If Canada is not the greatest country in the world, it must be said to be one of the best. Admire the picturesque hills, vast plains, crystal clear river flows and innumerable prehistoric lakes. People are praised as kindest and most generous in the world. It also occupies a justly justified place of praise in the history books. The international community sees Canada as a truly brilliant contender on the world stage.
Sometimes residents think, it’s really amazing how Canada became such a country!
James Opp, associate professor of history at Carleton University, said, “A country with such a small population spread over three oceans has not only survived, but has actually held a great place in the world. Canada today is known as a prosperous and successful country. Multicultural. As an emerging and gloriously bilingual (English and French) country, it is another crowning glory. Canada is a nation of peacekeepers, a mediator of country-to-country conflicts and the home of ice hockey. A pioneer in spirit, enthusiasm and innovation.” “Canada serves as a model federation for other developing countries. The idea of a kind of tolerable level of democracy is reminiscent of ostensibly democratic countries,” the historian said.
As we look back at Canada’s accomplished history, we find 10 reliable facts, compiled here with the help of Professor Opp and the newspaper’s reporting staff. The events define the country and people of modern Canada
Battle of Vimy Ridge April 9, 1917:
Canada joined World War I largely under duress. The Canadian regiments were the strength of the British side but they had to advance in the direction they must win at Vimy Ridge. It was on a 9 km long escarpment in the northern part of France.
At Vimy Ridge, the Canadians had a real chance to show their mettle. 100,000 Canadian troops took part in a brutal battle and defeated the German forces. Although about 10,000 Canadian soldiers were killed. For the first time Canadian soldiers fought as a single group. It gave Canadians a sense of unity and a separate identity from Britain. It therefore sowed the seeds of nationalism in Canada and is still considered to have made a special contribution. The victory at Vimy Ridge was instrumental in sparking true Canadian nationalism.
Universal Health Care:
Demands and debates about fair health care for every Canadian citizen came to the fore in the 1960s. Tommy Douglas, then Premier of the Province of Saskatchewan, believed that optimal health care is a necessity and right of every citizen in every province. Douglas fought fearlessly to legalize this public welfare service. But doctors refused to go under direct government control so they went on strike for 23 days in Saskatchewan. The province was thrown into chaos. The strike ended with an agreement with the provincial government, where doctors could practice self-employed minimum hours in private practice alongside their publicly paid government professional duties. Douglas’ newly formed model was gradually adopted by other provinces over the next 10 years. Universal health care was established across Canada. As a result, today Canada’s health care is globally recognized.
Discovery of insulin 1922:
Before the discovery of insulin, having diabetes meant virtually certain death. But in 1920, Dr. Frederick Banting hoped that he would soon find a cure for diabetes. He continued his practice with a dog’s pancreas. Working from a small lab, Banning and his assistant Charles Best performed experiments by removing the dog’s pancreas. When the dog developed diabetes, Banning injected the dog’s pancreas to treat it and carefully monitored it.
It actually lowered blood sugar in dogs and led to the birth of an unprecedented treatment called insulin. After ages of experimentation, a perfect formula was invented. The remarkable discovery earned Canada the first ever Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Millions of people around the world are being empowered by this invention for years to receive a cure for diabetes. We are all Canadians proud.
Confederation of Canada, 1867:
Thoughtful politicians can achieve many impossible things if they honestly want to! Canada’s confederation is a prime example of this. Every year on the joyous 1st of July we celebrate the great nation’s birthday, the day the Federal Dominion of Canada was formed in 1867. Ontario and Quebec were organized, with New Brunswick and Nova Scotia also incorporated. At the urging of learned politicians, gradually all the provinces of Canada eventually joined Confederation. Today, Canada stands tall in the global arena as a prosperous nation.
Terry Fox, 1980:
After losing his right leg to cancer aged just 18, Terry Fox decided to run across Canada to raise awareness and money for cancer research. Using a customized walking prosthesis, he set out from St. John’s, Newfoundland on 12 April 1980 and covered 5373 km in 143 days, an average of 42 km (26 mi) per day.
