Montcalm v. Wolfe: I thought everyone knew how it ended - Macleans.ca

Montcalm v. Wolfe: I thought everyone knew how it ended

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I’ve always found re-enacting historical battles to be among the goofiest hobbies a person can have. Granted, most hobbies are inherently pointless—I have no idea why I spend as much time as I do trying to get a puck into a net—but there’s something particularly odd about spending a leisurely Sunday afternoon dressed up in a period costume and pretending your best buddy just stuck a bayonette into your guts. That’s probably why I just can’t wrap my head around people who worry these things might actually matter on some existential/identity level:

No one’s even fired a musket, but this summer’s lavish re-enactment of the British victory over the French on the Plains of Abraham is already setting off some pre-battle jitters.

The chairman of the National Battlefields Commission says Ottawa has warned him to tread cautiously around the 250th anniversary commemorating Canada’s famous battle, which will feature a full-scale, costumed replay of the historic showdown.

“Ottawa is saying to be careful: We don’t want to offend people. We don’t want a political confrontation,” André Juneau said in an interview. “Everyone, including the National Battlefields Commission, is aware of the emotional nature of the event.”

The 1759 battle marked the beginning of English rule in Canada and, 250 years later, remains a sore point for some French-speaking Quebeckers. Some sovereigntists and observers say the commemoration is misplaced, and one well-known Quebec historian compares it to France marking the anniversary of its humiliating defeat at Waterloo.

Hold up—the federal government is worried about re-enactments? That can’t possibly be right. Then again, those nutty Quebecers are a pretty scary bunch.