

In the debate over the new flag, veterans and many who valued Canada's ties to Britain were outraged that the Red Ensign, under which, they said, Canadian soldiers had fought in two world wars, would be cast aside.

In fact, the ensign was never Canada's official flag, despite its common use. Until the Maple Leaf was raised on Feb. 15, 1965, Canada's official flag was the Royal Union Flag, usually called the Union Jack.

As Canada's centennial year approached, prime minister Lester Pearson wanted the country to have a flag that was unmistakably its own. The red Maple Leaf was not his favourite design, but it was the recommendation of an allparty committee of Parliament.

With the controversy largely forgotten, Canadians have poured into that simple flag their identity as a nation. Its adoption helped to define us as something more than a colony; we were a country with our own values and goals. It helped us stake out our place in the world.

Beneath it, generations of Canadians have grown up and tens of thousands of new Canadians have been welcomed into the family.

Perhaps when the 100th birthday rolls around, the federal government of the day will spend more than $50,000 on a party.


... but the real entertainment in all this was brought to us in a crazy idea from Colwood:

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Review of Canadian History & Emphasis of Canadian Military Heritage
« Reply #51 on: February 18, 2015, 21:29:04 »
From USask "Images of a Country Gallery"


""In Miami they call it Dora - here we call it the Flag Debate"
Len Norris - The Vancouver Sun; 10 September 1964
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.

Offline MCG

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Time for the pendulum to go to the other extreme?

Quote
Liberal minister hints citizenship guide’s trumpeting of War of 1812 victory will be pared down
Tristin Hopper
The National Post
29 Feb 2016

There is a lot of overlap between the guides the U.S. and Canada give new citizens; both tell newcomers the countries are built on native land, people can choose any religion they want and nobody is “above the law.”
 
But in one glaring difference, they both proudly claim they were victorious in the War of 1812.
 
“The Americans won the war,” declares a 34-page civics guide issued to prospective citizens by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
 
The Canadian guide notes the pre-Confederation British colonies “defeated an American invasion.”
 
“Believing it would be easy to conquer Canada, the United States launched an invasion in June 1812,” reads page 17 of Discover Canada.
 
“The Americans were mistaken.”
 
On the weekend, Immigration Minister John McCallum hinted the Canadian citizenship guide’s retelling of the War of 1812 would be pared down.
 
“If you ask an average Canadian what Canada means, maybe they’ll say hockey, maybe they’ll say something else, they’re not likely to say the War of 1812,” he told CBC’s The House on Saturday.
 
Saying that the guide was threaded through by an “ideological element,” McCallum added, “I’m not anti-military, but I do think it was a little heavy on the military.”

Altogether, military matters — including the First World War, the Second World War, and details of the Canadian Forces — take up about 1,500 words of the guide’s 40,000 words.
 
American proclamations they triumphed in the War of 1812 is nothing new — they have long fuelled the myth that, before Vietnam, the United States had never lost a war.
 
Alan Taylor, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian at the University of Virginia, says both countries are right.
 
While the Canadian provinces successfully repelled a much larger U.S. invasion force, the United States arguably held its own in the wider conflict, which included naval battles and British actions against the American South.
 
“The war is much more than just the American invasion of Canada,” said Taylor.
 
Still, it’s a rare victory where a country gets much of its capital burned down and enters peace negotiations with enemy troops on its soil — as the United States did in 1814.
 
“The great majority of American academic historians would say it’s a war that went very badly for the United States and they were lucky to get such a favourable peace treaty,” said Taylor, who wrote a 2010 book on the conflict.

Eliot Cohen, a Johns Hopkins University professor, goes even further. In a 2011 book he wrote that “ultimately, Canada and Canadians won the War of 1812.”
 
McCallum not only took issue with mentions of Canadian military might in the citizenship guide. He also said that the guide was heavy on “so-called barbaric cultural practices.”
 
