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Canada still struggles with the Second World War’s legacy, says historian

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Seventy-five years ago today, a little-known Canadian colonel — a half-blind veteran of the First World War — sat pen in hand before a dark cloth-covered table on the quarterdeck of the American battleship U.S.S. Missouri.

Allied warships had assembled in a long, grey line in the stifling heat of Tokyo Bay — a mute audience for the moment the victors met the vanquished.

Along with a host of military glitterati that included U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Col. Lawrence Cosgrave accepted the surrender of the Japanese empire on Canada’s behalf. He signed on the wrong line, causing a minor kerfuffle that was soon rectified by MacArthur’s chief of staff with a stroke of his own pen.

The Second World War ended at that moment.

 

A copy of the Sept. 2, 1945 Japanese surrender document, displayed aboard the USS Missouri historical site at Pearl Harbor, Oahu. ( Murray Brewster/CBC News)

 

The most deadly and destructive conflict in human history — a war that killed at least 75 million people worldwide, claimed 45,000 Canadian lives and left another 55,000 Canadians physically and mentally scarred — was finally over.

Once the shooting stopped, said historian Tim Cook, war-weary Canadians were eager to forget the war — or at least to move on from it. Few people know, and even fewer appreciate, the somewhat droll role Cosgrove played in that great moment three-quarters of a century ago.

That act of collective forgetting bothers Cook. It’s reflected in the title of his latest book: The Fight for History: 75 Years of Forgetting, Remembering and Remaking Canada’s Second World War.

One of the book’s working titles was “The Deafening Silence.”

“It’s not easy to talk about our history,” Cook told CBC News. “History often divides us.”

Cook — one of the country’s leading military historians and authors — said he’s baffled by Canadians’ apparent reluctance to come to grips with the war’s legacy.

 

Historian Tim Cook: “History often divides us.” (CBC News)

 

Following the First World War, Canadians built monuments from coast to coast. Canadian soldiers who served in that war — Cosgrave among them — wrote sometimes eloquent and moving accounts of their experiences under fire.

That didn’t happen in Canada following the Japanese and German surrenders in 1945, said Cook.

“We didn’t write the same history books. We didn’t produce films or television series,” he said. “We allowed the Americans and the British and even the Germans to write about the war and to present it on film.”

Some Canadian war correspondents wrote books in the immediate aftermath of the victory, hoping to speak to history — but senior military commanders and leaders subsequently shied away.

Unlike the American and British generals who wrote Second World War memoirs (Dwight Eisenhower, George Patton and Bernard Montgomery), Canadian commanders Harry Crerar, Andrew McNaughton, George Pearkes and Guy Simmonds all chose to remain silent and allowed biographers to tell their stories — sometimes decades after the fact.

Cook said the reluctance of many returning Canadian soldiers to discuss the war beyond the tight circles of Royal Canadian Legion halls — a silence that persisted for decades — also contributed to Canadians’ lack of engagement with the country’s experiences in the Second World War.

The ‘comfortable’ image of Canada the peacekeeper

The advent of peacekeeping has also tainted Canada’s view of the conflict, he said.

While some critics have argued successive governments have exploited the peacekeeping mythology, Cook said he’s very proud of Canada’s peacekeeping legacy. But peacekeeping “became a very comfortable symbol for us,” he said. “I argue in the book that it too has contributed to the silencing of the Second World War.”

In the 1960s, Cook said, Remembrance Day ceremonies in Canada suffered from dwindling attendance. It was only in the 1980s and 1990s — when the war was being re-examined through American popular culture properties like the hit movie Saving Private Ryan — that a deeper appreciation began to take root, he said.

Cook argues that revival of interest happened almost too late — at a time when many veterans had already passed away and few living Canadians remembered the war as a personal experience.

“We shouldn’t expect the Americans or the British and the Germans and the Japanese to talk about the war” in the same way Canadians experienced it, he said.

“If you don’t tell your own story, no one else will.”

History can be “dangerous” for politicians, Cook argues, because of the divisions it leaves behind (the conscription crisis of 1944 damaged English-French relations in Canada) and the effect of its darker chapters — such as the internment of Japanese citizens — when they come to light.

Many of the international institutions that were born out of the Second World War are under attack today. That’s just one reason why remembering the war is so important, said Cook.

“I’m not suggesting we should write heroic history and that we need to chest-thump and stand behind the flag. But I do think we need to tell our stories.”

 

The American battleship USS Missouri hosted the Japanese surrender ceremony on Sept. 2, 1945. It is now a museum in Oahu, Hawaii. ( Murray Brewster/CBC News)

 

Source: – CBC.ca

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Canada adds over 5,000 new coronavirus infections as global cases top 60 million – Global News

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Canada added 5,018 new novel coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing the country’s total number of infections to 347,150.

