Friday, December 3, 2010

Canada’s Aging Baby Boomers: Planning Health Insurance for the Future

The first of Canada’s aging baby boomers are poised to turn 65, and with this milestone birthday comes a variety of new health care concerns. In response to these changing medical needs, the Canadian health care system is preparing to handle some 10 million boomers whose reasons for visiting the hospital will range from hearing loss to long-term care. The aging of this Canadian demographic is inevitable, but falling into financial debt in order to pay for these services can be avoided. By thinking ahead to what medical services may be required, individuals are able to customize their health insurance accordingly.

X-RayLiving in a country like Canada where health care is provided for all is an undeniable luxury. Yet, despite the many benefits of Canadian health care, there are gaps that exist in coverage. These gaps dictate the need for supplementary health insurance. Sadly, there are many instances where people have met with unexpected illness, but there are also many health issues that can be planned for. Aging is one such issue.

Some of the most common services required by seniors include: x-rays for weakening bones, a visit to the podiatrist for any number of foot related issues and testing and fitting hearing aids for hearing loss. Each of these services may be an inevitability for the aging individual, but they may not all be covered by the Canadian government. Provincial health plans vary from province to province with certain provinces offering a proscribed amount of money yearly for various necessities, such as a trip to the podiatrist. A visit to a specialized doctor or the purchase of a hearing aid can be very costly, and with little to no coverage, people are often left with a substantial financial burden. Supplemental health insurance is the best way for seniors to plan for and minimize these costs.

Opting for supplemental health insurance allows you to customize your plan to suit your individual needs. For many seniors, the prospect of spending time in a hospital is not a pleasant one, but with supplemental coverage, a private room in a health care facility can make the stay more comfortable. Not only does health insurance ease the worry that individuals may have concerning their own personal welfare, but it also helps to assuage the fears of family members on whom the burden of long-term care would fall.

As ten million Canadians begin to approach the time in their life when retiring is imminent, it becomes a necessity to plan for whatever eventualities the future might hold. Thinking ahead to answer the various demands of aging helps guarantee a peace of mind for yourself and your family and ensures that you are ready to face the challenge of life’s milestones.

About the Author:
Anna Dorbyk is the editor for Canada Health Insurance and is a graduate student in Communication Studies at Concordia University. For more information on health insurance for Canadians please visit www.canada-health-insurance.com.

Jasper - Travel to Canada's Rocky Mountain Paradise

Mention the Canadian Rockies, and most people instantly think of Banff. As the main tourist destination in the Rockies, Banff is very much a commercial town geared to tourism. But for those who like their Rockies a little quieter, 250 kilometres north is paradise - the town of Jasper.

July and August are the peak times to visit Jasper, but if you don't mind colder weather and like your lakes frozen, you can avoid some of the tourists by visiting in the few months either side. The weather can be haphazard, so allow a little flexibility in your plans.

Six kilometres south of Jasper is Whistler Mountain. If you visit early or late in the day, you will most likely hear the melodic sounds made by the whistling marmots living on the lower slopes of the mountain. Early birds can also get cheaper tickets on the Whistler Mountain gondola. The terminus is at 2,500m, with spectacular views south to the Columbia Icefields, and west to Mount Robson.

For those who prefer to look up at mountains, there are plenty of beautiful lakes close to town, all surrounded by snow topped peaks. Patricia and Pyramid Lakes, 8km north-west of town, are small and quiet. They have beaches just begging for picnickers to sit on them and admire the view after a tranquil lunch. Herds of elk and deer roam the area, and if you're very lucky, you may spot a coyote or a black bear.

Maligne Lake is south of Jasper, and is the largest of the glacier fed lakes. A boathouse from the 1920s completes the storybook setting. There are a couple of excellent hikes in the area, taking full advantage of the beautiful scenery.

Nearby is Maligne Canyon, a narrow cleft through the rocks filled with roaring water during the spring thaw. It's also home to a very active herd of big horn sheep, who can jump out of nowhere to startle tourists.

