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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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    Canada has long been a welcoming home for immigrants. From the vigorous efforts of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1890-1914 period to the vast flow of Europeans in the post WW2 years, this tradition continues today with over 300,000 new permanent residents accepted each year. Roughly 25% of Canadian citizens were born outside Canada.

    Canada is also a world leader in refugee settlements, accepting about 75,000 annually. In most years this make Canada the number one country based on overall population. Currently, the majority of refugees come from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.
     
  2. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Volstead Act that federally prohibited the production, sale and consumption of alcohol in the US from 1920 to 1933 was a miraculous economic windfall for Canada. With wartime prohibition laws recently repealed, Canadians were free to manufacture all kinds of alcoholic beverages, and much of it was destined for the huge and thirsty market to the south. Most Canadian cities near the border have colourful stories of the 'rum runner' days, especially those where the border is a marine one. As much as 80% of this volume flowed from Windsor, ON to Detroit, MI. Apart from the region's concentration of population, the border there offers many possibilities: the 44 km long Detroit River or Lakes St Clair and Erie at either end. Vancouver and other Pacific ports had fleets of small fast boats that did local runs into Puget Sound or ran offshore to large mother ships that delivered to Oregon and California.

    Initially, the smuggling was small and local. An ordinary worker could buy a case of whisky in Quebec for $15 and sell it in New York for $120. As time passed, the bootleggers became larger and inevitably organised crime entered the industry. Export licensing designed to account for Canadian-produced alcohol was easily circumvented, with enough booze destined (on paper) for tiny St Pierre & Miquelon to pickle every single inhabitant a few times over.

    The Bronfman family started in Manitoba but soon moved to Montreal, where they acquired the Seagram brand and eventually grew it to become a market leader. The concept of Canadian whisky with its distinctive rye flavours became firmly established in the US during the prohibition years.
     
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  3. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The town of Fermont, Quebec is designed so that residents need not go outdoors unless required to for work. It was built in the early 1970s as a residential base for an iron ore mine and continues as such today. The original building is huge: 1.4 km long and 50 m high. It contains apartments, schools, shops and supermarket, a hotel, public pool and other sport facilities. It also provides a wind break for smaller homes and buildings on its lee side.

    Located on the Labrador peninsula close to the border with Newfoundland & Labrador, Fermont has a very cold subarctic climate. The vision was for a town where its 2500 residents need not go outdoors during the seven month period of freezing weather.
     
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  4. skifree

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

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    Prototype Moon Base?
     
  5. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    A friend lived in Calgary for a couple of years, In winter she went from a heated house to a heated garage to a heated car to another heated carpark to a heated office or mall. In her ordinary days she never went outside. In 2000 I spent a couple of days there. At that time downtown Calgary had 14 miles of overpasses and underpasses linking buildings. Outside was a choice, not a necessity.
     
  6. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not really. More a windbreak that is also a building. Known locally as The Wall, it contains the public access spaces like shops, hotel, etc as well as some apartments. But there are many normal single family homes built in its lee as the picture shows.

    [​IMG]

    1 - School, 2 - Health Centre, 3 - Fire hall, 4 - Sports Centre, 5 - Swimming Pool, 6 - Shops, 7 - Apartments, 8 - Hotel
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. skifree

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

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    Missed opportunity.;)
     
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  8. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    American train robber Bill Miner found fame, or at least notoriety, in Canada. After a series of jail sentences for armed robbery, Miner drifted north to BC in the early years of the twentieth century. He targeted CP Rail trains and is believed to be the originator of the term, "Hands up!" Due to their rail monopoly in the west, CP was highly unpopular at this time and his exploits made him famous and admired. To this day there are pubs and restaurants named for him, and treasure hunters remain convinced he cached valuables around southern BC that have yet to be uncovered.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Until the early 2000s, Canada was the world's largest producer of asbestos. Despite growing evidence of the dangers of asbestos, the huge mines in southeastern Quebec provided good jobs and the industry leveraged national unity issues to secure ongoing support from provincial and federal governments. In a sustained multi-party display of hypocrisy, use of asbestos in buildings was banned in Canada in 1987 while export to developing countries continued with government backing until the mines closed in 2012. Even then there was talk of reopening with government loan guarantees, and only in 2018 was a national ban placed on asbestos production.

