The Niagara Independent, June 30, 2023 – Many Canadians now appreciate the full context of Justin Trudeau’s comment back in 2015, when he surmised that Canada would become the “first post-national state.” Having just become Prime Minister of the country, Trudeau stated in that often-quoted New York Times interview, “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada” when it comes to our national identity.
Perhaps Trudeau was off-side to say that in 2015, however, as a result of his systematic approach through the last eight years, PM Trudeau and his political operatives have effectively been erasing Canadian history to achieve his post-national vision.
As a point of reference, Wikipedia provides a definition of post-nationalism as: “the process or trend by which nation states and national identities lose their importance relative to cross-nation and self-organized or supranational and global entities as well as local entities.” The factors constituting the post-national process include shifting national economies to global ones, increasingly referencing global identities and beliefs, and transferring national authorities to multinational corporations and the United Nations.
In celebrating our country this weekend, let’s consider some of the obvious ways the Trudeau government is revising and erasing the Canada’s history to further his post-national vision.
“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” – George Orwell
From 2015 through to today, the overarching narrative of the Trudeau government is a woke progressivism that projects western culture as a hierarchy of power, one of oppressors and the oppressed. This woke world view is guilt-based, where success is achieved through force, and authority is undeserving.
In the last eight years, Canadians have been re-educated to understand our country is founded on genocide, theft, racism and oppression. It is therefore inappropriate, indeed unacceptable, to honour our forefathers’ achievements and their mores, traditions, and identifying symbols.
And in reconciling the darkness of our country’s past, the Trudeau government has set about to enlighten Canadians with a corrected record of cultural and societal legacies, one in which generations of “settlers” have no legitimate right to their accomplishments and should only harbour shame for past faults.
The Trudeau government’s purposeful revisionism of the country’s history has been unabated. There are many recent instances to cite. For example, on the eve of King Charles III’s coronation, the government issued a media statement that the image of the royal crown was to be redrawn with the cross and fleur-de-lys removed from Canada’s heraldry, replaced with a stylized snowflake and maple leaves. Canadians were also informed that there would be no further reference to the “United Kingdom” and “Defender of the Faith” in the title of our Canadian monarchy.
Similarly, this spring the government unilaterally announced it had redesigned the Canadian passport. The documentation was to be stripped of the historical images of the Fathers of Confederation, the Vimy Ridge memorial, the Famous Five, Champlain, the Northwest Mounted Police, the Stanley Cup, the Bluenose, and the Houses of Parliament. Even the most celebrated person in recent history – the beloved Terry Fox — was erased from the passport. In place of these iconic Canadianna images, the passport is to feature watermark pictures of a narwhale, Canada goose, a squirrel eating a nut, a man raking leaves, maple syrup, a barn, etc.
In the last few years Canadians have witnessed a series of acts that are cancelling recognition of our country’s history within the public forum. There has been a rash of statutes defaced and toppled – from Sir John A Macdonald to Egerton Ryerson to Queen Victoria. Some statues – like those at Queen’s Park and at the National Capital’s airport – have been quietly removed and put into storage for “safe keeping.” Canada’s first Prime Minister has had his name erased from schools, roads, and even at the aforementioned Ottawa airport.
John A Macdonald has also been taken from the country’s currency. Recall a few years ago the government announced it was redesigning the country’s bills and that the first alteration was to remove PM Macdonald, replaced by…. (Can you tell me who is now on the $10 bill – without looking? Okay, now look. Who is she?)
In 2019, the federal cabinet issued a directive to review and revise more than 2,100 historic plaques and monuments nationwide to address concerns of the Canadian legacies of “colonialism, patriarchy and racism.” Parks Canada oversaw revisions that “address conflict and controversy” and “power dynamics”; “confront the legacy of colonialism and its impact on Indigenous peoples”; stress “inclusiveness”; and focus on “diversity of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability and religion.”
In this same period, Canada’s chief archivist purged more than 7,000 webpages on the Library and Archives Canada website, including those referencing PM Macdonald, Egerton Ryerson, and the War of 1812. It was explained that this was done to correct the government’s account of the country’s history, expunging documents “outdated and redundant” or that “may offend people.”
On a related matter, perhaps the greatest affront to the country and its people is the Trudeau government’s intent to amend the Citizenship Act so that new Canadians will be permitted to swear their oath of allegiance online with a tick of a box. To add insult, as Blacklock’s Reporter reveals, upon completing the form on the government website immigrants will be mailed a memento maple leaf pin – made in China.
Canadian historian Gerry Bowler, a senior fellow of the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, has been highly critical of the government’s obsessiveness to erase Canada’s history and our forefather’s traditions. In an Epoch Times editorial, Bowler advanced, “These acts are not trivial and they are not accidental. They reflect an attitude on the part of our elites that resents attachments to our past because they hinder their attempts to alter our behaviours, which they view as outdated, parochial, and selfish. It is a stealth campaign that proceeds step by little, undebated, step.”
Dr. Mark Milke is another Canadian historian who has just published, “The 1867 Project – Why Canada should be cherished not cancelled.” This book is a collection of essays that distinguishes Canadian values and ideals found within the 19th century classic liberalism movement and the rich legacies of British government and institutions. Contrary to PM Trudeau’s contention that Canada has no national identity, Dr. Milke identifies the core essence of Canada is found in our regard for individual rights and freedoms, the worth of the individual, rule of law, capitalism, and democratic government.
In an insightful True North interview on the Andrew Lawton Show, Dr. Milke observed, “The point about history in a liberal democracy is that you build on the sacrifices and successes of the past, you don’t deny the wrong things that have happened in the past…. To take a simplistic view of history is to miss the full breadth and depth of human beings, and their age and ours.”
As Milke, Bowler and many others will argue, a people’s national identity is forged in the country’s history and with its peoples’ traditions and mores. No doubt, this is the very reason why the Trudeau government goes to such a great length to erase Canadian history and denigrate the country’s past accomplishments.
Bowler summarizes this idea succinctly, “A person without roots, without a memory, without a story can be easily influenced and cause no trouble to the authorities. A nation without a common history in which citizens can take pride cannot long survive.”
So, this Canada Day, let’s wave the flag and unashamedly celebrate our freedoms and good fortunes. Pay proper homage to the country’s forefathers and reflect on their successes. And in this way, may the Canadian dream endure Justin Trudeau’s post-national vision. To all, happy Canada Day!