Critics accuse the Conservative Party of ‘politicizing history’ as national museum mandates change | National Post

More debate on the mandate of the new national history museum. Removal of the phrase ‘critical understanding’ is significant, and reflects a change in substance and tone. Ironic, given one of the valid criticisms of the Canada Hall was its Disneyland-like airbrushing of Canadian history.

All governments struggle with how to cover and portray their history and the balance between reinforcing a national narrative while being honest about the less uplifting parts. See Margaret MacMillan’s The Uses and Abuses of History for a great discussion and examples

via Critics accuse the Conservative Party of ‘politicizing history’ as national museum mandates change | National Post.

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Canada’s misguided monarchists

Andrew Cohen’s take on the monarchy. He makes a valid point about how our general fascination with celebrities, and celebrity culture, overwhelms the substance of the monarchy. But I don’t share the urgency of the ‘natural evolution’ and shedding the monarchy; it is part of our history and heritage, is fully embedded in our institutions, generally works well, and change would be a distraction to more pressing issues. On the other hand, changing the oath ….

Canada’s misguided monarchists.

How Stephen Harper is rewriting history – Canada – Macleans.ca

Good overview on the remake of the Canadian Museum of Civilization into the Canadian Museum of History, and the likely narrowing of focus and messaging. While the CMC was ‘content light’, my experience taking visitors around from many countries is that the Canada Hall gave them a powerful image of the diversity and evolution of Canada.

And some of Jack Granatstein’s lament in Who Killed Canadian History seemed exaggerated as our kids went through their primary and high school education with a reasonable amount of ‘traditional’ history in addition to social history. Not to say a refresh is not warranted, but hopefully less jingoistic than the War of 1812 celebrations.

How Stephen Harper is rewriting history – Canada – Macleans.ca.

Conservatives not the only political players to keep ‘enemies list’ | Columnists | Opinion | Toronto Sun

Fair point by Monte Solberg.

Conservatives not the only political players to keep ‘enemies list’ | Columnists | Opinion | Toronto Sun.

French niqab law deserves support | Columnists | Opinion | Toronto Sun

While I have no patience for the niqab on any number of levels, as it is a rejection of an open and integrated society, an outright ban in all circumstances is another matter. A more selective approach where there are clear identification and security reasons (e.g., airports, public transport, government offices), or where the impact on social cohesion is significant (e.g., schools, citizenship ceremonies) is preferable.

In a democratic society, people have choices on how much to engage or not. And society has a choice on how far to accommodate such practices or not as well.

But when columnists state Saudi Arabia as a model for non-negotiations, the debate has sunk very low.

French niqab law deserves support | Columnists | Opinion | Toronto Sun.

The Rise of Multicultural Managers | INSEAD Knowledge

A good overview by INSEAD academics of some of the advantages for larger companies of multicultural managers and leaders, and some of the advantages:

  • “Making creative associations and drawing analogies between geographical markets, allowing L’Oreal to develop global products and build global brands while remaining sensitive to local market differences.
  • Interpreting complex knowledge – i.e. tacit, collective and culture-dependent, hence impossible to simply “explain” across cultures and contexts, an essential skill when marketing products like cosmetics, where much of understanding is tacit and culture-dependent.
  •  Anticipating cross-cultural conflicts, and addressing them, something critical to the effectiveness of global teams.
  •  Integrating new team members from different cultures into teams that quickly develop their own norms of interaction and a strong “in or out” identity, making joining the team once it has been in existence for a while particularly difficult.
  • Mediating the relationship between global teams, with a high level of cultural diversity among their members, and the senior executives they report to, or their interaction with local subsidiary staff they collaborate with, who are usually monocultural.”

The Rise of Multicultural Managers | INSEAD Knowledge.

Cabinet orders add to confusion over Canada’s multiple multiculturalism ministers – Inside Politics

More on the ‘who is in charge’ question re multiculturalism between Minister Kenney, Alexander and Minister of State Uppal.

Cabinet orders add to confusion over Canada’s multiple multiculturalism ministers – Inside Politics.

Robert P. George and Katrina Lantos Swett: Religious Freedom Is About More Than Religion – WSJ.com

Good piece on religious freedom, and how it has to be based upon the freedom of coercion.

Robert P. George and Katrina Lantos Swett: Religious Freedom Is About More Than Religion – WSJ.com.

Memo to Chris Alexander, Canada’s new immigration minister | Toronto Star

The contrary view to Minister Kenney’s achievements as Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. Not a balanced take, but highlights the challenges of defining and finding balance given the range of interests and perspectives.

Memo to Chris Alexander, Canada’s new immigration minister | Toronto Star.

When the Patient Is Racist – NYTimes.com

A more open discussion than one normally sees on racism and discrimination on the front lines of healthcare. While our hospital has an appropriate code of  on rights and responsibilities, Your rights and responsibilities,  it is a challenge to implement given the number and variety if people being seen, time pressures, the health and psychological pressure on patients, and the normal human wish to avoid conflict.

No excuse for bad behaviour of any sort but understand why doctors and other medical staff may prefer to duck and move on to the next patient.

When the Patient Is Racist – NYTimes.com.