    Perhaps the last play in the game took place this week. The town of Asbestos, Quebec, formerly home to the largest mine in the world, voted to officially change its name to Val-des-Sources.
     
  10. kylep

    kylep Cage rattler Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wow. As I read along I was hoping you were going to point to some use that was much safer or restricted than its widespread use in and around homes.
     
  11. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    wow that is slow. The asbestos mine at Wittenoon in WA was closed in 1966
     
  12. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Having said that, i installed asbestos fence in my first house in 1984
     
  13. bomber

    bomber One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you have ever been through the Wittenoom Gorges you can follow the veins of the asbestos mineral in the walls.
     
    #813 bomber, Oct 21, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
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  14. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Its all slow, we've 'known' asbestos is bad since antiquity.
     
  15. kylep

    kylep Cage rattler Ski Pass: Gold

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    Can't stand it... Wittenoom
     
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  16. bomber

    bomber One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I actually typed Wittenoom but saw Gareth spelt it differently. It was 1984 for heavens sake!
     
  17. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wittenoom closed for the same reason most mines close: it had ceased to be profitable. Politicians and lobbyists would have spun it along much longer if there had been a strong profit motive. Think tobacco.
     
  18. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think all the Wittenoom Gorges now comprise beautiful Karijini NP. I hiked Kalamina Gorge many years ago, and subsequently found out that it's the closest gorge to Wittenoom mine site and old township. Sure I saw map that indicated Wittenoom was just over the hill from the box canyon end of Kalamina Gorge. Even though the mine closed in the 60's, apparently you could still walk through the old town past the tailings close to the mine site for another 20 years or so, maybe longer.

    Kalamina Gorge..Is that the asbestos about half way up the wall ?

    Spectacular part of WA.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. bomber

    bomber One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cant remeber where we camped. Just slept in the back of the ute. No rangers or facilities then. Just checked out of Paraburdoo camp with a few BBQ packs and a carton for each day. It was early June so water was cold.
    Back to asbestos I think it is Chryosilite but the veins were only a few cms thick
     
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  20. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    but there seems to be a big delay between end of our mining to when asbestos procts themselves were discontinued
     
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  21. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Canada uses a postal code system based mostly on the UK's. A Canadian postal code has six alphanumeric characters in two elements of three, separated by a space and using the format A1A 1A1. Canada was one of the last major countries to introduce a national postal code system, starting it in 1971 with full implementation not complete until 1974.

    Other than Ontario and Quebec, each province and territory has all its codes starting with the same letter; eg, all BC postal codes start with V, Alberta codes start with T, and of course Yukon has Y all to itself. Due to their large population and land areas, Ontario and Quebec start with five and three different letters respectively. All Toronto codes begin with M and all Montreal codes begin with H.

    Canada Post divides the country into forward sorting areas (FSA), and the first three characters of the code are unique to each FSA. For example, my town of Penticton with 35,000 people is one FSA, designated V2A. Larger cities have multiple FSAs to cover their needs. Rural FSAs are designated by the use of the numeral 0 as the second character; for example the small towns and villages surrounding Penticton all have V0H as the first half of their code.

    The second element of three characters is the local delivery unit (LDU). In rural areas, the LDU designates an entire village or community, whereas in more urbanised areas the LDU is used to delineate specific streets and blocks, sometimes corresponding to a mail carrier's route.

    In theory, there are 7.2 million possible postal codes, but currently there are only 900,000 in use. Canada Post reserves some FSAs for special purposes and return mail.

    Bonus fact: Santa Claus has had his own official postal code since 1974. All mail to Santa should be addressed as follows:
    Santa Claus/Pere Noel
    North Pole/Pole Nord
    H0H 0H0
    CANADA
     
  22. bomber

    bomber One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think the Post Code at Campbell River in 1980 was V9W5E2?
     
  23. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Continuing the Santa subject: all letters mailed to Santa receive a written response. In the early 1970s, Canada Post employees noticed a growing number of letters to Santa, and they were being treated as undeliverable, so they started writing responses themselves. The volume of letters continued to increase and in 1983 Canada Post started an official letter-response program. Today more than a million pieces of mail are addressed to Santa annually, and the response program has roughly 12,000 volunteers helping with the effort, many of them current or retired postal workers. Some of the letters originate outside Canada, and care is taken to respond in the language in which the letter was written. The average volunteer devotes 21 hours to writing the response letters.
     