Health authorities across the country also said 92 more people have died after testing positive for COVID-19.

The virus has now been linked to 11,710 deaths in Canada. 

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A total of 2,243 people are in hospital after contracting the respiratory illness, while 277,232 have recovered.

Read more:
Mystery of the coronavirus origin: Experts still seeking answers

In a statement Wednesday, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said “more and larger” COVID-19 outbreaks are occurring in long-term care homes, congregate living settings and hospitals and in Indigenous communities and remote areas.

“These developments are deeply concerning as they put countless Canadians at risk of life-threatening illness, cause serious disruptions to health services and present significant challenges for areas not adequately equipped to manage complex medical emergencies,” she said.

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Tam also said the number of Canadians across the country experiencing “severe illness continues to increase.”

“This situation is putting pressure on local health-care resources and forcing hospitals to make the difficult decision to cancel elective surgeries and procedures in several areas of the country,” she said.

Tam said “collective effort” from individuals and public health officials is needed “to support and sustain the response through to the end of the pandemic, while balancing the health, social and economic consequences.”


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Coronavirus: Trudeau says Canada working to ensure equitable access to vaccines


Coronavirus: Trudeau says Canada working to ensure equitable access to vaccines

Between Ontario and Quebec 2,473 new cases of the virus were reported.

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Ontario saw 1,373 new infections, while health officials in Quebec said 1,100 new cases had been identified. The provinces also reported 35 and 28 additional fatalities respectively.

In Saskatchewan, 164 new cases of COVID-19 were detected, but health authorities said no new deaths associated with the virus were reported.

Meanwhile, Manitoba saw 349 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday and eight new fatalities, pushing the provincial death toll to 256.

Read more:
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In Atlantic Canada, 21 new novel coronavirus infections were detected.

New Brunswick saw three new cases, while Nova Scotia added 16 new cases. Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador each saw one new case, bringing the provincial totals to 70 and 324 respectively.

None of the maritime provinces saw any new deaths associated with the respiratory illness on Wednesday.

In Alberta, 1,265 new cases were reported, and health officials said eight more people had died.

The province has now seen 50,801 infections and 500 fatalities related to COVID-19.

British Columbia saw 734 new cases and 13 new deaths, bringing the total number of confirmed COVID-19 infections to 28,770 and the death toll to 371.

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Coronavirus: Trudeau says Canada working on vaccine distribution, ‘premature’ to give date

Nunavut added 11 new cases of the virus on Wednesday, pushing the territory’s total case load to 155. The territory has not yet seen a fatality related to COVID-19. So far two people have recovered after falling ill.

Meanwhile the Yukon reported one new case of COVID-19, but no new deaths.

The Northwest Territories has not reported any new cases of the virus since Nov. 13, and health officials say all 15 confirmed cases are considered to be recovered.

Global cases top 60 million

The number of cases of the novel coronavirus worldwide topped 60 million on Wednesday.

By 6:30 p.m. ET, there were a total of 60,207,001 cases globally, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

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Since the virus was first detected, it has claimed 1,417,906 lives around the world.

The United States remained the epicentre of the virus with more than 12.7 million cases and 261,874 fatalities to date.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Canada still on track for January 2021 vaccine rollout, despite domestic dose disadvantage: Feds – CTV News

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OTTAWA —
The federal government is still eyeing January 2021 as the start date for when people in Canada will begin to receive COVID-19 vaccines, despite frustration and concerns levelled at the Liberals by the opposition on Wednesday about Canada’s position in the queue to receive doses.

“At the beginning of next year, in January of 2021, assuming those approvals are given… Canadians will be able to start being vaccinated,” Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc said in an interview on CTV’s Power Play.

The approvals he is referencing are Health Canada approvals, which will be required before vaccine doses are doled out.

LeBlanc wouldn’t say what specifically the contracts say in terms of licensing and schedules for delivery, but disputed that Canada is at the back of the line and said that the number of doses coming to Canada will increase over time.

“We will start to receive the first millions of doses early part of 2021… those contracts are in place and that distribution will be made very effectively with provinces and territories,” he said.

In a separate segment on CTV’s Power Play, Conservative health critic Michelle Rempel Garner cast doubt on the timeline, saying there is no publicly available evidence to substantiate the government’s January 2021 target will be attainable.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sought to temper Canadians’ expectations around the timing and rollout of an eventual vaccine or vaccines to immunize against the novel coronavirus, acknowledging that Canada is at a “disadvantage” because Canada “no longer has any domestic production capability” to make our own and is relying on other nations.

While there has been promising news about some vaccine candidates that Canada will receive millions of doses early next year— to be distributed on a priority basis—several other nations are making plans to begin administering vaccines next month.

