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Maple Trees in Canada

Maples are trees and shrubs in the genus Acer, previously classified within the maple family Aceraceae, but now placed by some taxonomists in Sapindaceae (Soapberry family), which also includes horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastaneum). There are approximately 150 species of maple around the world, most in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere, and the majority native to eastern Asia. Ten maple species are native to Canada, perhaps the best known being sugar maple (Acer saccharum) of eastern Canada and the northeastern United States. The Canadian flag displays a stylized maple leaf, and maple is Canada’s official arboreal emblem. Maples are not only important to Canada symbolically, they are also ecologically and economically significant.

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Trees

Trees are single-stemmed, perennial, woody plants taller than 3 m and exceeding 8 cm in diameter at breast height; shrubs are multistemmed and smaller. These definitions are somewhat arbitrary, since many species (eg, willow, alder, cherry, maple) can grow as trees or shrubs, depending on the environment. Counting the 30-odd shrubs that assume tree form under favourable conditions, there are about 140 native Canadian trees.

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Al Rashid Mosque

Al Rashid, a mosque in Edmonton, was dedicated in 1938 and became Canada’s first mosque. It was funded through community initiatives from the Arab community, led by Hilwie Hamdon. The Al Rashid mosque has played a definitive role in the growth of the Muslim community in Alberta and across the country through many important initiatives. (See Islam.)

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McIntosh Apple

The McIntosh apple (Malus domestica “McIntosh”) is often called the national apple of Canada. Discovered in 1811 by John McIntosh on his Ontario farm, the McIntosh apple has been commercially available since the 1880s. It is grown mostly in eastern Ontario, British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, and the northeastern United States. The skin of this medium-sized apple is mostly bright red, but often includes green and white areas. The flesh is white, crisp and tart tasting. The McIntosh is one of the top 10 apples sold in North America.

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Sweet Apple

The sweet apple (Malus pumila) is a cultivated species of the rose family and Canada's most important tree fruit crop.

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Cedar

Cedar, in Canada, refers to evergreen conifers (genus Thuja) of the cypress family (Cupressaceae).

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Crab Apple

Crab apple (genus Malus) is a deciduous tree that differs from the orchard apple in bearing smaller, often acidic or astringent fruits.

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Oak

The Oak (Quercus) is a genus of trees and shrubs of the beech family (Fagaceae). Of the estimated 200 species found worldwide, 75-80 occur in North America and 10 in Canada.

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Birch

Birch (Betula), genus of trees and shrubs of birch family (Betulaceae). About 50 species are found in Arctic and northern temperate regions worldwide

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Jay

Canada is home to three species of jay: the blue jay, Steller’s jay and grey jay.

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Hans Island

Hans Island, Nunavut, is a tiny (1.3 km2), unpopulated island south of the 81st parallel in the Kennedy Channel (the northern part of Nares Strait), almost equidistant between ELLESMERE ISLAND and GREENLAND.

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Marten

Marten (Martes americana), slender weasel specialized for life in the northern coniferous forests; found from Alaska and BC to Newfoundland and into the US.

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Ice Age

Ice Age, the Pleistocene epoch of geologic time, during which periodic, extensive glacial activity occurred in many parts of the world.

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Notwithstanding Clause

Section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is known as the notwithstanding clause. Also known as the override clause, it is part of the Constitution of Canada. The clause allows federal, provincial or territorial governments to temporarily override, or bypass, certain Charter rights. These overrides are subject to renewal after five years. Although the clause is available to governments, its use is politically difficult and therefore rare. It is known colloquially as the “nuclear option,” because its use is considered extremely severe. Since the Constitution was patriated in 1982, the clause has been used only a handful of times by various provinces. The federal government has never invoked the clause.

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Spirit Bear

Spirit bears are rare white-coated black bears (Ursus americanus kermodei) that live in the coastal temperate rainforests of Northwest British Columbia. Their striking colour is caused by an uncommon recessive genetic trait. Spirit bears are not a unique species or subspecies, but a unique colouration of the coastal British Columbian black bear subspecies kermodei. Referred to as moksgm’ol, meaning “white bear,” by Tsimshian coastal First Nations, spirit bears play an important role in local culture and increasingly in Indigenous-led ecotourism.

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Butterfly

Butterfly, term referring to insects of order Lepidoptera [Gk "scaly wings"]. The Canadian fauna includes 272 known species, compared to 695 known from North America as a whole, and over 20 000 worldwide.

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Oldman River

The Oldman River is a heavily regulated river flowing through the arid, agricultural region of southwestern Alberta. Although population in the region is relatively low — Lethbridge is the largest city — water use is very high, primarily for irrigation to supply numerous farms and ranches with adequate water during the growing season. The Rocky Mountains generate up to 90 per cent of the streamflow; however, the amount of water moving along the river varies from year to year and season to season. Additionally, droughts are common, and numerous dams, weirs, and reservoirs on the Oldman and its tributaries are used to manage the high water demand. The Oldman River is also used for hydroelectricity generation, municipal drinking water and recreational activities including fishing, boating and camping.

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Black Enslavement in Canada

In early Canada, the enslavement of African peoples was a legal instrument that helped fuel colonial economic enterprise. The buying, selling and enslavement of Black people was practiced by European traders and colonists in New France in the early 1600s, and lasted until it was abolished throughout British North America in 1834. During that two-century period, settlers in what would eventually become Canada were involved in the transatlantic slave trade. Canada is further linked to the institution of enslavement through its history of international trade. Products such as salted cod and timber were exchanged for slave-produced goods such as rum, molasses, tobacco and sugar from slaveholding colonies in the Caribbean. 

This is the full-length entry about Black enslavement in Canada. For a plain language summary, please see Black Enslavement in Canada (Plain Language Summary).

(See also Olivier Le Jeune; Sir David KirkeChloe Cooley and the Act to Limit Slavery in Upper Canada; Underground Railroad; Fugitive Slave Act of 1850; Slavery Abolition Act, 1833Slavery of Indigenous People in Canada.)