He was referring to a passage asserting that “Canada’s openness and generosity” do not extend to “barbaric cultural practices,” such as spousal abuse and female genital mutilation.
 
In 2011, Justin Trudeau was just a Montreal MP when he faced criticism for opposing the guide’s use of the word “barbaric.”
 
Trudeau later retracted, writing in an online post “all violence against women is barbaric. If my concerns about language led some to think otherwise, then I gladly apologize.”
 
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/liberal-minister-hints-citizenship-guides-trumpeting-of-war-of-1812-victory-will-be-pared-down

Offline MCG

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It would seem the National Post thinks the pendulum has swung back to the other extreme.
Quote
The Liberals don’t own our history
National Post View
07 Mar 2016

The Conservative government of Stephen Harper attracted considerable criticism when it elected to spend $28 million celebrating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.
 
It was noted that the war happened a long time ago, before Canada was even a country, and few Canadians know much about it. Liberals charged that Conservatives were keen on commemorating wars, but had skipped the 30th anniversary of the Charter of Rights. While Ottawa was spending money on parades and ceremonies, it was cutting funding on other fronts, and laying off public servants. It was hinted that the celebration reflected some weird fetish Harper had about boring old Canadian history.
 
Something of the same attitude appears to reside within the new Liberal government. Immigration Minister John McCallum indicated an overhaul of Canada’s guide for new citizens — updated just six years ago by the Conservatives — is planned because the current version is “a little heavy on the War of 1812 and barbaric cultural practices.” As the National Post’s Chris Selley has pointed out, the 68-page guide carries a single mention of “barbaric practices,” in a section indicating Canada does not tolerate spousal abuse, honour killings or female genital mutilation. McCallum did not explain why Liberal sensibilities would be offended by a warning to new citizens that Canadians abhor such abuses.

The eagerness to erase one of the few references to Canadian history is equally mystifying. Canadian leaders — teachers, academics, politicians and authors — regularly lament Canada’s lack of interest in, and widespread ignorance of, its own history. Ask an average Canadian to spell the last name of the country’s first prime minister, and odds are they’ll respond with the spelling of a hamburger joint. It’s Macdonald, not McDonald. Ask them to name three other prime ministers — other than those in their own lifetime — and you’ll often draw a blank. Canadians mock Americans for their acute patriotism, as if disregard for the past is a more desirable trait. How can a country hope to progress if it doesn’t even know where it came from?

Celebrating the War of 1812 was a worthwhile endeavour precisely because so few Canadians understand the role it played in making us who we are. It was a key moment in the struggle to avoid being swallowed by the United States. More than 10,000 First Nations people joined British forces in the struggle, a rare moment of harmony and hope that — had it been maintained in ensuing years — might have prevented many of the tragic events that continue to sour relations today. It similarly underlined the stark divide on colour: while slavery was still legal in the U.S., Upper Canada had abolished it 20 years earlier — the first British territory to do so — and Canadian troops included a “corps of men of colour” who fought to keep it that way. Black troops joined the fight after U.S. Gen. William Hull crossed the Detroit River in July 1812, and received land grants in gratitude for their service. Some of Canada’s first heroes emerged from the war: Gen. Isaac Brock, who was killed in battle leading the defence against the invasion; Laura Secord, who walked 30 kilometres to warn that U.S. troops were planning a sneak attack; Chief Tecumseh, who allied his native troops with the British to repel the Americans.
 
Canadians continue to celebrate the people and events of the time despite the Liberal government’s apparent perplexity. Re-enactments are held each summer. Streets, schools and universities have been named in commemoration of its key figures. Reminders of the war are dotted across regions that are among Canada’s most popular tourist areas.
 
There is an unfortunate and dispiriting tendency in current culture to try and re-interpret the past. Oddly, it is deemed inappropriate to honour the events that made Canada a country and set the foundation for the culture we’ve become. We would prefer to condemn previous generations for lacking our own views, as if 19th century Canadians should somehow have shared the perspective of a future society they could never imagine.

