Articles on Sir John A. Macdonald

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Sir John A. Macdonald was not only Canada’s first prime minister, he was the first justice minister and attorney general. Jody Wilson-Raybould has suggested the two roles should be split. National Archives of Canada/THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Is Sir John A. Macdonald to blame for the Wilson-Raybould affair?

Sir John A. Macdonald fused the jobs of justice minister and attorney general as Canada's first prime minister. So is he partly to blame for the SNC-Lavalin controversy?
A statue of John A. Macdonald in Montreal has been repeatedly vandalized with red paint to symbolize blood. As the debate continues about removing statues, what specific actions are needed to promote reconciliation? THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Reconciliation requires more than symbolic gestures

Removing statues of historical figures may be important symbolic statements when it comes to reconciliation, but action on important Indigenous issues like land claims and education are needed more.
The decision by the city of Victoria to take down a statue of John A. Macdonald has renewed debate about how historical figures should be remembered. This photo from 2015, taken at Wilfrid Laurier University, shows people protesting Macdonald’s treatment of Métis and First Nations during his time as Canada’s first prime minister. Denia Anderson

John A. Macdonald should not be forgotten, nor celebrated

Should statues of historical figures be removed or replaced? That debate has been rekindled in Canada after Victoria took down a statue of John A. Macdonald, the country's first prime minister.
A statue of John A. Macdonald is shown covered in red paint in Montreal in November 2017. Canada’s first Prime MInister, he has been criticized for his treatment of Indigenous peoples and attitudes towards those of Chinese origin. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)

Why history education is central to the survival of democracy

In a time of populism and political polarization, children and young adults need to learn to think critically, with complexity and nuance. History, as a subject, is more important than ever.
The federal government is renaming the Langevin Block building on Parliament Hill out of respect for Indigenous peoples. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Instead of renaming buildings, why not truly improve Indigenous lives?

The Langevin Block on Parliament Hill is being renamed out of respect for Indigenous people. But instead of renaming buildings, let's offer meaningful change to the Indigenous.

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