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Margaret Atwood

Margaret Eleanor Atwood, CC, O Ont, FRSC, poet, novelist, critic, professor (born 18 November 1939 in Ottawa, ON). A varied and prolific writer, Margaret Atwood is among the most celebrated authors in Canadian history. Her writing is noted for its careful craftsmanship and precision of language, which lend a sense of inevitability and a resonance to her words. In her fiction, Atwood has explored the issues of our time, capturing them in the satirical, self-reflexive mode of the contemporary novel. She has written 14 novels, nine short-story collections, 16 books of poetry, and 10 volumes of non-fiction. She has received two Governor General’s Literary Awards, two Booker Prizes, a Scotiabank Giller Prize, and numerous other honours and accolades. She is a Companion of the Order of Canada and a Chevalier of the l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France.

Article

Jean Chrétien

Joseph-Jacques Jean Chrétien, CC, PC, OM, QC, prime minister of Canada 1993–2003, lawyer, author, politician (born 11 January 1934 in Shawinigan, QC). Lawyer and longtime parliamentarian Jean Chrétien was Canada’s 20th prime minister. Early in his political career, Chrétien helped negotiate the patriation of the Canadian constitution as well as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As Prime Minister, he led the federal government to its first surplus in nearly 30 years. However, his administration also presided over a costly sponsorship program in Quebec that sparked one of the worst political scandals of modern times. His government committed Canadian forces to the Kosovo conflict (1999) and to the war in Afghanistan (beginning in 2002). Chrétien publicly refused to provide direct support for the subsequent American war in Iraq. The recipient of numerous honours and awards, he is involved in several international organizations dedicated to peace, democracy and other global concerns.

Article

Kaillie Humphries

Kaillie Humphries (née Simundson), bobsledder (born 4 September 1985 in Calgary, AB). Kaillie Humphries is the only woman to win three Olympic gold medals in bobsledding. At the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, she and Heather Moyse became the first Canadian women to win gold in the two-woman bobsled. They won gold again at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Humphries won the 2014 Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year and won a bronze medal at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. She was also one of the first two women to compete in an international four-man bobsleigh competition. Humphries has alleged that she was “driven off” the Canadian bobsled team in 2019 after filing a harassment complaint against a coach. She obtained US citizenship in 2021 and competed for Team USA at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, where she won gold in women’s monobob. She is the only woman ever to win Olympic gold medals for two different countries.

Article

Bonnie Henry

Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer of British Columbia (2018 to present), epidemiologist, physician (born 1965 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island). Dr. Bonnie Henry is best known for leading British Columbia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also worked to eradicate polio and to contain Ebola and SARS. Henry is a family care physician and a specialist in preventative medicine. She is the first woman to serve as BC’s provincial health officer.

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

Article

James Shaver Woodsworth

James Shaver Woodsworth, Methodist pastor, social worker and politician (born 29 July, 1874 in Etobicoke, ON. Died 21 March, 1942 in Vancouver, BC). First leader of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), he was the best known of the reform-minded Social Gospel ministers and led many of them into the politics of democratic socialism. Woodsworth moved to Brandon, Man, in 1885 where his father became superintendent of Methodist missions in the Northwest. Ordained in 1896, he spent 2 years as a Methodist circuit rider in Manitoba and a further 2 years studying at Victoria College and Oxford.

Article

Filipino Canadians

Filipinos have been in Canada as early as the late 19th century. Migration from the Philippines to Canada significantly increased from the 1960s onward. (See Immigration to Canada.) In the 2016 Census, 837,130 people reported being of Filipino ethnic origin. Filipino Canadians are the largest group of Southeast Asian Canadians. Among Filipino Canadians, women outnumber men by 56 per cent to 44 per cent. The Philippines was the most common country of birth among people who immigrated to Canada between 2011 and 2016.

Article

Theodore Drake

Theodore George Gustavus Harwood Drake, physician, historian, collector (born 16 September 1891 in Webbwood, ON; died 28 October 1959 in Toronto, ON). Drake is perhaps best known for his contributions towards the development of the infant cereal, Pablum.

Article

Matonabbee

Matonabbee, Chipewyan leader (born circa 1737 in Prince of Wales Fort; died there in August 1782).