Cancer finally called an end to Asim’s life on June 28, 1981, at the age of 23. Terry’s final words were, “The Marathon of Hope must continue.” His venture has raised more than $500 million for cancer research.
The greatest measure of success is being able to inspire others, Terry Fox has done just that. In his name, the ‘Terry Fox Foundation’ organizes the ‘Terry Fox Run’ in cities across Canada and other countries every year and raises a significant amount of money for cancer research. Terry had a mental prowess that even surpassed his physical strength! He is a legend and a hero today, a beacon of inspiration to all Canadians and the world.
Women’s Suffrage Matters:
In Canada’s formative years of confederation, the topic of gender equality was not always at the forefront. After all there was a struggle to be fought, a land to be explored. But where women owned property, women were allowed to vote at various times from 1916 to early 1925, excluding Asians and Aborigines. It was not until 1951 that a common woman was allowed to vote and enter as a candidate for elections. Thousands of women fought for the right to vote because of this. Even women in the US started burning their bras. On June 12, 1951, Canada enacted the first equal suffrage law after council members were elected.
World War II:
Canada voluntarily entered World War II in September 1939 because it realized that Nazi Germany posed a major threat to the existence of Western civilization. The Canadians were in the thick of the fight almost from the start.
During the war Canadians defended the east and west coasts and fought in a series of long campaigns on land, sea and air to defeat German, Italian and Japanese forces. More than 1.1 million Canadian men and women joined the armed forces.
Canada showed its allies that it was a force to be reckoned with and earned respect around the world.
Women’s Hockey – Gold 2002:
In the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Utah, USA, hockey was a tale of two fierce rivals. The American players were in an intense all-out battle to occupy the top spot on the podium. The real test of Canadian spirit was on the women’s rink. After making it through most of the round robin, Canada took on arch-rivals the United States in the gold medal game. The USA had previously beaten Canada in eight straight games and there were no signs that anything could be amiss. But a historic goal by Jaina Hayford took the team to the top of the podium and gave the men’s team a boost. The Canadian men also won their own gold medal in hockey that year. The Canadian women’s victory was historically memorable. This victory is a special indicator that Canada is a pioneering country.
Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982:
Pierre Elliott Trudeau is the first politician in Canadian political history to publicly speak unparliamentary language to a fellow MP in the House of Commons. That caused a minor scandal. Even so, he is credited with writing the Bill of Rights and Freedoms. Granted greater political and civil rights to all. In addition to enacting the Canadian Amendment, the Constitution Act, 1982 enacts the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter is constitutionally a statutory bill of rights that applies to both the federal government and the provincial governments, unlike previous Canadian Bills of Rights. Respect for the Constitution was Trudeau’s last major act as Prime Minister. He even paved the way for same-sex marriage to be legalized in Canada in 2005.
Paul Henderson, 1972 Summit Series:
Paul Henderson scored one of the most famous goals in hockey history in 1972, leading Canada to a 6-5 victory in the eighth and final game of the Summit Series in Moscow. The series became a Cold War political/social movement of democracy vs. communism and freedom vs. oppression, just like hockey. The series had a lasting impact on hockey in Canada and abroad. Paul Henderson scored a dramatic goal in Moscow to give the Canadians a series win. Fifty years ago, the series created a hockey legend that changed Canada’s national outlook on the game and united almost the entire country.
At the height of the Cold War, the 1972 Summit Series was more important than a contest between two of the world’s best hockey nations. It was a contest for supremacy, a battle of Western ideals and values against Communist Russia. Virtually all activities to watch the games in Canadian cities came to a standstill. Paul Henderson became a national icon after scoring the winning goals in the sixth and seventh games. Finally scored the last goal with 34 seconds remaining in the last game of the series in a tight contest. This victory was Canada’s crowning victory as the leading nation in the entire Western world.