For those visitors who like more leisurely pursuits, it is possible to swim in Lakes Annette and Edith near town. Situated at around 1000m, they are popular during the summer months, although it's still not advisable to take a lengthy swim in the icy waters.

After a few hard days of sightseeing, go for a leisurely drive about 40km towards Edmonton. At the sleepy little town of Pocahontas (she certainly got around!) take the turnoff to Miette Hot Springs. The renovated spas contain two pools, and are a welcome respite for tired bodies. On the way there you may be lucky enough to see mountain goats beside the road, although they're more likely to be perched on a cliff high above you.

Another excellent drive is route 93A, which was the original road heading out of Jasper towards Banff. Now preserved as a scenic route, the road offers a number of interesting stops. Keep your eyes open, particularly during the quieter times early and late in the day, because wild life abounds here. Mother bears with their cubs have been seen chomping on berries right beside the road!

The aptly named "Meeting of the Waters" marks the place where two rivers join together. During the spring thaw this meeting can make for spectacular waterworks. Further along, it is worth taking the time to visit Moab Lake. A pleasant walk ends with the magnificently sited lake, mountains hovering in the background.

Skiers visiting in winter will certainly want to make the trip to Marmot Basin, a popular ski resort south of Jasper on 93A. In summer, however, it looks much the same as any other deserted ski field, except for the breathtaking scenery.

One of the final stops before the road rejoins the main highway is the Athabasca Falls. A raging torrent in spring, the fierce waters tumble and crash over hundreds of smoothed boulders. The adventurouss can explore further up the river, but wear shoes with a good grip.

When the time comes to leave Jasper, there are two major routes. Those who arrived by train can continue their journey either east to Edmonton and on across the Canadian plains, or west to Vancouver. This route takes you on one of the most spectacular train journeys in the world, with incredible scenery in every direction.

For those travelling by car, allow plenty of time to explore the 230km Icefields Parkway which connects Jasper to Banff, with a slight detour to Lake Louise. The road follows a valley through the Eastern Mountain Ranges, and offers spectacular scenery and plenty of wildlife. By the end of the day you'll probably have a stiff neck from craning upwards to see the view.

The Sunwapta Falls are set in chunky terraces of rock, and it's worth taking a short stroll to the viewing platform. Peyto Lake is a beautiful glacial lake, but should only be visited when the snow clears, otherwise the gentle uphill stroll can become a mammoth battle through waist high snow drifts.

Another beautiful stop is the Tangle Falls. Intrepid visitors can do some exploring here, rewarded by a close up look at the rushing waters. The best known stop, however, is Athabasca Glacier. This glacier has been steadily retreating for years, and there are date markers so you can see the gradual regression. It is possible to take a truck ride on the ice, or you can simply walk from the car park. Be warned - the weather can change very rapidly during your visit, so be prepared.

The Weeping Wall is particularly interesting after or during rain, with thousands of tiny waterfalls pouring down its rough faces. And for those nature lovers with a penchant for moose, try visiting Waterfowl Lake at either end of the day. It's home to a number of these huge creatures.

The Icefields Parkway continues on to Lake Louise, the magnificent setting for scenes in the movie "The Bodyguard". Finally the road reaches Banff, leaving the peace and quiet of the wilder Jasper behind for good.

Exploring the Canadian Rockies is a must for lovers of rugged, mountain scenery. For those who want to experience the Rockies and its wildlife as closely as possible to how it would have been centuries ago, Jasper is the perfect base. The Rockies are waiting for you.

About the Author
Travelling in Canada is a much loved past time for the author. Check out http://www.travelcanadainfozone.com or http://www.travelcanadainfozone.com/jasper/ for more information.

Canada Internet Merchant Account

If you knew that a Canada Internet merchant account could dramatically improve profits and reduce overhead costs, would you get one? Well, the good news is that it can and you should! A merchant account conveys a host of benefits that can help your business expand to meet the demands of today’s time-conscious consumers. To apply for your merchant services account, simply follow the following easy steps.

