Monday, October 03, 2005

the tale of two nations

LYSIANE GAGNON criticizes 'the end of two solitudes' drivel Michaelle Jean offered during her inauguration ceremony:

In her speech, she implied that the existence of “two solitudes” was due to nothing more than a string of outdated and narrow grievances, erasing 450 years of history and 40 years of constitutional debates. Moreover, it was a denial of the fundamental duality of Canada, a country that is based on the union of the two founding peoples (the aboriginals were not part of the various arrangements and compromises that built modern Canada).
Listening to the Governor-General, a new immigrant would have wondered why French is an official language in Canada — and he would have had the impression that Canada has been a British possession for 400 years.

Prime Minister Paul Martin wasn't more explicit. His own account of the country's history was contained in a single sentence, in which an unspecified group of “pioneers” were sandwiched between “the aboriginals” and “the immigrants,” as if the contributions of the French and British settlers and their descendants had been minimal. It's one thing to recognize the role of our large, diversified immigrant population in redefining Canada in the 20th and 21st centuries, but it's another thing to minimize the role of those who spent 400 years building the foundations of the country.

I don’t know about the French part; it’s my understanding that Anglo liberals are quite content to recognize “French as an official language in Canada” and waste taxpayers’ money promoting it where it historically never existed because of the special role of French-Quebecois culture in Canadiana.
However, the real reason why the tale of two founding nations gets sometimes sandwiched between aboriginals and immigrants is because of its British component. For the proponents of Trudeaupia it’s an uncomfortable thing of the past that should be dealt away with and never looked back at. For to recognize the contribution of British settlers and their culture would be to admit that there was never a void which multiculturalism was supposed to fill but a vibrant, potent culture that has succeeded everywhere it went. But this would be such an un-PC thought and dangerous knowledge. And we ought to remember that 'Ignorance is Strength.'


Post a Comment

<< Home