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Today's fact about Canada

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

  1. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Today's trivia: JL Kraft, founder of the massive Kraft food empire, was Canadian born and raised. He moved to the US in his late 20s and founded his cheese business in the Chicago area, later recruiting his brothers to help as it expanded.

    In Canada, the mac and cheese product is labeled as Kraft Dinner, usually referred to as KD. Canadians eat a quarter of all mac and cheese sold worldwide, it is arguably the national food. The term KD covers any and all variations and is another case of a brand name becoming a generic name, akin to Hoover or Kleenex.
     
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  2. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    No promblemo in Oz, take Monday as a RDO, Tuesday as a PDO, Wednesday as a PH, shit may as well take Thursday & Friday as annual leave. Pretty common.
     
  3. Chalkie

    Chalkie A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've come close to buying a box at the supermarket to try out of sheer curiosity. My S-I-L says President's Choice from The Real Canadian Superstore (aka Loblaws) is better than KD. But each time I've been tempted, I've remembered I can make better mac and cheese from scratch!
     
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  4. southpaw

    southpaw One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Slight tangent here but am wondering if any Canucks or canuckophiles know if it’s possible to source the real squeaky cheese curds in Oz? I want to make poutine but am stumped in trying to source this ingredient.
     
  5. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Farmers markets. Independent organic dairy dudes do stuff like that.
     
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  6. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    make em?
    if it's just cows milk curds its pretty straightforward and cheap
     
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  7. southpaw

    southpaw One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I assumed it was a special québécois thing, I might have been over thinking it. Will definitely look into it.
     
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  8. southpaw

    southpaw One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Funny, I found bags of it everywhere in Canada but here haven’t seen any for sale.
     
  9. Chalkie

    Chalkie A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Reading this makes me want poutine!!!
     
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  10. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    yes, I remember exactly the same thing ! Massive displays of huge punnets of berries - the colours were amazing
     
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  11. southpaw

    southpaw One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Skiing and poutine a match made in heaven.
     
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  12. Chalkie

    Chalkie A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Somehow having poutine in summer seems a bit wrong.

    But I won't a little wrong stand between me and poutine. There's a not bad poutinerie on Main Street near my place - Frenchie's. Quite fun to watch hockey* there, eat# Montreal smoked meat sandwiches (which I think are better than their poutine) and poutine, and drink beer. Or do that before a hockey match* down at Rogers Arena. They're proud of their smoked meat and cheese curds which they import from Quebec.

    * In the olden days when we had hockey.
    # In the olden days when you could eat and drink indoors at Frenchie's.
     
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  13. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I reckon this thread is one of the best on this forum, it's quirky, informative, interesting, weird, educational, funny and most of all, Canadian.
    Thanks @sly_karma i love it :cheers:
     
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  14. southpaw

    southpaw One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Definitely agree!
     
  15. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Today's bit of trivia: NAFTA is no more. As of July 1st, the North American Free Trade Agreement is replaced by a modernized version, the USMCA (US-Mexico-Canada agreement). NAFTA came into being in 1994 after a lengthy negotiation and ratification process, binding the three countries into one of the world's largest trading blocs - roughly 500 million people and 20% of world GDP

    Interestingly the original impetus for NAFTA came from President Reagan, who actually campaigned with a promise of making such an agreement happen. His Canadian counterpart, Brian Mulroney, was also from a conservative party. How political stances have changed.
     
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  16. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Although O Canada was first performed in 1880, it did not become the official national anthem until a century later. The original lyric was in French, and has remained unchanged. The English translation has received three changes, the most recent in 2018 to remove gender references.
     
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  17. Chalkie

    Chalkie A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    The French version is hard to sing! The rhyming metre is very tricky. I've had to listen to a few recordings to work out how to divide up the French words to fit the tune.

    The English lyrics fit the tune much better.

    The Canadian flag, national anthem and royal anthem are the best!!!
     
