Socials DOL #4- Canadian Autonomy

As Japan continued to take over the north of China throughout the 1930s, tensions continued to rise and those tensions were what led to the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937. Japanese troops were eventually pulled out and people didn’t think it was a big of a deal, but what they didn’t know was that they were soon to be writing a new chapter in history called the Second Sino-Japanese War. 

https://cdn.britannica.com/37/127037-004-6C956756.jpg

From July 7, 1937 to September 2, 1945, the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan fought a bloody battle called the Second Sino-Japanese War. Combatants of the war included: the Republic of China, the Empire of Japan, the United States of America, the Soviet Union, Manchukuo, Mengjiang, the Second United Front, the Nationalist government, the Mongolian People’s Republic, and the Reorganized National Government. The war informally came to an end on September 2, 1945 after the U.S. bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, forcing Japanese troops in China a pull out. On April 28, 1952, the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty, or the Treaty of Taipei, was created under the pressure of the U.S, formally marking an end to the war.

Historical Perspective

After the end of World War I, Canada and Japan established a friendship and Canada began strategically exporting minerals to Japan. As a result, from 1931 to 1941, the Canadian Prime Minister, decided to take a neutral stance regarding Japan’s intrusion in China. However, on December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbour in response to the U.S. giving the Chinese oil and interfering with the war, which resulted in 2,402 fatalities and 1,282 injuries. To prevent Japan from continuing their way down south, not only did Canada provide munition to China, but they also sent troops along with Britain and other parts of the British Empire. Out of the 1,975 men sent, only 30% returned because “many of them were, at that time, deemed unfit for combat because of their lack of training” (Time). Yet, the question is, why would Canada send men who are undertrained to fight in real-life battles? Prior to the Second Sino-Japanese War, the inactivity of Canadian troops had become a political problem in Canada. As a result, according to the then Canadian Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, he mentions that “defense against aggression anywhere [is] defense of any country enjoying freedom today. For Canada to have troops in the Orient, fighting the battle of freedom, marks a new stage in our history” (Time). In order to deter Japanese troops, and become more active political leader outside of Canada, China was able to claim victory.

https://78.media.tumblr.com/4fe001b05994ac386567dce65a9ef74e/tumblr_mkho6kd3nJ1rkd8y5o1_500.jpg

Continuity and Change

Even if the chances of coming back were very slim, even if the men sent were untrained, even if they were digging into their own grave, Canadian men still went. To this day, soldiers, and families of soldiers gather at the Sai Wan War Cemetery for the Canadian commemorative ceremony, honouring those who had fought in the Second Sino-Japanese War. Jeff Nankivell, a Canadian consul general in Hong Kong and Macau, describes it as “the ultimate sacrifices made by Canadian troops [which] helped to build the unique and strong bond between Canada and Hong Kong” (Time). However, not all of it victories and cheers. For those who were Japanese in Canada, an immigrant or Canadian born, 22000 of them were moved from the BC coast to the interior of the province. There, they were “forcibly relocated to camps […], had their property confiscated, and were seriously threatened with mass deportation to Japan. [Unfortunately,] all of this was done without proof of a single case of espionage or sabotage by a Japanese Canadian” (History of Rights). In short, relations with China improved; however, relations with Japan plunged.

Historical Significance

http://www.ywcasaskatoon.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Canada-China.jpg

Canada is a free country. We have the right to speak up to the prime minister when a policy or a law doesn’t satisfy our values, we have the right to protest, and we have the right to riot. The Second Sino-Japanese War contributed to Canada’s political and social autonomy because, it was a fight for freedom. When Canadian troops were sent to China, they were sent in order to fight for Chinese self-determination. Although it wasn’t Canada’s own freedom they were fighting for, this still shows that when it comes to autonomy and independence, Canadians are willing to fight– even perhaps through aggression. For example, when Quebec announced to secede from Canada to preserve their French autonomy, Quebecers held numerous referendums to try and gain independence. The war also brought closer ties with China. In 1970, then Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, was the first Western leader to recognize the People’s Republic of China. China is now Canada’s second largest trading partner, and Canada is China’s thirteenth. 

