Pride And Prejudice - Canada
Written By: Jake Eastman-Zaleski
Canadians have many events of which to be proud. On the other hand, Canada has had some bad periods in its history too. In the outline below, I will cover several of the issues that shaped Canada. We can learn from both.
Canada contributed many soldiers to the war effort in both world wars. Its contribution was especially significant in World War II. In all close to 1 million men and women were in uniform during a time when the country’s population was only 11 million. Canadians played an important role in major battles on multiple fronts. While Canada was a key ally it had a more independent status than in the previous war when it was under Britain’s leadership. Following the war, the Canadian military became?
While this was something positive, back in Canada, Canadians of Japanese descent were being interned. In all, 27,000 Japanese were interned. They were not charged or given trials. Their property was taken away. The internment camps were crowded and uncomfortable and there was poor care for the sick and old. Canada followed the United States’ example after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. This showed that Canadians had different standards when it came to people of Asian descent. Canada was more independent militarily than it had been in the past but in the Japanese internments it was trying to please the USA.
Not long after, Canada had a very important role in establishing peacekeeping. Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson came up with a new perspective on how to stop global wars from happening. This new way of peacekeeping used United Nations peacekeepers who were neutral and unbiased to keep the peace. This had a big impact on many conflicts, including the Suez Crisis.
The residential schools in Canada is another example of racism. At one time the government took over land owned by aboriginals. From the 1930s until as recently as the 1990s, the government took 150,000 aboriginal children from their families. Across Canada these children were forced into residential schools. This was one of the worst examples of racism in Canada.
Universal healthcare is something that we can all be proud of. Premier Tommy Douglas of Saskatchewan was responsible for something that we as Canadians see as being part of who we are. We believe that we have a better system than in the United States where people are responsible for the cost of their healthcare. It’s about helping each other when we are in need of health care regardless of whether you are rich or poor.
The October Crisis was a movement in Quebec by those who wanted an independent country. It resulted in several bombings, the attack on Pierre Trudeau at a parade, and the kidnapping of the Montreal mayor and the murder of Pierre Laporte. It also resulted in the imposition of the War Measures act. This meant that the police could arrest anyone without cause. This was significant because it was the first time a Canadian prime minister had been attacked. In addition, it was a shock to all Canadians to have freedoms withdrawn.