25 January 2009 marks 250 years to the day since Scotland’s national poet was born. PETER EWART* reflects on the legacy of Scotland’s celebrated bard whose polemics against the exploitation, injustice and oppression of his time enraged the establishment and won him enduring love from the peoples of all lands.
MANY PEOPLE IN THE MARITIMES have Scottish blood in them, and the same holds true for people across Canada, especially in parts of Ontario and northern British Columbia where I reside. Indeed, at one point in Canada’s history, Scots were the third largest ethnic group, and they have certainly played an important role in the development of the country.
A good number of these men, women and children are descended from the hardy Scots who were scattered to the wind in the 18th and 19th Centuries, sometimes driven out of their homes and forced off their land, sometimes imprisoned or exiled, other times leaving poverty and hardship, in search of opportunity and a better life. Continue reading