1. Apply for a Canada Internet merchant account through a reputable banker, loan agent, or financial underwriter. You may be able to work with a banker with whom you have already established a business relationship. Or you can shop around for a better deal if you feel your bank is asking too much money for too few benefits. These accounts can be quite competitive, so it pays to browse a host of providers in your town or on the Internet, where financial offers are waiting for your perusal. Just do a search for merchant accounts or merchant services, and you will soon find that a number of potential lenders will pop up on your screen. You also may want to get the names of other financial institutions from colleagues, friends, and family members who already have successful merchant accounts.

2. Check out possible Canada Internet merchant account providers by running their names through a business checking service, like the Better Business Bureau. While this is not a comprehensive background check or a certification of the lender’s ability to meet your needs or keep its promises, it does provide a starting place for ensuring that the provider is not a total fraud and may be somewhat likely to live up to its promises. You also can check out online testimonials or ask for references. If the company has a longstanding history of providing merchant services, there is a fairly good chance that it will work out well for you, too.

3. Browse available services offered by Canada Internet merchant account providers. Perhaps the most sought-after benefit is the ability to offer credit card payment processing services to clients who shop at your Internet site. Find out how much this service will cost through your choice of Canada provider, and determine whether the benefits are worth the asking price. You may end up paying some of the expenses yourself, such as a domain registration and site-hosting fee, but this is to be expected from just about any provider. It is important to compare fees among various lenders to get the most affordable package. Some underwriters will ask for an application fee or an annual membership fee, as well as several other types. Look for the lowest available costs before deciding on the provider you want to work with.

4. Find out which services will by covered by your choice of Canada Internet merchant account underwriter. Some companies may provide free monthly statement printouts while others charge for this service. You also need to check service rates, which typically are billed by a few cents per transaction or via a low monthly interest rate. Set up your company budget and evaluate your customers’ buying patterns to figure out which billing method will work most in your favor.

Finding the right underwriter will help you to maximize your Canada Internet merchant account.

About the author:
Dane Collins is with Merchant Digital http://www.merchantdigital.coma nationally recognized merchant account provider. Start accepting credit cards today: http://www.merchantdigital.com

Health Insurance for Canada Travel

While we as U.S. residents think often about travel insurance coverage when we're traveling overseas we're not so quick to worry about health insurance for Canada travel. This is especially true if our voyage to Canadian provinces is by car and not by air. We don't expect to need health insurance for Canada travel to protect us from exotic diseases or militant uprisings.

Health insurance for Canada travel should not be ignored, however. Your medical insurance provider in the U.S. will typically only cover a medical emergency in Canada if the emergency was precipitated in the U.S. and the nearest emergency medical care is Canadian. This is especially true if you're a senior citizen whose only form of medical insurance is Medicare. Health insurance for Canada travel is, therefore, a must.

When you're shopping for coverage you'll want to consider several things in your decision. They are: what is excluded from coverage (what particular incidents and situations would your trip coverage not reimburse you for); what sports you can participate in and still be covered by your health insurance for Canada travel; whether you might be excluded from coverage for a pre-existing condition? and if there is a deductible?

The coverage that is customary is for hospital stay, although the per day limitations and ceilings will vary plan to plan; medical care, in-patient and outpatient, including physician fees, as well as those for any nursing care, surgery or anesthesia; medical testing such as x-rays and laboratory work; transportation to or from medical care by ambulance; medical care provided by a private RN (registered nurse); medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, splints and slings; prescription medicine; and the cost of repatriation of the remains of a deceased member of your travel group.

Probably the most crucial part of the plan your choose for health insurance for Canada travel must be good coverage in the case of an emergency evacuation back to your home for medical reasons. This is especially true if you are traveling by airline. The cost of changing travel plans, especially if you've purchased non-refundable tickets and must now arrange a new flight last minute can be exceedingly costly. Even from Canada, you must assume a cost of $10,000 for this coverage alone.