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  24. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    are you saying those Canadian kids are hust getting more gullible? LOL

    I'm presuming the resonses aren]'t vetted. very occasionally on a bad day how many kids get a reply saying "dear little shit - you are getting a lump of coal. Grumpy Santa!! LOL
     
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  25. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    So based on this info, Santa lives in downtown Montreal :whistle:
     
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  26. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well spotted! Yes, an officially sanctioned non conforming postal code.
     
  27. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sounds like you're volunteering to write letters...
     
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  28. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just a couple of days until Canada's official day of Remembrance, November 11, so a little trivia about Canadian military history might be in order.

    A small side theatre of WW2 is the little known Battle of the St Lawrence. This was fought between allied surface vessels and German submarines over a two and a half year period 1941-44. Several patrolling U-boats entered the huge Gulf of St Lawrence area to stalk and attack allied merchant shipping and naval defence vessels. This region is considered to be the largest river estuary in the world, covering an area of 225,000 sq km. Its waters are deep and there are three outlets to the open Atlantic.

    In the early days of the war, the Royal Canadian Navy was very small and almost all its vessels were tasked to convoy escort duties in the Atlantic. The Kriegsmarine exploited this, using U boats to cause disruption and fear amongst the merchant shipping industry and the region's coastal communities. Four allied naval vessels were sunk along with 23 merchant ship for a loss of almost 500 hundred lives. The allies were forced to reassign some escort ships from Atlantic to domestic duties, and for two years no Atlantic convoys were permitted to assemble and sail from Montreal due to the submarine risk in the St Lawrence estuary. This forced all convoys to assemble in Halifax and Sydney only, placing additional strain on the rail system to move troops and war materiel away from well-connected central Canada a further 1000-1200 km to the two Nova Scotia ports.

    Despite their strategic success under water, the U-boats were less successful with shore operations. Several attempts were made to drop off spies or pick up escaped POWs; all were intercepted, although no U-boats were sunk. By mid-1944, huge Allied shipbuilding programs and improved air coverage over the Atlantic allowed many more surface vessels to be devoted to anti-sub operations around the Gulf and its approaches. The Gulf Saint Lawrence became so dangerous for the U-boats that they were withdrawn and diverted to Atlantic operations. This was the first time that a foreign power had inflicted war casualties in Canadian territory since the War of 1812, and the last time since.
     
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  29. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Vimy Ridge is the Canadian Gallipoli. At least they won theirs.
     
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  30. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Tactical win, yes. Strategically meaningless like almost every other action of note on the Western Front. Nationalists in recent decades have co opted Vimy and bent it into a symbol of nationhood as their Australian counterparts have done with Gallipoli.
     
  31. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Border anomalies, part 4 (I think): the Northwest Angle.

    Back in the 19th century, the rich white men in foreign countries traded, bought and sold pieces of North America like baseball cards. In one deal, they set the border as following the centreline of the Great Lakes and then from the northwest corner of Lake of the Woods westward along the 49th parallel. The maps of the day were vague and incomplete, and they didn't send surveyors until well after the deal was made. Lake of the Woods turned out to have a more complex shape than the simple ellipse that was originally shown, and the northwest corner mentioned in the treaty was ambiguous, with several points fitting the description.

    A compromise was reached, which for various reasons created an enclave of US land and water territory north of 49 - the only portion of the lower 48 states to do so. The land portion is about 1400 sq km and has no towns to speak of, essentially an Indian reserve of a hundred or so inhabitants. Its only road access requires a 100 km drive from the Minnesota-Manitoba border and then re entry into the US through an unmanned video-link crossing. Domestic travel is by boat in summer or ice road in winter.
     
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  32. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Following the launch of Sputnik (1957) and the Americans' first satellite a few months later, Canada became the third country to construct and orbit a satellite. The Alouette I satellite was launched by a NASA rocket in 1962 and remains in orbit today. It was relatively sophisticated for its time and was functional for ten years, despite a projected service period of just one year.
     
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  33. Zeroz

    Zeroz A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    @sly_karma As our Canada expert, exactly how far is "moose tongue distance"?