  18. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The world's largest fly fishing rod is in the small central BC logging town of Houston. The rod is 18 metres high and has been standing since 1990, a celebration of the town's revered place in the world of river fishing. In the fall and early winter, fisherman from all over the world come seeking the steelhead, an ocean going Trout that is prized for its huge size and even bigger fight. Steelhead are fickle feeders and are known as the Fish of a Thousand Casts. To top it all off, they're highly protected and therefore catch and release fishing only.
     
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  19. KneeDeep

    KneeDeep One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I prefer fillet and release!
     
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  20. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah that's my usual MO as well. But... catch just one steelhead and you're addicted. Big strong fish with fast running rivers on their side. Huge fights, lots of air time, numerous runs. At the end of it you're happy to let a worthy opponent have another go round.
     
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  21. KneeDeep

    KneeDeep One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Sounds similar to the Kingfish we target at Narooma, just about pull your arms off.
     
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  22. Chalkie

    Chalkie A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    And I have to say, just eat one steelhead (I gather those that I'm eating are farmed though) and you're addicted. I think they're better eating than either salmon or trout - as one of the other names ("salmon trout") for steelhead suggests, it combines the best of both worlds.
     
  23. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sounds good but I have this thing about paying for seafood. Already it costs me plenty to own and travel to a coastal recreational property, and those fishing charters aren't free either. So the shellfish I gather and finfish I catch definitely come at a price. But to plunk down more cash at the market for farmed stuff... ummm no. Although - news flash - my DIL brought back a bunch of lobster from NS a fortnight ago and we did give her some money for those: $5 each, steal of a deal. She knows people with boats.
     
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  24. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Since Confederation, Quebec has had a varying degree of enthusiasm for remaining within the federation. Sovereigntists coalesced in the late 1960s to form the parti Quebecois, a provincial political party dedicated to advancing the province's rights and independence within Canada, and ultimately constitutional negotiations between Quebec and the other Canadian provinces for a "sovereignty-association" pact. The PQ became a broad-appeal party due to its social democratic ethos and has formed government for half of the past 50 years. There is a parallel (but not formally linked) federal party, the Bloc Quebecois (BQ) that votes strategically to secure advantages for its home province but has never had sufficient numbers to form government.

    Concerns of the separatist movement focus mostly on the perceived threat of assimilation of Quebecois language, identity, religion and culture into the English-speaking majority in Canada. For the most part, the movement has been peaceful, but in the late 1960s there were incidents of violence and terrorism. Extremist group Front de Liberation du Quebec (FLQ) carried out bombings and armed robberies, culminating in the kidnap and murder of the province's deputy premier in October 1970. This period saw the only peacetime implementation of the War Measures Act in Canadian history, following appeals for military support from the city of Montreal and the premier of Quebec to the federal government. Since this time, the mainstream separatist groups have eschewed violence and have sought to advance their cause through negotation, diplomacy and electoral pressure. This has led to two provincial referenda on the topic of sovereignty, in 1980 and 1995. The latter was a close result with just 50.58% voting to remain in Canada. Sovereignty remains an enduring part of the political landscape in Quebec today, although polls indicate that a majority would vote to remain in Canada if a vote were to be held.
     
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  25. bigwhite-rameok

    bigwhite-rameok Hard Yards

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  26. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah he was a little miffed.
     
  27. robbo mcs

    robbo mcs One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    There is a song I like by barenaked ladies, "we will be waiting". I heard an interview with them, and the song is about the build up and politics prior to the referendum in 95. Once you realise that is what it is about, the lyrics kind of make sense ;)
     
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  28. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Although the US has held the Bald Eagle as its national symbol for more than two centuries, there are probably more of them in Canada. This would be a certainly if Alaska was excluded from the count. The good news recovery of the iconic bird from the brink of extinction also had help from Canada. The eagle was always plentiful on the BC and SE Alaska coast even in the darkest days in the 1950s and 60s when fewer than 500 breeding pairs were left in the contiguous US. Numerous breeding pairs were relocated from the BC coast to locations in the Pacific coast states to help kick start the process. The banning of DDT pesticides in the late 60s and stringent legislative protection in all three north american nations has allowed populations to rebound and thrive, and bald eagles are no longer on the endangered species lists. They range across almost all of Canada save for the high arctic. In January, the village of Brackendale near Whistler is host to a seasonal gathering of eagles that converge there to feast on a rare (for the time of year) salmon spawning run. More than a thousand individual birds have been counted.
     