Among the promising candidates so far are Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, all of which Canada has begun the domestic approval process for. However, Trudeau said that the countries where these pharmaceutical companies are based, including the United States, will “obviously” prioritize vaccinating their citizens before shipping doses internationally.

This caused a flurry of questions levelled at Trudeau during question period on Wednesday, with the opposition slamming the government’s handling of vaccine procurement.

“Why did this prime minister sign deals that placed Canadians months behind Americans for getting a COVID-19 vaccine?” asked Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole.

“The announcement of vaccines gave people hope, but when the prime minister said we’re not able to produce it in Canada people were afraid… They need to know that there’s a clear plan with dates,” said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh during question period.

In a press conference, Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet said it was “unacceptable” that vaccines could still be months away from arriving in Canada, saying the federal government should have moved sooner to secure manufacturing rights and to ramp up production capacity at home.

Trudeau sought to defend his government’s handling, noting that it was under the previous Conservative administrations that Canada’s domestic capacity dwindled away.

Canada has begun funding domestic vaccine production capacity but Trudeau has said it will take “years” to get in place and likely won’t help Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine situation, but will be in place should there be future pandemics.

On Wednesday, LeBlanc suggested that should there be a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine required, or subsequent booster shots in years to come, the domestic ability to produce the vaccines could be ready.

Canada does produce some vaccines, but not the kind so far looking promising for COVID-19. Pharmaceutical companies Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline make protein-based vaccines, but the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, for example, are mRNA vaccines, which use messenger ribonucleic acid to produce an immune response.

“One is like making wine, one’s like making Coke,” Andrew Casey, the CEO of BioteCanada, told The Canadian Press Wednesday. “Yes, they both grow in bottles. Yes, you can drink both out of a glass. But the manufacturing processes used for the two is so completely different. You can’t just say well, we’ll shut down the protein one, and we’ll switch over to the mRNA.”

On Friday the Public Health Agency of Canada confirmed to MPs that the country is on track to receive an initial six million doses by March, four million from Pfizer and two million from Moderna.

In total, Canada has signed deals with seven vaccine manufactures, securing more vaccines per capita than other countries. The deals include an agreement with Canadian-based Medicago, whose vaccine candidate remains the farthest away from approval of those Canada has contracts with.

With files from The Canadian Press

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2 Perfect Holiday Gift Ideas for the Pregnant Woman in Your Life

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To say that this past year has been erratic would be an understatement. From the global pandemic to a tumultuous political and economic climate, 2020 is a year that will go down in the history books. While many people’s daily lives are much different from what they were a year ago, people have also reacquainted themselves with the value of friendship and partnerships. You may have heard the phrase, “we’re all in this together” a hundred times by now, but the truth is, we are. Relationships have become stronger as we pull together through thick and thin.

Some people wouldn’t be getting through these dark days without their partner by their side. You love the woman in your life very much. You hate to think about what this year would have been like without her. She’s the first person you see in the morning; she’s there to hold your hand when you need — she’s the love of your life. And what’s more exciting is that she’s pregnant!

With the holidays coming up next month, you want to surprise her with the perfect gifts — a token of appreciation to tell her how much you love her. For unique ideas on showing her how much she means to you, check out these perfect holiday gifts for the woman (and baby) in your life.

A Boudoir Photography Session

How many times have you looked at your partner and wanted to capture her beauty, forever, in a photograph? Of course, you can whip out your mobile phone to take a snap, but have you ever considered consulting a professional boudoir photographer?

A boudoir photographer in Niagara will elegantly capture your partner’s inner and outer beauty during this exciting time of your lives in customized images that will last a lifetime. When some people hear the term “boudoir,” they immediately think of tantalizing, sassy photographs of women in lingerie. While this aesthetic is one type of element to boudoir photography, there’s more to it than that. It’s all about empowerment and feeling beautiful while pregnant in a comfortable setting. The images are supposed to enhance your partner’s confidence and become a memory for both of you to look back on for years to come. Mention the idea to your loved one to see how she feels about it. We bet that she’ll jump at the opportunity to experience a day to feel gorgeous, sexy, and loved.

A Matching Sweatsuit

Many people spend most of their time inside these days because of the cold weather and the COVID-19 virus. Why not get comfortable while spending so much time in the house? Your lady would love a matching sweatsuit, especially as she’s carrying that baby — the perfect outfit to work from the couch or to snuggle up in for movie night. Look for soft, warm materials such as cotton, fleece, or terry cloth to keep her warm all winter long, and find the right one in her favourite colour.

This year, you want the love of your life to forget about the world’s events for a day or two with a couple of heartfelt gifts. Remind her of her natural beauty with a sophisticated boudoir photoshoot. And when she comes home, surprise her with a cozy outfit to slip into and relax. Such thoughtful gifts will mean so much to her, and your actions will show precisely how strong your relationship truly is.

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