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Canadian history – looking back at the last fifty years
 

Canadian history – looking back at the last fifty years

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An impressive and illustrative walk through the History of the best part of 'North America' - Canada!

An impressive and illustrative walk through the History of the best part of 'North America' - Canada!

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    Canadian history – looking back at the last fifty years Canadian history – looking back at the last fifty years Document Transcript

    • Canadian History – looking back at the last fifty years.<br />The history of Canada begins thousands of years ago when the land was occupied by various groups of aborigine races who, over the years, modified the social and economic structure of Canadian society.<br />Paleo-Indians<br />Modern history begins when Paleo-Indians and more recently (around the fifteenth century), French and British immigrants arrived and made Canada their home. Although various wars took their toll over centuries, Canada has always been resilient enough to rebuild any damaged foundations of society.<br />1957 version of the Canadian Red Ensign<br />In the last few years, from 1960 to 2010, Canada has shown amazing growth, both as a country and as a rapidly emerging popular immigrant destination. <br />Let’s take a look at the various momentous events that have marked milestones in Canada’s progress, from different walks of life. This article chronicles the most remarkable happenings in Canada in different fields from the 1960’s until the most recent developments in the 2000’s.<br />In the 1960s:<br />The earlier residents, Paleo-Indians were given the right to vote in July 1960. This marked a welcome change in terms of inclusion of locals. The Canadian Bill of Rights was approved the same year.1960 was also a landmark year for education – the University of Calgary was founded and York University commenced classes for its first batch. The Simon Fraser University, University of Lethbridge and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology followed a few years later.<br />Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day<br />The 1960s marked a decade of strong social change for nationals. The Canadian province of Quebec underwent socio-political change because of French-Canadian nationalists. In this decade, the practice of issuing social insurance cards to Canadians was established. Medicare insurance was provided for the first time in Saskatchewan. <br />Tommy Douglas was the force behind Canada's first universal health insurance plan<br />The national flag of Canada, a unique design in red and white featuring a solitary maple leaf, was officially adopted in February 1965. February 15th is today celebrated as National Flag of Canada Day. <br />Current flag, 1965 to date <br />Construction of Lionel-Groulx metro<br />On the financial front, an exchange rate for the Canadian dollar against the US dollar was fixed at 1:0.925. In terms of scientific progress, Canada became the third country in the world to enter space by launching a satellite. <br />Connectivity improved thanks to the Trans-Canada Highway. It improved further when the Bloor-Danforth Subway line was inaugurated, followed by the inauguration of the Montreal Metro.<br />The entertainment industry made a few strides too. One of the most popular Canadian bands of the ‘60s, Buffalo Springfield, was formed in 1966. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation broadcast in color for the first time, and private networks followed later.<br />Caribana parade<br />1967 was a glorious year for Canada. The Expo 67 world fair in Montreal won international acclaim. It was also centenary year of the Canadian Confederation. The first Caribana, today the world’s third largest carnival, was held in July 1967. Mary Stewart, a swimmer, won a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 1962.<br />In the 1970s:<br />Canada saw progress in terms of politics and Governmental regulations. The legal age for voting was lowered from twenty one to eighteen years. Canada also became an official observer to the Organization of American States in 1970. In a positive development for diversity and inclusion, the first Inuit was elected to the Senate in 1976. Canada also became the first country in the world to telecast the proceedings of its national legislature in the same year. <br />Standards and measures were to be expressed in terms of the metric system from January 1970 onwards and later degree Celsius was used to express temperature. The Canadian Government banned the sale of firecrackers and advertisement of cigarettes in 1972.<br />The Canadian Government also nationalized the air carrier service Canadair. All rail services were integrated into a corporation called VIA Rail. It also set up Petro-Canada, its own oil and gas company.