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Smallpox in Canada

Smallpox is an infectious disease caused by the variola virus. The disease arrived in what is now Canada with French settlers in the early 17th century. Indigenous people had no immunity to smallpox, resulting in devastating infection and death rates. In 1768, arm-to-arm inoculation became more widely practised in North America. By 1800, advances in vaccination helped control the spread of smallpox. Public health efforts also reduced rates of infection. In the 20th century, Canadian scientists helped the World Health Organization eradicate smallpox. Eradication was achieved in 1979, but virus stocks still exist for research and safety reasons.

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

Macleans

Millennium Preparations

Maj. Rod Babiuk picked up his brass abacus for a buck at a garage sale, while many of his colleagues at CFB Kingston hunted down wooden versions of the beaded counting machines. No, the army has not developed a sudden interest in ancient math.

Article

Joseph Aaron “Joe” Friedman (Primary Source)

Joseph Aaron “Joe” Friedman was a Romanian-Jewish Canadian tail gunner in the Royal Canadian Air Force who enlisted when he was 17 years old. Friedman took part in carpet bombing operations before he was shot down and sent to a prisoner of war camp in Germany. Listen to Friedman describe his experiences in the Air Force and comment on the controversy of carpet bombing.

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

Diamond

Gem-quality diamonds crystallize as octahedrons (8 faces), trisoctahedrons (24 faces), hexoctahedrons (48 faces) or a combination of these. Diamond owes its supreme standing among all the gemstones to 4 specific attributes.

Article

Edward Fey "Ed" Lee (Primary Source)

Edward Fey "Ed" Lee joined the Canadian Armed Forces as a volunteer for the Special Operations Executive (SOE) overseas program. He served from 1944 to 1946. Being a Canadian of Chinese origin, Lee was called to duty as a secret agent in Asia under the command of the British Army. Listen to his tales of guerrilla warfare deep in Japanese-occupied territory.

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.

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Life Expectancy in Canada

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on April 10, 2000. Partner content is not updated.

Increasingly in recent years, surveys of mortality rates and other indicators have shown Canadians in some parts of the country to be much healthier than those in other regions. Now, a federal study shows just how dramatically one key indicator - life expectancy - varies among Canada's regions.

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Canadian Health Worsening

Sarah Hamid considered herself a "happy-go-lucky person." A straight-A student with a loving family and a scholarship at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., she loved the campus clubs and thrived on sports.

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Olympic Hockey Meltdown

Instead, the glory went to players like Pavel Bure, the Russian rocketeer with a sweet scoring touch, and Dominik Hasek, the Czech goaltender built like a slab of the old Berlin Wall - with Cold War-era impenetrability.

Article

Smuggling

Smuggling has always been an important issue of Canadian history and life and remains so to this day. With over 7000 km of shared border with the US, the opportunity to smuggle is ever-present. The provinces with a shared US border are not the only ones at risk.

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Chromium

Chromium (Cr) a hard, brittle, silver-white metal (melting point 1875° C), is widely known for its use as decorative trim on home appliances and automobiles. However, its most important use is in the manufacture of stainless STEEL, which typically contains about 20% chromium.

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War Measures Act

The War Measures Act was a federal law adopted by Parliament on 22 August 1914, after the beginning of the First World War. It gave broad powers to the Canadian government to maintain security and order during “war, invasion or insurrection.” It was used, controversially, to suspend the civil liberties of people in Canada who were considered “enemy aliens” during both world wars. This led to mass arrests and detentions without charges or trials. The War Measures Act was also invoked in Quebec during the 1970 October Crisis. The Act was repealed and replaced by the more limited Emergencies Act in 1988.

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Davis Cup

Considered the world's pre-eminent men's team tennis tournament, the Davis Cup made its debut in 1900 when a Harvard student named Dwight Filley Davis donated the silver trophy as the prize for a team tournament that summer at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston.

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2 Pianos 4 Hands

2 Pianos 4 Hands. Two-person comedy-drama with music; semi-autobiographical show by the pianists-playwrights Ted Dykstra (b Chatham, Ont 1961) and Richard Greenblatt (b Montreal, 1952 or 1953).

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Warbler

Warbler is a name applied to several groups of birds, primarily the New World wood warblers, and Old World warblers of which only 3 species commonly breed in Canada.