Article

Internment of Japanese Canadians

The forcible expulsion and confinement of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War is one of the most tragic sets of events in Canada’s history. Some 21,000 Japanese Canadians were taken from their homes on Canada’s West Coast, without any charge or due process. Beginning 24 February 1942, around 12,000 of them were exiled to remote areas of British Columbia and elsewhere. The federal government stripped them of their property and pressured many of them to accept mass deportation after the war. Those who remained were not allowed to return to the West Coast until 1 April 1949. In 1988, the federal government officially apologized for its treatment of Japanese Canadians. A redress payment of $21,000 was made to each survivor, and more than $12 million was allocated to a community fund and human rights projects.

This article is the full-length text on Japanese Internment in Canada. For a plain-language summary, see Internment of Japanese Canadians (Plain-Language Summary).

Article

Dwight Ball

Dwight Ball, pharmacist, businessman, premier of Newfoundland and Labrador 2015–20, leader of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador 2013–20 (born 21 December 1957 in Deer Lake, NL). Ball became premier at a time of economic crisis. After several years of prosperity, slumping oil revenues required his government to bring in unpopular austerity measures to fight a burgeoning provincial debt. Ball retained the premiership in 2019, when his Liberal Party won a minority government. On 17 February 2020, Dwight Ball announced his intention to resign as premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. He remained in that position until 19 August 2020, when Andrew Furey was sworn in as premier. (See also Politics in Newfoundland and Labrador.)

Article

Patrick Watson

Patrick Watson, CC, television producer and host, filmmaker, author, actor (born 23 December 1929 in Toronto, ON; died 4 July 2022). Patrick Watson is perhaps best known as a creator, producer and co-host of CBC TV’s popular and influential current affairs program This Hour Has Seven Days (1964–66). He was a noted journalist and filmmaker and the creative director and principal writer of the original Heritage Minutes. He also served as chairman of the CBC during its controversial restructuring in the early 1990s. Watson was named an Officer in the Order of Canada in 1981. He was promoted to Companion in 2001.

Article

Shawnadithit

Shawnadithit (also known as Nance or Nancy April), record keeper of Beothuk history and culture (born circa 1800-6 in what is now NL; died 6 June 1829 in St. John’s, NL). Shawnadithit was captured by English furriers in 1823 and later worked as a housekeeper for merchant John Peyton Jr. In 1828, Shawnadithit was brought to Scottish merchant and naturalist William Cormack, who wanted to record information about the language and customs of the Beothuk. Shawnadithit drew maps of Beothuk territory as well as items of Beothuk material culture. While it is popularly believed that Shawnadithit was the last Beothuk, Mi’kmaq oral histories reject that claim. They argue that Shawnadithit’s people intermarried with inland Indigenous peoples after fleeing their homeland. The legacy of Shawnadithit as an important record keeper of Beothuk history and culture remains undisputed. In 2007, the federal government announced the unveiling of a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque recognizing Shawnadithit’s importance to Canadian history.

Article

Margaret Trudeau

Margaret Joan (née Sinclair) Trudeau (Kemper), author, actor, photographer, mental health advocate (born 10 September 1948 in North Vancouver, BC). Margaret Trudeau’s marriage to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 1971 made her a public figure overnight. The dissolution of their union occurred under withering public scrutiny at a time when traditional roles, for homemakers and political wives alike, were being challenged. As the wife of one prime minister and the mother of another — Justin Trudeau — Margaret Trudeau carved out a public role for herself after revealing her diagnosis with bipolar disorder. In two books and in well-received public speeches, she has been an outspoken advocate for people with mental health issues.

Article

Roy Trevor Gilbert Heron (Primary Source)

"I made it a point to be very active and help in the children of both in Holland and in Germany, because kids had nothing to do with the war and they need help and kids were my prime factor in helping."

See below for Mr. Heron's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Alec MacInnis (Primary Source)

"A lot of children die in wars. We have to find a way to solve problems without killing on some battlefield, where the innocent become casualties."

See below for Mr. MacInnis' entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Gilles Pelletier

Gilles Pelletier, actor, director, theatre director (born 22 March 1925 in Saint-Jovite, QC; died 5 septembre 2018 in Montreal, QC). Son of the notary, publisher and literary critic Albert Pelletier, Gilles Pelletier was early destined for a career as a sailor. However, his sister, actor Denise Pelletier, encouraged him to make a career in theatre.