<br />CANDU at Qinshan<br />In April 1971, Canada added to the CANDU (which stands for CANada Deuterium Uranium) nuclear reactor in Quebec its list of scientific achievements. It was subsequently sold to South Korea in December 1973. In November 1972, Anik I, which was the world's first non-military communications satellite, was launched. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation went on to become the first to use an orbiting satellite for television broadcasting.<br />Gerhard Herzberg was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1971 for his research in the field of electronic structure.<br />The Canadian and Montreal Stock Exchanges were merged in 1974. Montreal hosted the Summer Olympics in 1976 and gained worldwide attention for the event.<br />Toronto's CN Tower<br />A strong sense of Canadian identity was developed. The beaver was declared one of the official symbols of Canada in 1975. The world famous landmark Toronto’s CN Tower was completed in 1975 and subsequently opened to the public in June 1976. The Winterlude festival was held for the first time in 1979.<br />In the 1980s:<br />Women made their mark in a big way in the 1980’s. Jean Sauve became the first female House of Commons Speaker. Bertha Wilson was appointed Canada's first female Supreme Court justice in March 1983. Shirley Carr was appointed the first female head of the Canadian Union of Public Employees in 1985. Another achievement was that of Marguerite Bourgeoys - she became Canada's first female saint in October 1982. <br />Further strengthening of Canada’s national identity occurred when “O Canada” became the official national anthem. An energy policy, the National Energy Program was also created by the Canadian Government. Canada Post was converted into a crown corporation; all its commercial activities were conducted on behalf of the Canadian Government. Canada Day was declared on October 27th 1982. It was previously called “Dominion Day”. The Canadian Encyclopedia was launched in 1985, contributing further to a national identity. This is free and accessible online at http://www.canadianencyclopedia.ca <br /> <br />The Canadian Royal Mail was replaced.....by Canada Post<br />In legislative terms, the eighties saw some major legislation such as the Canada Act and the Canadian-American Free Trade Agreement coming into effect. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms also came into being. The free trade agreement abolished several trade restrictions and increased trade between Canada and the United States. The Canada Act had significance because it signaled the end of Canada’s dependence on the United Kingdom. Queen Elizabeth signed the Constitution that came into being after this process. To this day, the Queen is the Head of State of Canada although Canada is a sovereign and independent country. <br />Canada received a United Nations award for sheltering refugees in 1986. The same year, it adopted sanctions against South Africa to condemn apartheid. Quebec City became the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in North America in 1987.<br />In a significant step for scientific achievements in Canada, the Canadarm (also called the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System or SRMS), a mechanical arm used for lifting payloads, was attached to the US (NASA) operated Space Shuttle. The Canadian Space Agency was set up in 1989.<br />Alouette 1<br />Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station, Canada’s first nuclear power plant came into being in 1983.In 1982, Laurie Skreslet, an accomplished mountaineer became the first Canadian to scale Mount Everest. Canada’s athletes made the country proud in the 1984 Summer Olympics held at Los Angeles, shining at international sporting events.<br />In 1985, the wreck of possibly the world’s most famous ship, the Titanic, was found off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, near Mistaken Point. There was tremendous excitement and international attention associated with this event.<br />In the 1990s:<br />The 1990s saw a host of achievements by Canadians. Karen Kain, an accomplished ballet dancer, became the first Canadian to win the Cartier Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996. She was also given the title “Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters” by the French Government in 1998. Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, a celebrated jazz pianist and composer, received a Grammy in the lifetime achievement category in 1997. In February 1997, Lennox Lewis was declared a heavyweight boxing champion by the World Boxing Council. He went on to become the Heavyweight Champion of the World after defeating Evander Holyfield in November 1999. Jacques Villeneuve became the first Canadian to become a World Drivers Champion in October 1997.