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  29. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Plus I know this one spot on the WCVI where an eagle waits for returning fishing boats. You throw a fish carcass up high and it takes it before it hits the water. Crafty eagle.

     
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  30. southpaw

    southpaw One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Touring around Banff I saw a bunch of people by the side of road with some serious camera gear trained on something in the distance. Pulled out the binoculars and realised it’s was nesting Bald Eagle, magnificent, was only sorry that I didn’t have a proper zoom lens to capture it.
     
  31. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Does the eagle still know enough about how to fish to get thru the months there are no boats to toss an easy meal?
     
  32. robbo mcs

    robbo mcs One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    They are very easy to spot in Squamish in peak season. Once I was travelling with my daughter, and we caught the transfer bus from YVR to Whistler. Driving along the sea to sky highway we saw at least a dozen eagles roosting in trees as we drove through Squamish / Brackendale. Magnificent creatures :):)
     
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  33. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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  34. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    They are versatile opportunists, they find food just fine. Baldies are fish eagles and always live near water, but fish are maybe 60% of their diet.
     
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  35. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Bald eagles and ospreys both nest near water as they are fish eaters. Both species like a prominent tall tree with good sightlines in all directions. Sometimes they choose a power pole and use the crossbar at the top as a convenient base for the nest. They add to the nest every year and the stack of dry twigs and small branches can become quite large. Eventually the nest becomes a fire hazard if it shorts against power conductors. There are recorded cases of bushfires being started by this occurrence.

    It is a fairly common sight in BC to see a utility pole set by itself a few metres from a power line and holding a wooden platform with a large osprey nest. Utility workers have become adept at relocating a nest to the nearby safe position and the birds seem to accept it.

    This is what you don't want:


    So you put up a new pole and give them a safe home.

     
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  36. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Canada has five major political parties vying for votes at the federal level, but over the 153 years since confederation, government has been formed by only two of them, the Liberals and Conservatives. Of the remaining three, the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Green Party both run candidates in all 338 federal ridings. The Bloc Quebecois seeks election in only the 78 ridings in Quebec. Despite this apparent structural limitation, the Bloc has played a role in many minority governments and advocates effectively for its home province.

    The NDP is a social democratic party with strong ties to the union movement that traces its roots back to the 1930s and positions itself to the left of the centrist Liberals. In some elections they split the progressive vote, resulting in a Conservative victory, but at other times they have supported a minority Liberal government (as is the case at present) and have been able to advance elements of their agenda.

    The Green Party was founded in 1983 but only elected its first MP in 2011. Currently it has a caucus of just three MPs, but in 21st century elections it has steadily received 6-7% of the popular vote and qualifies for official party status and the funding that goes with it. A change to the electoral format away from the traditional 'first past the post' system to some form of proportional representation would see a considerable number of seats fall to the Greens. It is unsurprising that this is a major policy aspiration for the Greens.

    This multi-player landscape results in a softer, more faceted political scene than in many democracies. With so much attention paid by Canadian media to events in the US, it is probably all that prevents the adoption of scorched earth politics north of the border.
     
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  37. Chalkie

    Chalkie A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Softer, calmer, more thoughtful, less hysterical, somewhat (but not entirely) less rhetoric driven, less classist, more traditionalist, more statesmanlike are some of the vibes I've been getting since I've arrived. I don't mean to suggest that Canadian politicians don't ever misstep (which of course they do), but there definitely seems to be a calmer and more earnest approach than might be observed in some other places.
     
