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Maxime Bernier

Maxime Bernier, businessman, lawyer, politician, leader of the People’s Party of Canada 2018–present (born 18 January 1963 in St-Georges-de-Beauce, Quebec). Maxime Bernier served as Member of Parliament for Beauce from 2006 to 2019. He was a prominent Cabinet minister in the Conservative government of Stephen Harper. After narrowly losing the Conservative leadership race to Andrew Scheer in 2017, Bernier left the party in 2018 and formed the far-right People’s Party of Canada (PPC). Bernier opposes government intervention in society, culture, the economy. He also criticizes multiculturalism and increased immigration as well as government policies to fight climate change.

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Christopher Plummer

Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer, actor (born 13 December 1929 in Toronto, ON; died 5 February 2021 in Weston, Connecticut). A great-grandson of Prime Minister Sir John Abbott, Christopher Plummer was an international star of theatre, film and television. He was Canada’s most distinguished movie star in the classical mould — the New York Times hailed him as “the finest classical actor in America.” He took on innumerable larger-than-life roles, including Cyrano de Bergerac, King Lear, Hamlet, Rudyard Kipling, John Barrymore, and Baron von Trapp in The Sound of Music (1965), one of the most popular films of all time. He won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, two Tony Awards, two Emmy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Film Independent Spirit Award, a Canadian Screen Award and a Genie Award. He received lifetime achievement awards from the Governors General’s Awards, the Canadian Screen Awards and the National Arts Club of America. A Companion of the Order of Canada, he was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame and Canada's Walk of Fame.

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Stan Rogers

Stanley Allison Rogers, singer, songwriter (born 29 November 1949 in Hamilton, ON; died 2 June 1983 in Hebron, Kentucky). One of Canada’s finest singer-songwriters, Stan Rogers was known for his rich baritone voice and finely crafted folk songs, often written and performed in a traditional Celtic style. He is perhaps best known for the rousing a cappella anthem “Northwest Passage.” Concerned with themes of honour, loyalty and hope, Rogers drew on historic and poetic aspects of the Canadian experience. His music never received widespread radio airplay and was largely unknown outside of folk music circles during his lifetime. His legend grew after his tragic death in an airplane fire in 1983. He was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2019.

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Denis Coderre

Denis Coderre, politician, federal cabinet minister, mayor of Montreal 2013–17 (born 25 July 1963 in Joliette, QC). A federal politician for 16 years, Coderre moved into municipal politics and was elected mayor of Montreal in November 2013. Although credited with cleaning up the city’s administration, Coderre lost the November 2017 election to Valérie Plante, becoming the first Montreal mayor in 57 years to lose after only one term.

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George Brough

George Brough, pianist, organist, harpsichordist, opera coach (born 25 February 1918 in Boston, Lincolnshire, England; died 15 September 2015 in TorontoON). George Brough was widely recognized as one of Canada's most skilful, reliable and versatile accompanists. Able to sight-read with tremendous proficiency, he provided secure support for hundreds of performers, from students in competitions to professional artists such as Heinz Holliger, Gervase de Peyer, Henri Temianka, Bernard Turgeon and Jon Vickers. He was an assistant conductor and accompanist with the Canadian Opera Company, an organist with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and taught at the Banff Centre for the Arts and the University of Toronto.

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54-40

Alternative rock band 54-40 rose from the Vancouver punk scene of the late 1970s to achieve mainstream success in Canada in the late 1980s and the 1990s. They have had four platinum albums and one gold album and have been nominated for eight Juno Awards. They are perhaps best known for the hit singles “I Go Blind,” “Baby Ran,” “One Day in Your Life,” “Nice to Luv You,” “She La,” “Ocean Pearl” and “Since When,” among others. The band has been inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame. “I Go Blind” was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2021.

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Lee Maracle

Lee Maracle, OC, author and critic (born 2 July 1950 in VancouverBC; died 11 November 2021 in Surrey, BC). Lee Maracle was a prolific First Nations writer and expert on First Nations culture and history, and an influential Indigenous voice in Canadian postcolonial criticism. 

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Afghan Canadians

The Afghan community in Canada is relatively new. Until 1978, about 1,000 Afghans lived in Canada. However, since 1978, decades of political instability, invasions and war in Afghanistan pushed many to leave to other countries. Since then, the Afghan population in Canada has grown. (See Refugees to Canada.) According to Statistics Canada’s 2016 census, approximately 84,000 Afghans are living in Canada, the majority of whom are settled in the suburbs of major cities.

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Ellen Fairclough

Ellen Louks Fairclough, politician (born on 28 January 1905 in Hamilton, Ontario; died 13 November 2004 in Hamilton). A chartered accountant by profession, she became secretary of state and Canada's first woman federal cabinet minister in John Diefenbaker’s 1957 Conservative government. She was instrumental as head of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration in pushing for less racist immigration policies. She also pushed for granting Status Indians the right to vote (see Indigenous Suffrage.)

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Eleanor Collins

Elnora Ruth Collins (née Procter), CM, singer, actor (born 21 November 1919 in Edmonton, Alberta). Vancouver’s “first lady of jazz,” Eleanor Collins was the first Canadian woman to have her own national television show, CBC TV’s The Eleanor Show (1955) and Eleanor 1964). Often compared to American singer Lena Horne, Collins performed on many television and radio variety shows, as well as in clubs. Collins is a member of the Order of Canada, the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame and the recipient of numerous lifetime achievement awards.

