10 Days That Shaped Modern Canada (Paperback)

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Revisiting ten notable days from recent history, Aaron W. Hughes invites readers to think about the tensions, events, and personalities that make Canada distinct. These indelible dates interweave to offer an account of the political, social, cultural, and demographic forces that have shaped the modern nation. The diverse episodes include the enactment of the War Measures Act, hockey's Summit Series, the patriation of the Constitution, the Multiculturalism Act, the cole Polytechnique Massacre, victories for gay rights, Quebec's second referendum on secession, The Tragically Hip's farewell concert, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and ongoing Black equality struggles. Each day represents a window on contemporary Canada, jumpstarting reflection and conversation about who we are as a nation and how we got here. Ten Days That Shaped Modern Canada is the perfect guide for all those curious about the forces that shape our country and about how we understand our place in the world.
The list of significant days are:
- The 13th of October, 1970. The day that then Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau uttered the phrase "Just watch me" when asked by a CBC reporter about how far he intended to go to end the FLQ crisis Front de lib ration du Qu bec]. Three days later he invoked the War Measures Act that curtailed the civil liberties of Canadians across the country.
- The 28th of September, 1972. The day Paul Henderson scored his famous goal in the dying seconds of the final game with the Russians in Moscow to win the Summit Series for Canada at the height of Cold War. The come-from-behind victory--which united the nation, in a way never seen before--revealed as much about Cold War politics as it did about contrasting hockey styles.
- The 17th of April, 1982. The day that the Constitution was patriated and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms enshrined within. The Charter would go on to shape many features of Canadian life, including preventing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and allowing women safe and legal access to terminate their pregnancies.
- The 21st of July, 1988. The day that the Multiculturalism Act was signed into law, thereby continuing the trend of transforming what had been a largely white and Christian Canada into one of the most diverse countries on earth.
- The 6th of December, 1989. The day of the cole Polytechnic massacre in Montreal, which began a national conversation on violence against women and subsequently led to a debate on gun ownership.
- The 25th of May, 1995. The day the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Egan v. Canada, a case brought to the Supreme Court by two gay men who sued Ottawa for the right to claim a spousal pension under the Old Age Security Act. Though the court ruled against them, all nine judges agreed that sexual orientation was a protected ground and that protection extends to partnerships of lesbians and gay men, paving the way for same-sex unions and the redefinition of marriage.
- The 30th of October, 1995. The day that the Quebec Referendum brought Canada to the brink of a constitutional crisis, one towards which it had been moving for years.
- The 2nd of June, 2015. The day that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its summary report that documented decades of injustices against Indigenous populations in, for example, the residential school system, and that set a path forward for reconciliation.
- The 20th of August, 2016. The day of The Tragically Hip's Last Concert in the band's hometown of Kingston, ON. The Hip, a band for which at least the Anglophone part of country had a special place in its heart because of, among other things, its Canadian-infused lyrics, had often functioned as a symbolic antidote to the hegemony of American imports.
- The 8th of March, 2018. The day federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz unveiled the new ten-dollar bill at a ceremony in Halifax with the portrait of Viola Desmond on it.

About the Author

Aaron W. Hughes is a Canadian scholar of Religion at the University of Rochester where he is the Dean's Professor of the Humanities, in addition to being the Philip S. Bernstein Professor of Religious Studies.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781772126327
ISBN-10: 1772126322
Publisher: University of Alberta Press
Publication Date: September 1st, 2022
Pages: 280
Language: English