<br />Richard Taylor won the Nobel Prize for Physics for verifying the Quark Theory in 1990 and made Canadians proud. In 1992, Rudolph Marcus won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. In October 1999, Robert Mundell won the Nobel Prize for Economics. Other Canadians whose achievements are noteworthy are David Schindler who won the Stockholm Water Prize for environmental research and Ferguson Jenkins who became the first Canadian to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Carol Shields's book “Larry's Party” won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 1998. <br />Women continued to make waves politically and otherwise. Kim Campbell became the Prime Minister in 1993, and the first woman to be head the Canadian Government. The women’s curling team won the Olympic Gold in 1998.<br />Kim Campbell – Canada’s first female Prime Minister with Former Prime Ministers<br />Canadian Alanis Morissette released one of her most successful albums “Jagged Little Pill” in June 1995. Shania Twain’s “Come on Over” was one of North America’s bestselling albums in 1998. Both of them, along with Celine Dion, won Grammies at the Grammy Awards in 1999.<br />Canada’s strong anti-apartheid stance was reinforced when Julius Alexander Isaac, of Negroid descent was named Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada in 1991. In October 1998, Canada was elected to the United Nations Security Council. Later that month, Canada's first diamond mine opened in the Northwest Territories. Petro-Canada was privatized. The Confederation Bridge, whose construction began in 1993 was completed in 1997 and linked Prince Edward Island to the rest of Canada by road.<br />In 1994, Canada announced that hockey was to be Canada's official winter sport while lacrosse was to be Canada’s official summer sport. In 1996, Canada released a two dollar coin, more commonly referred to as the “toonie”. The two dollar paper bill was discontinued.<br />In the years following Y2K (2000-2010):<br />As Canada entered the 21st century, it kept up the host of amazing achievements and progress that it had made in the last forty years.<br />Anik F1, Canada’s most powerful communications satellite even a decade later in 2010 was launched in the year 2000. Chris Hadfield was the first Canadian to spacewalk – he performed this feat in 2001. Canada also launched its first space telescope in 2003.<br />The Bank of Canada released a 10 dollar bill the same year. <br />Post the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Canada observed a memorial service at Parliament Hill and extended its support through Operation Yellow Ribbon and Operation Support.<br />Canada donated large amounts of money to the World Food Program and the International Red Cross in 2004, for the cause of Haiti, which experienced a coup that year. Later that year, in March, the Canadian Armed Forces were deployed in Haiti to help support peacekeeping efforts. Canada also donated 20 million dollars to the United Nations towards peacekeeping efforts in Sudan.<br />The environment-conscious Canadian Government came up with the One Tonne Challenge, in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one tonne each year. <br />Canada became the first country in the world to legalize medical marijuana in the year 2000. The Federal Government also allowed stem cell research. In a path-breaking example of tolerance, several provinces in Canada legalized same-sex marriages in this decade, beginning with Ontario and British Columbia. Canada was the first country to implement World Trade Organization initiatives to supply drugs to combat AIDS/HIV in developing countries.<br />First same-sex couple to legally marry in Quebec<br />In October 2002, Yann Martel won the Booker Prize for “Life of Pi”. In the same month, Chris Jericho and Christian won the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Tag Team Championship. Canada also won both gold medals in hockey (for men’s hockey as well as women’s hockey) in the 2002 Utah Winter Olympics. Edmonton hosted the first game in National Hockey League history to be played outdoors, the 2003 Heritage Classic. In 2005, Natalie Glebova, Miss Canada-Universe, won the title of Miss Universe.<br />2004 was a great year for achievements in sports. In February that year, Clara Hughes won the bronze in the world speed skating championship. The same month saw the Canadian softball team winning silver in the world softball championship and François Bourque winning the bronze in the world junior alpine ski championship. Canada also won the Women's World Curling Championship, the IIHF 2004 Women's World Ice Hockey Championships and the Men's World Ice Hockey Championships that year, along with the World Cup of Hockey. Canada also shined at the Winter Olympics held in 2006.<br />Canada has evolved over the years into a country to reckon with today. In the field of sports, politics, music and other spheres of governance, it is a country with several accolades to its name and many citizens to be proud of. Canada is also emerging as a popular destination choice for immigrants and the Canadian Government has put in effort to institute programs to support immigrant endeavors. It is no wonder, then, that Canada is a country that is highly respected globally and will undoubtedly continue to be one of the top countries in the world.<br />