Such a view, which is certainly not shared by Prime Minsiter Stephen Harper and the party leadership, is no doubt what has impelled him to take what, for him, was an unusual step. Surprisingly, he has joined the Apology Parade, adding a new category, the Punjabis, to the lengthening list of past peoples to whom Canada feels it owes an apology and, presumably, compensation. This already includes the Chinese, Japanese, Ukrainians, Germans, Italians and Sikhs. The Parade is, in fact, an exercise in historical revisionism most uncharacteristic of Harper. It leans heavily on two assumptions. One is that modern Canadians are far more just and inclusive than their forebears.
They therefore want to distance themselves from their ancestors' evil deeds. Always, the accompanying explanatory rationale fails to take into account the dire historical circumstances that usually obtained when this or that dark deed was done. Second, the Apology Parade relies on the easily demonstrated assumption that modern Canadians know very little history, of their own country or anybody else's. It is grounded, that is, on ignorance. But surely one does not cavil over such esoteric objections. Think of those Toronto seats, man! So why not a word or two for the Punjabis?