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Today's fact about Canada

Discussion in 'Canada' started by sly_karma, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cook also missed Port Jackson. Hopeless joke.
     
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  2. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    Considering most of his charting was done on the fly, it's forgiveable.
     
  3. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Almost, he saw the opening I believe but failed to go in or send a boat in.
     
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  4. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Digital is great. Obviously we would keep ours on Km/hr while were in Van / BC and then when we slipped over the border for a weekend in Seattle perhaps it was really easy to just flip the digital speedo over to mph.
     
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  5. robbo mcs

    robbo mcs One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    This resulted in the odd situation of Port Roberts as well. It is a small area of land which is part of the USA, but completely isolated from the USA, and joined to Canada. The population is just over a thousand. This isolation creates all kinds of issues with medical services, emergency services, schools etc etc.

    I know a guy who lives there. He really wanted to move to BC to retire. However, living in Port Roberts has major advantages for him with his pension fund, health insurance etc, etc
     
  6. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Port Roberts must be the result of politicians at their most stupid.

    US kids older than 14(?) have to travel across one international border to get from Port Roberts into Canada, then another international border to get into the USA to attend school, and reverse in the afternoon, every single school day
     
  7. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    It’s not just a line painted on the road?
     
  8. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    no typical bureaucratic border crossing with. a US station one side and Canadian the other. you can see itand the queue of cars on google maps. then the one from Vancouver into Us is a major border crosssing
     
  9. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Plus the tyre pressures display in psi when you switch over to US units, still got nfi about kPa.
     
  10. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Point Roberts is definitely another anomaly caused by distant bureaucrats' desire for simple solutions. Kids bussing to school through two border controls in each direction and all the other foolishness that ensues from an artificial line. It's a fun place to visit though, the border is low key compared to the huge Peach Arch and Pacific Truck Crossing points just to the east on the other side of the bay. The village is small and cosy and definitely tourist friendly, US flags everywhere and they revel in their self-image of a tiny US outpost surrounded on all sides by water and a foreign country. The locals mostly work outside Point Roberts, some in the US and some in BC.

    Canadians like to dig at the Americans in general, but in reality Washington state is quite similar in thought and nature to BC - same climate and landscape, comparable ethnic mix, similarly liberal in their social and political thinking.
     
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  11. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    that's their idea of simple?

    Why not a squiggly line arounf the coastline, like just about everyone esle would do
     
  12. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    What!!! And give away your Country? That’s treason talk right there.
     
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  13. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Border was set at 49'00 N on mainland, then midpoint of the Strait after that. A few islands that straddle the centreline and one little bay of the strait that loops north of 49 were not on the maps of the day in 1846, because it hadn't yet been fully surveyed or charted.

    In the negotiations leading to the Oregon Treaty, there was a strong push by US factions for a border much farther north, following latitude 54°40' N - essentially the southern tip of today's Alaska panhandle. This was in fact the entirety of the Oregon Territory as defined at the time. Presidential candidate James Polk correctly read that the American public wanted it all, and made his campaign slogan "54-40, or fight!" Despite being relatively unknown, Polk won the election. As president, he declined to go to war against the powerful British and the dominant Royal Navy, instead accepting their proposed compromise border at 49 N. The American public were happy enough since their lands would include the lush Willamette Valley, in today's state of Oregon.
     
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  14. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The first Monday in August is BC Day, a public holiday across the province. A civic holiday is also observed in many other provinces and regions of Canada on the same day.

    If just one word had to be chosen to describe BC, perhaps it should be "diverse". BC is the most ethnically and ecologically diverse province in Canada. 30% of British Columbians are immigrants from another country, and almost a quarter are visible minorities. 5% are indigenous - almost double the national proportion.

