Defining Moment

Made by Biruk Workneh


There were many historical moments in history that made Canada the country it is today. From the discovery of this land to the modern era, Canada was there in their weakest and strongest state. Times like WWI and WWII caused total chaos. Canada used to be ruled by Britain, but there were defining moments which allowed Canada to change for the better. In this paper, I'll be describing 4 moments in Canadian history which allowed this country to be powerful and very attractive.

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The Battle of Vimy Ridge

This was the one of the final battles of WWI. Canada was ordered to seize Vimy Ridge in April 1917 and never looked back. Canadian and British artillery pounded the enemy positions on the battlefield. 3,598 Canadians were killed and another 7,000 wounded. This was the first the all four Canadian divisions fought together. Brigadier-General A.E. Ross declared after the war, "in those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation. Canadian troops earned the reputation of being formidable, brave, effective troops because of their great success.

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Defining Moment #1

This was a defining moment in Canadian history because it gave us an identity, bold and brave. Many great Canadians were recognized as heroes and received the ‘Victory Cross’ medal. They became known for being brave and strong. After WWI, the allies entrusted Canada with a lot of responsibilities, including other battles in WWII and manufacturing weapons, which allowed Canada to grow.

Brave Canadian Soldier
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Vimy Ridge: The Canadian National Memorial

The Person's Case

The person’s case was one of the most significant moment not only for Canadian history, but also women’s history. The Famous Five fought for women rights; women to be 'persons'. They wanted a constitutional ruling, which would allow women the right to "persons", to be appointed by the senator. In May 1918, the majority of Canadian women over the age of 21 became eligible to vote in federal elections. By 1927, women were able to vote in federal and provincial elections. In 1928, women weren't considered persons, but the famous five appealed in 1929. On 18 October 1929, “the word ‘persons’ in sec. 24 included women, and that women are eligible to be summoned to and become members of the Senate of Canada.

Defining Moment #2

This was a defining moment in Canadian and women’s history because it allowed women to have rights. There are many great women in Canadian history who helped make Canada a great country, but the Famous Five began ‘a new era’ for women. In fact, Canada wouldn’t be as great without women’s contribution.

The Famous Five and the Persons Case


Multiculturism is the policy that accepts all ethnic groups into Canada. On April 28, 1963, Progressive Conservative PM John Diefenbaker opposed the idea of Multiculturism. The Francophones in the province of Quebec also opposed the idea of Multiculturism. The ‘Third Force’ Canadians supported the idea of Multiculturism. The beginning of the Multiculturism began on July 19, 1963. On October 8, 1971, Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau announced that bilingualism and Multiculturism will be implemented in Canada. The Canadian Multiculturism act was introduced during the progressive government of Brian Mulroney, and received Royal assent on July 21, 1988. Canadian Multiculturalism day is celebrated on July 27 of each year.

The Canadian Multiculturalism Act

The law...

  • recognizes Canada's multiculturalism act and must always protect it.
  • recognizes Aboriginal rights.
  • recognizes English and FRENCH as an official language, but other languages are acceptable.
  • recognizes equality rights and prohibits racism, sexism, etc.
  • recognizes minorities rights to continue their religion.

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  • 18.4% of Canada's population (5.4 million) are immigrants
  • 9.4% of immigrants aren't able to speak English nor French
  • 73% of immigrants in the 90s lived in Toronto, Vancouver or Montréal.
  • Out of the 1.8 million immigrants who came to Canada from 1991-2001, 58% were Asian, 20% were European, 11% were Caribbean and Southern American, 8% were African, and 3% from the USA.
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Defining Moment #3

This was a defining moment in Canadian history because it gave all ethnic group a chance at freedom. A lot of countries were going through difficult situations, like war, and Canada had a lot of free land. By allowing immigrants to come to Canada, the economy was able to increase significantly. Immigrants were also able to continue with their religious practice, obtain jobs that they desired, and learn English and French. In retrospect, they were given true freedom for the first time. Until the 1940s, Canadians only spoke English and French. By 1980, 40% of the nation wasn’t British nor French. By the early 21st century, most of the population were outside of Britain and France. By 2006, Canada has welcomed 34 ethnic groups with at least 100,000 members in each group. Today, 41% of Canadians are first or second generation citizens. Canada has one of the highest per capita immigration rate in the world. Canada has welcomed a tenth of the world’s refugees.

Pierre Trudeau: Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Canada: PM Justin Trudeau welcomes Syrian refugees - BBC News
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The Marathon of Hope

The Marathon of Hope is one of the most memorable stories in Canadian History. A man named Terry Fox made an attempt to run across Canada. Terrance Stanley Fox was born on July 28, 1958 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Terry was involved in a crash which left his leg sore. He didn’t want to go to the hospital until the end of his basketball season, but it became more serious as the pain intensified. In 1977, he found out that he had osteosarcoma cancer. He was a Canadian athlete, humanitarian, and cancer research activist. Terry Fox ran across Canada with an amputated leg to collect donations for cancer research. Terry Fox was inspired by Dick Traum (the first amputee to complete a marathon). The Marathon of Hope began on April 12, 1980 near St. John’s, Newfoundland. He died on June 22, 1981 in New Westminster, BC due to Metastatic osteosarcoma.

Defining Moment #4

This was a defining moment in Canadian history because it allowed cancer research facilities to discover cures. Back then, cancer was very difficult to cure. When Terry Fox fought for cancer, he gave hope to the many people with cancer. Because of Terry Fox, millions of people are able to survive cancer. This did not only affect Canada, but the world. Millions of people around the world participate in the Terry Fox run and donate to cancer research. Terry Fox became the youngest person ever to be awarded a Companion of the Order of Canada, which is the second highest honour in Canada. He also won the Lou Marsh award. Hall of Famer Bobby Orr presented Terry with a check of $25,000. Terry Fox raised $1.7 million by the time he was forced to abandon the marathon. A week after, CTV organized a nationwide telethon dedicated to Terry Fox. They raised $10.5 million. By the time it was April of the following year, over $23 million were raised for cancer.

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Terry Fox - 35 Years of Hope
Terry Fox - I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)


In conclusion, these are the 4 defining moments in Canadian history which allowed this country to be great. Vimy Ridge gave Canada the personality of being bold and brave. Led by General Currie, the Canadian troops were able to force Germany to surrender. The Person’s Case gave women the first step to freedom. The famous five were able to win their case of women being people. Multiculturism allowed to Canada to take that big step and be a powerful country. PM Trudeau helped different ethnic groups make Canada their home. The Marathon of Hope allowed millions of people with cancer to overcome the impossible. Without these moments in our history, Canada wouldn't as great as it is today.
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Marshall, T. (2015, October 16). Persons Case. Retrieved December 28, 2015, from

Canada - Women's History. (n.d.). Retrieved December 28, 2015, from

Multiculturalism in Canada. (2015, December 23). Retrieved December 28, 2015, from

Terry Fox. (2015, October 28). Retrieved December 28, 2015, from

Thain Wendell MacDowell. (2015, October 20). Retrieved December 28, 2015, from

Cairine Wilson. (2015, April 30). Retrieved December 28, 2015, from

Oosterom, N. (n.d.). Thirteen Outstanding Women. Retrieved January 7, 2016, from