The Liberals have shown an eagerness to roll back any initiative they view as too reflective of their Conservative predecessors. McCallum would do well to recognize that Canada’s history does not belong to any particular political party. He should be expanding efforts to acquaint Canadians with their history, not trying to erase it from guidebooks for the sake of a cheap political snub.
     
http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/national-post-view-the-liberals-dont-own-our-history

Online E.R. Campbell

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It would seem the National Post thinks the pendulum has swung back to the other extreme. http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/national-post-view-the-liberals-dont-own-our-history


The Liberals are still campaigning. Team Trudeau ...



... built around Gerald Butts and Katie Telford, is damned good at campaigning; they's smart, tough, quick, witty and driven. And Stephen Harper was a "soft target" after nine years in office.

But, governing is about making (often hard) choices and that appears, to me to be something that Team Trudeau would rather defer ~ until 2019 is they can manage it. Going after this sort of partisan, political "administrivia" is easy and popular amongst the Laurentian Elites who want al traces of "Harper the Barbarian" erased.

                         

I don't know how long the Liberals can avoid governing, but I expect to see more of this sort of thing throughout 2016.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline dapaterson

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Every government spends their first mandate blaming the last government and their second (and following) mandate(s) blaming the world economic situation.

And none are ever particularly keen on actual governing...
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Offline MCG

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Every government spends their first mandate blaming the last government ...
A little more than a year later, and it still looks like you are right.

In other news, looks like someone is attaching their CAF credentials (limited as they may be) to a political suggestion for the restoration of the Red Ensign as an official flag (though now subordinate to the National Flag).  Does the PRes put everyone through a course on pining for symbols of our colonial youth?
Quote
The maple leaf flag embodies Canada's national amnesia
Unlike Canada’s original flag—the Canadian Red Ensign—the maple leaf tells no story of our country. The Red Ensign, by comparison, vividly embodies Canada’s rich history
C.P. Champion
National Post
29 Jun 2017


There is much to celebrate on Canada’s 150th, and there will be no shortage of Canadian flags fluttering about. But the maple leaf flag is also the perfect embodiment of our national amnesia.

Unlike Canada’s original flag—the Canadian Red Ensign—the maple leaf tells no story of our country. The Red Ensign, by comparison, vividly embodies Canada’s rich history, inclusive of First Nations, the fleur-de-lis, and the diversity represented by Scottish, English and Irish symbols.

This history dates back much further than 1867. Canada’s traditions were shaped by the first colonists, the Conquest of 1759, the policies of Lord Dorchester, the resilience of His Majesty’s new French Catholic subjects, generations of American and British immigrants, and First Nations who prospered in the pre-Industrial era and understood themselves as proud, though cautious, allies of the King.

When these old colonies were reimagined and set on a new footing in the 1860s, four distinct Provincial shields were combined on the Red Ensign, which was flown by Sir John A. Macdonald. Lord Stanley, the governor-general, and Henri Bourassa, a French Canadian nationalist, both recognized the Red Ensign as a distinctive Canadian flag. After 1921, the flag bore the shield from Canada’s new coat of arms.

When Canadian soldiers took Juno Beach on June 6, 1944 (D-Day) they carried this Canadian flag ashore. Through Normandy and the Netherlands, between the Maas and the Rhine, under the Klever Tor at Xanten, in liberated Nijmegen, Arnhem, and Groningen: as the Reich flag was lowered across Western Europe, the Canadian flag was unfurled among the banners of victory. In 1945, there could be no doubt that “Canada had a flag,” as John Diefenbaker later said, “a flag ennobled by heroes’ blood.”

The Red Ensign was replaced by the red maple leaf in 1964, recommended in the sixth report of a parliamentary committee, voted for by 178 MPs in a discordant House of Commons, and implemented by a minority government led by a jittery Lester Pearson. Why the jitters? Because the old flag was so popular. As Senator Marcel Prud’homme, an M.P. in 1964, told me in 2007: “You see, we had to kill the Red Ensign” — so that the fledgling maple would have no rival.