 

Sources:

https://qspace.library.queensu.ca/handle/1974/6865

http://time.com/4635638/battle-of-hong-kong-canada-winnipeg-grenadiers-royal-rifles/

https://historyofrights.ca/encyclopaedia/main-events/1940s-japanese-canadians/ 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada%E2%80%93China_relations

Is Trudeau Laurier’s Successor?

Below is the link to my academic controversy T-chart.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PIGBAvtC0wlKs1kAN360ZTyzkFD5uIu72QA9dBp5WnE/edit?usp=sharing


 

Sources used:

http://nationalpost.com/news/politics/sunny-ways-my-friends-sunny-ways-lessons-of-wilfrid-laurier-not-lost-on-trudeau-115-years-later

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/manitoba-schools-question/

https://canadians.org/blog/trudeau-preparing-make-nafta-concessions-trump-suggests-extending-talks-past-july

https://globalnews.ca/news/3968957/justin-trudeau-canada-bid-un-security-council/?utm_source=%40globalnews&utm_medium=Twitter

http://canada.autonews.com/article/20180211/CANADA/180219944/nafta-countries-need-a-willingness-to-compromise-trudeau-says

https://www.unian.info/world/10078187-justin-trudeau-rules-out-canadian-participation-in-military-strikes-against-syria-media.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-speech-indigenous-rights-1.4534679

http://treaty8.bc.ca/treaty-8-accord/

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/11/28/news/trudeau-makes-apologies-his-dad-wouldnt-historic-injustices

 

 

Socials DOL #3- Canadian Confederation

June 1, 1857

 

Sir John Manners-Sutton, 

 

I am writing this letter on behalf of the citizens of New Brunswick. Since the Fenian Raids, the people of New Brunswick are very insecure and demanding confederation. Yes, I am aware many citizens were against the idea in the past, but this is no longer the case. Sir, through Canadian confederation, we have the opportunity to alleviate problems we are currently facing. Not only can we increase our military and defence systems, but we can also improve access to wider market through the use of an intercolonial railway, and most importantly, have our own culture. 

The Fenians recently attacked Campobello Island hoping to capture Canadian territory. Thankfully, it ended unsuccessfully, but this does not mean we should get our guard down. Through confederation, we will be able to gain immense benefits regarding our military and security. We would have a national army, eliminating the need for British forces while still having a strong defence system. This means, we would be protected from future Fenian and American attacks using our own strength.

Additionally, confederation would lead us to build an intercolonial railway, connect with the rest of the country, and choose a variety of choices of goods from an expanded market. There will be no need to worry about being in debt or facing an economic recession constructing the railway because Great Britain has promised to help with the costs.

Finally, the greatest benefit all Canadians receive from confederation is the establishment of our own Canadian culture. If we want to preserve our distinctive identity and cultural traditions, we need to agree to confederation. After being under the British rule for over a hundred years, it’s about time we take a step forward to create our own cultural identity without Britain intervening our ways. French Canadians would be able to partly control their own affairs since they have assured an electoral majority.

Sir, imagine a world where we no longer have to live under constant fear of American expansionism. Imagine a world where we can connect with the rest of the country through a single railway. Imagine Canada. 

Sincerely,

Charles Fisher

Attorney-General of New Brunswick

 

Sources:

http://canadahistory.com/sections/Eras/confederation/fathers/charles_fisher.htm

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/charles-fisher/

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/new-brunswick-and-confederation/

https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/confederation/023001-4000.26-e.html

http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/canada/Alberta-to-Nova-Scotia/New-Brunswick.html

https://www.britannica.com/place/Canada-East

In-Depth Post #6

In-depth night is just around the corner and my project is five meters away from the finish line. During the past several months, I met with my mentor three to four times each month and during those meetings, I made significant progress. I can’t explain how much I learned over such a short period of time through only words, which is why I’m planning to present my learning through the use of a learning centre. I’m planning to have a poster with all of my drafts and guides alongside my final products at my learning centre. Additionally, I will attempt to make my learning centre look as similar to the woodworking room I was working in. That way, the audience is able to feel as if they’re somewhat in the same environment I was in while building the structures during the past couple months.

