Oct 24, 2012
A couple of weekends ago, my wife and I along with another 15,000 spectators witnessed the spectacular historical re-enactment of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Queenston Heights during the War of 1812.
If you missed it, don’t worry, the ‘war’ still has another two years to go before it ended in 1814.
There will be numerous re-enactments throughout the province of Ontario, including next summer with the Battle of York in Toronto and the Battle of Stoney Creek in Hamilton.
That war defined who we are as a nation and established the world’s longest undefended border.
About a month ago, the City of Mississauga had their own re-enactment on a beautiful weekend in a city park on the Credit River in Streetsville.
Now a historian may raise an eyebrow and state that there was never a battle during the War of 1812 anywhere in Mississauga, however, that didn’t prevent Mississauga’s Mayor Hazel McCallion from getting into the act and the federal government funding that goes with it. It also was a huge success.
This leads me to the City of Brampton that also never saw a battle during the War of 1812. What’s preventing this city from tapping into federal money and organizing a similar event here?
Eldorado Park, a few kilometres up stream from Streetsville, would be the ideal location to host an event of this nature.
Opposing armies could set up their camps and vendors could set up their stands. There is lots of room for both the re-enactors and thousands of spectators as well as parking for everyone.
Eldorado Park is historic, removed from high density residential housing. The Harper government has allotted $28 million to showcase the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and it’s there for us to use.
That brings me to my mayor, Susan Fennell. She wants our parks used. She wants to bring economic opportunities to the city through tourism. The educational benefit to a city of over a half a million people with many new Canadians would be the perfect opportunity to help educate its citizens on the proud history of Canada. Could it be that Mayor Fennell is so embroiled in her own ‘war’ with city council that we’re missing out on both the economic and cultural and opportunities that help enhance our city, our heritage and our quality of life?
Is she too busy with her own numerous battles?