Canada’s governor generals have been famous and infamous. They have played large parts in our country’s history. In some cases, the contribution has been dramatic. Where does David Johnston’s recent capitulation put him?
In 1926, the King-Byng affair kept the country spellbound as it unfolded, after Gov. Gen. Lord Byng refused Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King’s request to dissolve Parliament and call an election. Before Byng, Lord Grey and others made decisions that shaped the country we know today.
So what are we to make of our current Governor General’s abject apology for telling the truth?
During a CBC interview, Gov. Gen. David Johnston said that all Canadians are immigrants from somewhere. That’s the unvarnished truth. Most of our ancestors came to this country by ship, train or airplane. In the case of aboriginal Canadians, they came the hard way – by walking over the Bering land bridge.
There’s no shame in that. It’s just a fact. The only truly indigenous people on Earth are Africans, because that’s where homo sapiens originated. All of our distant ancestors spread out from Africa and inhabited most of the planet.
So why did the Governor General retract his true statement and apologize for having the temerity to speak the truth?
The answer seems to be that it’s all part of the same craven capitulation to political correctness that vilified Sen. Lynn Beyak for making a few mild and obviously truthful observations about Indian residential schools – the same cowardly caving in to political correctness that even caused the once mighty Conservative Party of Canada to censure the senator.
It’s political correctness run amuck. For some strange reason, when it comes to aboriginal issues, there is no limits to how far people will go to sacrifice truth for the sake of not offending the sensibilities of some aboriginals.
The idea that aboriginal people have been here since the beginning of time is a myth but no one seems willing to say this obvious truth. Certainly, the Governor General isn’t willing to say it.
And what if part of the creation myth of some aboriginal groups was that the sun goes around the Earth? That’s a common misconception in many creation myths – after all, myths came about before people had science to help them understand physical phenomena. Would Johnston then apologize if he referred to this scientific fact and an aboriginal person objected?
Let’s be clear: Johnston’s apology is a retraction and the implication is that – science be damned – if an aggrieved group is vocal enough, their story must be accepted. If history has to be rewritten, and if science has to be stood on its head, then so be it. If a creation myth has it that people sprouted from the land like mushrooms, then it must be true. And no one, not even the Governor General, can say anything different.
Where was our mainstream media – our guardians of the truth – when this idiocy desperately needed to be exposed?
Do a search, as I did. I could find nary a peep from our tax-funded CBC. Our mainstream newspapers invoked their right to remain silent.
What the Governor General – the Queen’s representative – should have done is obvious. He should have said, “I was speaking the truth and I stand by it.”
Perhaps when this part of Canada’s history is written, Governor General Johnson will be on the infamous side of the ledger because he prevaricated when he could have easily told the truth.
Brian Giesbrecht, a retired judge, is a senior fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.