Tuesday, July 17, 2012

James Moore should give Peter MacKay history lessons

Late last year, as the federal government launched plans to celebrate the bicentennial of the War of 1812, Heritage Minister James Moore was heard to lament the fact that Canada's high schools are doing a very poor job of teaching students about history.

Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, who announced Tuesday that Ottawa is plowing nearly $30-million into the 1812-1814 conflict’s bicentennial, says he wants to sharpen efforts to teach Canada about its past. 
“In only four of Canada’s 10 provinces are students required to take history before they graduate from high school,” he said. “I think that’s a sadly low number so I want to work on improving that.”

While Moore is rather outside his area of responsibility, education being a provincial responsibility, he was absolutely correct. He needn't go outside the federal sphere to start rectifying the problem though, as it seems there's actually a candidate for remedial courses around the cabinet table.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay has been getting attention for what some are calling his novel reworking of the War of 1812 — one where the French were apparently fighting side-by-side with the British in battling the American invaders. 
There is only one problem with that, say those who attended MacKay’s speech at the French embassy in Ottawa last week. The French supported the Americans in the War of 1812.
Then they can move on to geography...

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