The U.S. has coveted Canada since the War of 1812

On June 8th, the arguments of scholars Stephen Clarkson (Pro) and Jack Granatstein (Con) are moderated by historian Michael Bliss

On the eve of the bicentennial of the War of 1812, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), in association with Luminato, is proud to present two renowned scholars debating a very timely motion. With Michael Bliss moderating, Stephen Clarkson and Jack Granatstein will engage the audience as they argue the motion The U.S. has coveted Canada since the War of 1812. The debate, under the auspices of the William Thorsell Forum, takes place on Friday, June 8th at 7:00 pm at Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning.

Canada’s relationship with its neighbour to the south has had its difficulties. The Americans are richer, stronger, more populous, and Canada has frequently needed to fight to remain separate, sometimes with arms, often with ideas. The U.S. invaded in 1812. To this day, Canada is overrun by American values, television, movies, political ideas, resource-hungry corporations, and fast-food chains. Are Canadians under threat? If yes, what should be done to resist Americanization?

Arguing for the motion’s PRO side is Stephen Clarkson, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto. A much published author, he has written on Canada-U.S. economic and political relations, foreign policy, Pierre Trudeau, and the Liberal Party. An Officer of the Order of Canada, Clarkson once ran for the Office of the Mayor of Toronto.

Jack Granatstein argues the CON side of the motion. Holding a PhD from Duke University, Granatstein taught Canadian history at York University for 30 years. He served as Director of the Canadian War Museum from 1998 to 2000. An Officer of the Order of Canada, Granatstein has written extensively on Canada-U.S. relations, Canadian military and political history, and contemporary Canadian politics. To date, he has not run for Mayor of Toronto.


The ROM is pleased to present two exhibits on the occasion of the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Afterimage: Tod Ainslie’s Vision of the War of 1812 showcases 22 photographs documenting historically significant sites of the War of 1812. Taken by Burlington-based photographer Tod Ainslie using three pinhole cameras that he designed and built, the contemporary photographic works are displayed from Saturday, June 2, 2012 to Sunday, February 24, 2013 in the ROM’s Wilson Canadian Heritage Exhibition Room of the Sigmund Samuel Gallery of Canada.

Exploring First Nations history and identity in the Great Lakes region, Sovereign Allies/Living Cultures: First Nations of the Great Lakes opens on July 14, 2012 for an indefinite engagement in the Daphne Cockwell Gallery Canada First Peoples on Level 1 of the Museum’s Hilary and Galen Weston Wing. During the War of 1812 – 1814, many First Nations fought as sovereign allies of the British Crown to defend their lands from aggressive American expansion. With hopes for an independent territory unrealized, after the war First Nations leaders turned to building communities and maintaining their cultures in lands they no longer owned. Video presentations augment the display’s nearly 100 artifacts. Both exhibitions are included with paid general ROM admission.

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The U.S. has coveted Canada since the War of 1812

Stephen Clarkson vs Jack Granatstein

Friday, June 8, 2012 from 7:00 to 8:30pm

Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street W.

Tickets: $30 available at or 416.368.4849

NOTE: Event tickets are not available through the ROM.