Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: How Long Does Reconciliation Take?

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: How Long Does Reconciliation Take?

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: How long does reconciliation take?

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An editorial from the Winnipeg Free Press, published Aug. 6:

Oh, Canada.

The federal government kicked off the 150-day countdown to Canada's 150th birthday -- its sesquicentennial -- Thursday. MP Jim Carr was one of nine federal cabinet ministers announcing the details of the countdown throughout Canada. Mr. Carr said the celebration, with a budget of $210 million, will include pop-up surprise events along four themes: diversity and inclusiveness; the environment; young people; and reconciliation with indigenous people.

In 1967, Canada went all out to celebrate its 100th birthday. In the Winnipeg Free Press, there were details of projects underway to commemorate the occasion, including the planting of 500 trees in Treherne, the creation of a centennial park in Fort Garry and the construction of ice rinks in St. Boniface, funded in part by the Manitoba government. Across the country, parades and fireworks were held to celebrate, along with the planting of 70,000 flowering crab-apple trees and a tour across the country by a 1,700-person military tattoo, complete with pipes, drums and gymnasts.

Expo 67, hosted in Montreal, was the jewel of the centennial celebrations. It opened April 27, 1967, on Saint Helen's Island, in the middle of the St. Lawrence River. Buckminster Fuller's iconic geodesic dome from the U.S. pavilion became the centrepiece, its futurist shape an enduring landmark.

The theme for Expo 67 was "Man and his World" and the exhibition was viewed as an opportunity for Canada to market itself as a country "on the brink of international recognition," as Canadian scholar Eva-Marie Kroller writes. This was "Canada's Camelot," wrote the Vancouver Sun, with a growing population and a future that was bright.

Of course, political tensions were present behind all the patriotic rhetoric; unfortunately, those tensions remain to this day. …

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