How some people think the Commons heritage committee will change Canadian history:
Unofficially, Canadian history began in the year 1000, when Leif Ericson arrived to build a settlement in what is now Newfoundland. Sadly, this Scandinavian’s socialist style of governing led to the abandonment of the settlement a couple of years later.
Officially, Canadian history began in the year 1497 with the arrival of explorer John Cabot, followed in 1534 by Jacques Cartier. Both brought their social values to a country crying out for leadership. As they stepped ashore, they found a vast country that was completely uninhabited, thereby averting any future care for original inhabitants (had there been any).
Canada’s free-trading reputation began shortly afterward with the hugely successful fur trade. Although there were those on the left who protested the slaughter and near eradication of millions of beavers, the country’s business-minded leaders pointed out that thousands of Canadian jobs depended on selling “Canada’s Pelt Products” abroad.
A milestone event occurred in 1791, when the British government passed the Constitutional Act that created two colonies. One was named “Upper” Canada due to its superior leaders who believed in a strong, united Canada. The other colony, which was constantly threatening to separate, was given the fitting title of “Lower” Canada. After it snubbed our governing party in the last election, “Lesser” Canada might be a more fitting name.
Perhaps the most pivotal moment in Canadian history was when Canadian forces decisively won the War of 1812, establishing Canada as one of the world’s great military powers.
In the early 19th century, various governments began to form across Canada, known simply by the names of their leaders. Two examples were the “George-Étienne Cartier Government” and the “Tupper Government.” Although it cost thousands of taxpayer dollars to continually change all the government stationery, it made it easier for some of the less educated voters to remember which party to vote for.
In 1866, terrorists known as Fenians began attacking the Canadian border. Canada responded by dealing with the perpetrators as harshly as possible because, despite the root causes of poverty and living under an occupying army in their Irish homeland, Canada’s bold leaders declared: “This is not a time to commit sociology.” Along with Canada’s vigilance against terrorists, wise leaders of the time passed a law known as the “Safe Wagon Trails and Settlements Act.” Since that day, based on data taken from the Voluntary Census, no serious crimes have been committed in Canada.
On March 29, 1867, Queen Victoria gave royal assent to the British North America Act and Canada became a federal dominion. Since then, there have been many complications but they have been cleansed from the history books because “Canadians are fed up with constitutional battles.”
Canada’s first prime minister was Sir John A. Macdonald, leader of the future Conservative Party of Canada, Canada’s Natural Governing Party, who was in office for six terms due mainly to his ability to use the successful tool of attack advertising against his left-wing opponents. Posters nailed to trees across the land declared things like “Alexander Mackenzie is not fit to be prime minister. He is in way over his head.” Town criers were given daily talking points to add to their announcements about events like Sheep-Shearing Hootenannies and how these events were made possible by “strong, stable, majority government.”
At the end of the 19th century, a left-leaning politician, whose face, strangely, has remained on Canada’s $5 bill, said, “the 20th century will be the century of Canada.” He was absolutely wrong, as you will have noticed. At the beginning of the 21st century, our greatest prime minister, Stephen Harper, said, “You won’t recognize Canada when I get through with it.” He was absolutely right, as you will have noticed.
From 1963 to 1984 and, again, from 1993 to 2006, Canada entered two bleak periods of time known as the Dark Ages. The country slid backward into a chasm of progressivism, saved only by the arrival of the Enlightenment – the federal election of 2006.
So, how will history record the next 500 years for Canada? One long overdue change will be that history books, as we know them, will be replaced by the user-friendly Twitter social network. Historic events will be reported as they happen, in real time, and in an easy-to-read 140 characters or less. It will be a living Canadian history reported moment to moment, by your federal leader and his ministers, as they go about making Canadian history.
Bob Robertson is a humour writer, performer and co-creator of the radio and TV comedy Double Exposure.