Planning ahead by purchasing health insurance for Canada travel will go a long way towards making your Canada vacation a serene stay.

by: Steve Cogger

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Maple Leaf Flag and Canadian National Identity

There are many different symbols to represent Canadian identity. Prior to 1965, Canadians did not have an official to flag that symbolizes Canadian culture. Although, Canada did have a flag with the Union Jack that deprived Canadian uniqueness. When Prime Minister Pearson came to office in 1963, he saw Canadian identity was shattered and neglected. He decided to have an official Canadian flag even though he risked losing the majority government. Finally, as a consequence of his courageous debates, maple leaf became the newest official flag representing Canadian Identity, with out discriminating any ethnic background, and it re-uniting Canadians.

First, the maple leaf was a unique symbol born to represent Canadian Identity even before Pearson was elected to the office. In WWI, WWII, and Boer war solders used to ware maple leaf on their uniforms, helmets, and badges. Even though, in WWI, Canadian soldiers had to ware the same uniform as Britain, they realized the importance of Canadian identity. Therefore, many patriots considered the maple leaf as a true Canadian symbol. Furthermore, maple leaf was used as an important decoration in Canada in the late 1800s and early 1900s. For example, when the Price of Wales came to Canada in 1860, maple leaf was the one that entertain everybody’s eyes. Moreover, between 1876 and 1901, the maple leaf was featured on all Canadian coins. Many people believed that maple leaf was an exceptional Canadian representation only stands for Canada. Therefore, having a strong uniqueness and idealism for over a century, the great debate over Canadian flag ended with a one apparent decision – the maple leaf.

Secondly, the maple leaf values the multiculturalism, without discriminating people from different ethnic backgrounds. The Union Jack was one of the main sources that helped emerged a crisis in Quebec. Quebecker dislike the Union Jack, which they consider it would discriminate their values. Many of them said it represent the invasion of Quebec by Britain. Though, on the other hand, the maple leaf does not neglect or exaggerate anybody in Canada. It emphasizes equate more than any other aspect. As a result, Canadian should be proud to have a symbol that would stands for everybody.

Finally, the maple leaf manages to re-unit Canada after it has been the official flag. Since it stands for everybody and its uniqueness, maple leaf builds a strong society in Canada. It also symbolizes the peace and propriety of Canadians. Everybody gets under a one flag when the country experiences conflicts as well propriety. Prime Minister, Mackenzie King in 1930s and 1940, made an effort to establish a Canadian flag, but he failed; however, in the depression and WWII, Canadians stood as a one united country. As a result, Canadians overcame every obstacle they faced. The unity of Canadians made a significance difference thought-out our history. Maple leaf is the symbol of the unity.s

In conclusion, maple leaf is just one of many leaves in Canada. Yet, it has a unique Canadian identity. It has been a unique symbol for more than a century. It stands for every Canadian. It does not ignore anybody and it unit all Canadians to under a one flag.

Canada and Afgan War

When an engineering team was trying to clear a road in Kandahar province, Canadian soldiers were exposed to the IED (improvised explosive device). One of them was seriously injured while the other two were in a reasonable position. However, Lieutenant- Commander Pierre Babinsky stated that all three were in a stable situation. Since 2001, seventy three Canadian soldiers were killed due to IEDs. Babinsky said that Canadian soldiers executed many operations successfully, in order to despite the fact that solders harmed form IEDs. He also emphasized that Canadian soldiers were trying variety of methods to battle against IEDs. At the end of the article, it explains two suspected Taliban insurgents were arrested by Canadian forces, and they had direct connection with explosive devices.