The biggest challenge I faced while working on the project was understanding to give up on several structures I wanted to build. For the grand finale, I wanted to build a miniature rollercoaster, but unfortunately had to give up on that because we were short on time. My mentor told me if I were to build a rollercoaster, it would take at least half a year and it would’ve also been far too difficult for someone who has never built a wooden structure before. Of course, I could’ve made the rollercoaster shorter; however, the time it takes to cut each individual matchstick would have still taken up a substantial amount of time.

The rollercoaster I wanted to build

The rollercoaster I wanted to build

 

Image courtesy to Pinterest

Image courtesy to Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite these obstacles, the process overall was enjoyable and I think my project this year is going to be much more successful compared to last year. Since I chose a topic I was passionate and interested in doing for a long period of time, time seemed to go by in a blink of an eye. Even though I enjoyed creating a business presentation related to finance last year, I found it quite difficult to understand a few of the complex terms.

All in all, I cannot wait until the night of in-depth to show everyone my finished outcome!

 

Canadian Biography Check-In

For my independent novel study, I decided to research on Canada’s seventh, and first francophone prime minister, Sir Wilfrid Laurier. The five passages from André Pratte’s biography, Wilfrid Laurier, that captivated my attention are the following:

“Strangely enough, the monument’s sponsors did not consider it necessary to put up a plaque explaining the choice of the site and reminding passersby who Wilfrid Laurier was. […] Didn’t all Canadians know who Laurier was? In the 1950s, that may have been true, but certainly not today” (2).

Personal Interest:

Before reading the book, I assumed many Canadians knew about Laurier since he was the first francophone prime minister. However, according to the quote, not many do. What really grabbed my attention was the fact that the author worded the passage in a way that made Canadians who didn’t know about Laurier as senseless in a way. He makes it seem as if it’s obvious we know who Wilfrid Laurier is as a Canadian.  

Canadian Identity:

The passage compares compares Canadian values and knowledge in the past compared to the present. The reason why sponsors didn’t decide to put up a plaque was because back in the 1950s, every Canadian knew who Laurier was. However, in society today, Laurier seems to be one of the more forgotten prime ministers compared to those like John A. Macdonald, or Pierre Trudeau. It shows that we are shifting from more of a French and English speaking country to an English speaking country only. 

“By studying history, we can reconnect with the ideals and values that inspired our forebears. We can observe without complacency that what divides us is old and painful, but above all, we can realize that what unites us has always been triumphed” (3).

Personal Interest:

The moment I read this passage, I was enthralled because I’ve always had a similar thought. Since a few years ago, I always thought that the best way to unite and learn about how us Canadians came to be was through history. Through history, we’re able to understand the actions former prime ministers took in order to unite Canada as one. I realized that if we keep moving forward and only look towards the future, it won’t help us find an answer. However, researching and discovering the past will.

Canadian Identity:

This passage relates back to Canadian identity because it gets readers informed that not many Canadians know about their own history. If we were better informed,  we would understand each other and find solutions more easily to our common problems. Additionally, we would view Laurier as “a powerful inspiration for pursuing the extraordinary ideal called Canada” (6).

 

“And it was Laurier who, better than anyone before or since, showed Canadians the only path possible, that of compromise” (4).

Personal Interest:

I’m not too informed about Canadian history myself, but this sentence really got me thinking, did no other prime minister think compromise was an effective solution? Did they think it was an act of cowardice? The reason why Canada still exists to this day is because Laurier knew compromise was not surrendering, but showing that we’re daring and have courage, and many Canadians felt that he was right. 

Canadian Identity:

This passage reflects Canada’s past values and shows how it came to shape our current values. As mentioned above, many Canadians agreed with Laurier that to compromise was to show that Canadians are daring and have courage. To this day, instead of threatening other countries or starting a war, Canada comes to a compromise with other countries. For example, the United States might agree to Canada’s compromise on NAFTA automotive provisions. 

“Regulation 17 prohibited teaching in French after grade one of elementary school” (90).

