Defining Moments of Canada

By: Amanpreet Dhillon

Canada has gone through many hardships and challenges which helped shape it to the proud country it is today. Canada will continue to face more challenges in the future, but all of them will be conquered and mold the country even further. The events below are very important to Canada's history which helps define us and makes us proud.

The Second Battle of Ypres

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Poisonous Gas (Chlorine Gas)

The Second Battle of Ypres, 1915

In World War I, there were many battles that made Canada acknowledged as a strong and powerful nation, one of the first battles that made Canada strong was the Second Battle of Ypres. This battle was fought in Ypres, Belgium in May 1915. This battle was the first mass use of poison gas which was used by the Germans. Even though the French retreated, the Canadians stayed and pushed forward through the chlorine gas and successfully held back the Germans. One of the important men in this battle was Canadian General Arthur Currie.

This battle is a defining moment in Canadian history because:

1) It was the first battle won by a colonial country, No other colonial country had won a battle all by themselves, but in the Battle of Ypres the Canadians single-handedly held back the Germans This shows that Canada is a strong and powerful nation

2) The Germans used a poisonous gas during this battle, thinking that it will kill most of the enemies and make them retreat, but the were shocked to see that the Canadians were still on the battlefield fighting and held back the Germans. This battle made the Germans fear the Canadians. This illustrates that Canada is a courageous and determined nation who is not ready to lose that easily.

3) The Canadians were very quick on their feet by using urine-soaked handkerchiefs as a way from inhaling the gas. This showed how Canadians were smart and can quickly adapt to circumstance.

Second Battle of Ypres - The Dawn of Chemical Warfare

Fun Fact

The poem Flanders Field, made by John McCrae was actually written in the Second Battle of Ypres
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Person's Case

Before 1929, women were not considered as "persons" in terms of rights of privileges but are considered in matters of pains and penalties. However 5 courageous women stood up against the government and changed the way the way women were considered in terms of as a person. These 5 women were Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Irene Parbly, Louise McKInney and Nellie McClung. They successfully persuaded the Government of Canada to appeal to the Judaical Committee of the British Privy Council to change the definition of "person" under the British North American Act of 1867. They successfully won the case and on October 18, 1929 Canadian were declared "persons".

This should be considered as a defining moment in Canadian history because not only did 5 women persuade the way the government thought of women for all that time, they opened up many opportunities that would help the economy. Ever since women were considered as people it meant that they could get the same jobs as men, which in result helped the Canadian economy. They also impacted the government, when they won the case, women were allowed to be in politics and have political power. This first women to be appointed Canadian Senate was Cairine Wilson. The result of this case also impacted the future, without it our economy wouldn't be the same.

The Famous Five and the Persons Case

Multicultulisim Act, 1971

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The Multiculturalism Act was the policy that recognized and respected its society diversity in the means of languages, customs, beliefs and religions. This Act was declared under Prime Minster Pierre E. Trudeau. The policy encouraged immigrants from all over the world to come and settle in Canada and grow while having the right to practice their own religion and speak their native tongue.
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This was a defining moment in Canadian history because Canada was the first country to do this, and if it was the only country at the time many immigrants would want to come and live here. This caused many people from different countries to come live and work here. In result it helped our economy and opened up more jobs. That is why almost half of our population is from other parts of the world. Without this act most of us would not even be here.
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historic minute-multiculturalism act

Canada Accepts Syrian Refugees

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In 2015, when Justin Trudeau won the elections, he began his promise of bringing 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada. Now it has almost been month and we see that he his fulfilling his promise.

This is a defining moment because this shows that Canada is a welcoming country to those in need. It identifies us as a kind and good nation. This will help us in our economy too. All in all it shows that Canada is a loving country.

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In Conclusion

"A defining moment can be defined as an event, an action, or a decision, which contributes significantly to a nation’s (or individuals) development, status or identity." I think that these moments have defined Canada in a positive way, making us a strong, proud and welcoming nation and we will have more defining moments in the future that we will triumph and be proud about.
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