Many celebrated the new dawn. The late Lt. Gen. Charles Belzile, who witnessed the maple’s raising for the first time while serving as a young soldier in Cyprus in 1965, told me: “It sure looked pretty good against those green hills!”

But the new flag also had its critics. Historian Marcel Trudel warned in 1964 that Canada’s new flag had “no historic significance” and was “a lamentable failure.” “I am convinced, for my part,” he said, “that any flag, if it is to be truly significant, must contain or represent the symbols of the nation or nations which contributed to establishing the country.”

First Nations leaders were strongly attached to the old flag. James Gladstone, a Blood (Kainai) appointed to the Senate in 1958 said: “Personally I do not want to see any other flag flying but the Red Ensign.” Many chiefs had received a Union Jack as a ceremonial seal on treaties: “Under these symbols of justice, we feel safe. Take them away from us and it will be another sign that we are not safe.”

While the national flag is obviously here to stay, Ottawa should accord the old flag official status as “The Canadian Red Ensign.” It should fly permanently alongside the Canadian flag at the National War Memorial — after all, it’s the flag our soldiers actually fought under. It should fly at war memorials everywhere, and at obvious locations such as the Canadian War Museum grounds. And finally, a Red Ensign should wave permanently above the East Block of Parliament as a symbol of our heritage of freedom.


C.P. Champion edits The Dorchester Review http://www.dorchesterreview.ca. He has worked as a policy advisor in Ottawa since 1997, and recently completed his Infantry Qualification in the Army (Reserve).

http://nationalpost.com/opinion/beyond-the-duck-the-maple-leaf-flag-embodies-canadas-national-amnesia/wcm/956a04c2-7442-478e-b9b4-b0ba384271a4

Offline dapaterson

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One of the boys in short pants with the prior government, a PhD in history, and an older Pte.

https://ca.linkedin.com/in/chris-champion-162a5011b
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Offline dapaterson

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One of the boys in short pants with the prior government, a PhD in history, and an older Pte.

https://ca.linkedin.com/in/chris-champion-162a5011b
This posting made in accordance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 2(b):
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication
http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/charter/1.html

Offline Eaglelord17

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A little more than a year later, and it still looks like you are right.

In other news, looks like someone is attaching their CAF credentials (limited as they may be) to a political suggestion for the restoration of the Red Ensign as an official flag (though now subordinate to the National Flag).  Does the PRes put everyone through a course on pining for symbols of our colonial youth?

Maybe it is because many people fought and died under the Red Ensign, and historically it is more significant than the Maple Leaf. I personally prefer the Red Ensign, however most in this day and age have grown up and gotten used to the Maple Leaf.

Besides what does him being PRes have to do with him liking a symbol. Last I checked most the new ranks and insignia from our past was being brought back by the Regs, not the PRes. You may have some pushers in the PRes (just as there are pushers in the Regs), but ultimately the Regs have the final decision in what gets adopted and what doesn't.

Offline jollyjacktar

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While I do remember a Red Ensign flying outside my home in Medicine Hat as a kid, my Canadian flag and the flag I've served under overseas is the Maple Leaf.  I don't think there's a great clamour to turn back time to old symbols with most folks today, especially First Nations people whom seem to be particularly sensitive at the moment and pissed off.  The remaining generations that do remember the Ensign are dwindling quickly and will be mostly gone in the not too far distant future,  the youth today aren't interested, I expect. 
I'm just like the CAF, I seem to have retention issues.

Offline MCG

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Last I checked most the new ranks and insignia from our past was being brought back by the Regs, not the PRes.
... or maybe in was a few reservists who, being class A, lobbied directly to the politicians and had a decision imposed when the army internally had said we don't want it.  You seem to have heard a different story than others.

