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jerryking : centenaries   8

In 1967, the birth of modern Canada - The Globe and Mail
JAN. 02, 2017 | THE GLOBE AND MAIL | DOUG SAUNDERS |

1967 is the hinge upon which modern Canadian history turns and, in certain respects, the key to understanding the challenges of the next half-century.

Today, we live in the country shaped by the decisions and transformations of 1967, far more than by the events of 1867.

Let me make the case, then, that 1967 was Canada’s first good year. We should spend this year celebrating not the 150 th year of Confederation, but the 50th birthday of the new Canada.

But let me also make the case that our conventional story about the birth of second-century Canada is largely wrong. We like to believe that starting in the late 1960s, a series of political decisions, parliamentary votes, court rulings and royal commissions descended upon an innocent, paternalistic, resource-economy Canada and forced upon it an awkward jumble of novelties: non-white immigration, bilingualism, multiculturalism, refugees, indigenous nationhood, liberation of women and gays, the seeds of free trade, individual rights, religious diversity.

But the explosions of official novelty that were launched in and around 1967 weren’t a cause; they were an effect of profound changes that had taken place in Canadians themselves during the two decades after the war, in their thinking and their composition and their attitude toward their country, in Quebec and English Canada and in indigenous communities.


There is a solid line leading from the events of 1967 to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982: It was impossible to have a Canada of multiple peoples, as we discovered was necessary in the late 1960s, without having a Canada of individual people and their rights.

....Individual rights, Quebecois consciousness, indigenous shared-sovereignty status and cultural plurality weren’t the only inevitable outcomes of the 1967 moment. What Canada witnessed over the next two decades was a self-reinforcing spiral of events that often sprung directly from the centennial-era awakening of a postcolonial consciousness.
Doug_Saunders  anniversaries  1967  nostalgia  nationalism  '60s  turning_points  centenaries  pride  Pierre_Berton  Canada  Canada150  national_identity  aboriginals  postcolonial  symbolism  John_Diefenbaker  Lester_Pearson  multiculturalism  Quebecois  Quiet_Revolution  monoculturalism  land_claim_settlements  immigration  royal_commissions  sesquicentennial  Charter_of_Rights_and_Freedoms  Confederation  retrospectives 
january 2017 by jerryking
Nationalism and the lessons of World War I, 100 years on - The Globe and Mail
Jun. 29 2014

it should be our species’ fervent wish that we acknowledge two fundamental truths to emerge from the First World War.

The first truth is that the leading powers of the day must be cautious about pulling themselves and their allies into escalating conflicts. There is an element in well-armed countries that, energized by either a thirst for blood or a naiveté about the horrors of its shedding, wants to answer every terrorist attack, act of aggression or perceived threat with military-backed ultimatums. This was Austria-Hungary’s response to the assassination of Franz Ferdinand – it now serves as a reminder that an interconnected world, as ours most definitely was in 1914, can back into Armageddon as easily as march into it. World leaders who resist calls for military action aren’t necessarily showing weakness; they may be showing resolve and wisdom.

The second indelible truth is that nationalism, a product of the age in which the war started, is the single greatest threat to peace.
editorials  assassinations  WWI  war  hard_truths  nationalism  lessons_learned  anniversaries  history  Canada  centenaries  threats  ultimatums 
july 2014 by jerryking
The Last Good Year
September 29, 1997 | Maclean's | Pierre Berton

https://archive.macleans.ca/article/1997/9/29/the-last-good-year

It was a golden year, and so it seems in retrospect—a year in which we let off steam like schoolboys whooping and hollering at term’s end. We all thought big that year. The symbolic birthday cake on Parliament Hill stood 30 feet high: ice cream and cake for 30,000 kids and hang the expense! Over and over again, we showed the world what Canadians could do: Nancy Greene grabbing the World Cup for skiing; Elaine Tanner, the aquatic Mighty Mouse, taking four medals at the Pan-American Games; Marshall McLuhan on every magazine cover.

By a number of measurements, we are a great deal better off today than we were 30 years ago. We are healthier and we are wealthier than we were in 1967. The real net worth of the average Canadian is almost double what it was back then. Babies born today can expect to live longer—six years more than the centennial crop of babies.

Why, then, do we look back to 1967 as a golden year compared with 1997? If we are better off today, why all the hand-wringing? There are several reasons, but the big one, certainly, is the very real fear that the country we celebrated so joyously 30 years ago is in the process of falling apart. In that sense, 1967 was the last good year before all Canadians began to be concerned about the future of our country.
1967  nostalgia  anniversaries  nationalism  '60s  centenaries  pride  Pierre_Berton  Expo_67  retrospectives  annus_mirabilis  turning_points 
august 2012 by jerryking

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