Letters to the Editor: 'Is there a future without a past?'





National Post readers have their say on the issues of the day, including residential schools, cancelling history, and Canada's COVID strategy

A Sir John A. MacDonald statue is trucked away after city crews removed it in Charlottetown, on Tuesday, June 1, 2021.A Sir John A. MacDonald statue is trucked away after city crews removed it in Charlottetown, on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. PHOTO BY JOHN MORRIS/THE CANADIAN PRESS

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Re: P.E.I. Capital To Remove Macdonald Statue, June 1; Queen Latest Victim Of Cancel CultureReckoning with Egerton Ryerson’s Influence On Residential Schools, Wayne K. Spear, both, June 9.
Once the string is pulled on cancelling our history, will it ever end? Ryerson, McGill and Queens universities are all targets (the Queen’s portrait has already been taken down at Oxford University). And there’s every Canadian prime minister right through to Jean Chrétien. It’s a great unravelling.

But in the end, what will be left? And where do we go from here? We can’t go back now, but is there a future without a past?
Douglas Cornish, Ottawa.

Like most Canadians, I believe the deaths of the children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School were reprehensible. Yet those who are vandalizing and asking those in authority to remove the statues of some of the founding members of our great country seem unaware of Canadian history.

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For Charlottetown, the cradle of Confederation, to permanently remove a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald speaks volumes. The elected officials of today are being swayed by the masses, instead of recognizing the fact that Macdonald and Egerton Ryerson simply wanted to provide a good education for Native children. To hold them responsible for atrocities that took place over the next century is unfair, to say the least.

How the educational process was administered is a sad commentary on those who abused not only the system, but also the children. This should never be forgotten, nor forgiven. Yet to put all the blame on our first prime minister and his contemporaries is not warranted.

The city council in Charlottetown should be ashamed of itself for removing a statue of a Father of Confederation, instead of informing the public of the good that Macdonald did for Canada, including wishing that Indigenous children could benefit from a good education. How that education was handled was not Macdonald’s fault.
Regina Silva Robinson, Toronto.


The recent revelation that the Queen has been cancelled at Oxford University gave me my laugh for the day, but also exposed the cancel culture movement for what it is: a silly, frivolous and completely self-absorbed group of insignificant Twitter twits.

This latest cancellation of our Queen should finally put to bed the myth that this group has any rational or serious agenda. They need to be immediately ignored.
Richard Stonehouse, Delta, B.C.

Green ships

Re: COVID-19, Overly Optimistic Planning Blamed For Delays, May 26.
Apparently, COVID-19 is causing delays in the construction of new ships for the Navy and Coast Guard. These delays should be seen as a godsend, as they should allow the government to go back to the drawing board and modify the propulsion systems in order to make the ships greener.

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Technologies are being developed globally to eliminate the carbon emissions of ships and make use of alternative fuels. Given today’s environmental concerns, the new ships should be energy efficient, and not dependent on fossil fuels.

There are numerous ships that now use alternative sources of energy, such as liquid natural gas, electricity, biofuels, methanol and hydrogen. The Navy is a large consumer of fossil fuels, with each of its frigates carrying some 665,000 litres of fuel.

Since the new ships will be around for some 30 years, it is essential that they be built using modern green technologies and alternative fuels, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The opportunity now exists for Canadian shipbuilding industries to innovate and explore the use of environmentally friendly fuels and perhaps become world leaders in the development of green ship technologies.
Roger Cyr, Victoria.