Harper's Conservatives are spending more than $28 million on the War of 1812 celebrations. With that in mind, you think they could get the basic facts right - like who it was we were fighting.
Peter MacKay spoke as Canada's representative at the French embassy’s celebration of Bastille Day (July 14th). The French were politiely surprised by his speech, since MacKay praised France’s government and the contribution the French made to the War of 1812.
The Minister said: “Suffice it to say in the 200th commemoration of the War of 1812, had the French not been here fighting side by side, we might be standing here next to each other in a new light.”
Of course the French were not "fighting side by side" with us - we were fighting them, or at least England was. Anyone remember Napoleon? He's who England was fighting when it spilled over here and the US attacked Canada when they thought England had their hands full with the French.
Ever to jump on ridiculous gaffes, Twitter was quick to respond with a new hashtag: #MacKayHistory - telling it like it ought to be, but wasn't. I thought I'd preserve a few of my contributions for posterity ~
The lesson? Books - it's important to read them... Especially if you are a government that claims to have all the answers.