    Is this a standard Canadian measurement? As in "The window should be three moose tongues wide, eh?"

    .
     
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  34. Zeroz

    Zeroz A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    more background

     
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  35. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Must be an Alberta thing. As if they don't have enough problems already.
     
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  36. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Top Canadian place names:
    • Point No Point, BC
    • Skookumchuck, BC
    • Stoner, BC
    • Salmon Arm, BC
    • Snafu, YK
    • Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump provincial park, AB (world heritage site!)
    • Vulcan, AB
    • Climax, SK
    • Elbow, SK
    • Happyland, SK
    • Forget, SK
    • Flin Flon, MB
    • Punkydoodles Corners, ON
    • Wawa, ON
    • Crotch Lake, ON
    • Emo, ON
    • Saint-Louis-du-Ha!Ha! (Yes, the TWO exclamation points are part of the official name)
    • Peekaboo Corner, NB
    • Balls Creek, NS
    • Bacon Cove, NL
    • Come By Chance, NL
    • D!ldo, NL
    • Spread Eagle, NL
    • Blow Me Down provincial park, NL
     
    #836 sly_karma, Dec 9, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2020
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  37. bomber

    bomber One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    What about Sexsmith AB?
     
  38. KneeDeep

    KneeDeep One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I'm a fan of Moosejaw. SK
     
  39. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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  40. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    I once submitted Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump to Column 8 in the SMH as my favourite place name. It made the electronic edition for a while but never made it to the print edition. Apparently someone thought it was offensive (even if true) and complained.
     
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  41. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Boooo party poopers
     
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  42. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah the prairies have some quirky names for sure. Good sized cities like Moose Jaw and Medicine Hat. Or try telling someone from outside Canada that you're from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Worse yet if you have to spell it out them.
     
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  43. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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  44. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Canada was the scene of the most sustained and extensive campaign of the Seven Years' War in the mid eighteenth century. Britain's defeat of French forces led to most of north america coming under its flag, and is considered to be the beginning of her rise as a global superpower. The climactic battle of the conflict (known as the French and Indian War in the US) was fought for the city of Quebec in 1759, with both the British and French generals dying of their wounds. The fall of Quebec left the fortified town of Montreal exposed and it capitulated two months later, leaving Britain in control of the St Lawrence valley and therefore of the only feasible route to the huge Great Lakes region in the centre of north america.

    The Seven Years' War was the first global conflict, with naval and land actions between France, Britain and their various allies and proxies occurring in Europe, South America, North America, the Caribbean and India. In the peace negotiations that brought the war to a close, France ceded almost all its north american possessions, with New France eventually becoming part of the bilingual duality that is now Canada. Britain took possession of Spanish Florida, and France was forced to cede its Louisiana territory to its ally Spain in order to hold on to more profitable colonies in the Caribbean and the then-valuable fishing islands of St Pierre and Miquelon. Settlers in Britain's American colonies gained confidence from their military contributions, which became a factor in their decision to seek independence a dozen years later.

    Both sides made extensive use of alliances with indigenous peoples, exploiting longstanding rivalries and territorial ambitions. Both sides ignored native interests and sovereignty in the peace settlements.
     
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  45. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Fun fact: James Cook (of whom you may have heard) made his name guiding the British forces up the St Lawrence to Quebec City.
     
  46. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    See post #157 in this thread. He also visited the BC coast and Newfoundland.
     
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  47. bomber

    bomber One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Read Pete the Pirates book on him, what an amazing person. Even Pete couldn’t paint him as bad. The world would have been very different with Cook.
     
  48. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Many amazing things about Cook. For me, the most notable of these is that he rose to receive a commission in the Royal Navy despite being from a humble farming family and his initial marine experience in coastal coal boats. He received just five years of formal schooling and yet developed mathematical and navigation skills to a level so elite that he was entrusted with command of a major scientific expedition and equipped with one of the very first chronometers acquired by the RN. The British military in those days was anything but a meritocracy, so he must have been a total rock star to advance in spite of his common beginnings.
     
  49. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Reference or link to book please.
     
  50. KneeDeep

    KneeDeep One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    James Cook: The Story Behind the Man who Mapped the World
    Book by PETER FITZSIMONS
     
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