Personal Interest:

This passage shocked me because I never realized that in the past, regulations were established to prevent teaching Canadians French even though Canada is a bilingual country with people speaking both English and French. What surprised me even more was the fact that regulation 17 was set when Canada’s first francophone prime minister was in power. It seemed as if there was some sort of contradiction and made me wonder, why? 

Canadian Identity:

Canada’s slogan is “one nation, one language” so perhaps that’s the reason why fewer Canadians know how to speak French. In majority of the provinces, French is an optional language for students to learn in school and it’s mostly English dominant. Although Canada is supposedly supposed to be a bilingual country, English is becoming more dominant. Studies show that only 20.6% of the Canadian population speak French as opposed to 56% that speak English (Stat Canada). 

“What I claim for ourselves is an equal place in the sun, an equal share of justice, of liberty; that share we have; and what we claim for ourselves we are anxious to grant to others” (97).

Personal Interest:

Sir Wilfrid Laurier expresses his wants and beliefs for the francophone in this passage. Laurier emphasizes that the only way for the francophone to have “an equal place in the sun” is to negotiate and compromise with the anglophone partner (97).  Furthermore, what really caught my eye was when  Laurier was speaking on behalf of himself, but then transitions to Canadian values through the use of the word “we.” 

Canadian Identity:

Based on current Canadian values, fewer Canadians and Canadian prime ministers are strongly advocating for the francophone. This shows how much Canadian values have changed since the 1800s till the 2000s. Sure, there are still a few Canadians who advocate for the francophone, but the number has declined compared to the past.


Theme:

A theme from André Pratte’s biography, Wilfrid Laurier, would be that rather than looking for values based on the future, look for them based on past. This is especially evident in Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s case and from our current values because we look at the past for our successes which united us together.

 

Works Cited

“French and the Francophonie in Canada.” Census Program, 22 Dec. 2015, www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/as-
sa/98-314-x/98-314-x2011003_1-eng.cfm. 

JAM Mini Essay

Mr. Morris

Humanities

16 April 2018

A Proud or Shameful Founding Father of Canada? 

        John A. Macdonald––Canada’s hero or Canada’s villain? Macdonald was the man who led Canada to achieve the “national dream” of building a railway connecting from eastern Canada to the west (“The Star”). Although many experts claim John A. Macdonald was racist, ultimately it is vital to recognize that he fought for women’s rights to vote, and our current values should not be infringed upon when criticizing Macdonald.

        Women in Canada were heavily discriminated against and were not allowed to voice their opinions. However, the first national leader to extend the vote to women was John A. Macdonald. On April 27, 1885, “[Macdonald] noted that the definition of ‘persons’ should be broadened to include women, this being half a century before the deed would finally be done by the famous Person’s Case 1929″ (Gwyn 5). If Macdonald was truly discriminatory towards minorities, he wouldn’t have argued against Opposition MPs and even his wife to allow women to vote at a time men were far more superior than women. To this day, women’s rights are protected under section 15 and 28 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and are welcomely accepted as a member of society.

        On the contrary, many expers claim John A. Macdonald to be racist. However, these claims are based on the present, not the past. Therefore, current values should not play a large role when determining what was morally right when criticizing him. When judging based on current values, it is extremely unjust to pay workers far below minimum wage and discriminate one’s culture. However, back when Macdonald was in power, it was abnormal to think Chinese workers were being discriminated and that discrimination was bad. Although Macdonald may have not been the best prime minister, or do his job properly, that doesn’t mean other Canadian prime ministers were any better. Until the 1930s, “no other Canadian government […] gave people money, food or anything else to its people just because they had no job or nowhere to live or no pension” (“The Star”). Even after 50 years since Macdonald’s passing, people considered Macdonald’s actions towards the Chinese labourers to be acceptable. It happened to be only decades later, societal values took a shift.

