Defining Moments

By: Haleema Raja

Canada is a nation made up of many people and events that help illustrate an image of what people think of us. Canada is a country with over 130 years of history so it can be difficult to choose which specific moments define it and a variety of different themes to choose from.

The Battle of Passchendaele

This battle consisted of 100,000 soldiers fighting, and was probably the nastiest battle fought in World War 1. General Arthur Currie had been ordered to bring his four divisions to Belgium and Passchendaele, which he did not agree with knowing that it was a reckless move though with no choice he followed orders. They had won this battle but it did not feel like victory to the soldiers as they had about 15,000 casualties.

Why it was important?

We had won this battle with the odds being against us and added to our growing reputation of being the best offensive fighting force on the Western Front. Fighting this battle took a lot of bravery; nine Canadians were awarded the Victoria Cross.

"It was really a miserable day, quite miserable. We were lying practically on the bed of the river which had been shelled all to pieces and it was just a marshy bog … our company headquarters got blown to pieces … before we started off … and the battle hadn't even begun."

Alex Strachan, 43rd Battalion, war diary of 43rd Battalion. RG 9, series III-D-3, vol. 4938, file 434.


Flappers had short hair, wore skirts above their ankles, drank and smoked (when they shouldn’t be because of Prohibition Law), and listened to jazz music instead of classical. They rode bicycles, drove cars at a time when it was thought wrong for women to be doing those things. Famous actresses like Clara Bow and Louise Brooks were famous for inspiring the Flapper look.

Even today many movies that take place in the 1920's have flappers in them, a popular film example would be "The Great Gatsby".


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FLQ Crisis

On October 1970, members of the FLQ kidnap 2 Quebec politicians:

  • James Cross (Trade Commissioner)

  • Pierre Laporte (Minister of Labour)

James Cross was kidnapped but then later released after 60 days as a result of negotiations with the kidnappers.

Pierre Laporte was kidnapped and later murdered, who ever was directly related to his death were arrested and jailed for 1st degree murder.

The FLQ demanded that the government release 21 imprisoned FLQ members and publicize their manifesto.

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What was the FLQ?

The FLQ (Front de libération du Québec) was a separatist group in Quebec. It was active between 1963 and 1970 and was noted to be a terrorist group because its violent methods for action. Their most notable acts were:
  • Montreal Stock Exchange bombing
  • Kidnapping of government officials


The Bloc Quebecois was formed it was made so Québec’s interest and influence to be in the House of Commons when it came to making decisions and for them not to be ignored like they were in the past.

Syrian Refugees

When the Liberal Party won the election in 2015 they promised to bring 25,000 refugees from Syria through 2015-16 as many are fleeing from war.
Syrian refugees arrive in Canada


The government will be investing $250 million, and $100 million this fiscal period to increase refugee processing, sponsorships and settlement capacities in Canada.
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