Working Over Time

Canadian historians pride themselves on being friends of the little people. Unlike the Great Man histories of our colonial parent and imperial neighbour, the key events in our past are often depicted from the point of view of regular folk caught up in the vast winds of change. Ah, but there’s the rub: the real point of these tales are the momentous events and the stories are typically about humble folk who achieve greatness by rising above their circumstances.

But what about those who built this country by spending whole lives up to their neck in circumstances? What about those who had no war to ennoble them nor period of starvation to later romanticize, but who merely toiled through grime and privation day in and day out to lay the foundation upon which our sophisticated modern society was built? What about the shovellers and cutters; the muck scrapers and disembowellers; the tanners, herders, log-drivers and blood-letters? Ought not they be remembered too?

What about those who toiled through privation to build this country?

4 x 1 Hour | History Television | 2008