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Editorial

History of the Canada-US Border in the West

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

In December 2001, U.S. Attorney-General John Ashcroft announced plans to deploy military personnel to patrol the Canada-U.S. border. After September 11, Ashcroft criticized Canada's porous border, though there was no evidence that any of the terrorists, all holding legal U.S. visas, came through Canada. It was not the first time that the longest undefended, and perhaps indefensible, border in the world was contentious.

Article

Public Health in Canada

Illness and disease are communal problems. While individual interventions can have an impact, they are less effective than measures that can be done at a community level. Preventing disease and promoting health among individuals and the population at large is the purpose of public health. Public health is managed by local, regional, national and international public health authorities. Public health interventions include research, prevention, education and emergency preparedness. The most important public health interventions for reducing mortality over the past 150 years have included cleaning the water and air, making roads safer and immunizing against infectious diseases. Ironically, as is often said by public health practitioners, success in public health is often invisible when measures are working. In Canada, the rapid emergence, urgency, severity, global scope and long persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic has put all aspects of public health in the public and political spotlight to a greater degree than ever before. For some Canadians, this has resulted in a loss of confidence in public health authorities, while others have realized the importance of maintaining and funding public health.

Editorial

Winnipeg General Strike: Canada's Most Influential Strike

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

An eerie calm descended on the streets of Winnipeg on the morning of May 15, 1919. The street cars and delivery wagons lay idle. Some 50,000 tradesmen, labourers, city and provincial employees had walked off the job, leaving the city paralyzed. It was North America's first general strike.

Editorial

A Place to Happen

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

It has been said that Canadians don’t tell our own stories or celebrate our own myths. Our history is full of epics considered “too small to be tragic,” as The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie once sang.

Editorial

Flag of Canada: Alternate Designs

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

national flag is a simple, effective way of identifying a country and expressing its collective will and sovereignty. Its symbolism should be expansive, representing perspectives from across the country. But it should also be singular, offering a picture of unity. For almost a century, Canada did not fly a flag of its own. There were instead the Union Jack and the Canadian Red Ensign. They took turns flying above Parliament. But neither was distinctly Canadian, nor permanent. The issue of a new flag was raised in Parliament in 1925 and again in 1945. It was dropped both times due to a lack of consent. Some clung to tradition, and none could agree on a unifying symbol. When Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson re-opened the debate in 1964, he offered Canadians the chance to “say proudly to the world and to the future: ‘I stand for Canada.’” A joint committee of the Senate and House of Commons was assembled to decide on a suitable design. After months of vigorous debate, the final design was unfurled at Parliament Hill on 15 February 1965. The design process was open to the public. Thousands of suggestions were submitted. This article looks at 12 of those designs. It includes explanations for the symbols found in each. The designs express a vision for Canada, still young and still finding its mode of self-expression.

Editorial

Women on Canadian Banknotes

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

Though Queen Elizabeth II has appeared on the $20 bill since she was eight years old, identifiable Canadian women have only appeared on a Canadian banknote once. In 2004, the statue of the Famous Five from Parliament Hill and Olympic Plaza in Calgary, and the medal for the Thérèse Casgrain Volunteer Award were featured on the back of the $50 note. They were the first Canadian women to appear on our currency. However, in 2011, they were replaced by an icebreaker named for a man (see Roald Amundsen). The new bill was part of a series of notes meant to highlight technical innovation and achievement, but the change sparked controversy. Other than the image of a nameless female scientist on the $100 note issued in 2011, and two female Canadian Forces officers and a young girl on the $10 bill issued in 2001 , Canadian women were absent from Canadian bills.

On 8 March 2016, International Women’s Day, the Bank of Canada launched a public consultation to choose an iconic Canadian woman who would be featured on a banknote, released in the next series of bills in 2018. More than 26,000 submissions poured in. Of those, 461 names met the qualifying criteria, and the list was pared down to a long list of 12 and finally a short list of five. The final selection will be announced on 8 December 2016.

But how did we get here?

Editorial

Pontiac's War

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

Pontiac's War was the most successful First Nations resistance to the European invasion in our history. Though it failed to oust the British from Indigenous lands, the conflict forced British authorities to a recognition of Indigenous rightsthat has had had far-reaching consequences down to our own time.

Editorial

Canada and the G-8

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

Eight statesmen, scores of aides, hundreds of press, and thousands of security personnel will all descend on Kananaskis, Alberta, in late June 2002. For the fourth time since 1976, but the first time in Western Canada, a Canadian prime minister will be hosting the G-8 leaders summit.

Editorial

Editorial: The Death of the Meech Lake Accord

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

On a Sunday evening, 3 June 1990, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and the ten provincial premiers marked the third anniversary of the Meech Lake Accord at a dinner in the architectural splendour of the Canadian Museum of Civilization (now the Canadian Museum of History) in Hull, Quebec.

Article

CS2F Grumman (de Havilland) Tracker

The Tracker was a twin-engine fixed-wing aircraft acquired by the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) to be flown off aircraft carriers for antisubmarine warfare (ASW) as a replacement for the Grumman Avenger. Originally developed for the United States Navy (USN), a Canadian version was manufactured under licence by de Havilland Canada as the CS2F. After unification the plane was redesignated as the CP-121; the Trackers became shore-based aircraft after the aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure was decommissioned. The Trackers became fully operational in 1959 and were withdrawn from service in 1989.

Article

CANTASS

The Canadian Towed Array Sonar System (CANTASS) has been used by Canadian ships since the late 1980s for long-range detection and identification of submarines. It is a passive system that “listens” but does not transmit any noise. The CANTASS uses a hydrophone array developed by the US Navy in conjunction with a powerful signal processor developed by Litton Systems Canada Ltd. The CANTASS has been fitted to the Annapolis-class destroyers, Halifax-class frigates, and the Oberon and Victoria-class submarines.

Editorial

Colonel By and the Construction of the Rideau Canal

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

On September 29th of 1826 the governor of Canada, the Earl of Dalhousie, turned the first sod for construction of the lowest lock of the Rideau Canal. Later that day the participants gathered at Philemon Wright's tavern in Hull, where they indulged in a lavish dinner and the drinking of numerous toasts. One of the great engineering feats of its time was underway.

Editorial

The "Other" Last Spike

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

The driving of the last spike may have been the great symbolic act of Canada’s first century, but it was actually a gloomy spectacle. The cash-starved Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) couldn’t afford a splashy celebration, and so only a handful of dignitaries and company men convened on the dull, grey morning of 7 November 1885 to celebrate the completion of the transcontinental railway.