        It seems as if John A. Macdonald’s mistreatment towards minorities left a bigger impact on society compared to other prime ministers during the same period. The reason why Macdonald is receiving political backlash is simply because we only remember the negative actions, not the positive consequences. Sure, he was discriminatory but he also advocated for women’s voices to be heard, and his actions based on past values were not necessarily deemed to be “wrong.” Although it may not be possible for everyone to agree not remove Macdonald from the public sphere, more people have to realize that the Canadian citizenship they proudly hold wouldn’t have been possible without John A. Macdonald.

 

Works Cited

Gwyn, Richard. “Sir John A. Macdonald, the Greatest PM of All.” Thestar.com, 9 Jan. 2015,

www.thestar.com/news/insight/2015/01/09/sir_john_a_macdonald_the_greatest_pm_of_a

ll.html.

In-Depth Post #5

Over spring break, my mentor and I had a total of three meetings and as a result, I was able to make tremendous amounts of progress and finish building the miniature wooden house I’ve been working on. My mentor gave me extensive feedback on what went well and some minor improvements that could be made for future models. One of the recommendations she gave me was to spend fewer time sketching the drafts in order to maximize the time available to build the model. She also suggested to work slightly more faster to ensure I achieve my goal of having at least three wooden models presented on the night of in-depth. While I was working on my project, I realized that everything went by in a blink of an eye and before I knew it, it was already April. Since there’s only a month left until the night of in-depth, I decided to create a wooden model by myself at home. My mentor advocated for something simple and doable that can be completed by our next meeting. Below is how I am expecting the final product to turn out:

popsicle-picnic-table

Of course, I will need to plan out the measurements by myself but the picture above will be my source of reference.


 

Below are the six answers to the six questions: 

1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

Since woodworking is a hands-on activity, my mentor attempts to give me as much time possible to spend more time building than sketching; though that’s not always the case. Considering the number of times we meet, she recommends we sketch for approximately 2-3 meetings and build for 4-5. Furthermore, in order to receive the best learning environment as possible to work in, my mentor invited me over to her house to work on the project where she has a wooden board, wood glue, safety goggles, tools necessary to cut wood, etc. Through this, I was able to get a clearer vision as to how it would actually be like to work in a tech lab at school and I also didn’t need to spend any money purchasing expensive, new equipment.

2. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

The fact that I have access to all of the equipment needed to make my project possible in general makes me feel grateful for the opportunities and privileges I am have. Since this a first-handed experience I’m getting as well as a step back from the books, it’s  a new opportunity as well.

3. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

Perhaps if I build a model that’s much more complex and difficult compared to the ones I have already made and am making, it will accelerate my learning. Since there’s no point in simply taking on easy tasks just to get it over with, it’s better to take a chance and attempt to build a model that’s more complicated. However, I’m not at the stage yet to be making complex models so maybe I’ll leave that one till the end to do with my mentor.

4. When you get together what do you talk about?

Before every meeting, I discuss with my mentor about my future plans and goals regarding my in-depth project. For instance, last meeting, I suggested to my mentor that I try to build something simple before the next meeting. That way, I’m able to experience and pinpoint my mistakes and weaknesses when I’m in an environment without any help from an experienced person. However, one problem with working at home is the fact that I actually don’t have any safety goggles. Nonetheless, this can be solved by purchasing one or borrowing my mentor’s. Additionally, since the model I’m attempting to make myself is not as complicated and dangerous, I won’t need the fancy tools or anything. 

5. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

Between my mentor and I, our teamwork and understanding are outstanding in my personal opinion. When working on a model, my mentor and I seem to have very similar opinions. We both agree on how long it should take for each model to build and the level of difficulty for each model. In terms of understanding, my mentor understands at times when I have to cancel a meeting due a sudden alteration in my schedule or other barriers that arose. It’s also the same other way around. Because my mentor is also a student, it’s quite difficult to try and match each others’ schedules to hold a meeting. Whenever my mentor is cannot make a certain date due to her packed schedule, I make an attempt to be as understanding as possible; especially because I am the learner, not the teacher.

6. What are you learning about one another?

I realized that my mentor and I actually get along quite well and since she is now officially a coach at my academy and we both share the same interests, it’s extremely easy to talk to her about anything regarding wooden models. My mentor learned that I am actually a very outgoing and motivated learner once I am inspired doing a certain task. I learned that my mentor is not only undoubtedly good at debate, she is also extremely passionate in activities she’s good at; for example, wood working.

