Canada's Defining Moments

By: Bhavik Gundapaneni

Introduction

Throughout history, Canada has overcome a variety of obstacles which is what makes the country a proud nation today. Canada has faced many challenges along the way, but showed courage and heroism when faced with adversity. The following events below are some defining moments that helped shape Canada today: Vimy Ridge, Economic Boom and Bust, Multiculturalism and Syrian Refugees.
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The Battle of Vimy Ridge, 1917

During World War 1, Canadian soldiers participated in various battles such as the Battle of Ypres and during this battle, they displayed a lot of courage holding their land down. Great Britain saw the courage in Canadian soldiers which is why Canada was the chosen one to try and take Vimy back. As a result, the pressure weighs more on Canada because if they live up the bravery, they could make a big name for themselves.


Vimy Ridge Continued...

The Battle of Vimy Ridge began on April 9, 1917 and ended on April 12,1912 only lasting 3 days due to the the dominance and practice showed by Canadian soldiers. The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a military engagement fought mainly as part of the Battle of Arras, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France. The main fighters were the Canadian Corps, of four divisions, against three divisions of the German Sixth Army.


Creeping Barrage Plan

Canada executed the gameplan which was led by Arthur Curry. Their plan was called creeping barrage, it something different and something that was unpredictable to the Germans. As they were shelling the Germans, it would destroy enemy lines and equipment and create massive amounts of smoke, hurting the German visibility. As a result, soldiers would constantly advance forward and force the Germans to stay back. This was very risky because if there was even one error or miscommunication friendly fire would occur. However, it ended up going in Canada’s favor which is what led to their strong victory.

Why is This a Defining Moment

The battle of Vimy Ridge is a defining moment to Canada because it showed that Canada is a really powerful country and would not back down to anyone. It kind of gave Canadians some pride that we took Vimy all by ourselves and it gave a sense that we would take the victory. It was shocking to most people that we took Vimy since we were the underdogs to the Germans. Also, it is a defining moment because Canada did something that no other country could do. Great Britain or France could not take Vimy back but Canada did, so it made us like a go-to option throughout the war. For example, if there was any battle that seemed impossible, Canada would be the first option.


The Memorial Service

The Canadian National Vimy Memorial is a memorial site in located in France dedicated to the memory of soldiers who fought and were killed during the First World War. The monument took eleven years to build.

The Economic Boom and Bust

Post War!

After a hard fought war in World War 1 which ended in 1918, Canada’s economy wasn't really in it’s best shape. The soldiers who survived in The Great War and returned home had many ups and downs economically. Canada had to pay many debts post war and we were in a bad stage also referred to as the “Rock-Bottom”. The reason for all this was because many factories were being shut down due to the production of war equipment which was not needed anymore since the war was over. As factories were shutting down, people were losing jobs. As a result, the unemployment rate in Canada increased. At the time, European countries also weren't doing very good economic wise and this hurt Canada because no one was investing in Canadian industries.

The Boom!

However, as time advanced, things slowly started to change and the economy slowly but surely went back up. They called it the “Economic Boom”, a period of rapid growth and high employment. The term “Roaring Twenties” is often used to describe the 1920s. What led to the economic boom was the growth in natural resource development and manufacturing. Wheat on the prairies was very successful from 1925 to 1928. The world price of wheat moved steadily upward. Pulp and paper also grew in the 1920s. The production of newsprint became one Canada’s largest industries after agriculture. However, this boom did have a negative side, forest’s were being destroyed. The Turner Valley oil field was discovered in Alberta in 1924, giving people a new source of energy. Hydroelectric power also started in Canada giving people a new and cheap source of electricity. Mining exploration was opening in the Canadian North to mine for minerals such as copper and nickel. With all the prices going back up and with the addition of these discoveries, it contributed in helping Canada’s economy climb back to the top.


Advertisements of the New Inventions!

The Bust!

As the economy continued to rise, individuals started to get richer and they had enough money not only for the necessities but they had room to buy luxury items like cars, radios and telephones. There was this new thing called the “Stock market” and people would get rich overnight by playing the stock market. About one Canadian in ten invested in stock during the 1920s. However, not everyone had the money to invest so the only option they were left with was to buy on credit or margin. Buying on margin or credit wasn’t a smart idea because the investors were not protected if anything went wrong but people still did it thinking they would make millions. Everything started to go downhill on the September of 1929 when the stock market fell. At this point, many still hung on to their stock believing it would go back up “Like always”. Finally on October 29, a day also known as “Black Tuesday”, was the day the stock market crashed. It was so bad that a stock worth $10 would come down to $5 or less. The causes of the crash include too much margin buying, production of goods, and American economic influence.


The Human Fly!

Charles Hutcheson also known as “The Human Fly” was a famous building climber. He was always so confident in himself that he never used a safety harness or net. One day, something wrong happened as he was climbing a building and he fell six storeys to a porch, severely injured. “The story of Human Fly in many ways can reflect on the economic story of the 1920s. Stock market prices climbed to dizzying heights, with no “Safety nets” in place to protect investors. Then, on October 29, 1929 stock markets around the world crashed. The value of stocks fell so low that, like Charles Hutcheson, many investors and companies never recovered.”