  38. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    It might seem counterintuitive but I think the appointed senate helps on this front. No fringe parties electing one or two wing nuts who end up holding balance of power despite having insufficient character for the task.
     
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  39. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The long Canadian coastline is made much longer by numerous fjords. The coast of BC in particular is dominated by fjord geography. Rising sea levels after the last ice age flooded these old glacial valleys and created steep sided inlets that interrupt the coastline repeatedly all the way to Alaska. Many visitors to BC will be familiar with the drive to Whistler on the renowned Sea To Sky highway along Howe Sound. This and Burrard Inlet, the body of water on which Vancouver is located, are both fjords.

    With most BC place names given by English navigators such as Cook and Vancouver, the word fjord almost never appears on charts, but rather they used Passage, Channel, or Inlet for the profusion of fjords. Some inlets run over 100 km inland from their opening and they afford boaters amazing opportunities to view the otherwise inaccessible Coast Mountains. Glimpses of glaciers and ice fields are often seen from sea level.

    Other Canadian provinces have fjords as well. Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland is an example of a rare freshwater fjord - conventionally formed by glaciation, with a combination of terminal moraine and landslides cutting the fjord off from tidewater in recent geological time. There are also fjords on Baffin Island in Nunavut and in several locations of the northwest territories, mainland Labrador and far northern Quebec.
     
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  40. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Montreal was Canada's premier city for centuries, before being supplanted by Toronto in the late twentieth century. Before this it was very much the power base for Canadian business and finance, but the unrest and occasional violence of the separatist movement caused many corporations to move their head offices to Toronto. This momentum also led to the dominance of the Toronto stock exchange over the entire nation's trading industry. Today, Bay Street is analogous to New York's Wall Street.

    Montreal was founded on an island in the St Lawrence at the head of navigation for sea going vessels. Powerful rapids here prevented large craft from going any further into the interior of the continent and all connections to inland trade routes were by canoes paddled by the famous voyageurs.

    Although the city has spread far beyond its original footprint on the Ile de Montreal, and the St Lawrence has been tamed with locks and channels for large commercial ships, there is still a series of rapids on one of the river's side channels. A small but vibrant community of locals surfs the standing waves formed by the rapids. No waiting for swell from the right direction or offshore wind!
     
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  41. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The world's largest publisher of romance novels, Harlequin, is a Canadian company headquartered in Toronto. Harlequin was founded in 1949 in Winnipeg as a reprinter before easing into the romance category. As well as publishing novels by its own stable of writers, Harlequin entered into a handshake deal with Mills & Boon for north american distribution rights for the UK publisher's large romance catalogue. The profits from the US/Canada romance sales proved to be so substantial that Harlequin was able to buy Mills & Boon outright in 1971.

    Today, sales exceed $600 million annually and Harlequin is now owned by international publisher HarperCollins. There's real money in trashy potboilers.
     
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  42. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Although its main stem lies entirely within the US, some of the watershed of the Mississippi River is within Canada. The Milk River drains small portions of southern Alberta and Manitoba before flowing south and east into the Missouri and onward to the big river itself. Approximately 1% of the Mississippi's 1.1 million square kilometre watershed is north of 49.
     
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  43. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Truely a watershed moment - Er...finding!

    I don’t know all the stats SK but the Colombia River in your parts is pretty interesting. Don’t the yanks complain about the Canadians taking too much water before it crosses down into Washington?

    (This Van-born Canuk-Oz should look it up and supply to the followers!) ;)
     
  44. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Columbia is a shared river, yes. It rises in BC on the west slope of the Rockies, as does its major tributary the Kootenay River. The Columbia River Treaty has been in effect since the sixties and governs flood control and power generation, but not irrigation or environmental issues. The US began building dams on the lower Columbia in the 1930s (Grand Coulee and Bonneville Dams) without meaningful consultation with Canada. The massive and destructive flood of 1948 convinced their planners that proper flood control was not possible without dams and storage on the Canadian upper Columbia to spread water discharge out instead of being subject to the huge spring freshet. Four dams were built under the Treaty's tenure in addition to those built unilaterally on the lower Columbia and its US tributaries.

