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Letter: Wrong to erase historical mistakes

Do well-meaning actions of past leaders deserve vilification?
North West Mounted Police
Prime Minister John A. MacDonald rose in the House of Commons in 1873 to ask permission to assemble a police force for Western Canada that became the North West Mounted Police.

Dear Editor

I was pleased to see the commonsense article in the Dec. 16 issue of the News-Optimist written by Ken Coates. He has impressive achievements. I certainly could relate to the line about "remarkable lack of historical subtlety or understanding."

So many Canadians do not know the history of Canada, or choose to forget, that it is easy for minority groups to start rolling their bandwagons of untruths and therefore ignore or destroy the legacy of Canada's first prime minister, for example.

Appalled at the Cypress Hills Massacre, when whiskey runners from the United States murdered a group of Canadian Indians, he rose in the House of Commons in 1873 to ask permission to establish a police force for the Western Canada, which led to the formation of the North West Mounted Police.

When Queen Victoria told the Canadian government they must save land for the native people she is noted for saying, "Where do you think they are going to live?"

For these well-meaning attempts they deserve to have their statues defiled or torn down?

It seems at times that a pattern for absolute rudeness and nasty personal attacks is followed by the politicians, at least a significant number of them, here in in Canada and in the United States.

Is it any wonder, then, that if so-called leaders can get away with it, then a large number of the population follow suite.

Someone wrote that civility is the social oil. I wonder if, in the end, we'd rather fight and cause trouble; rather insult each other; would rather destroy one another's ideas, than be civil. Emotional blackmail is also used.

Mistakes were made in the past. You can bet all you have, mistakes will be made in the future.

Christine Pike



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