The game is six degrees of Canadian history. Take two seemingly unrelated pieces of Canadian culture and connect the dots through various people, places and events to discover how they’re distantly — or maybe not-so-distantly — related. Along the way, we visit the quizzical and curious, the tragic and comic, and everything in between.
Overdoses from a class of painkiller drugs called opioids are claiming the lives of thousands of Canadians from all walks of life. The death count is the result of an escalating public health crisis: an epidemic of opioid addiction. The crisis is made more deadly by an influx of illicit fentanyl and chemically similar drugs, but it can be traced to the medical over-prescribing of opioids, including oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine.
Winter occurs as the Earth's axis tilts away from the sun during the planet's annual rotation. The portion of the Earth that is furthest from the sun experiences winter, with weather that is colder than the other seasons. In the Northern Hemisphere, winter officially begins with the winter solstice, around 21 December, and ends at the spring equinox, around 21 March. Winter figures largely in Canada's climate, cultural experience and mythology. Every aspect of life in Canada is affected by winter, whether by heavy rains on the West Coast, isolation during the long Arctic winters, raging blizzards across the prairies or huge snowfalls in eastern Canada. Winter is reflected in Canadian art, literature, music, fashion, pastimes and attitudes.
The Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) is Canada's national agency for geoscientific information and research. It studies and reports on Canada’s geology, natural geological hazards, and the development of natural resources. Established in 1842 primarily to promote the mining industry, it is one of the country’s oldest scientific organizations. Throughout its history, the Survey has produced some of the most comprehensive and detailed maps of the Canadian landscape, and published several important reports on its ecology and natural history.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness that affects individuals exposed to trauma (although not all people exposed to trauma develop PTSD). Studies suggest that over 70 per cent of Canadians have been exposed to at least one traumatic event in their lifetime, and that nearly 1 out of 10 Canadians may develop PTSD at some point in their lives. PTSD can affect adults and children and can appear months or even years after exposure to the trauma.
In spring and summer the most abundant substance in leaves is chlorophyll, which gives them their green colour. Chlorophyll is essential for photosynthesis, the process which converts the energy of sunlight into sugar. Sunlight is also necessary for the synthesis of chlorophyll itself.
A species is endangered if there are threats to its survival. The major factors that put plant species at risk stem primarily from human activity, including the conversion of natural habitats into land for agricultural, urban and industrial purposes. In Canada, these activities threaten entire natural ecosystems, such as older forests and Prairie grasslands. As of 2017, of the approximate 7,300 species of flora in Canada, 233 are at risk.
Influenza, often referred to as the flu, is a common, contagious respiratory illness. There are four types of influenza viruses: A, B, C and D. While influenza A, B and C viruses can infect humans, influenza D is believed to primarily affect animals such as cattle and pigs. Influenza C is rare in comparison to influenza A and B, which are the main sources of the “seasonal flu,” or the viruses that circulate in Canada and other countries each winter. Influenza A is also the source of flu pandemics. Canada has experienced five influenza pandemics since the late 19th century, in 1890, 1918, 1957, 1968 and 2009. In Canada, influenza causes an estimated 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths each year.
During the 20th century, the federal government established racially segregated “Indian hospitals” for the treatment of First Nations and Inuit peoples in Canada. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the government supported Christian missionary efforts to provide rudimentary hospital care on some reserves, but aggressively expanded its system of Indian hospitals after the Second World War. By 1960, the government owned 22 hospitals with more than 2,200 beds, mostly in Ontario and westward. Indian hospitals did not provide Indigenous medicines, midwives or holistic notions of illness and its treatment. To the contrary, the hospitals were intended to further assimilationist goals and replace traditional healing with biomedicine. Although the institutions were originally justified to isolate tuberculosis, they actually functioned as general hospitals, admitting patients based on Indian status, not disease. Certainly many people were made well in these hospitals, but patients, often far from home, recall loneliness, vulnerability, fear and, for some, abuse in strange institutions where medical staff did not understand their cultures and languages. There were never any medical training programs for Indigenous people in the Indian hospitals. With the coming of medicare in the late 1960s, the government began to close most of the Indian hospitals, though it continues to operate hospitals at Norway House and Hodgson in Manitoba.
The aerospace industry includes the development and production of aircraft, satellites, rockets and their component parts. Aerospace is a major component of Canada's economy, employs tens of thousands of Canadians, and accounts for a large part of Canadian trade with foreign markets. Canada boasts a diverse aerospace sector and is one of just a few countries that produce airplanes. Through close partnership with the United States space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Canada has also launched satellites as well as built sophisticated components used on the International Space Station.
The Canadarm was a remote-controlled mechanical arm, also known as the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS). During its 30-year career with NASA’s Space Shuttle Program, the robotic arm deployed, captured and repaired satellites, positioned astronauts, maintained equipment, and moved cargo.
Palaeontological and geological studies of these deposits go back about 130 years. These include work carried out by George Mercer Dawson in 1890 as part of his survey of British Columbia for the Geological Survey of Canada, with occasional research published in the 1920s and 1930s.