Socials DOL #2- Independent Inquiry

How did the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) culturally and socially affect the Chinese?

A. Historical Significance: 

Outline the focus of your inquiry and provide background knowledge. Why is this an important and significant question to ask about the past? Provide evidence from primary and secondary sources.

John A. MacDonald took power in 1867 and promised to build a transcontinental railroad that would link British Columbia to the rest of Canada, leading British Columbia to join confederation in 1871. However, critics critiqued that building a railroad through the Rocky Mountains was far too costly and a waste of manpower. MacDonald eventually lost power in 1873 and came back in power in 1878. This time, after a fierce argument in the Canadian House of Commons, the railroad was granted permission to be built on February 15, 1881. In order to build the Canadian Pacific Railway, also known as the CPR, the prime minister provided 25 million dollars and 10 million hectares of fertile land, and a tax exemption. In return, the railroad had to be completed within a decade. Workers were required to construct the CPR and instead of obtaining Canadian workers, the prime minister got Chinese Canadian workers to complete the job. Despite working for hours everyday with dangerous dynamites and countless deaths, they were only paid between $1 to $2.50 per day.

 

Image courtesy to The Critical Thinking Consortium

The question about how the Chinese were affected throughout the time the CPR was being built is significant to ask because in the modern day, the image that Canada portrays to the rest of the world is not what it was like back in the 1880s. Although everyone’s view on Canada differs, the stereotypical image of Canadians are being extremely polite and apologetic for the smallest things. This is the complete opposite of Canada during the building of the railway. It’s peculiar how not many people seem to know about this part of Canadian history and only remember Canada as a “nice” country. Within a couple hundred years, the way people perceived Canada completely turned around. After Chinese workers were no longer needed to work on the Canadian Pacific Railway, the federal prime minster imposed a $50 head tax on Chinese immigrants in 1885 and later the amount was raised to $500 in 1903. However, in 2006, prime minister Stephen Harper acknowledged that the tax was discriminatory and decided it was right for the Chinese descendants of the workers to receive a compensation for the head tax and the ban on Chinese immigration.

 

1. Cause and Consequence:

Why did your researched events happen the way they did and what were the consequences?

Since the prime minister, John A. MacDonald, wanted a way to connect from one end of Canada to the other, he decided to build a railway from Port Moody to Eagle Pass, near Revelstoke, British Columbia. Compared to the European labours who contributed to the building of the CPR, Chinese Canadians were in work conditions that were significantly poorer and had to deal with severe discrimination. According to the Daily Commercial News, “The railway work was dangerous and physically demanding, requiring drilling through mountains of solid granite in order to build tunnels. Chinese workers were also not allowed to handle dynamite and other explosives, but nonetheless fell victim to dynamite explosions, rockfalls and landslide that took place without sufficient warning. Poor nutrition, crowded living conditions and cold winter weather also contributed to sickness and disease, including respiratory ailments and scurvy.” However, not all parts of the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway was bad. Since the First Nations were also doing the most dangerous work along with the Chinese Canadians, a strong bond formed between the two groups. Whenever the Chinese were being heavily mistreated, the First Nations supported and aided them. 

Not only were the workers affected, the workers’ families back in China were also heavily impacted. Those who survived building the railroad often times couldn’t afford bringing their families from China to Canada and had to live by themselves. Furthermore, because of the implementation of the head tax, children of the workers struggled to pay off the enormous amount of debt. For instance, a man named James Pon took 17 years to pay off the debt after his father paid the $500 head tax to bring him to Canada.

Image courtesy to The Critical Thinking Consortium

2. Ethical Judgement:

Is what happened right and fair by the values and standards of the time? How about from our current values and standards? Explain.

Considering how after the Canadian prime minister implemented a head tax after he realized Canada didn’t need Chinese Canadian workers to build the railway, it can be inferred that the actions were right and fair by the value and standards of the time. If John A. MacDonald knew it was unjust to labour Chinese Canadians to the extent where they had to risk their lives, he would’ve never put the head tax into effect and instead showed some form of reparation for his past actions. That, however, never happened. 