Why is This a Defining Moment

The Economic Boom and Bust is a defining moment to Canadian history because it was a huge event in the 1920s and 30s which led to the great depression. The collapse of the stock market marked the end of an era. For many people lost their savings, their jobs, their automobiles and their homes.


The boom changed the way Canadians lived, they were able to buy the new inventions like cars and have material things. With this came stuff like parties, drinking and smoking and defying parents who were from a strict background did not agree wit these kinds of things. Ultimately, The Boom changed the way Canadians lived and had a big impact.

Trudeau Era - Multiculturalism Act, 1971

One Big Nation!

On October 8, 1971, the Canadian Prime Minister Pierre E. Trudeau introduced the multiculturalism policy in The House of Commons (Canadian Parliament). This policy was a big recognition to all the different races, religions, traditions and cultural backgrounds. This made Canada the first country in world to have a policy like this which made us differentiate from everyone else. This made Canada more open to immigration allowing people from all over the world to come and join the one big nation. The policy was a way to encourage cultural diversity and enjoy the different cultures rather than being racist and eliminating them.

Famous Quote

"Canada will be a strong country when Canadians of all provinces feel at home in all parts of the country, and when they feel that all Canada belongs to them." Pierre Trudeau

Why People Came to Canada?

There was always this stereotype about Canada being very rich, huge land and everything being perfect. Although most of it is true, it wasn't like how they thought of it to be. People wanted to come here thinking that they would live a perfect life. Furthermore, after World War 2, most of Europe was destroyed which resulted in people losing their homes. There was also many political and economical issues there and so many people came to Canada for a fresh start. As a result, the population of Canada was increasing and people all over the world were coming here. Ultimately, people all over the world were immigrating to Canada which helped us grow in our diversity and multiculturalism giving us different types of people around the world.
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Why is It a Defining Moment

The Multiculturalism Act of 1971, was considered a very significant moment in Canadian history because that is what made Canada unique and stand out. It has impacted us in a positive way till today giving the country a great name for itself. Because of this act, there are many Canadians that are from all over the world having the rights to practice their religion and traditions in Canada, while still keeping the Canadian values. With different types of people and religions also gives us a wide array of perspective. Comparing to other countries, we don't look at a problem with one eye or perspective, but with multiple point of views.

Here is a Video explaining why Trudeau believed in multiculturalism

Pierre Trudeau: Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Syrian Refugees

Bringing Them Home

On December 11, 2015 a Friday night, was a day when the first planeload of Syrian refugees landed on Canadian soil. They arrived in Toronto Pearson, welcomed with new winter coats. What was so big about this event was that, Justin Trudeau himself went to the airport to greet the new citizens of Canada. This all started during the elections when Trudeau announced the plan to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees. All 25,000 refugees would be spread across Canada to start new lives and have a fresh start. There were many people who disagreed with this concept because of the Pairs attack giving them a bad impression of terrorism. But there were also many people supporting this idea of helping other people flee from terrorism and help them start new lives. This showed that Canada actually takes action in situations like this helping people flee from war and not being afraid of possibly terrorists coming in, like what happened in Paris.

Here is a quick video showing Justin Trudeau welcoming the Syrian Refugees

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Greets Syrian Refugees Who Just Arrived In Toronto

Quote

“Tonight they step off the plane as refugees, but they walk out of this terminal as permanent residents of Canada, with social insurance numbers, with health cards, and with an opportunity to become full Canadians,” Trudeau continued.

Toronto Raptors Welcome Syrian Refugees

Here is a picture of a group of Syrian refugees taking pictures with players from Toronto Raptors. This picture includes big man Bismack Biyombo. BTW they were so lucky getting court-side tickets to watch the game.
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Why is This a Defining Moment for Canada

Canada bringing in the Syrian Refugees is a defining moment because it showed the world what our country is made out of. We got to show not just a planeload of new Canadians what Canada’s all about, but we also got to show the world how to open our hearts and welcome in people who are fleeing bad difficult situations. Syrian refugees are also important because its shows Canada is a very strong willed Nation that will not follow the rest of the world in fear. For example, it shows how we look at terrorism differently from other countries. It separates us from the US because we look at the situations differently. The US finds ways to kill the bad people and stop them by using their strong army force. However, Canada on the other hand finds ways to help the innocent people around the war zone, helping the innocent refugees. This ultimately showed that Canada will always work towards providing peace and a place for all people to find a good life.

In Conclusion

Throughout history, Canada has overcome a variety of obstacles which is what makes it a proud country today. Including The Battle of Vimy Ridge, Economic Boom and Bust, Multiculturalism and Syrian Refugees. Throughout these four events, it clearly shows us that Canada has gone through positive and negative times showing great courage and persistence which is what makes Canadian history interesting to learn about. Despite Canada going through many milestones and achievements, there are many more to go. Including bringing an NBA championship to Toronto.

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