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Resource Towns

Resource towns, or "new towns," are the small, isolated communities built around resource-based industries and transportation, such as mining towns, mill towns, railway towns and fishing villages. Examples include: Fort McMurray, Alberta (oil); Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland (pulp and paper); Glace Bay, Nova Scotia (coal); Black's Harbour, New Brunswick (fish packing); Murdochville, Québec (copper); Elliot Lake, Ontario (uranium); Snow Lake, Manitoba (copper, zinc); and Kitimat, British Columbia (aluminum). Resource development has long been recognized as a significant factor in shaping patterns of Canadian development. It has been argued that all Canadian urban growth ultimately depends on the production of staple products. Resource towns have been important agencies in this process of staple exploitation. Because of their dependence on single industries, the economies of resource towns are often unstable and precarious.

Macleans

Saguenay Floods Kill 10

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on August 5, 1996. Partner content is not updated.

One soggy day late last April, Art Poirier found himself among thousands of people stacking sandbags against rising floodwaters from southern Manitoba's ancient and implacable nemesis, the Red River. Poirier flicked a cigarette butt into the brand new lake around his home.

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Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project

The Trans Mountain Expansion is a project to build about 980 km of new pipe, most of which will run parallel to the existing Trans Mountain oil pipeline. The new line will carry diluted bitumen, or “dilbit,” from Edmonton, Alberta to Burnaby, British Columbia. The expansion will increase the pipeline route’s overall capacity from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day.

The project’s first owner, Kinder Morgan Canada, sold it to the Government of Canada in 2018. The Trans Mountain Expansion has been a focus of environmental and economic debates, as well as political conflicts. The $12.6 billion project is now under construction.

Macleans

Avalanche in Quebec

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on January 11, 1999. Partner content is not updated.

It was just past 1:30 a.m. on New Year's Day, and most of the residents of the isolated northern Quebec community of Kangiqsualujjuaq were celebrating in a school gym. People exchanged hugs and warm wishes as they listened to the draw for a $1,000 door prize. Then disaster struck.

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Rabbit Farming

Rabbit farming, officially called cuniculture (from the species name for wild rabbits, Oryctolagus cuniculus), is a small part of Canadian agriculture, with most production in Ontario and Québec.

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Dinosaur

Dinosaur, term used for a taxonomic group of animals that includes the Saurischia (lizard-hipped) and Ornithischia (bird-hipped) that dominated Earth during the Mesozoic era (250-65 million years ago).

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Fraser River Gold Rush

In 1858, around 30,000 gold seekers flooded the banks of the Fraser River from Hope to just north of Lillooet in British Columbia’s first significant gold rush. Although it dissipated by the mid-1860s, the Fraser River Gold Rush had a significant impact on the area’s Indigenous peoples and resulted in the Fraser Canyon War. Fears that the massive influx of American miners would lead the United States to annex the non-sovereign British territory known as New Caledonia also resulted in the founding of British Columbia as a colony on 2 August 1858 (see The Fraser River Gold Rush and the Founding of British Columbia). By the mid-1860s, the Fraser Rush collapsed, and British Columbia sank into a recession.

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Gemstone

Canada's first DIAMOND mine - the Ekati mine near Lac de Gras, NWT - began production in 1998. Most of the diamond production is exported, but a small percentage is reserved for cutting in Canada.

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Aluminum in Canada

Aluminum is a lightweight, strong and flexible metal that resists corrosion and is 100 per cent recyclable. It is a common material in vehicles, buildings, consumer goods, packaging, power transmission and electronics. Canada’s aluminum industry began at the turn of the 20th century and grew quickly during both World Wars. Today, Canada is the world’s fourth largest producer and second largest exporter of aluminum. The country nevertheless accounts for less than 5 per cent of global production. Aside from one smelter in Kitimat, British Columbia, all Canadian plants are in the province of Quebec.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

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Dominion of Canada

Dominion of Canada is the country’s formal title, though it is rarely used. It was first applied to Canada at Confederation in 1867. It was also used in the formal titles of other countries in the British Commonwealth. Government institutions in Canada effectively stopped using the word Dominion by the early 1960s. The last hold-over was the term Dominion Day, which was officially changed to Canada Day in 1982. Today, the word Dominion is seldom used in either private or government circles.

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Plant Breeding

Plant breeding is an applied science, in which knowledge of genetics, pathology, plant physiology, statistics, and molecular biology are used to modify plant species for human needs or preferences.

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Geology

Earth is 70.8% covered by water, but only with the development of sonar techniques has it become possible to describe the solid earth below the oceans. With increasingly sophisticated satellite observations, relatively fine structural details (eg, areas of volcanic activity) can be seen.

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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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Touch-me-not

Touch-me-not, or Jewelweed, are common names for family of herbaceous plants (Balsaminaceae) of which Impatiens is the principal genus. The genus name derives from the fact that a ripe seed capsule, when touched, explodes violently, projecting seed some distance.

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Potato

The potato (Solanum tuberosum) is a herbaceous annual of the nightshade family, which produces tubers at the end of underground branches called stolons.

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Montreal Metro

The Montreal metro opened on 14 October 1966. The second Canadian subway system after Toronto’s, which opened in 1954, the Montreal metro was the first subway in North America to run on rubber tires instead of metal wheels. Extensions to the Montreal metro were built on Montreal Island over the two decades after it opened, and then to the city of Laval, on the island of Île Jésus, during the 2000s. The system runs entirely underground, and each station has a distinct architecture and design. The Montreal metro consists of four lines running a total of 71 km and serving 68 stations. In 2018, its passengers made more than 383 million trips.

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Coal in Canada

Coal is a fossil fuel that has been used as a source of energy in Canada since the 18th century. Canada is home to 0.6 per cent of the world’s coal resources. Most of the country’s coal reserves (over 95 per cent) are found in AlbertaBritish Columbia and Saskatchewan. In recent years, the environmental movement has opposed the coal industry for disrupting local ecosystems, creating adverse health effects and for its large contribution to the carbon-dioxide emissions that drive climate change. In an effort to curb harmful emissions, the federal government has signalled its intention to phase out traditional coal-fired electricity by 2030, and Alberta has a plan to achieve the same goal as a province.

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Environmental Governance

Environmental governance is a term used to describe how decisions about the ENVIRONMENT are made and who makes such decisions. It is a broad term that includes the formal and informal institutional arrangements for resource and environment decision-making and management.

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Frank Slide

At 4:10 AM on 29 April 1903, 74 million tonnes of rock crashed down the east slope of Turtle Mountain in the Crowsnest Pass region of Alberta