In any case, the country seems to be in the throws of removing/stripping anything that honours significant historical figures who may have done anything that does not fully measure-up by ethical standards of today.  So we probably need some sort of metric by which to decide if stripping a name or removing a statue is really an appropriate course of action.  The Globe and Mail has published about one such system developed in Yale.  It might be something for decision makers to take a look at.
Quote
Langevin, Ryerson, Cornwallis: Is our past unfit for the present?
Peter Shawn Taylor
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Jul. 15, 2017 8:00AM EDT
Last updated Monday, Jul. 17, 2017 5:04AM EDT


Hector-Louis Langevin is gone. So too, Matthew Baillie Begbie. And Edward Cornwallis, Jeffery Amherst and Egerton Ryerson may be living on borrowed time. These once-esteemed Canadian historical figures have either had their names and likenesses ripped from the firmament or are in immediate danger thereof, because of conflict between historical facts and current sensitivities.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau removed Mr. Langevin’s name from the building that houses his office in Ottawa last month because some claim he was an architect of Canada’s notorious residential school system. A statue of Mr. Begbie, the first chief justice of British Columbia, was hoisted out of the lobby of the Law Society of British Columbia earlier this year because he sentenced six Indigenous chiefs to death in 1864. The legacies of Mr. Cornwallis, Mr. Amherst and Mr. Ryerson are similarly threatened by allegations they were mortal enemies of Indigenous peoples or associated with residential schools.

While clearly growing in fashion, the rename or remove movement is troublesomely ad hoc – decisions appear based solely on political calculation and the heat generated by social media. In Halifax, for example, a Facebook campaign calls on supporters to “peacefully remove” a prominent statue of Mr. Cornwallis, the city’s founder, in guerrilla fashion.

But with nearly every major Canadian historical figure somehow implicated in our country’s often-shameful treatment of Indigenous peoples, we need a better way to decide which parts of our past are truly unfit for present-day consumption. Consider the Witt test.

Yale University has long wrestled with similar complaints about Calhoun College, named for benefactor John C. Calhoun, a U.S. senator from South Carolina and outspoken proponent of slavery during the pre-Civil War era. Last year, Yale asked historian John Fabian Witt to resolve the controversy. His response was a unique series of questions meant to gauge the validity of renaming demands. It’s a first stab at a coherent, standardized system for settling commemoration disputes, and other U.S. institutions have quickly grasped its significance. Last month, the University of Mississippi employed Prof. Witt’s test in removing some controversial names from its campus, while letting other remain. In the absence of anything similar in Canada, we should adopt the Witt test to settle our own namesake dilemmas.

Prof. Witt begins with the overarching principle that name changes should be considered “exceptional events” and not frivolous or political acts. “Renaming has often reflected excessive confidence in moral orthodoxies,” he observes, pointing with caution to the Soviet Union. Then again, not every urge to rename is Orwellian: post-Apartheid South Africa or post-Nazi West Germany, for example.

To decide what deserves to be removed and what should stay, the Witt test applies four questions, modified here for domestic use, that weigh the actions and time periods of commemorated individuals.

  • First: Is the principal legacy of the namesake fundamentally at odds with Canadian values? This requires a broad understanding of the life’s work of the individual in question.
  • Second: Was the relevant principal legacy significantly contested during the namesake’s lifetime? Isolated statements or actions considered controversial today may have been conventional wisdom at the time. Context matters.
  • Third: At the time of the naming, was the namesake honoured for reasons fundamentally at odds with Canadian values? Why was this person commemorated?
  • Finally: Does the building play a substantial role in forming community? The more prominent the edifice, the greater the casefor retaining names of historical significance, Prof. Witt says.
Using the Witt test, Yale announced in February the removal of Mr. Calhoun’s name. White supremacy, it concluded, was his principal legacy. Mr. Calhoun claimed slavery was “a positive good” and that the Declaration of Independence erred in stating all men are created equal. For this, he was criticized in his own time and today.

