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Battle for Hill 70

The capture of Hill 70 in France was an important Canadian victory during the First World War, and the first major action fought by the Canadian Corps under a Canadian commander. The battle, in August 1917, gave the Allied forces a crucial strategic position overlooking the occupied city of Lens.

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Basking Shark

Basking sharks (Cetorhinus maximus) are large, migratory sharks found in temperate oceans around the world. Basking sharks seasonally inhabit both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Canada. An estimated 10,000 sharks make up the Atlantic population; however, they are rarely seen in Canada’s Pacific Ocean. The Canadian Species at Risk Act lists the Pacific population as endangered. By comparison, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Animals in Canada considers the Atlantic population “special concern.” (See also Endangered Animals in Canada.)

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New Brunswick Schools Question

In May 1871, the government of New Brunswick, under George Luther Hatheway, passed the Common Schools Act. This statute provided for free standardized education throughout the province, the establishment of new school districts, the construction of schools, and stricter requirements regarding teaching certificates. This law also made all schools non-denominational, so that the teaching of the Roman Catholic catechism was prohibited.

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Minimum Wage

Minimum wage is the lowest wage rate that an employer is legally permitted to pay to an employee. In Canada, provinces and territories regulate minimum wage (see Provincial Government in Canada; Territorial Government in Canada). The federal government also sets a minimum wage for employees covered by Part III of the Canada Labour Code. Minimum wage policy was originally established to protect vulnerable workers from exploitation, and it continues to be used by governments to safeguard non-unionized workers (see Labour Force; Unions).

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Cartography in Canada: 1763-Second World War

After the fall of New France to the British in 1760, cartographers continued to create important maps of Canada. British General James Murray created a map of Quebec in the years before the Treaty of Paris (1763) was signed, and three important British surveyors, namely Samuel Holland, Joseph Desbarres and James Cook, continued thereafter. Settlement in the late 1700s and early 1800s meant maps of townships and the layout of farmland were important. Hydrographic surveys also began during the 1800s, with the charting of the Great Lakes beginning in 1815 and the charting of Georgian Bay in 1883. In 1904, the Department of Marine and Fisheries began officially charting Canadian coastal waters. The preliminary sheets in Canada’s first extensive map series, the Three-Mile Sectional Maps of the Canadian Prairies, appeared in 1892. The series was abandoned in 1956 in favour of the 1:250,000 series of the National Topographic System (established in 1927).

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Canada Gairdner Awards

The Canada Gairdner Awards were established in 1959 by the Gairdner Foundation to recognize medical research that contributes to the advancement of human health. Leading biomedical and global health researchers from around the world are honoured by seven awards every year. The Canada Gairdner Awards are among the world’s foremost honours in the field of medicine. Numerous awardees are also laureates of the Nobel Prize.

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COVID-19 Vaccines

In early 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated, it seemed very unlikely that a safe and effective vaccine could be developed and deployed within one to two years. A vaccine had never been developed against a new virus during a pandemic, and there was no approved vaccine yet to prevent a coronavirus infection in humans. Despite this, the first COVID-19 vaccine was approved in December 2020, about a year after the first cases were reported. By July 2021, there were more than 30 COVID-19 vaccines authorized for public use by at least one national regulatory authority. This was possible because of decades of research on coronaviruses and vaccine technology — particularly in the use of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) — significant government investment, and unprecedented cooperation between governments and university research labs, pharmaceutical firms and international health organizations. Several Canadian scientists were involved in key elements of the research that led to the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna.

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Peace and Friendship Treaties

Between 1725 and 1779, Britain signed a series of treaties with various Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet), Abenaki, Penobscot and Passamaquoddy peoples living in parts of what are now the Maritimes and Gaspé region in Canada and the northeastern United States. Commonly known as the Peace and Friendship Treaties, these agreements were chiefly designed to prevent war between enemies and to facilitate trade. While these treaties contained no monetary or land transfer provisions, they guaranteed hunting, fishing and land-use rights for the descendants of the Indigenous signatories. The Peace and Friendship Treaties remain in effect today.

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Canadian Peacekeepers in Rwanda

From 1993 to 1995, Canada was a leading contributor to a series of United Nations peacekeeping missions in the African nation of Rwanda. However, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), led by Canadian Major-General Roméo Dallaire, was powerless to prevent the slaughter of 800,000 Rwandans in 1994. Following the genocide, a new contingent of Canadian troops returned to Rwanda as part of UNAMIR II, tasked with restoring order and bringing aid to the devastated population. Hundreds of Canadian soldiers, including Dallaire, returned from their service in Rwanda deeply scarred by what they had witnessed.

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Economic Conditions of Indigenous Peoples in Canada

Discussions about the economic conditions of Indigenous peoples often suggest similar experiences and outcomes. However, there is great historical and contemporary diversity in the economic activities of people in Indigenous communities. Moreover, these economic conditions have occurred, and continue to occur, within the context of colonization, social exclusion, and political and economic marginalization. Understanding this context is essential for developing policy and programs that are appropriate to lived realities of Indigenous communities across Canada.

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Indigenous Language Revitalization in Canada

Before European settlement in Canada, Indigenous peoples spoke a wide variety of languages. As a means of assimilating Indigenous peoples, colonial policies like the Indian Act and residential schools forbid the speaking of Indigenous languages. These restrictions have led to the ongoing endangerment of Indigenous languages in Canada. In 2016, Statistics Canada reported that for about 40 Indigenous languages in Canada, there are only about 500 speakers or less. Indigenous communities and various educational institutions have taken measures to prevent more language loss and to preserve Indigenous languages.

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Video Games in Canada

Video games are interactive electronic games. Canada’s video game industry developed in the early 1980s and throughout the 1990s, with studios emerging in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton. Popular among adults and children, this hobby has made Canada a top-performing developer and consumer of video games. The positive and negative impacts of video games and their content have been debated, but they are increasingly being recognized for their immersive and social value.

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Potato Wart Disease

Potato wart disease, also called potato canker, is a fungal disease of potato sprouts, eyes and stolons. The disease is caused by the soil-borne fungus, Synchytrium endobioticum. Potato wart disease poses no danger to human health or food safety, but it can impact local economies as the disease can reduce yield and effect economic regulations, such as potato exports. (See also Agricultural Economics.)

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Morse Code

Morse Code (Les Maîtres, 1967-70). Montreal instrumental and vocal rock group whose members included Raymond Roy (drums), Michel Vallée (bass guitar), and Jocelyn Julien (guitar). Christian Simard (keyboards, voice) was added in 1968.

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1984 National Assembly Shooting

At 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday, 8 May 1984, a 25-year-old army corporal entered the National Assembly in Quebec City and opened fire, shooting 16 people and killing three. The shooter had expressed his desire to “destroy” the Parti Quebecois government then in power. The shooter sat in the Speaker’s chair in the legislature, periodically firing a submachine gun. The Assembly’s Sergeant-at-Arms, Rene Jalbert, entered the room and struck up a rapport with him. Over the next four hours, he convinced the shooter to give himself up to military police. Jalbert was hailed as a hero. The shooter served 10 years in prison for second-degree murder. It remains one of the deadliest acts of political violence and terrorism in Canadian history.