ieutenant Commander Pierre Babinsky is the main character of this news story. His perspective is, Even though, he has a clear understand on Afghanistan and IED issues, he attempts to emphasize those issues are not important. For example, he states that Canadian troops are doing a great effort in Afghanistan and IEDs are not a conflict for them. Having said that, he indirectly highlights that Canadian troops are reaching victory with any harm. In summary, Babinsky’s opinion is Canadians are safe in Afghanistan. Secondly, Author’s point of view is different from Babinsky’s point of view. The writer of this article, Colin Freeze, emphasizes that seventy three soldiers were killed as a result of IED explosives. Furthermore, he states that is a huge number of casualties for a peaceful country. He also states that IEDs are playing an enormous role in Afghanistan. In order to prove his judgment, Freeze writes two Taliban suspects were arrested who had direct contact with explosives. This example demonstrates that IEDs are still in Afghanistan and they are hurting soldiers.

Ontation Dependency on Foodbanks

Political leaders play a major role in this issue. Some political leaders criticize other leaders. For example, NDP leader, Hampton blames McGuinty because according Hampton, he emphasize that McGuinty fails to recognize poor children. Ironically, Adam Spence, the executive director of the food bank association, thanks McGuinty for increasing social assistance rate by 3 pre sent. Food bank conductors also give much more clear information on this issue. For instance, Ms. Bennison states how people come form a long way to food banks to get their daily requirements. In addition, Sandy Singers, chairman of the association, states that there around 340 000 Ontarians get aids form food banks. The writers of this article, Howlett and Rusk, uses Alim Nemtsov, a Ukrainian, to prove their point of view on this issue, further more. Food bank managers states that people such as, Nemtsov, highly depend on food banks because they receive minimum wage and living below poverty line. The numbers of food banks in Ontario are keep increasing (it increased by 4.8 per cent in 2004). Event though, there are many food banks in other provinces, such as Alberta and Quebec, the number of people use those food banks in those provinces are not as bad as Ontarians.

One point of view is that people who conduct food banks emphasize that Ontario has large number of food banks and huge number of people, who receive minimum wage, depend on it. On the other hand, the writer of this article explains there scenarios in an optimistic manner by using a positive writing technique. Even though, the writer indirectly states that “poor people in Ontario do not have to be anxious about hunger because there are enough number of food banks”, the facts that are given by food bank managers managed to make the writers guilty about their writing style. Another two different points of views are between NDP leader and Adam Spence. While NDP leader criticize McGuinty due to failing to recognize poor children, Spence’s gratitude on McGuinty make this issue more interesting. Adam Spence also criticized former premier Harris due to his deduction of benefits on social services.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How effectively did the Canadian government, individual Canadians, and new political parties respond to the challenges of the Great Depression - Part 4

Make sure you've read part three

Mrs. P. E. Bottle and Mrs. Jack O’Hannon too had requested money to help their children and they explained their hardship of being parents in Depression to Prime Minister Bennett. The classic example is that“Bennett Buggies”, an automobile, which was dragged by oxen because people removed the engine as they could not afford to spend money to buy gasoline. As they traveled on streets with their “Bennett Buggies”, people thought Prime Minister would concern about average people’s conditions. However, today these materials consider as monuments by people which demonstrate that Mr. Bennett was the Prime Minister during the Great Depression. Furthermore, “On-to-Ottawa Trek” was journey led by men in British Columbia. Their goal was to go to Ottawa and protest against Bennett and his government. People demanded minimum wages and unemployment insurance. This was a major incident, where Canadians responded to situations in nineteen thirties effectively. On the other hand, it explains that people would not stay calmly, when they disliked Bennett’s political movements. Additionally, people lost their jobs as the depression began and some farmers left prairies to cities to find jobs. Between nineteen thirty one and nineteen thirty seven, around 120 000 people were left prairies to find jobs and to support their families. Many unemployed men went from city to city looking for jobs. Some people who came to cities from prairies realized that it would not be easy to find jobs, and they went back where they came from. During the “Great Depression” average Canadians attempted to capture the attention of the Canadian government, in order to explain their concerns, and people tried to find jobs to support them selves and their families. Overall, average Canadians effectively responded to conflicts in nineteen thirties.