    BC has a remarkable array of ecosystems within its territory, and hundreds of plant and animal species not found elsewhere in Canada. 70% of all terrestrial mammal species in Canada are found in BC, as are 70% of native breeding bird species. There are at least fourteen separate ecological zones:
    • tidal flats and intertidal rock shelves
    • coastal zones (sandy beaches, rocky shores, mud and gravel beaches)
    • fjords
    • wetlands (tidal and non-tidal)
    • temperate rainforest
    • dry southern interior forest
    • subalpine forests
    • alpine tundra, icefields, glaciers
    • valley grasslands
    • upland grasslands
    • semi arid chapparal
    • northern boreal forest
    • prairie
    • muskeg
    The ecological diversity stems of course from climatic diversity. The outer west coast receives enormous precipitation, with a couple of locations exceeding 6000 mm annually, and most in the 3000-4000 mm range. In contrast to this is the rain shadow belt in the lee of the Coast Mountains, where the village of Ashcroft gets less than 250 mm of precipitation yearly and can claim to be in Canada's only true desert. Slightly further east and south, the more extensive Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys see just 320-340 mm per annum and are the source of Canada's best red wines. Precipitation patterns vary considerably because of exposure to Pacific systems, rain shadowing, altitude and so on.

    The province is dominated by mountains, with the highest peak being Mt Fairweather (4671 m), which straddles the border with Alaska. Most of the province is essentially a 'crumple zone' caused by the collision of the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. BC is so mountainous that just 3% of BC land is suitable for agriculture, and is protected by stringent legislation.

    Happy BC Day!
     
  15. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    :cry: I miss BC.

    Fortunately I'll be back in 6 weeks :D Can't wait.
     
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  16. Chalkie

    Chalkie One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Looking forward to seeing you @luvthabumps!
     
  17. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The square drive screw was patented by Canadian inventor P.L. Robertson in 1909 and has been used extensively in Canada ever since and is widely known as the Robertson screw. An early customer was Fisher, who made body parts for Ford; each Model T contained about 700 Robertson screws. Henry Ford found that these screws were superior to the slot screws available in the day, saving about two hours of labour on each car. He sought an exclusive US licence for them, but Robertson believed this was not in his best interests and declined. Ford and GM eventually adopted another socket type screw design by Henry F. Phillips, which was instrumental in it becoming an international standard screw type.
     
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  18. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    [​IMG]

    Thanks for that informative post, I always wondered what those funny screws I occasionally see were called, I assumed they were invented by IKEA. :goose:
     
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  19. gettingtooold

    gettingtooold One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Interesting info. The Robertson screw (never heard it called that) is being used here a lot now.
     
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  20. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Deck Screws
     
  21. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I like them. A lot less chance od slipping and burred heads
     
  22. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly What a plonker. Ski Pass: Gold

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    I thought that IKEA used hex screws. So named because they are cursed...








    ...by every bloke who has to assemble one of their products.
     
  23. Alex.C

    Alex.C One of Us

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    I'm a huge fan of Robertsons, so much more usable than Phillips head.
     
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  24. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I always thought I was strange because I was the only person I knew who found it easy to assemble IKEA stuff...
    ... then I realised I was strange because I was the only person I knew who actually read the instructions. :nerd_ubb:
     
  25. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Europeans like their Posi-drive screws and if course Americans are still mostly all about Phillips. The best of all though is the Torx system, at least when high torque is a factor. Lots of contact surface between bit and screw means less slipping and stripping. No coincidence that structural screws use Torx drives.
     
  26. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    Posidriv are an abberation, invariably I have the wrong driver (Phillips or Pozidriv)
     
  27. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Both French and English have been spoken in Canada for four hundred years. The first constitution of the Dominion of Canada in 1867 entrenched both languages into the law of the land, but French was dominated by English in many respects for a century. Pierre Trudeau's Official Languages Act in 1969 clearly and firmly created language equality in all aspects controlled by the federal government, and this was reinforced in the new constitution of 1983. Canadians in all provinces and territories are entitled to service in either official language, and federal public servants must be functionally bilingual if dealing with the public.

