Stand Up For Our Roots – The Dundas Street Debacle


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Should Dundas Street in Toronto be renamed? What does the furor over Henry Dundas (and other figures like Edgerton Ryerson) reveal about our cultural moment?

Freedom Feature guest Patrice Dutil, Professor of Politics and Public Administration at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) discusses the present mania for rejecting our past. In the example of “L’Affaire Dundas,” he unpacks the PR campaign that has falsely branded Henry Dundas as an imperialist criminal who wanted to prolong the slave trade.

The historical record gives a very different picture. Far from being endorsing slavery, Lord Dundas championed abolition consistently, strategically, and successfully. According to Prof. Dutil, Dundas’ legacy should be celebrated, not erased from history.

Taken in the context of a wider movement to rename institutions and tear down statues, the Dundas controversy shows an underlying disdain for our national roots and traditions. Although men like Dundas, Simcoe, Edgerton, and Langevin were all flawed individuals, they made significant contributions to Canada. We need to appreciate their achievements – as well as their mistakes – in order to know who we are today.

Indeed, like a doctor who needs to be aware of a patient’s history to provide the best treatment or care, we need to understand our history if we want to function as a healthy society.

Read Prof. Dutil’s article here: “L’Affaire Dundas in Toronto: Falling for a Hoax”

Please note the views expressed by the individual(s) in this video are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views or principles of the First Freedoms Foundation.

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