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Bomarc Missile Crisis

The CIM-10B Bomarc was the world’s first long-range, nuclear capable, ground-to-air anti-aircraft missile. Two squadrons of the missile were purchased and deployed by the Canadian government in 1958. This was part of Canada’s role during the Cold War to defend North America against an attack from the Soviet Union. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s refusal to equip the missiles with nuclear warheads led to a souring of Canada’s relationship with the United States, especially once the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the issue to the fore. The issue split Diefenbaker’s Cabinet and contributed to his party losing the 1963 election.

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AES-90

The AES-90 word processor was an innovation released by the Montreal-based technology company Automatic Electronic Systems Inc. in 1972. The new machine was a pioneer within its generation that not only revolutionized office automation, but also set the trend for the design of word processors around the world.

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Early-Warning Radar

Air-defence radar stations were first established in Canada along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts in 1942, but were dismantled following the defeat of Germany and Japan in 1945.

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Mining

Mining is one of Canada’s primary industries and involves the extraction, refining, and/or processing of economically valuable rocks and minerals. Mineral products (including goldsilverironcopperzinc nickelare critical to modern industrial society. Although mining has been key to Canadian settlement and development, in recent decades the industry has also been criticized for its environmental and social impacts. Canada remains one of the world’s leading mining countries and has become a centre of global mining finance and expertise.

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Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) runs annually for 10 days in September beginning on the Thursday after Labour Day. The largest film festival in North America, its international stature is second only to the Cannes Film Festival. Unlike most major film festivals, which are open only to members of the industry and media, TIFF’s status as a public festival has made it an ideal testing ground for a film’s commercial appeal. That, combined with its September schedule, has made it a major launching pad for Oscar contenders and the more serious fare of the fall film schedule. It has also proven to be a key showcase for Canadian cinema, documentary films and experimental works. The 2016 edition of TIFF featured 397 films (296 features and 101 shorts), 138 of which were world premieres, while the 2017 lineup was streamlined by 20 per cent.

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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.

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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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Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that impacts the body’s central nervous system. As of September 2020 an estimated 2.8 million people are living with MS worldwide. Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world with over 90,000 Canadians living with the disease. There is no known cure for MS, but treatments can help address symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

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Assisted Suicide in Canada

Assisted suicide is the intentional termination of one’s life, assisted by someone who provides the means or knowledge, or both. (See also Suicide.) Between 1892 and 2016, assisted suicide was illegal in Canada under section 241(b) of the Criminal Code. In 2015, after decades of various legal challenges, the Supreme Court of Canada decided unanimously to allow physician-assisted suicide. In June 2016, the federal government passed the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) Act, which established the eligibility criteria and procedural safeguards for medically assisted suicide. In March 2021, new legislation was passed that expanded eligibility for MAID.

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Canadarm

The Canadarm was a remote-controlled mechanical arm, also known as the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS). During its 30-year career with NASA’s Space Shuttle Program, the robotic arm deployed, captured and repaired satellites, positioned astronauts, maintained equipment, and moved cargo.

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Pandemics in Canada

A pandemic is an outbreak of an infectious disease that affects a large proportion of the population in multiple countries or worldwide. Human populations have been affected by pandemics since ancient times. These include widespread outbreaks of plague, cholera, influenza and, more recently, HIV/AIDS, SARS and COVID-19. In order to slow or stop the spread of disease, governments implement public health measures that include testing, isolation and quarantine. In Canada, public health agencies at the federal, provincial and municipal levels play an important role in monitoring disease, advising governments and communicating to the public.

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Cardiac Pacemaker

In 1950, one of Canada’s greatest medical innovations was developed at the University of Toronto’s Banting Institute. Cardiac surgeon, Dr. Wilfred Bigelow and research fellow, Dr. John Carter Callaghan were trying to understand how hypothermia (see Cold-Weather Injuries) could slow the beating of an animal’s heart before surgery. They were also looking for a way to stimulate the heart when it faltered as it cooled. This largely unknown area of research could have tremendous applications for humans. The doctors partnered with Dr. John A. Hopps from the National Research Council of Canada, who created a portable artificial external pacemaker. It was designed to send electric pulses to the heart, which caused the heart to contract and pump blood to the body. The device was successfully tested on a dog in 1950. This landmark discovery paved the way for the use of implantable pacemakers in humans.

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Firearms

For many centuries, a legend has persisted that gunpowder was invented in China. Until recently, however, there was no real proof to support the story. In 1986, a team of researchers headed by Dr. Joseph Neeham at Cambridge University published the necessary evidence.

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Archaeological Survey of Canada

The Archaeological Survey of Canada (ASC) was established in 1971. It is the division of the Canadian Museum of History that deals with the archaeological heritage of Canada. The major goals of the ASC are to preserve archaeological sites, research into the history of Canadian Indigenous peoples and present the results of archaeological research to the public, through publications and exhibitions. The ASC’s Mercury Series of monographs is one of the main outlets for the reporting of archaeological research in the country. Its exhibitions, both in the Canadian Museum of History and smaller ones that travel across the country, enhance public understanding of the traditions of the Indigenous peoples of Canada. (See also Archaeology.)