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Wireless hang-up

Ottawa’s unprecedented efforts to woo Verizon have sparked a fierce backlash from Canada’s carriers, and questions about what’s really best for Canadian consumers

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Oil Sands

The Canadian oil sands (or tar sands) are a large area of petroleum extraction from bitumen, located primarily along the Athabasca River with its centre of activity close to Fort McMurray in Alberta, approximately 400 km northeast of the provincial capital, Edmonton. Increased global energy demand, high petroleum dependency and geopolitical conflict in key oil producing regions has driven the exploration of unconventional oil sources since the 1970s which, paired with advances in the field of petroleum engineering, has continued to make bitumen extraction economically profitable at a time of rising oil prices. Oil sands are called “unconventional” oil because the extraction process is more difficult than extracting from liquid (“conventional”) oil reserves, causing higher costs of production and increased environmental concerns.

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Fracking

​Hydraulic fracturing is a technique used in oil and natural gas production. It releases otherwise irrecoverable resources from certain geological formations by injecting water and additives at high pressure into the ground to create microfractures in the rock. Hydrocarbons can then flow through these fractures into a well. It has become controversial because of concerns that the technique, and well-drilling activity associated with its use, threatens groundwater, surface water, air quality, and other environmental values. Common in Alberta’s oil patch since the 1970s, the practice expanded greatly in this century, triggering gas rushes in British Columbia and Saskatchewan and resistance in several other provinces.

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Montréal Planetarium

​Montréal’s Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium is part of the Space for Life complex, which includes Montréal’s Biodome, Insectarium and Botanical Gardens. Space for Life is the largest natural science museum complex in Canada.

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Dioxine

The term dioxin applies to any of 75 chlorinated derivatives of dibenzo-p-dioxin. The various types of dioxin are quite different from one another, the greatest difference being in their toxicity.

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The Discovery of Insulin

For many years scientists believed that some kind of internal secretion of the pancreas was the key to preventing diabetes and controlling normal metabolism. No one could find it, until in the summer of 1921 a team at the University of Toronto began trying a new experimental approach suggested by Dr. Frederick Banting.

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The Lost Villages

The Lost Villages are nine Canadian communities that were destroyed through the unprecedented land expropriation and construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project in the 1950s.

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Montreal Metro

The Montreal metro opened on 14 October 1966. The second Canadian subway system after Toronto’s, which opened in 1954, the Montreal metro was the first subway in North America to run on rubber tires instead of metal wheels. Extensions to the Montreal metro were built on Montreal Island over the two decades after it opened, and then to the city of Laval, on the island of Île Jésus, during the 2000s. The system runs entirely underground, and each station has a distinct architecture and design. The Montreal metro consists of four lines running a total of 71 km and serving 68 stations. In 2018, its passengers made more than 383 million trips.

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Pipelines in Canada

Pipelines are systems of connected pipes used to transport liquids and gases — namely oil and natural gas — across long distances from source to market. More than 840,000 km of pipelines criss-cross the country, part of a larger oil and gas sector that employs between 100,000 and 200,000 Canadians. According to Natural Resources Canada, the sector earns the government an average of $19 billion in royalties, fees and taxes each year. It also contributes nearly 8 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product.

Yet pipelines have also been controversial in Canada over fears that the fossil fuel use they facilitate could be significantly contributing to climate change. In recent years, Indigenous groups, environmentalists, municipalities, mayors and labour unions have opposed numerous pipeline projects they believe could contaminate local waterways through spills and leaks.

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