Archive: » 2011 » November

The Asbestos Strike

“It made me sick to watch it,” said a photographer for Time magazine (the strike was now news the world over). The strike which began on February 13, 1949 in Asbestos, Quebec, is one of those events that resonate beyond the immediate and define history. It was, as Pierre Trudeau later wrote, “a violent announcement that a new era had begun.”

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There Never Was an Arrow

For many Canadians, the cancellation of the Arrow was a mortal blow to part of the national dream. Friday February 20, 1959 is known as “Black Friday” in Canada’s aviation community. On that day, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker rose in the House of Commons and terminated the A.V. Roe Arrow, the world’s most advanced military aircraft. 

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Alberta’s Quiet Revolution: The Early Lougheed Years

All earth is OIL, OIL, OIL and city lights drown the stars.” – Dorothy Livesay[1] Albertans are understandably more aware than other Canadians of the geology that lies beneath their feet. Not in the way that Californians are – fearful that the earth might tremble and shatter their world. It is more a vague awareness of an underworld crusted in coal, concealing vast reservoirs of black gold.

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Crowfoot and Treaty Number 7

In the years after the treaty Crowfoot had cause to regret his good opinion of the white men, A few days before September 12, 1877, Blackfoot and Stonies began arriving at Blackfoot Crossing on the banks of the Bow River in southern Alberta. The two were old enemies and camped on opposite sides of the river. Later in the week they were joined by the Blood and Piegan. They were here to negotiate a treaty with the Canadian government.

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Civil War in Acadia

No, it is not the Alamo, but a scene from early Canadian history, and it has still more twists to reveal. A fort under siege. A valiant leader inspiring defenders against hopeless odds. Hand-to-hand sabre duels, musket fire, then treachery and brutal reprisals. No, it is not the Alamo, but a scene from early Canadian history, and it has still more twists to reveal. Acadia was from its beginnings a centre of conflict and competing ambitions. Neglected by France, it was the victim of aggression whenever the privateering spirit moved some New England adventurer.

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Champlain and the Founding of Quebec

Until Champlain, the entire New World adventure had brought only disappointment and death for France “I arrived there on the 3rd of July,” wrote Samuel de Champlain in 1608, “when I searched for a place suitable for our settlement, but I could find none more convenient or better situated than the point of Quebec.” Champlain stepped ashore and unfurled the fleur-de-lys, marking the beginning of that city and indeed of Canada.

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Calixa Lavallée and the Origins of “O Canada”

"Throwing back his head he played for us, for the first time, the masterpiece of his genius - it was Calixa Lavallée; he played O Canada." Canada's national anthem was first heard one fine June evening in 1880, on the campus of Laval University in Quebec City. Joseph Keaney Foran and some fellow law students were relaxing in one of the buildings when they heard a commotion at the front door.

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Bernier and Arctic Sovereignty

Joseph-Elzéar Bernier was Canada's greatest seaman, a man of strong will and extraordinary ingenuity. It is largely due to him that the Canadian flag now flies over the Arctic Archipelago. Bernier was born into a seafaring family at L'Islet, Quebec, in 1852. He went to sea with his father at age 2 and by the age of only 17 he was master of the brigantine St. Joseph – the youngest skipper in the world. By 1895 he had made over 100 voyages across the Atlantic. But it was the Arctic that captured his imagination.

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Book Review: Life and Letters of Wilfrid Laurier

despite its weaknesses as an official biography and for all its whiggishness Skelton still holds the field against all challenges to date. Book Review: Life and Letters of Wilfrid Laurier Volume I, 1841-1896, first published in 1921 Carleton Library Edition, 1965 Edited and with an introduction by David M.L. Farr Previous to entering Mackenzie King’s Department of External Affairs, O.D. Skelton had been an academic and a prolific writer. In writing this biography, he had a privileged position. He had known Laurier personally and had conducted long interviews with him. Skelton was also...

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Review: The Encyclopedia of Manitoba

The Encyclopedia of Manitoba all the power of those rivers (200 years of floods) in contrast to the placid plains, and always glancing over one’s shoulder to the looming presence of Hudson Bay and the granitic Shield. Managing Editor Ingeborg Boyens Great Plains Publications With this marvelous new creation Manitoba takes its place, along with Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia and Saskatchewan, as a province with its own encyclopedia.

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