    Canada takes little water for irrigation as the terrain around the upper river is uniformly mountainous and provides only minute areas of arable land. Power generation revenues are shared - the so-called Canadian Entitlement amounts to about 5 GWh per year, which is sold on the north american power grid for roughly $200 million into the BC coffers. The US does irrigate extensively in the wider, flatter valley around the lower river, but these withdrawals are not part of the international treaty.
     
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  45. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Of the four dams built under the Columbia River Treaty, the Libby Dam was the only dam wall constructed in US territory. Although not on the main stem of the Columbia and less necessary for flood control, the reservoir created backs up water for almost 70 km such that that part of it is in BC, thus requiring Treaty terms to deal with the implications of straddling an international border. A submission by a local resident won the competition held to devise a name for the new lake, and to this day it is called Lake Koocanusa - sounds vaguely indigenous but in fact is a compilation of the first three letters of Kootenay (River), Canada, and USA. People visiting the east kootenays area will cross the lake in its very upper reaches on the highway between Cranbrook and Fernie.
     
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  46. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    In Quebec's Laurentian Mountains, near Mont Tremblant, is the site of Le Studio. In its heyday in the 70s and 80s, musicians from all over the world came here to record. Owner Andre Perry created a lakeside residential and recording retreat in the hills where artists could live and create as they felt led, and the concept was a hit. Canadian supergroup Rush referred to Le Studio as their Abbey Road. Canadian and International acts that recorded here included Chicago, Bee Gees, Sting, Keith Richards, Bare Naked Ladies, The Police, April Wine, Cat Stevens, The Cult, David Bowie, Queensryche, Celine Dion, Sarah McLachlan, Bryan Adams and Jeff Healey.

    Perry sold Le Studio in 1988 and over time it fell out of fashion and eventually into disrepair and vandalism.
     
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  47. Chalkie

    Chalkie A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Here is a photo from 2 days ago of the part of the Columbia River called Upper Arrow Lake, taken from where Begbie Falls meets Upper Arrow Lake. You can see Revelstoke ski hill in the left of the photo. The Arrow Lakes are described as "widenings" of the Columbia River, but they were originally two lakes 22km apart, and became one lake 230km (!!!!) long when the Keenleyside Dam came into operation. One of the things that continues to amaze me about Canada is the sheer volume of fresh water moving about. The amount of fresh water we saw on our road trip to Revelstoke was mind-boggling (from an arid Australian perspective). The maximum depth of the Upper Arrow Lake is 287m (the maximum depth of Sydney Harbour is 60m!). The Arrow Lakes contain 8,760 gigalitres (8.76 km³) of fresh water (Warragamba Dam has a capacity of 2,031 gigalitres (2.031 km³); Sydney Harbour contains approximately 500 gigalitres (0.5 km³)). And the Arrow Lakes are mostly for flood control and hydro generation!

     
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  48. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    They used paddle wheelers on the Arrow Lakes in the old days. Must have been challenging to handle the enormous variations in water levels and flows. Apparently they were shut down most years by heavy ice in mid to late winter and again in spring some years when the steam engines didn't have enough power to battle the freshet. The CPR line crossing the Columbia at Revelstoke made a convenient connection point to the transnational network and the sternwheelers opened up the entire valley to the rail.
     
    #748 sly_karma, Jul 23, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
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  49. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    The amount of fresh water in Canada is unthinkable and unimaginable.
     
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  50. rugbyskier

    rugbyskier One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    The same thing happens on the Isar River in Munich. One of the branches of the river flowing close to the city centre has a permanent wave that gets quite large during the snowmelt period. The locals surf the wave and being German it's all quite ordered, everyone has a turn and has to bail out after a certain time.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/river-surf-munich_n_5111268
     
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