April. 17 2018
Old MacDonald had a Country- but then Used it Mistakenly!
Why is it widely accepted that Canada’s father murdered his children, but hasn’t faced any repercussions? As with most big decisions, Canada’s opinion on the first prime minister is fairly controversial. Many Canadians believe that John A. MacDonald’s name, and statues should be displayed to remind people of the past, and prevent the same mistakes from being made again; others find what MacDonald stands for too painful, and wish for him to be removed from the public eye. In order to support all Canadians, statues and public buildings commemorating MacDonald’s name and face should be removed or altered so that everyone can feel safe in their own country, and so that Canadians can recognize the mistakes of their ancestors, and be willing to fix them.
MacDonald should be removed from the public sphere, because of Canada’s devotion to multiculturalism and acceptance of all people, while he stood for other ideas. Canadians come from all over the world, and it is the duty of every Canadian to make these people feel comfortable and welcome in their own country. The people of Canada “have a shared history, but [they] have more importantly a shared future, so let’s build a country on truth and honesty,” so that all Canadians can be included in the future, with disregard to the history (Bellegarde). There are people who live in Canada who are forced to visit a building everyday, which is dedicated to the man behind the murder of their ancestors; people are told to call this man father of the country they know and love. Removing the statues of MacDonald would begin to soothe the emotional burden which the indigenous peoples must struggle with everyday, and it would show that this country supports any and all.
Many people believe that by removing statues of MacDonald, Canadians are judging their past based on current beliefs, which is unfair if one considers the common values of the past. While this is true and fair, many outsiders judge with the belief that Canada agrees with its past decisions. This affects how people all over the world decide to live their lives. MacDonald’s opinions and choices however, are not representative of the majority of Canadian’s individual beliefs. MacDonald favoured one race over all others in a way which would not be accepted today; “[he] initially proposed to the House of Commons that [Chinese people] should not have the right to vote on the grounds that they were ‘foreigners’ and that ‘the Chinese [had] no British instincts or British feelings or aspirations’” (Stanley). Today however, the Chinese population makes up over five percent of all Canadians. So much of Canada’s current demographic, plus many more people who wish to live in Canada, are influenced by the widely accepted amount of support which Canadians allow their founding father.
While Canadians have an obligation to remember their past, they also must prevent forgotten ideologies from resurfacing. For the sake of comfort among all Canadians, and dismissal of judgement from other countries, it is Canada’s duty to remove the ideals of MacDonald from the public, and prevent the emotional pain he continues to induce. We cannot change the future by leaving our mistakes uncorrected.