By A. L. Colquhoun
In response to George Jason’s recent letter, yes when then Mounties first arrived in Western Canada, they built forts for habitation and as administrative centres, but it is precisely because they were already here that Canada was spared a long period of vicious conflict between settlers and native populations that characterized the settling of the American West.
Yes, as he states, there was a clear distinction between the local natives and the military forces, but that was inevitable. The natives had their own way of life and culture while the role of the British/Canadian police forces was to preserve order and promote settlement.
As to racism being part of the British heritage, it is worth pointing out that Britain was one of the first nations to outlaw slavery and, in addition, a major role of the British navy was to disrupt slave vessels of other nations and free the slaves.
Most of the nations of Western Europe and the Americas operate under varying forms of parliamentary rule modeled after the system established by Britain.
And it is these nations of Western Europe that are now the beacon of hope for so many of the millions of disposed refugees from the Middle East and Africa.
Certainly pockets of racism exist in every country, but we have to believe that it is only because Britain and her allies offer people of all races and backgrounds the best opportunity to live in freedom and with equal opportunity that so many are now striving so mightily to enter them.