Friday, January 6, 2012

Medicare in Saskatchewan: A nation building event

Coast Reporter
January 6, 2012


While I agree with Keith Maxwell (Coast Reporter letters, Dec. 30) in the general sense that commemorating historical events is important, I differ with him on the choice of raising the profile of the War of 1812 to the exclusion of other events. The War was between the U.S. and Britain and occurred when the Americans perceived a British weakness given a war in Europe. It was the first, but far from last, American imperialist adventure. No one “won”, but there was a clear loser. The Native people lost the opportunity for an autonomous indigenous region in the British colonies, and the conflict opened the way for the genocides carried out in the American West.

It may also be asked why other milestones are not given equal status. The year 2012 marks the 175th anniversary of the rebellions in both Upper and Lower Canada. The 1837 rebellions were the Occupy movements of the day and paved the way for responsible government and the formation of Canada. It will also be the 50th anniversary of both Medicare in Saskatchewan and the opening of the TransCanada Highway — clearly nation building events.

The only explanation for glorifying 1812 is the Harperite desire to “remake” the Canadian culture into the type of jingoistic, militarist cesspool we see in other countries. C’mon MP Weston: explain how a colonial war is more important than responsible government, health care and a major breakthrough in linking the country’s transport system.

Paul Johnston, Roberts Creek

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