I was saddened, but not surprised, to read this article citing recent poll results showing that more than half of all Canadians lack sufficient knowledge about their own country to pass a citizenship test.
[According to this poll,] 60 per cent of Canadians would fail a citizenship exam similar to the one newcomers must pass in order to become citizens. ... In a similar survey 10 years ago, 45 per cent of Canadians polled would have failed an identical test.
"The findings of this ten year benchmark study suggest that we are fast becoming a nation of amnesiacs who lack basic knowledge about the country's past, its democratic institutions and practices, and the physical geography of Canada," said Rudyard Griffiths, Co-Founder of the Dominion Institute.
Well, what can you expect in a country whose ruling politicians (and to a large degree the media and educational system) are indifferent, if not hostile, to community groups like ours that actually try to address that knowledge deficit... often at our own expense?
For decades the government has been refusing the Ukrainian community's request to return monies it confiscated from Ukrainians and never returned. Community leaders have repeatedly stressed that this money, the contemporary value of money and goods the federal government confiscated during the WWI internment and never returned, would not go to individuals. Rather, it would be spent in its entirety on an educational campaign about this nationally significant but still little-known chapter of Canadian history. ... for the benefit of all Canadians.
Given the intransigence on the part of the Canadian government on this request, and the utter disinterest on the part of the national media for more than two decades, this acceleration of national ignorance is just an indicator of the state of our collective national pride.
And so, as sad as it is, it really should come as no surprise.