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Hydroelectricity in Canada

Hydroelectricity is energy produced from flowing water. The amount of energy produced depends on volume and speed: the more water moving at a fast rate, the more energy produced. For this reason, many hydroelectric stations are built near waterfalls. To produce energy, water is directed toward turbines — sometimes with the help of a dam — causing them to spin. In turn, the turbines make electrical generators spin and electricity is produced. It is a renewable, comparatively nonpolluting energy source and Canada’s largest source of electric-power generation.

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Drought

Drought is the condition of critically low water supply caused by persistently below-normal precipitation.

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North-West Territories (1870–1905)

The North-West Territories was the first Canadian territory. It was Established on 15 July 1870. As a territory, the region became part of Canada. But it lacked the population, economic and infrastructure resources to attain provincial status. It thus fell under the jurisdiction of the federal government. It covered a vast area, stretching west from a disputed boundary with Labrador, across the northern portions of present-day Quebec and Ontario, through the Prairies to British Columbia, and north from the 49th parallel to the Arctic Ocean. The territory was subject to numerous boundary changes before 1905. At that time, the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta were carved out of the southwest portion of the region. In 1906, the remaining territory was renamed the Northwest Territories.

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Cactus

Succulent plants of the family Cactaceae which consists of approximately 1600 species in 104 genera.

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Termite

Termites are social insects of the infraorder Isoptera. They may be thought of as “social cockroaches,” as they evolved from their wood-eating cockroach ancestors approximately 200 million years ago.

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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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Medicinal Crops

About a third of the world's estimated 400 000 species of higher or vascular plants have probably been used for medicinal purposes by indigenous societies, generally in a raw or minimally processed form.

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Turtle Island

For some Indigenous peoples, Turtle Island refers to the continent of North America. The name comes from various Indigenous oral histories that tell stories of a turtle that holds the world on its back. For some Indigenous peoples, the turtle is therefore considered an icon of life, and the story of Turtle Island consequently speaks to various spiritual and cultural beliefs.

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Cod Moratorium of 1992

On 2 July 1992, the federal government banned cod fishing along Canada’s east coast. This moratorium ended nearly five centuries of cod fishing in Newfoundland and Labrador. Cod had played a central role in the province’s economy and culture.

The aim of the policy was to help restore cod stocks that had been depleted due to overfishing. Today, the cod population remains too low to support a full-scale fishery. For this reason, the ban is still largely in place.

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

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Turtle

Turtles are egg-laying, toothless reptiles with limb girdles roofed over by a wide rib cage and fused to bony plates in the skin.

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Bear (Animal)

Bears (of the family Ursidae) are stocky, bob-tailed mammals with 5 clawed toes on each paw. Three species inhabit Canada.

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Forest Harvesting

Forest harvesting involves cutting trees and delivering them to sawmills, pulp mills and other wood-processing plants. Its practical components include road construction, logging and log transportation.

Macleans

Natural Environment

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on June 2, 2003. Partner content is not updated.

THIS IS MY medicine cabinet," says Karl Schibli, his ice-blue eyes widening with the excitement of someone about to let a neophyte in on what he already knows. The object of Schibli's focused attention is a red Coleman picnic cooler on a shelf in his barn near Waterford, Ont.

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Rupert's Land

Rupert’s Land was a vast territory of northern wilderness. It represented a third of what is now Canada. From 1670 to 1870, it was the exclusive commercial domain of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) and the primary trapping grounds of the fur trade. The territory was named after Prince Rupert, the HBC’s first governor. Three years after Confederation, the Government of Canada acquired Rupert’s Land from the HBC for $1.5-million. It is the largest real estate transaction (by land area) in the country’s history. The purchase of Rupert’s Land transformed Canada geographically. It changed from a modest country in the northeast of the continent into an expansive one that reached across North America. Rupert’s Land was eventually divided among Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

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Raccoon

The common raccoon (Procyon lotor) is a mid-size mammal distinguished by its black face mask and ringed tail. It is a member of the Procyonidae, a primarily tropical family of omnivores native to the Americas — and the only one of this family found in Canada. Raccoons are found in every province except Newfoundland and Labrador. A nocturnal species, it is highly adaptable and can survive in urban areas as well as wilderness habitats. Humans often consider raccoons pests due to their skill and persistence in raiding garbage bins, gardens and crops for food.

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Botany

The study of plant life is organized in 3 ways, which are also applicable to zoological material.

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Wildlife Preserve

A wildlife preserve is an area of land or water set aside from at least some forms of development or recreational use, particularly from industrial use, hunting and motorized recreation, to protect wildlife and their habitats.

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Endangered Plants in Canada

A species is endangered if there are threats to its survival. Plants are put at risk for several reasons, including: climate change and the loss of natural habitat to cities, agriculture and industry. In Canada, these activities threaten entire natural ecosystems, such as older forests and Prairie grasslands. As of 2019, a total of 810 species were considered at risk in Canada, including 253 plants. (Other species at risk include animals; see also Endangered Animals in Canada).