Debating Sir John A.’s legacy

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Re: Why the racism of our forefathers haunts us still, Opinion June 11


Why the racism of our forefathers haunts us still, Opinion June 11


Carol Goar’s review of James Daschuk’s Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation and the Loss of Aboriginal Life casts light on a controversy that’s heating up around Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister.


Was he a good guy or a bad guy? Who gets to decide?


Leading up to Macdonald’s 200th birthday — only seven months away — has been brokering an online, nation-wide “conversation” about Macdonald and his legacy — all voices welcome. We’ve be hearing comments from detractors and supporters that range from hatred to hagiography, often in heartfelt monosyllables.


Goar’s column and Daschuk’s book raise the level of discourse: research, reasoned argument, complete sentences. Macdonald’s bicentennial harkens back to the origins of modern Canada. This is a good historical moment in which to consider who we are as a people and where we came from.


Is the system of government that Macdonald handed down to us through Confederation and the British North America Act working? Or not? Is it working for all Canadians? Or not? If so, why? If not, why not? Where do we go from here?


Jim Garrard, Executive Producer, SirJohnA2015, Kingston

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