Is this a trailer for a new action movie? No, it’s ‘The Fight for Canada.’
The Canadian government’s video made for the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 depicts how Americans declared war on Britain and invaded then-British territory, now Canada. But the ad's approach makes us wonder if it goes too far, or if it simply entices citizens to learn more about Canada’s history.
“Two hundred years ago, the United States invaded our territory,” the narrator gravely states.
It features Sir Isaac Brock, Laura Secord and Chief Tecumseh, all of whom played integral roles in the War of 1812.
However, the ad glosses over the war’s outcome, which many interpret as mixed.
"The outcome was an effective stalemate — therefore neither side won,” Professor Emeritus at University of Toronto Michael Bliss told CBC.
And Canada’s First Nations definitely got the short end of the stick, many have noted.
“When peace came on Christmas Eve 1814, it was the First Nations who were lost and forgotten,” Doug Cuthand wrote in the Star Phoenix.
"The Americans and British made a peace agreement at Ghent, Belgium, without any involvement by First Nations. The British readily agreed to drop the First Nations as allies, the borders remained the same, and both sides were able to claim a measure of victory to cover up the loss of life and cost of the war."
The federal Dominion of Canada was formed in 1867, over 50 years later.
The ad comes after the federal government pledged nearly $50 million to mark the war’s anniversary and improve War of 1812 sites, HuffPost Canada Ottawa Bureau Chief Althia Raj reported. Prime Minister Stephen Harper made special note of the war on Canada Day.
“In fighting together our ancestors in 1812 laid the basis for a common sense of Canadian nationality based on diversity and they laid the basis for the vision of freedom, democracy and justice that is our inheritance — Canada, the best country in the world,” Harper said.
NOTE: A previous version of this post stated the federal government planned to spend $28 million commemorating the War of 1812. That figure has since been updated.
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