Browse "History"

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'La Huronne'

Romance for voice and piano, words by Pierre-Gabriel Huot and music by Célestin Lavigueur composed ca 1861 and a popular patriotic song for several decades. Its inspiration is said to have come from a visit by the authors to the village of Lorette, near Quebec City.

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1939 Royal Tour

​The 1939 royal tour by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth was the first time a reigning Canadian monarch had stepped foot in this country.

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9/11 and Canada

The terrorist attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001 had an immediate and profound impact on Canada. Twenty-four Canadians died in what became known as the "9/11" attacks. When the US closed its airspace, hundreds of planes carrying thousands of passengers were diverted to Canadian airports. In the weeks following, Canada passed controversial anti-terrorism laws and sent its first troops to Afghanistan as part of the “War on Terror.”

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Act (Statute)

Act (Statute), law passed by Parliament or a provincial legislature (see Provincial Government). A federal Act must pass 3 readings in the House of Commons and 3 readings in the Senate, and must receive royal assent.

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Act of Union

The Act of Union was passed by the British Parliament in July 1840 and proclaimed 10 February 1841. It united the colonies of Upper Canada and Lower Canada under one government, creating the Province of Canada.

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Amnesty Act

Amnesty Act, 1 February 1849, offered a pardon to all those involved in the 1837-38 Rebellions. It originated March 1838, when a conditional pardon was extended to minor participants.

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Anson Northup

Anson Northup, the first of many steamers to navigate the Red River from Minnesota to the Red River Colony. Shortly after its arrival in Fort Garry in June 1859, the Anson Northup was purchased by the Hudson's Bay Company and entrepreneur J.C. Burbank, who renamed it the Pioneer.

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Baby Boom

Canada's birthrate ballooned from the end of the Second World War until about 1965, thanks to improving economic conditions and a related trend over the same period toward larger families.

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Balfour Report

The Balfour Report of 1926 declared that Britain and its Dominions were constitutionally equal to each other. It was a landmark document confirming Canada as a fully independent country, united with Britain and the other Dominions through the Commonwealth.

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Beaver (Steamer)

From 1862 to 1874 the HBC trader became Her Majesty's Hired Survey Ship Beaver. After the HBC sold the ship in 1874, it was used as a workhorse and tow until 1888, when it was wrecked in the First Narrows in Vancouver harbour. Only a few relics remain.

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Bedford Magazine Explosion

Bedford Magazine Explosion, 18-19 July 1945, initiated when an ammunition barge blew up at the naval magazine jetty on Bedford Basin, Halifax harbour. Fire spread quickly to adjacent piles of ammunition, which had been temporarily stored outside because of overcrowding in the main compound.

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Bennett's New Deal

In the mid-1930s, at the height of the Great Depression, Prime Minister R.B. Bennett's political demise seemed inevitable. Seeking to reverse the tide running against his Conservative Party, in January 1935 he began a series of live radio speeches outlining a "New Deal" for Canada.

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Beringia

The importance of Beringia is twofold: it provided a pathway for intercontinental exchanges of plants and animals during glacial periods and for interoceanic exchanges during interglacials; it has been a centre of evolution and has supported apparently unique plant and animal communities.

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Biculturalism

This neologistic term came into public consciousness with the appointment of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism in 1963. On examining its terms of reference the commission could not find the word in a dictionary.

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Billion Dollar Gift

Billion Dollar Gift, the Canadian government's first comprehensive attempt to help finance Britain's war effort during the Second World War. Canada's war production, and its wartime prosperity, was dependent upon British orders, but Britain lacked gold and dollar reserves.