    Visitors to Canada will note the bilingual labeling on all consumer items and the in flight announcements in both languages on Air Canada, but language integration goes deeper than that. Federal politicians with aspirations for cabinet roles are expected to be able to debate in both languages, and any national sport organization will make all its communications in French and English. Our national governing body for ski racing is Alpine Canada Alpin, known to most as ACA.

    All provinces have optional French Immersion programs in schools, where students receive all instruction in French and the regular grade curriculum is followed. Most school districts offer French immersion in all grades K-12. In the western provinces, enrollment sits at about 10%, but this artificially low due to a shortage of teachers with required qualifications for their subject as well as appropriate fluency in French. Places in French immersion schools are highly sought after and there is sometimes strong competition for them, as aspirational parents view immersion as a strong academic advantage for their children.
     
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  28. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Quite interesting, but (sincere question) does anybody outside Quebec really care?

    Or is forcing kids thousands of kilometres away to learn a language they will probably never use an imposition on ordinary people, with the only benefit that it makes the Quebecois nationalists slightly less noisy?
     
  29. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    What about First Nations languages?
     
  30. Roymond

    Roymond One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    1990 if I recall, I was at a conference in London. Started talking to a Canadian guy, from the prairies somewhere. He was moaning about the latest québécois separation referendum and giving them a serve saying’ sure, they can seperate, just pay the rest of us for the roads and public facilities’.
    It turns out the woman next to us was French Canadian from Montreal .
    She snapped at him ‘and it’s pigs like you that give us the incentive’.
    150 years of conflict wrapped up in one small conversation.
     
  31. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    How?
     
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  32. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    No one is made to enrol in French immersion; it's an optional program for families that want a more intense level of French instruction so that their kids become truly bilingual. All provinces must provide full curriculum instruction in both official languages, but mandatory bilingualism isn't a thing. In BC, grade 5-8 students all attend classes in a second language, but it need not be French; the school districts have the option of offering other languages to reflect BC's diversity.

    Quebec isn't the only province to have French speakers, although it certainly has the lion's share of them. New Brunswick has a more even proportion of french and english speakers than any other province, and there are isolated but noticeable pockets of French influence scattered across the country. Yes, only 20% of Canadians are native French speakers, but over four centuries, Canadians have come to accept that both English and French have a place in Canada. This is one more aspect of living in a federal democracy; the two solitudes co-exist.
     
  33. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Canadian Shield is a super-region that dominates the landscape of much of this massive country. It is the ancient geologic core of the north american continent, covering an area roughly the same size as Australia or the continental US and stretching from the Great Lakes to the Arctic Ocean. Although once the site of mountains higher than anything on the planet today, these have all been more or less leveled by erosion and are today just endless rolling hills. Glaciation has left a landscape of countless lakes and bogs, and has removed most of the topsoil. More than half of the world's northern boreal forest lies atop the Canadian Shield. The shield is roughly circular in shape, with low depressions being filled by the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay. Outer reaches of the Shield extend into the northern portions of Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota, and form the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. In Canada, the shield extends from northeastern Alberta across northern Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec to the Atlantic in Labrador. Greenland is also geologically part of the Shield.

    Although only sparsely settled today, early European visitors exploited the Shield to great advantage. Its cold subarctic climate supports enormous numbers of fur bearing mammals, and this of course was the driving force behind the initial settlement and exploration of the northern half of the continent. The fur traders used indigenous guides to show them canoe routes that literally crossed the continent utilising short portages to connect the lakes and rivers into an all-water route that reached from the St. Lawrence valley as far west as - and even beyond - the Rockies. Every spring, the voyageurs set off in their canoes from Quebec, along the St Lawrence, through the enormous stretches of the Great Lakes and then across the myriad small lakes of the Shield to Lake Winnipeg. Routes from there used various rivers through the boreal forests westward to the Rockies. Mule trains from the Pacific side brought furs to meet the canoe flotillas from the east, exchanging their season's worth of furs for more trade goods brought from Quebec. The voyageurs were mostly French Canadians and must have been unbelievably tough, as their normal schedules required them to average 50 km a day on their two month journey. This would have included numerous portages where 40 kg bundles of furs or trade goods had be transferred on foot as well as the heavy 11 m long birch bark canoes.
     
