Irregardless of the fireworks and red serge cavalry, the story of Canada’s creation is a total yawner. The essence of this year’s, and every July 1st, celebration is the marking of the day a foreign queen in a faraway capital signed into law the articles of our Confederation.
No “Into the breach, boys” heroics, or tales of gallantry done to share with grandchildren yet unborn; merely a mannered, polite ceremony, presumably with tea and cut sandwiches to follow; and Bob’s your uncle.
For nearly all of our 150 years that’s been good enough. Some of us even take a measure of pride our beginnings are a genteel, dare we say more civilized, affair than that of our flamboyant cousins south.
But, in this new and bloodied century, where the prosecution of warmaking is more perpetual profession than momentous event, circumscribed by neither remorse nor temporality, the warrior ethos requires vigorous reaffirmation, and there our placid foundational trumpet is wanting steel.
Happily, as it happens, Canada’s 2017 sesquicentennial coincides with the hundred year anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Just the blood and guts grist needed to render from the horror and gore of trench warfare a narrative of glory and progress for an overly effete nation; or so our marshal myth-makers would have it. But are Canadians ready to accept militarism as national mantle?
Jamie Swift is an award-winning journalist, activist, educator, and author whose body of work is focused largely on issues of social justice, economy, environment, globalization, and politics. Among his other book titles, he co-authored, with Ian McKay, ‘Warrior Nation: Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety’ and teamed up again with McKay for the recently released, ‘The Vimy Trap: Or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Great War‘. The Michener-Deacon Fellowship for Public Service Journalism awardee is also the keynote speaker for the inaugural, ‘Provincial Peace and Disarmament Summit‘, to be held here at the University of Victoria May 12-13.
Jamie Swift in the first half.
And; with less than a week before the provincial poll, which issues are you focused on? Though it’s difficult to narrow down to just a few the missteps of the current government, there is a single exemplar of all that is wrong with the BCLiberals, regardless of your political bent. Whether fiscal conservative, Libertarian, enviro, anarcho-communist, social democrat, political agnostic, or miscellaneous the Site C Dam project has something to outrage you. And, the folks at Just the Dam Facts argue, there’s a lot more than just one disastrous thing about this white elephant everyone can oppose.
Ariel Martz-Oberlander is with Just the Dam Facts, and she joins us in the second segment.
And, CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what’s good to do planned in and around our town for the coming week. But first, Jamie Swift and The Vimy Trap, a ridge too far.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: https://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/