The United States has good company when confronting its history and political correctness issues.

The Canadians, our good neighbors to the north, are currently debating whether to remove a statute of their nation’s first prime minister, Sir John a Macdonald, that stands in Kingston, Macdonald’s hometown, in eastern Ontario.

The trouble with the Canadian father figure, who served as his country’s first prime minister with a brief exception, from 1873 to 1891, was his treatment of Asian minorities and the Indigenous Peoples. He resorted to starvation to force the Indigenous Peoples on to reservations. He referred to Asians as a separate species. Slavery was illegal in the British Empire during his life so Macdonald, unlike George Washington, never owned slaves, but he did proclaim Canada a land for Aryan people.

The debate over the Macdonald statute appeared on the Op-Ed page in the Aug. 21st issue of the Toronto Star, which I saw thanks to Marty Paul of Garrettsville. Talk about adventure: Marty and his wife, Marilyn, during August undertook a 17-day, 3,300-mile road adventure that encircled three of the Great Lakes and a portion of Lake Erie. On trips, Marty often buys local newspapers during stops and thoughtfully sends some of them to me to see.

In his note with the package of newspapers, he wrote of the Canada and U.S. of the Great Lakes region using words like, "very scenic and great hospitality. Two beautiful countries, the USA and Canada!"

His enthusiasm prompted me to call.

Marty said he and Marilyn traveled in their RV often overnighting in campgrounds for which they had made reservations. They started Aug. 5, heading west around Chicago and then north to the Wisconsin Dells, a geological wonder and water attraction one can view by boat.

Marty and Marilyn are accomplished water skiers so in the Dells they took in the Tommy Bartlett (Water) Ski Show, which rivals that of Cypress Gardens in Florida. It’s a small world. Asking an usher about the facilities, Marty was directed to the owner of the show, Tom Diehl. During their brief conversation, he learned that Diehl is a longtime friend of former state senator, Attorney Leigh Herington and that Diehl and Herington graduated from the same high school in the Rochester, N.Y. area.

From the Dells, the Paul’s headed north via Eau Claire and stopped in Duluth, the port through which much of Minnesota’s iron ore is shipped.

"It’s busy and prosperous," he said.

From Duluth, they headed for the Canadian border on Route 61 along the shores of Lake Superior stopping at small shoreline communities, Two Harbors and Grand Marais, before driving on to Thunder Bay in Canada. The surface waters of Lake Superior were unexpectedly calm for so large a lake, "but we were assured," Marty said, "that those waters could become turbulent very quickly."

They found Thunder Bay, like Duluth, a bustling port. Driving mile after mile along Canadian Route 17, they eventually reached Superior’s eastern point at Sault St. Marie. They then headed east circling around Georgian Bay, a large body of water off Lake Huron whose shoreline, Marty said, has many beautiful homes. Connecting with the Manitoulin Islands and then to the Georgian Bay’s eastern shore by ferry, they diverted east across Ontario to a small town called Barry’s Bay to visit extended family.

They then headed south passing cities like Peterborough arriving at Leamington, the self-proclaimed, "Tomato Capital of the World." Tomatoes, Marty said, are grown by the millions in countless greenhouses there. Heinz, he said, is huge in Leamington. The city of Leamington includes Point Pelee where the couple boarded another ferry for the short trip to Pelee Island, which Marty described as flat and quiet.

Their adventure nearing its end, the two drove on to another ferry and stopped at Sandusky, the feeder city for Cedar Point and, Marty said, "a very busy city." They finished their journey by heading south to Ada where the couple saw the Ohio Northern Polar Bears, coached by their son, Dean, defeat the Adrian College Bulldogs, a victory just short of his 100th in the 15 years Dean has coached at Ohio Northern.

Marty described the hospitality of Minnesotans and Canadians as generous. Canadians, he said, are, "extremely engaging." Our president, he said, is just as controversial in Canada as he is here in the USA.

"Not surprisingly," he said, "Many wanted to talk about Trump."

Marty is a diplomat and would skillfully change the subject.

David E. Dix is a former publisher of the Record-Courier.