Conservatives blast “woke censors” for erasing John A. Macdonald Heritage Minute
Conservatives blast “woke censors” for erasing John A. Macdonald Heritage Minute

A Conservative MP is taking aim at Historica Canada for deleting a Heritage Minute highlighting Sir John A Macdonald’s role in Confederation amid what it called “controversies regarding Macdonald’s treatment of Indigenous peoples.”

“After nine years of Trudeau, woke censors and activists are trying to erase our history and tell Canadians they should not be proud of our great country,” said Rachael Thomas, the Conservative party’s heritage critic. “Sir John A. Macdonald is one of the founders of our nation and our very first prime minister. His vision and leadership played a critical role in establishing our constitution on the principles of peace, order, and good government. These irrefutable facts cannot be erased.”

Historica Canada, the charity that produces the longrunning Heritage Minute series, quietly removed the episode in question, which was produced in 2015 in the leadup to Canada’s sesquicentennial, from its YouTube page.

The Heritage Minute in question, which remains available on Facebook, encapsulates Macdonald’s vision of a nation stretching “from sea to sea,” a dream realized through the construction of the Canadian Pacific railway.

In the video, the actor portraying Macdonald expresses his enthusiasm for Confederation: “To the east, the Atlantic provinces, then Upper and Lower Canada, across the Prairies, to the Rockies and beyond. A new country made one by a railway from sea to sea.”

A spokesperson for Historica Canada did not address Thomas’ criticisms directly, but rather reiterated the organization’s commitment to “educate Canadians on the history of this country, including both its achievements and failings.”

“In the case of Macdonald that means recognizing both his many accomplishments while in office – including his key role in Confederation – while also acknowledging those areas where his legacy is more complicated,” a spokesperson told True North. “The Minute is on hiatus from distribution – not permanently withdrawn – while we discuss ways to address that.”

Historica Canada told True North last week that when the Heritage Minute was produced, “the more intense discussions and subsequent controversies regarding Macdonald’s treatment of Indigenous peoples had not yet taken place.”

“To present a Minute – particularly given their extensive use in schools – without mentioning these other aspects of his time in office is to provide an incomplete image lacking proper context,” the spokesperson said. “This view was reflected in some feedback from educators.”

Historica Canada said it was putting the minute on “hiatus while we assess what other accompanying content we can provide in order to offer a more complete treatment.”

In her statement, Thomas linked the decision to a broader “woke culture” she says a Conservative government would reject.

“Instead of Trudeau’s woke culture that is attempting to tear down our country, common sense Conservatives will restore the Canada we know and love and celebrate the proud country we call home,” she said.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre similarly chided the Trudeau government for being governed by a “weird, woke ideology” in his speech to supporters at the Calgary Stampede on the weekend.

It “destroys our education, dishonours our history, and divides our people,” Poilievre said.

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