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Macleans

Electric Cars to be Marketed

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on July 29, 1996. Partner content is not updated.

O'Callaghan was one of the first people in Canada to drive the Impact, a compact electric vehicle (known as an EV) that will soon be the subject of a joint research project by General Motors Corp., B.C. Hydro and the British Columbia government.

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Soaring

Soaring, or gliding, is the sport of flying a sailplane or glider for a sustained period of time by utilizing currents of rising air to stay aloft.

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Humboldt Broncos Bus Crash

One of Canada’s most high-profile highway tragedies occurred on 6 April 2018, when a bus carrying 28 members of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team collided with a transport truck at a highway intersection near Tisdale, Saskatchewan. The crash killed 16 team members: 10 players and 6 staff. It also led to new truck-driver training and licensing regulations and increased awareness about the availability and use of seat belts among bus passengers.

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Bridges

More remarkable was the use of an ice bridge across the St Lawrence River in the winters of 1880-81 and 1881-82, from Hochelaga to Longueuil [Montréal], to carry a standard-gauge railway; from January to March in each of those winters a small train, weighing 60 tons, safely used this unique bridge.

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Transportation

The importance of transportation to a trading nation as vast as Canada cannot be underestimated. The great distances between mines, farms, forests and urban centres make efficient transport systems essential to the economy so that natural and manufactured goods can move freely through domestic and international markets. Transportation has and will continue to play an important role in the social and political unity of Canada.

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SNC-Lavalin

SNC-Lavalin is a global engineering and construction firm based in Montreal, Quebec. It works in several industries including oil and gas, mining, cybersecurity and nuclear power. It also builds public and private infrastructure around the world.

The company began in 1911 as an engineering consultant for power projects. In 1991, the original company, called SNC, merged with competitor Lavalin to become SNC-Lavalin. Today it employs some 50,000 people in more than 50 countries. In 2018, it registered $10.1 billion in revenue.

In Canada, the company has received contracts to build major transit projects in cities including Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Worldwide, SNC-Lavalin oversees resource-extraction and infrastructure projects in North America, the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the Middle East.

Since 2011, allegations of fraud and corruption on the part of SNC-Lavalin and several of its executives have plagued the company with scandal.

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Roads and Highways

Canada's first highways were the rivers and lakes used by Indigenous peoples, travelling by canoe in summer and following the frozen waterways in winter. (See also Birchbark Canoe; Dugout Canoe.) The water network was so practical that explorers, settlers and soldiers followed the example of the Indigenous peoples. (See also Coureurs des bois; Voyageurs.) To a greater extent than most other countries, Canada depends for its social, economic and political life on efficient communication and transportation. (See also Economy; Politics.)

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Toronto Subway

The Toronto subway is part of a larger public transportation network, including streetcars, buses and light rapid transit, run by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). It opened on 30 March 1954, making it Canada’s first subway. Since then, it has grown from a single, 12-station line running 7.4 km beneath Yonge Street to a four-line system encompassing 75 stations over 76.5 km. In 2017, the TTC recorded 213 million passenger trips on the Toronto subway.

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Avro Arrow

The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow (the Arrow) was a supersonic interceptor jet aircraft designed and built in the 1950s by A.V. Roe Canada (Avro). The Arrow was one of the most advanced aircraft of its era, helping to establish Canada as a world leader in scientific research and development.

Though the Arrow was widely praised for its power and beauty, the program was cancelled in February 1959 by the government of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. This resulted in the loss of at least 25,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Many believe that the Arrow’s cancellation was a betrayal of Canada’s aerospace industry. Others assert that the jet was extravagant and had little chance of competing with impending innovations. At best, Avro and the Arrow were historic examples of Canadian ingenuity and intriguing case studies of unrealized potential.