  34. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    One of the largest volume free trade agreements in the world is NAFTA (north american free trade agreement). In force since 1994, this complex document regulates trade in services, finances and goods between Canada, Mexico and the US. The economies of the three nations have become tightly integrated and cross border trade has more than doubled during the 25 years of NAFTA's existence. In all three countries, opinions about the good or bad that NAFTA has done are strongly polarised - a strong indication that the deal has been fairly equitable!

    At the behest of a certain orange-haired president, the NAFTA deal was renegotiated in 2018 and will be replaced by his catchily-named USMCA (US-Mexico-Canada agreement) once all three governments ratify it.
     
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  35. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    One of the most interesting off road trails in western Canada is the old Kettle Valley Railway grade. Completed in 1916, this crossed the southern portion of BC to provide an alternative to the CP Rail main line. Traveling east to west in a region where all the the mountains run north to south is no easy feat, and the KVR was reputed to be the most expensive line ever built in north America on a per mile basis. The provincial government actively encouraged the line to be built because they wanted better access to the mineral wealth of the Kootenay region, much of which was heading south - untaxed! - along easy valley routes into Washington, Idaho and Montana. It is generally believed that CP never recovered its capital construction costs before the line was shut down in 1980.

    The notorious Coquihalla Pass made famous by the Highway Through Hell reality show was originally occupied by the KVR line, with the highway not built until the 1980s. As well as being savagely expensive to build, the railway constantly struggled to stay open on this section. Annual snowfall in excess of 10 metres often overcame the rudimentary snow removal equipment of the day, and avalanches repeatedly buried the line. In the early years, the entire Coquihalla section was abandoned for the winter several times due to massive snowfall. Locomotive water tanks were drained and crews walked out and returned in the spring following a winter of bypassing the Coq by the much longer Merritt to Spences Bridge connector to the mainline.

    Today the rails stop in Castlegar, leaving 400 km of abandoned rail grade to follow westward to Hope in the Fraser Valley. The old grade has become a mecca for cyclists, hikers, XC skiers, and horse riders. It offers relatively easy grades through the huge mountains and is an ideal access route to real back country adventure. Many of the old trestle bridges are still in place and there are many hair raising places where the narrow grade clings to mountainsides or punches through rough-blasted tunnels. Only fragments are usable in the Coquihalla Canyon as the freeway largely follows its original route, but the rest is completely intact. Even a couple of old station buildings and wooden water towers still survive.
     
  36. Alex.C

    Alex.C One of Us

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  37. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Still some vehicle use of the old grade around here too, been going on since the rails were pulled up. Around the towns it's barriered off and clearly non vehicular, but there are so many access points out in the bush that it's hard to police. Lots of forest service roads cross the rail right of way and in some cases they use the line for short distances to access harvest locations. Gonna take a while to reverse habits and conventions built up over 30+ years.
     
  38. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The first documented European to land on the north american mainland was John Cabot (actually his name was Giovanni Caboto), who landed in modern day Newfoundland in 1497, just five years after Columbus' first visit to the Caribbean. He was an Italian sailing under letters patent issued by Henry VII of England, and blithely claimed the entire east coast for the English crown. He of course believed that he had found a sea route to Asia and was richly rewarded by the king upon his return. We now have archaeological evidence that Vikings established a settlement in Newfoundland around AD 1000, and it is possible that sea captains sailing out of the English port of Bristol may have crossed the Atlantic in the decades preceding Cabot.
     
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  39. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Basque fisherfolk were also fishing he Grand Banks before Columbus. They treated the knowledge as commercial in confidence and were very cagey about revealing the source of their fish. It is hard to imagine that they did not go a little further west and run into brown bits.
     
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  40. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    They probably did talk about it, but nobody could understand their incomprehensible language. ;)

    I think we should qualify a statement like that with 'probably' or 'may have' because (as far as I know), there's no really solid evidence for it apart from some folk tales that were first observed 400 odd years after the voyages allegedly took place.

