Browse "Communities & Sociology"

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Urban Transportation

Horse-drawn trams were a vast improvement, but they were far from ideal transportation. Heavy loads could not be hauled, and horses were expensive and required frequent rest periods; they also polluted the streets.

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Urbanization

Urbanization is a complex process in which a country's population centres tend to become larger, more specialized and more interdependent over time.

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Urgent Ethnology

Urgent ethnology involves recording on sound tapes, films, photographs and in writing the endangered languages and traditions of the Inuit, First Nation and Métis peoples of Canada.

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Valérie

Valérie (1969), the first of a group of erotic films now known as "maple-syrup porno," launched the career of director Denis HÉROUX.

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Vancouver Asahi

The Asahi was a Japanese Canadian baseball club in Vancouver (1914–42). One of the city’s most dominant amateur teams, the Asahi used skill and tactics to win multiple league titles in Vancouver and along the Northwest Coast. In 1942, the team was disbanded when its members were among the 22,000 Japanese Canadians who were interned by the federal government (see Internment of Japanese Canadians). The Asahi were inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003 and the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.

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Vancouver Island Coal Strike

 Vancouver Island Coal Strike began on 16 Sept 1912 when miners at Cumberland declared a "holiday" to protest the firing of Oscar Mottishaw. Canadian Collieries, recent purchaser of the Dunsmuir Mines, locked them out and hired Chinese and recruits from Britain and the US as strikebreakers.

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Vancouver Women's Musical Society

Vancouver Women's Musical Society (formerly the Vancouver Woman's Musical Club). Founded in 1905 by Mrs B.T. Rogers, Mrs J.J. Banfield, Mrs C.M. Beecher, (first president 1905-7), and others and incorporated in 1916 under the guidance of Esther Beecher Weld and Mrs Walter Coulthard.

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Vegetarianism

Vegetarianism describes the diet (eg, green vegetables, cereals, seeds, fruit and nuts, roots and perhaps eggs and dairy products) of those who abstain from food of animal sources. Many Canadians have chosen a vegetarian diet for economic, religious, moral or health reasons.

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Vision Quest

Coined by 19th century anthropologists, the term “vision quest” describes a spiritual journey in various Indigenous cultures in which participants, often adolescents, are said to receive sacred knowledge and strength from the spirit world. Practised as a rite of passage among some Indigenous cultures in North America, such as the Siksika (Blackfoot), Cree, Anishinaabe (including the Ojibwe) and Inuit, vision quests reflect the role of spirituality and contemplative thinking in Indigenous cultures, and provide an important connection between the participant, the Creator and nature. Though reduced as a practice following colonization, vision quests remain part of the cultural traditions of Indigenous populations in Canada in the modern era.

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Voyageurs

Voyageurs were independent contractors, workers or minor partners in companies involved in the fur trade. They were licensed to transport goods to trading posts and were usually forbidden to do any trading of their own. The fur trade changed over the years, as did the groups of men working in it. In the 17th century, voyageurs were often coureurs des bois — unlicensed traders responsible for delivering trade goods from suppliers to Indigenous peoples. The implementation of the trading licence system in 1681 set voyageurs apart from coureurs des bois, who were then considered outlaws of sorts. Today, the word voyageur, like the term coureur des bois, evokes the romantic image of men canoeing across the continent in search of furs. Their life was full of perilous adventure, gruelling work and cheerful camaraderie.

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Wartime Elections Act

The Wartime Elections Act of 1917 gave the vote to female relatives of Canadian soldiers serving overseas in the First World War. It also took the vote away from many Canadians who had immigrated from “enemy” countries. The Act was passed by Prime Minister Robert Borden’s Conservative government in an attempt to gain votes in the 1917 election. It ended up costing the Conservatives support among certain groups for years to come. The Act has a contentious legacy. It granted many women the right to vote, but it also legitimized in law many anti-immigrant sentiments.

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Welfare State

The welfare state in Canada is a multi-billion dollar system of government programs that transfer money and services to Canadians to deal with an array of societal needs.

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Windsor Ford Strike of 1945

The Windsor Ford Strike was a 99-day strike from 12 September to 19 December 1945 by 11,000 employees of the Windsor, Ontario, Ford Motor Company plant. Some 8,000 auto workers from other plants also participated. The Ford workers, who were led by the United Automobile Workers of Canada (UAW), demanded recognition of their union by Ford and mandatory membership for all plant workers. The strike was ultimately resolved through binding arbitration under Supreme Court Justice Ivan C. Rand and resulted in the widely used Rand Formula.

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Winnipeg General Strike of 1919

The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 was the largest strike in Canadian history (see Strikes and Lockouts). Between 15 May and 25 June 1919, more than 30,000 workers left their jobs (see Work). Factories, shops, transit and city services shut down. The strike resulted in arrests, injuries and the deaths of two protestors. It did not immediately succeed in empowering workers and improving job conditions. But the strike did help unite the working class in Canada (see Labour Organization). Some of its participants helped establish what is now the New Democratic Party.

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This is the full-length entry about the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919. For a plain-language summary, please see Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 (Plain-language Summary).

Editorial

Winnipeg General Strike: Canada's Most Influential Strike

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

An eerie calm descended on the streets of Winnipeg on the morning of May 15, 1919. The street cars and delivery wagons lay idle. Some 50,000 tradesmen, labourers, city and provincial employees had walked off the job, leaving the city paralyzed. It was North America's first general strike.

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Women and Education

Although women have always been well represented in schools as students and teachers, it is possible, by examining women's participation in schooling, to understand how that participation has both reflected and produced the unequal position of women in society.

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Women and Health

If life expectancy is any indication of health, Canadian women are, on average, much healthier than they were 70 years ago. The life expectancy of female babies born in 1921 was 61 while female babies born today are expected to live to age 82.