Stuart Wachowicz | Page 12 | Tomorrow's World

Stuart Wachowicz

The Knowledge Deficit

Professor Judith Adler, of Memorial University of Newfoundland, had grown concerned that many of her students might be lacking an awareness of geography that would enable them to comprehend course issues about global cultural traditions. She gave her students a quiz consisting of a blank map of the world, with instructions to indicate where places and features such as Africa, Europe, Great Britain and the Atlantic Ocean were. To her surprise, many students lacked even the most rudimentary geographic awareness. Some did not know where the Atlantic Ocean was, even though they could see it from their university (“Lost without a map” The National Post, January 13, 2013).

Blessings at Risk

When Americans think of Canada, visions of expanses of wilderness or holiday locations may come to mind. Few, however, on either side of the border, realize the size and power of the economic relation between the United States and its northern neighbour.

The Longest Undefended Border

Standing on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, just west of Cornwall, Ontario, one is awestruck by the vistas of lush pastures and farms. Remarkably, one can traverse nearly 1,000 miles eastward and 3,000 miles westward from there and find similar peaceful scenes, on an international border with no sign of soldiers—the longest undefended border on the planet.

It was not always this way. At various points along the border, old fortresses and monuments to battles are seen—mute witness to a less peaceful era, when thousands died in order to defend their homes from invaders.