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Francophone

In Canada, the term francophone refers to someone whose first language is French: it is the one they use most often to speak, read, write and think, and the one they use most often at home. Being francophone can also simply mean being able to speak the language fluently.

According to the 2016 census, approximately 10.36 million Canadians, or 29.8 per cent of the population, declared being able to communicate in French. Of this number, 7.45 million reported that French was their mother tongue.

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James George Eayrs

James George Eayrs, political scientist, educator (born 13 October 1926 in London, England; died 6 February 2021 in Toronto, ON). Educated at the University of Toronto, Columbia and London School of Economics, Eayrs was Eric Dennis Memorial Professor of Political Science and Government at Dalhousie University. He taught at the University of Toronto (1952–80) and at Dalhousie University (1980–92) and was editor of the International Journal (1959–84).

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Elsipogtog First Nation

Elsipogtog (pronounced El-see-buk-tuk) First Nation is a Mi’kmaq community about 91 km northwest of Moncton, New Brunswick. Known for many years as Big Cove, in 2003 the First Nation officially changed its name to Elsipogtog, meaning “river of fire.” However, they are still commonly referred to as Big Cove. Community members largely speak Mi’kmaw and English.

As of 2021, Elsipogtog has 3,509 registered members, 2,703 of whom live on the First Nation’s reserve. The reserve, also known as Elsipogtog, is still referred to as Richibucto 15 in some official documents. It encompasses 19.56 km2.

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Balarama Holness

Balarama Holness, professional football player, lawyer, political activist, social entrepreneur (born 20 July 1983 in Montreal, QC). Balarama Holness put a wayward youth behind him to become a Grey Cup-winning professional football player with his hometown Montreal Alouettes. He then pursued a career as a lawyer and political organizer and ran for mayor of the borough of Montréal-Nord in 2017. His community organizing efforts led to two separate reports (in 2019 and 2020) that acknowledged the existence and extent of systemic racism in the province, while also recommending solutions. In 2021, Holness ran to become mayor of Montreal but was defeated.

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Kainai Nation (Blood Tribe)

The Kainai (G-ai-nah) Nation, otherwise known as the Blood Tribe, is a First Nation based in southern Alberta. Kainai Nation holds two reserves, Blood 148 and Blood 148A. Blood 148, the nation’s primary reserve, is the largest First Nation reserve by area in Canada. It covers 1,342.9 km², and is located southwest of the city of Lethbridge, north of the town of Cardston, and east of Pincher Creek. The nation’s second reserve is known as a “timber limit” and is used for hunting and fishing. As of 2021, there are 8,517 people living on the primary reserve, making it one of the most populous reserves in Canada. In total, Kainai Nation has 12,738 registered band members. (See also Reserves in Alberta.)

The Kainai Nation is a signatory to Treaty 7. Mi’k ai’stoowa (Red Crow) signed on behalf of the nation in 1877. (See also History of Kainai Nation (Blood Tribe).)

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Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation

Qalipu (pronounced: ha-lee-boo) is a Mi’kmaq First Nation based in Newfoundland and Labrador. The nation was established in 2011 under the Indian Act. According to the federal government, Qalipu has 24,464 registered members in 2021, making it the second-largest First Nation by population in Canada. The nation’s members hail from 67 different communities across Newfoundland. As of 2020, roughly 95 per cent of Qalipu members live in Newfoundland and Labrador; the other 5 per cent live throughout Canada. The Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation currently controls no reserve land. (See also Reserves in Newfoundland and Labrador.)

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Norman Bethune

Henry Norman Bethune, surgeon, inventor, political activist (born 4 March 1890 in Gravenhurst, ON; died 12 November 1939 in Huang Shiko, China). Norman Bethune was an innovative thoracic surgeon who made significant contributions in the field, including the invention or redesign of surgical instruments. He was also an early advocate of universal health care in Canada. A member of the Communist Party, Bethune volunteered during the Spanish Civil War, where he pioneered the mobile blood transfusion unit. In 1938, he travelled to China, where he became a battlefield surgeon for Chinese Communist forces under Mao Zedong. Bethune’s commitment to the welfare of soldiers and civilians during the Sino-Japanese War made him a hero in the People's Republic of China.

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Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ (Ucluelet) First Nation

Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ (formerly known as Ucluelet, Yuu-tluth-aht and Yu’lu’il’ath) are a Nuu-chah-nulth nation from west Barkley Sound, Vancouver Island. As of October 2021, there were 674 registered members, 446 of whom live off reserve. The Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ, along with several other Nuu-chah-nulth nations, have signed the Maa-nulth treaty, which has provided them with self-governance since April 2011.

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Hupacasath (Opetchesaht)

The Hupacasath (Hupač̓asatḥ, formerly Opetchesaht) are a Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation residing in the Alberni Valley, Vancouver Island, BC. According to the nation, Hupacasath means “people residing above the water.” In October 2021, the federal government reported that there were 353 registered members of the Hupacasath Nation.