In modern day Earth, it is extremely inequitable and racist to labour a certain group of minority– especially in a developed country–such as Canada. If the Chinese were to be forced to work for hours every day, lived in poor conditions such as camps and sleeping in tents or boxcars, and get paid no more than $2.50 each day today, the probability of protest and riots are immense. Since Canadians have the freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication under the Canadian Charter of Rights, the likelihood of continuing to be forced under harsh labour is miniscule. For example, after the shooting that happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, thousands of protestors were insisting stricter gun control laws and banning the private ownership of military weapons. A specific example in Canada would be the anti-Muslim and anti racist protestors voicing their views on a false claim that an Asian man cut of a Toronto girl’s hijab back in January 2018.

 

Image courtesy to The Critical Thinking Consortium

B. Social Studies Inquiry Processes:

What conclusions can you reach about your question, based on the research you conducted?

Culturally and socially, Chinese workers were heavily discriminated during the time the CPR was being built. However, things didn’t get any better after the CPR was completed. The Chinese continued to face discrimination even as their task was fulfilled and were either forever separated from their families or had to pay a head tax to bring them to Canada. When comparing Canada then versus now, it is evident that society has changed everyone for the better and things like hard labour don’t exist anymore.


 

Primary Sources:

https://tc2.ca/sourcedocs/uploads/images/HD%20Sources%20(text%20thumbs)/Chinese%20Canadian%20History/Chinese%20Canadian%20life%20on%20the%20railway/Chinese-canadian-life-on-the-railway%204.jpg

https://tc2.ca/sourcedocs/uploads/images/Gallery/History%20Docs/Chinese%20Canadian%20History/Chinese%20Canadian%20Railway%20Life/CCRL-1.jpg

http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-15.html

https://tc2.ca/sourcedocs/uploads/images/Gallery/History%20Docs/Chinese%20Canadian%20History/Chinese%20Canadian%20Railway%20Life/CCRL-2.jpg

https://tc2.ca/sourcedocs/uploads/images/Gallery/History%20Docs/Chinese%20Canadian%20History/Chinese%20Canadian%20Railway%20Life/CCRL-6.jpg

Secondary Sources:

http://www.mhso.ca/tiesthatbind/BuildingCPR.php 

https://www.library.ubc.ca/chineseinbc/railways.html

http://ccs.library.ubc.ca/en/stories/viewItem/2/0/42/

https://canada.constructconnect.com/dcn/news/labour/2017/05/chinese-workers-integral-in-building-canadas-first-megaproject-1023831w

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/chinese-descendants-to-receive-compensation-for-head-tax-1.551028

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/anti-immigration-groups-at-parliament-hill-protest-demand-apology-from-trudeau

https://torontoist.com/2016/04/now-and-then-chinese-railroad-workers/

Socials DOL #1- Postnationalism

1. Choose an event from Canada’s past or present (social, political, environmental, or economic) and describe / illustrate (show cause and effect) how this event influenced / influences all four of the quadrants. Provide images / primary source evidence where possible.

One of the most significant historical events that happened in Canadian history which helped shape Canadian identity, would be, the passing of the Constitutional Act of 1982. Until then, Canada had an Act called the British North American Act which functioned the same way as a Constitution, but reflected Canada’s continuing close ties to Great Britain. Most changes to the British North American Act had to be passed by the Parliament of Great Britain up until 1982. As a result of passing, Canadian society took a great turn in two different ways. First, “every citizen of Canada [now had] the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein” (Canadian Charter of Rights). In Canada’s early years, only men who were property owners and over 21 years of age were eligible to vote. Although many have fought to gain the right to vote, it wasn’t until 1982 all citizens had their voices be heard. Politically and economically, the Constitutional Act preserved a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is “the highest law of the land”. Canadians were now allowed to amend our own Constitution without requiring approval from Britain thus, completing the unfinished business of Canadian independence. The Constitutional Act had no impact on influencing Canada’s view to recognize the right to a healthy environment as it did not mention the environment at all. As a result, “we rank 15th out of 17 large, wealthy, industrialized countries on a comprehensive index of environmental performance indicators” (Conference Board of Canada). Although the Constitutional Act of 1982 did bring social, political, and economic benefits, it did not change Canada’s environmental views for the better.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau sign the Constitution Act on April 17, 1982 (The Canada Guide)

2. Does your event represent a step towards creating and maintaining a coherent Canadian identity, or does it move Canada more clearly in the direction of Trudeau’s discussion of a “postnational” state?

