Queen's University

Canada Day and Canada's changing identity: Queen's University experts

2012-07-04

With Canada Day approaching, Queen’s University experts Ian McKay and Jamie Swift are available to discuss what they say is Canada’s changing identity of a peaceful nation to a country that now glorifies war.

“Once proudly calling itself a peaceable kingdom, one that helped establish United Nations peace keeping operations, Canada is now presenting itself to the world as a warrior nation. Our international reputation has been hit and our country’s image has been completely changed. The transformation started in the mid-1990s. Budget cuts, scandals, and media controversies inspired military supporters to fight back with campaigns to make war and warriors key to Canadian history and identity. They argue that Canada’s freedom and prosperity, even its identity, are based on war. And with the election of the Harper Government, this militarizing campaign has gone into high gear. At stake is the very way we think and feel about Canada,” says Dr. McKay, a professor in the department of history.

"It's all about how wars are remembered, not whether we remember them. The government has attempted to manipulate and mould public opinion to suit its own agenda,” says Mr. Swift who lectures in the School of Business.

The two explore this issue at length in their new book called Warrior Nation: Rebranding Canada in the Age of Anxiety.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi (office: 613.533.6000 ext. 77513, michael.onesi@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (office: 613-533-2877, Anne.Craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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