The Royal Proclamation celebrates its 250th birthday -

The Royal Proclamation celebrates its 250th birthday

The big news: The feds pay attention to the “seminal document” for at least a single day.


Adrian Wyld/CP

“The Royal Proclamation is a seminal document in our history.”—Prime Minister Stephen Harper

King George III would be so proud. After he’d conquered the French, the King issued a Royal Proclamation on Oct. 7, 1763 that recognized, for the first time, that aboriginals on the North American continent had rights worth recognizing. Today, the proclamation celebrates its 250th birthday. Canada can barely contain its excitement. There are too many parties to count. Fireworks across the nation will light up our night.

No, not exactly. But politicians are rushing to recognize the Royal Proclamation’s vital importance and perpetual significance and unending contribution to Canadian progress. Just for today, the proclamation gets a little bit of limelight.

The government is revelatory. Prime Minister Stephen Harper celebrates the Royal Proclamation a “seminal document in our history,” and takes pains to recognize the “critical role that Aboriginals have played in shaping Canada as we know it today.” Harper wants to move forward, together. He concluded his morning press release with a visionary call to arms: “I look forward to making further progress together.”

Meanwhile, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt and Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo are celebrating the proclamation’s big day with schoolchildren. The pair are visiting an elementary school and a high school in Ottawa, where they’ll extol the historical document’s virtues. Across the river in Gatineau, Que., Governor General David Johnston delivered the opening keynote at a symposium meant to shed some light on modern treaty-building—all of which started way back in 1763. Valcourt is also on tap to speak at the gathering.

All these nods to a document that, by all measures, is a survivor. In 1982, any rights secured in the Royal Proclamation were enshrined in Section 25 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Aboriginal groups cling to that measure and the central role it plays in their ongoing fight for rights. Idle No More activists constantly reference the document.

Today, the government recognizes the impact of that document, so fundamentally important to so many thousands of aboriginal Canadians. Tomorrow, don’t expect much. Since their election in 2006, Conservatives have mentioned the Royal Proclamation exactly once in the House of Commons. Last January, Harper casually recognized its significance.

This birthday, like so many others, will pass into history, no more than a footnote in Canadian history classes. Just like George III.


What’s above the fold

The Globe and Mail Canada’s border services agency says it’s fighting corruption among workers.
National Post John Greyson and Tarek Loubani were released from an Egyptian prison.
Toronto Star Greyson and Loubani aren’t yet allowed to leave Egypt.
Ottawa Citizen DND could lay off more than 100 workers at a strategic maintenance facility.
CBC News Air Canada stranded a B.C. couple in Calgary after overbooking a flight.
CTV News Greyson and Loubani are temporarily staying in a Cairo hotel.
National Newswatch Federal polls show a close race between Liberals and Conservatives.

What you might have missed

THE NATIONAL Job Grant. Employment Minister Jason Kenney has apparently signalled to skeptical provinces that he is open to a more flexible job grant than he’d originally proposed. The feds planned to convince provinces and employers to contribute funding to skills training, but provinces have universally complained that the one-size-fits-all proposal won’t work for them.
THE GLOBAL Iraq. A truck bombing at an elementary school playground in Qabak, a town in northern Iraq, killed 13 children, and shortly after a second bombing at a nearby police station killed three officers. The violence was part of a series of attacks in Iraq that killed 31 and wounded over 100 others on Sunday. Qabak’s mayor called the attack a crime against humanity.
THE QUIRKY Prince Harry. Elizabeth II’s wilder grandson, Harry, is apparently going to get married. The younger brother of William, the Duke of Cambridge, described as “the world’s most eligible bachelor” by The Globe and Mail, is set to wed 24-year-old Cressida Bonas. She had apparently been nervous about a royal marriage, but the prince successfully persuaded her.


The Royal Proclamation celebrates its 250th birthday

  1. Or as Mulcair said “the 250th anniversary of broken promises.”

    FNs are very patient….but 2 1/2 centuries is ridiculous!

    • This comment was deleted.

      • An obsession with counting is a sign of OCD… should have a doctor check you out.

        • LOL, no matter what thread I check, the odds are that EmilyOne has commented on it. Nearly 9000 posts is a sign of OCD–seriously, get a life.

          • Oh you can check hundreds and hundreds of threads and not find me…..this counting business is the latest OCD of the Con party….they are SHOCKED, shocked I tell you… that a comment site gets….comments. So give it a rest….srsly.

          • You don’t think I sat here and physically counted all this gibberish do you? It’s on your Emily disqus odometer and when I see you say something stupid I check it.

            I can understand why you’re embarrassed by the number. I laugh at it every day.

          • Yes, we all know what you’re doing.

            Being stupid.

          • Well we know what you’re doing too Emily.

            I’ve watched you post up the same FN Indian rant about a 1,000 times. Talk about stupid, you wrote the book.

          • Since everybody, including me, is complaining about the way we treat FN….maybe the govt ought to do something about it?

            Even the UN is after us!

          • Oh good, the UN.

            You mean that corrupt collection of African Dictators living at my expense in Park Avenue Condos and swilling Dom Perignon by the gallon.

            As far as I’m concerned the opinion of that grubby lot is worth about as much as yours.

            Both the FN and the UN are parasites. They’ve outgrown their host.

          • I mean the organization…made up of the whole world…. that dared to criticize Canada….

            Suck it up.

          • Well I’m sorry Emily, it may be the whole world to you but to me the UN is nothing but the tattered rump of the freeloading Bolshevik world.

            On that basis its opinions and yours are worthless, and sooner or later the sick thing is going to have to go whining and begging at someone’s back door other than mine.

          • No one cares what you think….dismissed.

        • Or vice versa

          • It’s like this Jamboy……comments drive traffic, which drives advertising, which drives money to Macleans.

            However people who count one person’s posts obsessively have a problem.

            It’s also an ongoing attempt at bullying.

            Having an opinion while female in Canada is apparently like driving while black is in the US.

            I have the right to walk down a street without being harassed, and I have a right to post a comment on a comment site without being harassed.

            So go count your toes instead.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • LOL, if you say so.

          • I guess I missed the bit about you being the economic engine of this fine publication, driving the advertising and all that.

            I’ll tell you though Emily, 8,782 crazed postings is not an insignificant thing.

            So, I was actually thinking of writing to MacLeans with the suggestion they hook your “mouth” up to an electrical generator to cut down on their electricity costs.

          • You’ve missed everything else, so why start worrying now?

            Now off you go…’re done with the attempted bullying.

          • You’re the bully Emily. You’re the big 300 pound NDP kindergarten teacher running around forcing her demented views on people unable to avoid listening to her.

            8,790 examples of it on this thread alone.

          • Now I’m FORCING you to read my posts??


            Ciao babes.

          • You’re everywhere Emily 8,790 8,791 incidences of wacko pollution that cannot be avoided. You’re like the slippery green droppings from a million geese.