History | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Speech

    Wilfrid Laurier: Faith Is Better than Doubt and Love Is Better than Hate, 1916

    As the country’s first francophone prime minister, Wilfrid Laurier worked tirelessly to strengthen and unify the fledgling country and build bridges between its French and English citizens — in spite of the ill will this often brought from his fellow Québécois. Unity and fraternity were ideals that governed his life, as he told a group of young Canadians on 11 October 1916 (sentiments borrowed by Jack Layton at the end of his life).

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    https://d3d0lqu00lnqvz.cloudfront.net/media/media/6d628c6c-859f-462a-86bb-e96af37cefad.jpg Wilfrid Laurier: Faith Is Better than Doubt and Love Is Better than Hate, 1916
  • Speech

    Wilfrid Laurier: Let Them Become Canadians, 1905

    On 1 September 1905, Wilfrid Laurier spoke before an audience of some 10,000 people in Edmonton, the newly minted capital of Alberta, which had just joined Confederation along with Saskatchewan. It had been 11 years since he’d last visited Edmonton, and he remarked that so much had changed in that time. He noted the growth of cities in the West, as well as the development of industry and transportation, agriculture and trade there. “Gigantic strides are made on all sides over these new provinces,” he said. It was a crowning moment of a movement — to colonize the West — and Laurier was there to thank the immigrants and settlers who had made that possible. Though the Laurier government’s immigration policies championed the arrival of some and barred the landing of others, his comments on acceptance in this speech served as a better model to follow.

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    https://d3d0lqu00lnqvz.cloudfront.net/media/media/d2da9148-e44f-454c-927a-f1d7b84066fd.jpg Wilfrid Laurier: Let Them Become Canadians, 1905
  • Speech

    Wilfrid Laurier: Parliamentary Debut, 1871

    As a young lawyer, Wilfrid Laurier deeply opposed the idea of Confederation. Like the Parti rouge members he associated with in Canada East (formerly Lower Canada), he once described any union of the British North American colonies as “the tomb of the French race and the ruin of Lower Canada.” After 1867, however, Laurier accepted Confederation, and would spend the rest of his life passionately praising his new country — and the legal protections of its Constitution — for allowing French and English to live and thrive peacefully side by side in a single state. On 10 November 1871, as a newly elected member of the Québec provincial legislature, he articulated his freshly acquired admiration for Canada by speaking on what would become his favourite subject.

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    https://d3d0lqu00lnqvz.cloudfront.net/media/media/a265e0b6-e833-4ee3-a885-4d68778eb8db.jpg Wilfrid Laurier: Parliamentary Debut, 1871
  • Speech

    Wilfrid Laurier: Speech in Defence of Louis Riel, 1874

    The 1869 Métis uprising in Red River had deeply divided Canadians along religious and linguistic lines. Five years later, the election of Louis Riel as a member of Parliament (MP) prompted a debate about whether the House of Commons should allow Riel to take up his seat there. Wilfrid Laurier — by this time a federal MP in the new Liberal government of Alexander Mackenzie — stood firmly on Riel’s side. Laurier had little personal sympathy for Riel. Politically, however, he used Riel and the Métis cause as a way of staking out the moderation and pragmatism that would become a hallmark his career. On 15 April 1874, he issued this stirring defence of Riel in the House of Commons.

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    https://d3d0lqu00lnqvz.cloudfront.net/media/media/5580e54c-eb45-47b4-a8ce-b0f8b5895615.jpg Wilfrid Laurier: Speech in Defence of Louis Riel, 1874
  • Speech

    Wilfrid Laurier: Speech on Political Liberalism, 1877

    By 1877, Wilfrid Laurier was a rising political star in Québec, although his profile outside his native province was not yet established. On 26 June 1877, Laurier spoke to members of Le Club Canadien in Québec City on the risky topic of liberalism — deemed a radical threat at the time to Québec’s conservative elites and to the Roman Catholic Church. Laurier disarmed such fears by stating clearly what Liberals held dear: political freedom, respect for the Crown, the continuance of Canada’s democratic institutions and religious tolerance. The speech was a master stroke. Overnight, Laurier created space in Québec for the Liberal Party and became, for the first time, a national figure.