The passing of the Constitutional Act of 1982 most definitely represents a step towards creating and maintaining a coherent Canadian identity. Not only did it unite Canada as one, it also allowed all voices to be heard to the government. The Canadian Charter of Rights which was established when the Constitution Act was passed is still active to this day and in a way defines Canada. A study done by an Immigration and Visa Documentation Specialist, one of the top ten reasons why immigrants wish to come to Canada is because we give the right to religion, culture, language, as well as the freedom of communication. Without the Charter of Rights, us Canadians wouldn’t have had the same freedom we have today. There is a possibility that only women and men above the age of 21, provided they meet racial and property ownership requirements, would only be able to vote.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Library of Parliament)

The Constitutional Act of 1982 (Pinterest

 

3. In your opinion, is there any value in trying to define a specific Canadian identity, or should we abandon this idea towards a more open and global idea of nationhood? Why?

What distinguishes Canada from other countries is that Canada has it’s own identity built from historical events which defines who we are. Abandoning the idea of having an identity, and moving towards a more open and global idea of nationhood brings no value because the country is essentially losing a major factor which characterizes who we are. Of course it may be impossible for everyone to share the same ideas as well as beliefs, but the fact that we are able to unite by being Canadian, whether it’s for the Fifa World Cup or the Olympics, show that Canadian identity still exists. Becoming a postnational state basically means that we no longer unite and show national pride.

 

Sources:

http://www.kidzone.ws/geography/constitution.htm

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/constitution-act-1982/

http://canadianimmigrant.ca/living/community/the-history-of-voting-in-canada

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/top-10-powerful-reasons-migrate-canada-immigration-consultants

http://www.lawnow.org/right-to-healthy-environment/

http://www.solon.org/Constitutions/Canada/English/ca_1982.html

In-Depth Post #4

So far, I have had five meetings with my mentor. Unfortunately, I only able to meet up with my mentor once since the last blog post due to a lot of activities and events I had to attend during the weekend and weekdays. During our last meeting, we continued to build the first wooden model (which is a miniature house) and I also thought about different ways to present my learning on in-depth night. I decided to not only display my final products but also show my process, drafts, and attempts.

Reflection Questions:

1. What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far?

The most difficult mentoring challenge so far was trying to get the correct measurements. When drawing a draft, I had to be extremely careful to make sure all of my measurements were correct and accurate. As a result, I ended up spending a lot of time drawing instead of actually building. Initially, I had planned to finish drawing drafts by the end of two weeks but it actually went on until week five. In order to speed up the process and make sure I have sufficient time to build all four (perhaps more) models, I will attempt to draw the drafts at home and not only when I meet my mentor.

2. What is working well? Why?

I think my mentor and I are doing extremely well in terms of negotiating in order to find dates to hold meetings. So far we have had five meetings and that’s substantial compared to the number of meetings I had last year during this time. Furthermore, my mentor and I have exemplary communication skills. Both my mentor and I are able to convey information in a way that can be easily understood as well as read each others facial expressions so if something seems odd, we’re able to catch that on right away.

3. What could be working better? How can you make sure this happens?

Although my mentor and I are meeting frequently, our progress is quite slow. It’s already week seven yet we haven’t finished building the first wooden model. In order to speed up the process, I’m going to have to hold longer meetings with my mentor and I can guarantee this will happen since it’s almost spring break and neither of us are going out of town. During the break, I will hold more frequent but longer meetings to ensure I have at least have two wooden models built before the end of spring break.