    But I really, really want that story to be true, just like the bit dealing with Leif Erikson finding Canada in the Saga of Erik the Red was demonstrated to be at least partially true when they found the Viking base at L'Anse aux Meadows.
     
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  41. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Today is the 241st anniversary of the founding of the Montreal Gazette newspaper, the oldest daily newspaper in Canada. It is also one of only two English language newspapers remaining in Quebec. In 1778, it was the first all-French news sheet in British North America, and in its early days had a strong anti-British/anti-clerical/pro-independence stance. Its founder, Jean Mesplet, and his editor were arrested for sedition in 1779 and spent three years in prison. Mesplet revived the Gazette in 1785 as a dual-language publication, and after a series of ownership changes it became an English-only paper in 1822 and has remained so ever since.
     
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  42. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Even before the United States declared independence, it sent forces into Canada in an attempt to gain control of Quebec and convince the French settlers to support their fight against Britain. Following a defeat at nearby Fort St Jean in 1775, British forces abandoned Montreal and set up in the stronghold of Quebec City. There they soundly defeated the American besieging force and settled in for the winter. Heavy handed occupation policies turned the Montrealers against the Americans and very few of them joined the revolutionary cause. In the spring of 1776, reinforcements arrived from Britain and aided in pushing the invaders back to the south, although they were unable to turn this into a full scale counteroffensive.

    The occupation of Quebec remained a stated goal of Congress throughout the revolutionary war, but Washington believed that any further attempt would be an unnecessary diversion of resources away from the main war and did not pursue any other expeditions. History repeated itself in the war of 1812 when the Americans once again launched an invasion northward and expected the locals to support them, with similarly unsuccessful results.
     
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  43. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Most people know Canada and the US share the world's longest undefended land border, but a lesser known fact is Canada also has two neighbouring countries separated by maritime borders. Greenland at its closest point is just 26 km from Canadian territory. And just off the southern coast of Newfoundland lies the tiny island group of St. Pierre et Miquelon, a territory of France. This is the last vestige of the original French territory of New France that was established in 1534 and grew to millions of square kilometres and a population of 75,000 prior to its cession to Britain in 1763 following French defeat in the Seven Years' War.

    Today, St Pierre & Miquelon has a population of 6000 mostly French speaking people; a few are descendants of Basque fisherman who worked the Grand Banks for centuries. The islanders are French citizens with all rights accorded them. The French navy maintains one patrol boat for the islands' defence, and the Gendamerie National provide policing services. Official currency is the Euro, although Canadian currency is accepted by most businesses (but your change will probably be in Euros). The eight islands total just 242 sq km and are bare and windswept, with thin acidic soils unsuited for agriculture. Prior to the cod fishery being closed in 1992, the main economic activity was fishing; these days it is tourism. Visitors mostly arrive via a car ferry from Fortune, NL, although there is an airport capable of accommodating international flights.
     
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  44. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Canada produces 80% of the world supply of maple syrup, and Quebec accounts for 95% of Canadian production. The sap contains only 3-5% sugar when first tapped; it must be boiled and evaporated to produce the concentrated syrup. Quebec production is run through a supply management system with quotas allocated by a central organisation.
     
  45. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Maple Cartel!
     
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  46. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Of course. We also have an egg cartel, dairy cartel and wheat cartel. A perennial target for US trade negotiators and domestic 'economic realists'. But they've been there for decades and dont seem to be killing the economy.
     
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  47. azzski

    azzski Should know better Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    [​IMG]
     
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  48. azzski

    azzski Should know better Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    While I'm on theme here, this is a fun Simpsons twitter thread talking about the French and Quebecois dubs of the Simpsons.
     
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  49. Alex.C

    Alex.C One of Us

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    For those wondering what units you should use in Canada:

    [​IMG]
     
  50. gaz35

    gaz35 One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    do you need to ask - how old are you like you do in Aus