And yet... and yet... when we look at the issues of D'Arcy McGee's time -- the issues that wracked Ireland and threatened to throttle Canada's Confederation while it was still in the cradle -- we can see that the problems are resolvable and reconciliation is indeed possible. When we look at how far Ireland has come in its own journey of reconciliation since the civil war nearly a century ago and The Troubles only 20 years past, we have profound examples of reconciliation.Read More
The Scottish government has moved to distance itself from the Glasgow-born father of the Canadian nation over his treatment of its indigenous population. A bronze statue of Sir John A Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, was toppled in Victoria, British Columbia, last Saturday after officials said it was a “painful reminder of colonial violence”…Since 2015 the anniversary of his birthday has been celebrated by Sir John A’s Great Canadian Kilt Skate. The Scottish government has been the main sponsor of the annual event, at which Canadian-Scots take to the ice in seven cities wearing tartan and waving saltires attached to ice hockey sticks.Read More
On this day in 1813, the Canadian Volunteers mustered and were reviewed for the first time. To many who don't know the history of the War of 1812, the name "Canadian Volunteers" is misleading. These Canadians were, in fact, fighting on the side of the American invaders. If captured, they would have been treated as traitors to the Crown.
On this day in 1813, a short, bloody skirmish was fought on what is now the outskirts of the picturesque town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Battle of Ball's Farm etched the psyche of the American army that had established its foothold in Niagara. American soldiers feared the Mohawk warriors -- and with good reason.
On this day, 205 years ago, Upper Canada (now Ontario) was as close as it ever would be to becoming part of the United States. But the night-time battle fought in the early hours of June 6, 1813, was a turning point in the War of 1812.Read More
To wrap up this Canada150 project, Bob Plamondon bridged to our world: one Prime Minister lost in the mists of time, and four others whom some of us remember vividly. What future generations remember will eventually be the gold left behind in the sluice of time. Plamondon himself has participated in that story. He was the Progressive Conservative candidate for Ottawa Centre in the 1988 (free trade) election.Read More
While in Ireland, I sometimes feel I'm on a mission to explain to the Irish the enormous impact of an Irishman his home country has forgotten. No one here has heard of Thomas D'arcy McGee, Canada's most eloquent Father of Confederation, and Ireland's gift to Canada.Read More
In 1982, when Eddie Goldenberg was a McGill law student, he landed a job as an intern for the Indian Affair minister in Ottawa. Most interns spend summers filing or doing other paperwork. Goldenberg’s minister wanted him to attend meetings – often private meetings behind closed doors.
“Listen. Learn,” Jean Chrétien told the young Goldenburg. “Eventually I’ll ask you what you think.”
Eddie Goldenberg soon started sharing his thoughts, and continued to do so for another 30 years. Jean Chrétien sought his advice every step in his career: Indian Affairs; Treasury Board; Industry, Trade and Commerce; Finance; Justice; Energy, Mines and Resources; two campaigns for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada; and, eventually, three terms as Prime Minister (1993-2003) where Goldenberg was Chief of Staff.Read More
We divided our army into three: one force to assault the "guns" head on; two more to swing around the flanks in either direction. The assault force in the centre were to march forward bravely; the other two were told to use whatever stealth and cover they could find -- not easy to do when one side of the battlefield is cordoned off by a fence.Read More
From his mother's side, he wrote very well and his diaries and memoirs stand out as important records of the world of North America in his day. From his father's side, he had the capacity for memory that comes from a culture that does not write things down -- and therefore you must remember. Every conversation. Every river bend. Every transaction. Norton never forgot a thing. Here was a man whose brain was adept with the skills of both pre-Gutenberg and post-Gutenberg communications. Marshall McLuhan would have loved it!Read More