Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Battle of the Plains of Abraham

A recent announcement by the National Battlefields Commission cancelled the re-enactment of the 1759 Battle of the Plains of Abraham, wherein French forces were defeated clearing the way for British dominance in North America. This historic re-enactment of Canadian history is no different than books that were written and are still written about Canadian history.

The decision to cancel the event was due to political pressure from within Quebec, and more importantly, due to threats directed at organizers and participants that raised concerns of violence. Canceling this historic event has been referred to as historical censorship. It seems that is the case, but the reasons for canceling the event, being threats of violence, is even more concerning. A civilized country like Canada is not apparently civilized enough to play act out events that are a fact of our rich historical development. It is even more concerning, and shows the dark side of modern day history in Canada, when separatist groups are claiming the decision to cancel this historic event as a victory.

It is a slight against the events of our history and against free speech, which civilized and developed nations like Canada represent. So where does this leave us on these matters of history, free enactment and free speech? It would seem somewhere back in 1759 where differences were settled violently and sometimes-on battlefields like the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Quebec is a rich and wonderful part of Canadian history and the people of Quebec are distinct in so many ways as are other Canadians living in this vast land we love called Canada. It is unfortunate that Canada must be so often unsettled and threatened by separatists.

This issue leaves questions to be answered. Should we cancel the re-enactment of the 1885 Trial of Louis Riel? Should history books not be written that speak to the facts of our history? How long will we tolerate separatists in Canada? How long will we tolerate a separatist party in the House of Commons that only speaks for Quebec? Has the Government of Canada lost a battle with the separatists in their decision to cancel the re-enactment of this event?

I leave you to answer these questions. May God Bless Canada.