Applying these same standards to Mr. Langevin, however, yields a different result. As an important French-Catholic Conservative federalist in the Confederation era, Mr. Langevin’s principal legacy was building a bicultural Canada, something once considered a great virtue in this country. This is why his name was placed on an important building in Ottawa. Though his name is today often paired with residential schools, Mr. Langevin was primarily involved with constructing the buildings, not championing the policies. The infamous speech he gave in Parliament on the subject was actually parroting what his boss – Sir John A. Macdonald – had said days earlier. While his comments are grating to modern ears, he was merely repeating widely accepted views from his time. The Witt test exonerates Mr. Langevin.

The legacies of Mr. Begbie, Mr. Ryerson, Mr. Cornwallis and the rest of Canada’s historically accused deserve a fair trial as well.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/langevin-ryerson-cornwallis-is-our-past-unfit-for-the-present/article35692106/

Offline Dimsum

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While I do remember a Red Ensign flying outside my home in Medicine Hat as a kid, my Canadian flag and the flag I've served under overseas is the Maple Leaf.  I don't think there's a great clamour to turn back time to old symbols with most folks today, especially First Nations people whom seem to be particularly sensitive at the moment and pissed off.  The remaining generations that do remember the Ensign are dwindling quickly and will be mostly gone in the not too far distant future,  the youth today aren't interested, I expect.

I doubt there would be appetite to change from the Maple Leaf - that is one of the most recognizable symbols of Canada. 
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

Offline jollyjacktar

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I doubt there would be appetite to change from the Maple Leaf - that is one of the most recognizable symbols of Canada.

Agreed. 

My Dad flew the Red Ensign at the house as it was the flag he fought and served under during and after the Second War.  It stayed in his den after his death and was still there last time I saw home years later.  I totally understand his personal connection with the flag.
I'm just like the CAF, I seem to have retention issues.

Offline daftandbarmy

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... or maybe in was a few reservists who, being class A, lobbied directly to the politicians and had a decision imposed when the army internally had said we don't want it.  You seem to have heard a different story than others.

In any case, the country seems to be in the throws of removing/stripping anything that honours significant historical figures who may have done anything that does not fully measure-up by ethical standards of today.  So we probably need some sort of metric by which to decide if stripping a name or removing a statue is really an appropriate course of action.  The Globe and Mail has published about one such system developed in Yale.  It might be something for decision makers to take a look at.https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/langevin-ryerson-cornwallis-is-our-past-unfit-for-the-present/article35692106/

Welcome to 1984:

"And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie passed into history and became truth. "Who controls the past," ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who controls the present controls the past." And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. "Reality control," they called it: in Newspeak, "doublethink." (1.3.18)
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Monsoon

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A little more than a year later, and it still looks like you are right.

In other news, looks like someone is attaching their CAF credentials (limited as they may be) to a political suggestion for the restoration of the Red Ensign as an official flag (though now subordinate to the National Flag).  Does the PRes put everyone through a course on pining for symbols of our colonial youth?http://nationalpost.com/opinion/beyond-the-duck-the-maple-leaf-flag-embodies-canadas-national-amnesia/wcm/956a04c2-7442-478e-b9b4-b0ba384271a4
Halfway off-topic, but: I'm fairly certain the fact that he edits a moderately prominent Canadian history review is the bona fide he's relying on to publish opinions about historical symbols. Yes, he joined the CAF late in life. He's a genuinely accomplished guy of the sort we should be doing a lot more to attract.

Online Loachman

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The Taliban blew up the Bamiyan Buddhas and Daesh blew up Palmyra because of religious intolerance.

We are committing the same thing, on a smaller and less spectacular scale, because of historical intolerance.

Offline Colin P

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I suspect many of the famous Native chiefs could not withstand an honest assessment under the Witt test either. But it seems the most reasonable way to proceed.

Offline Thucydides

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I'll go the irish monastery route, and collect old history books so when the pendulum swings back there will be references to build from. Not exactly sure what the cutoff date should be, but probably no later than the mid 1970s for the most part, predating the start of Political Correctness and the rise of Cultural Marxism.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.