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    https://d3d0lqu00lnqvz.cloudfront.net/media/media/2e3d031c-76d9-49d8-80ab-47043facdef5.jpg Wilfrid Laurier: Speech on Political Liberalism, 1877
  • Speech

    Wilfrid Laurier: “The Sunny Way” Speech, 1895

    The Manitoba Schools Question involved a struggle over the rights of francophones in Manitoba to receive an education in their mother tongue and their religion, constitutional rights that had been revoked by the provincial government of Thomas Greenway in 1890. Wilfrid Laurier’s solution to the problem followed what he called the “sunny way” — the way of negotiation, diplomacy and compromise — rather than forced legislation. He first used the term 8 October 1895, when he was leader of the opposition, in a speech he delivered in Ontario. The sunny way is a reference to one of Aesop’s Fables, in which the wind and the sun compete to see who can motivate a man to remove his jacket. The sun shines down, pleasantly and patiently, and the wind blows with bluster. The sun ultimately wins the day, proving that patience and enticement are more effective than force and coercion. After coming to power in 1896, Laurier settled the Manitoba Schools Question with sunny ways — but the politically expedient settlement his government achieved came at a steep price: the sacrificing of French language minority rights in Manitoba.

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    https://d3d0lqu00lnqvz.cloudfront.net/media/media/1cc2c9fb-ee33-4441-bef5-039b0b6e287a.jpg Wilfrid Laurier: “The Sunny Way” Speech, 1895
  • Article

    Williams Treaties

    The Williams Treaties were signed in October and November 1923 by the governments of Canada and Ontario and by seven First Nations of the Chippewa of Lake Simcoe (Beausoleil, Georgina Island and Rama) and the Mississauga of the north shore of Lake Ontario (Alderville, Curve Lake, Hiawatha and Scugog Island). As the last historic land cession treaties in Canada, these agreements transferred over 20,000 km2 of land in south central Ontario to the Crown; in exchange, Indigenous signatories received one-time cash payments. While Chippewa and Mississauga peoples argue that the Williams Treaties also guaranteed their right to hunt and fish on the territory, the federal and provincial governments have interpreted the treaty differently, resulting in legal disputes and negotiations between the three parties about land rights. In 2018, the Williams Treaties First Nations and the Governments of Ontario and Canada came to a final agreement, settling litigation about land surrenders and harvesting rights.

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  • Macleans

    Windows 95 Introduced

    The world tour has been drawing huge crowds, there are souvenir T-shirts and a seemingly endless stream of articles in magazines and newspapers around the world. Everywhere there is an air of feverish anticipation.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on August 21, 1995

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  • Article

    Winnipeg Falcons

    ​The Winnipeg Falcons was a hockey team of the early 20th century that was made up almost solely of players of Icelandic heritage.

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  • Article

    Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Canada

    The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was the largest non-denominational women’s organization in 19th century Canada.

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  • Article

    Women in the Labour Force

    Women are considered labour force participants only if they work outside the home. In the past women have been expected to be in the labour force only until they marry; this reflects the historical, idealized notion of a society in which the man is the breadwinner and the woman the homemaker.

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  • Article

    Women's Labour Leagues

    Women's Labour Leagues emerged in Canada prior to WWI. Modelled on the British Labour Leagues, auxiliaries to the Independent Labour Party, their purpose was to defend the struggles of women workers and support the labour movement.

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    https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/images/tce_placeholder.jpg?v=e9dca980c9bdb3aa11e832e7ea94f5d9 Women's Labour Leagues
  • Article

    Women's Movements in Canada

    Canadian women have participated in many social movements, both on their own, and allied with men.

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  • Article

    Women's Movements in Canada: 1985–present

    Women’s movements (or, feminist movements) during the period 1985–present — sometimes referred to as third- or fourth-wave feminism — engaged in multiple campaigns, from employment equity and daycare, to anti-racism and ending poverty and violence against women.

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  • Article

    Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service

    The Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS) was established on 31 July 1942 during the Second World War. It was the naval counterpart to the Canadian Women’s Army Corps and the Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Division, which had preceded it in 1941. The WRCNS was established as a separate service from the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). It was disbanded on 31 August 1946.

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