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Is the War of 1812 tribute's $28M money well spent?

Categories: Politics

British soldiers fire their muskets at the American forces during a 2007 re-staging of the War of 1812. (Dave Chidley/Canadian Press)

The federal government is marking the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 with historical re-enactments, museum exhibitions, a new monument and more - a commemoration expected to cost more than $28 million dollars.

The financial commitment has some seeing red. Many appear to be questioning the priorities of the government as it simultaneously slashes spending across the board.

Some CBC News community members expressed their discontent in the comment thread and on social media.

"Living in the past is what it's all about, huh?" wrote C_Scrutinizer in one highly rated comment. "If you want people to know about the War of 1812, then you make sure it's taught in school. Won't cost taxpayers $26 million that way."

"I really don't understand the priorities of this so-called fiscally conservative bunch - from what I've seen, I wouldn't trust them with a piggy bank, let alone a national economy," added Alicia Hardy on the CBC News Facebook page.

Others, such as Canadian historian Jack Granatstein, expressed mixed feelings.

"This is also a government that's slashing the national archives dramatically and killing the national library by cuts," Granatstein told CBC News.

"On the one hand they're good for history and on the other hand they're bad for history -- you sometimes wonder if they really know what they're doing."

Heritage Minister James Moore argues that $28 million is a "reasonable amount" to spend on an event that paved the way to Confederation in 1867.

"We'll be better off because of this kind of investment," he said.

What, if anything, does the War of 1812 bicentennial mean to you? Do you think the government is overspending on the occasion? Why or why not?


(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

Tags: Canada, Politics

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