Canada is a country that is independent and free. For the past 150 years there have been many different events that impacted the way the country is now. These events have greatly affected the Canadian culture and have shaped Canadians into the kind of people they are to this day. Every event had some form of controversy, there was more than one side, and there was always an opinion retaliating against another. Whether it was the government and citizens having a dispute, different countries going against each other, or even society breaking itself apart; there was always controversy. Various situations and movements have affected the great north.
It begins with the peoples case in 1929 which helped women become qualified to sit in the Canadian Senate, and it allowed women to be considered people with rights. With this became a continuing movement to push the boundaries of women’s rights across Canada and the world. Then, Camp X in 1941 was a secret special training school, originally designed to help join Britain and the US together when the US was forbidden to be involved in World War II. Finally, the Kyoto Accord created in 1997 is an international agreement that commits state parties to control and lower the amount of greenhouse gases used. The Kyoto Accord is still used to this day, in regards of global warming and all the harm it can do to our planet. All three of these events have molded the country of Canada into the country it is today.
Canada is a very diverse country, there are many different people from a variety of cultures moving or visiting Canada, and these different ethnicities and traditions have been accepted throughout the years, even if it has taken time. Like culture, gender has also been a big thing that took time to be accepted. In 1928, the Supreme Court decided that women were not considered “persons” in regards of the British North America Act, and because of that women were not qualified to become the Senate of Canada. This decision caused controversy had become enraging to women across Canada who believed they deserved the same rights of a human being; so five women activists had gone against the Supreme Court, and got the Privy Council involved. These five women had signed a letter to the Canadian government asking the government to look into the subject of letting there be a female senator. The government explained it would be an “act of justice to the women of Canada to obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada upon the point.”(1927), but they responded with a simple question.
“Does the word ‘Person’ in section 24 of the British North America Act, include female persons?” (1927). The women decided to take this to a higher power, so on October 18th 1929, the Privy council reversed the decision of the Supreme Court. They stated: “the word ‘persons’ in sec.
24 does include women, and that women are eligible to be summoned to and become members of the Senate of Canada.” (1929). As a result, women were eligible to become senate, and they were also considered persons. This topic is considered to be a political event because it was women against the government as the Supreme Court and Privy Council were involved. To fully get what they wanted to achieve, they had to go against the government until they were satisfied. Because of this event, Cairine Wilson was appointed Canada’s first female senate on February 15th 1930. Women were legally recognized as persons, and their rights could no longer be denied or ignored.
Inevitably women to this day are still trying to fight for equality, throughout the years the lives and future of women has improved, but there are still things that must be fought for. Because those five women never stopped trying to fight for something they wanted, women were legally considered persons, and that makes women to this day feel strong and empowered, allowing generations of women the power to protest and speak their issues to the canadian government and world. Another defining moment in Canadian history was when Camp X was created. As Hitler’s army was taking over Western Europe, opposing allies decided that the best thing to do was to get secret agents that could be dropped into enemy territory to easily collect intelligence and information; and cause any chaos that was needed. The US and Canada had no experience with sending secret agents to their enemies territory, so Britain stood alone. The US and Britain joined together to train an army of secret agents so they could fight Hitler and his Nazi’s, but in order to keep that alliance a secret (for fear of Nazi interference), the school was set up in Canada.
It was known as the “Special training school 103”, or “Camp X.” It was a controversial matter because it dealt with the turbulent war. A historian named Bruce Forsythe briefly explained the purpose of the camp. “Trainees at the camp learned sabotage techniques, subversion, intelligence gathering, lock picking, explosives training, radio communications, encode/decode, recruiting techniques for partisans, the art of silent killing and unarmed combat.” (2017).
A report stated that the graduates worked as “secret agents, security personnel, intelligence officers, or psychological warfare experts, serving in clandestine operations”. Many were captured, tortured, and executed; survivors received no individual recognition for their efforts.” (2010). One feature that the camp had, was Hydra. It was a highly intricate telecommunications relay station. Hydra sent and received allied radio signals worldwide.
The government explained that the device provided “an essential tactical and strategic component of the larger Allied radio network, secret information was transmitted securely to and from Canada, Great Britain, other Commonwealth countries and the United States.” (2015). In 1969, there was no more use for the Hydra. In 1944, the school was shut down, and in 1969 the whole camp was demolished.
This affected Canada because the school was located in Canada, and many Canadians joined the school and fought in the war. This topic is considered to be military because it dealt with World War II, the Cold War, and military services. This is vital to Canada’s history and the world’s history because without offering up our land for Camp X there would be a chance that the Nazi’s and Hitler could have won the war. Canadians can look back at this and remember all the Canadians, Americans and other countries that contributed to Camp X, and the win over the Nazi’s. Finally, something that still affects our planet and more prominent than ever is global warming.
The Kyoto Accord is a treaty that ensures that state parties have to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions with currently 192 parties committed to this treaty. This topic is controversial because many different countries are fighting against each other because not every country believes it exists, or they simply do not care. The main goal of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would stop dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” (2005).With the Kyoto Accord still carried out to this day, the world is hoping to see more progress with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This has affected Canada because they took part in a worldwide commitment, but in 2011 Canada pulled out of the accord. “Kyoto for Canada is in the past.
As such, we are invoking our legal right to formally withdraw,” stated by the environment minister, Peter Kent. (2011). He also expressed that this withdrawal will save $14 billion in penalties. Based on the economic situation, Canada was essentially forced to withdraw. This topic is a social event as it requires the world to come together to protect our planet, and there are many people involved. Including many celebrities, such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Pharrell Williams. This topic is very important to Canadian history because it reflects all Canadians. The way this topic is portrayed to society is a major thing, and society and the government need to really focus on the best thing to do, which is reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
This does not even just affect Canada, it affects the world. Focusing on something as significant as this really shows how much people actually care about their planet. As Leonardo DiCaprio stated, “You are the last best hope of Earth. We ask you to protect it or we, and all living things we cherish, are history.” (Before the Flood, 2016).
In conclusion, the smallest of events within our country have allowed and pushed forward positive movements and cemented our reputation as Canadians and what we stand for and represent as a whole. Through progressive steps in women’s rights in the persons case of 1929, that allowed for continuous discussions about women’s involvement and positions in society by allowing women a chance to represent themselves in senate. Following to Camp X in 1941, were Canada used its land as a pivotal holding ground for secret training to eliminate the Hitler/Nazi. Finally to the Kyoto Accord, which united nations together for a common goal of sustaining a livable planet in the future as it relies on human intervention to push back the effects its creating on the environment. As we move forward creating our own history, it is crucial that we reflect back on the events in our country that have allowed us to walk free surrounded by beauty, diversity and hope. In regards to what Leonardo DiCaprio said, all the living things that are cherished will be in history. If everything that is cherished and needed becomes history, there will be no future, or no way to create more history. All will be nothing.