In summery, “Great Depression” was a time period that gave suffers almost every body in the world. As it started at the beginning of nineteen thirties, Canadian economy plummeted and people lost their properties. Canadian government failed to monitor economy problems during the Depression in Canada. As a result, both Liberals and Conservatives did not manage to take a significant effort for Canadian economy and average Canadians. Prime Minister Bennett ruled Canada through the Depression; however he did not do what he promised before he elected. When the federal government was failing during the Depression, new political parties managed to bring a colorful spectrum for Canadian economy. After they introduced welfare and social insurance, people had gained more privileges. At the end of WW II to the present, Canadian government is still following some of the valuable ideas that were brought by newly formed parties in nineteen thirties. Above all, typical Canadians were the social groups those were severely harmed by the Depression. Furthermore, letters those were written to the Prime Minister Bennett confirm this situation. Nonetheless, people proved that they still had energy to help them selves in nineteen thirties; rather than waiting for a miracle to escape from the poverty. That is why people traveled from city to city to find jobs. Some people came to cities through rough paths to find jobs, and they lined up for hours in front of soup kitchens to escape from hunger. However, the important fact is that nothing was there to resolve the Depression, except WW II.

How effectively did the Canadian government, individual Canadians, and new political parties respond to the challenges of the Great Depression - Part 3

Continuing from part two

Both Liberals and Conservatives convinced by these policies and they quickly adapted CCF’s ideas into their political agenda. As the federal government failing to cope with economic problems, and just by adapting CCF’s ideas, demonstrate how Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and its leader James Woodsworsth managed to introduce important policies to improve the lives of Canadian citizens. Furthermore, even in today’s society, those ideas, have a high degree of effectiveness for laborers, farmers and other individuals. For instance, new immigrants benefit on these privileges, until they establish them selves in Canadian society. In the provincial elections of nineteen thirty- four, CCF managed to win some rides in British Columbia and Saskatchewan. This explains the fact that CCF did a great service and people had a faith with that party better than the federal government. In addition to Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, Social Credit was another party which too contributed much to the society. The leader of the party, William Aberhart, came to power in nineteen thirty – five. He believed that if he managed to give money to people, they would consume material and that method would help to solve economic conflict. He managed to give twenty five dollars for an adult per month. Farmers were so happy about this grant. They used that money to feed cattle and to fertilize farmlands. In contrast, as Bennett failed to organize provincial governments, and due to that, his twenty millions did not go to average people’s hands. Nonetheless, Aberhart realized the advantage of being a well organized provincial leader, and as a result, he managed to distribute money among people in Alberta. Since the formation of new political parties, they managed to change the direction of Canadian economy, even during “Great Depression”. They provided social welfare, insurances and distributed money across provinces, where the Conservatives and Liberals never dreamed of.

Finally, the Depression really fell on average Canadians, such as laborers and farmers. When the stock market crashed in nineteen twenty-nine, people lost millions and millions. Some lost their properties when they failed to pay their debts. General Canadians attempted to capture the attention of the federal government, and some people had hard time with finding jobs. When Bennett came to the office in nineteen thirty, people were happy because they thought Bennett would do what he had promised. As time went by, people realized that they should get the vote back from Conservatives. Some people wrote letters to the Prime Minister Bennett. For instance, Edwina Abbott had requested money to buy a coat. She had to walk one mile to reach her school, and in winter, it was terrible due to not having sufficient amount of money to buy worm clothes.

Continue to part four

How effectively did the Canadian government, individual Canadians, and new political parties respond to the challenges of the Great Depression - Part 2

Continuing from part one

He did manage to transfer each province twenty million dollars, yet some provincial governments and municipals did not managed to deliver money to average Canadians, due to massive economic conflicts. In addition, the government managed to set up number of relief camps for single unemployed men to work eight hours a day. Everybody, above eighteen years, should participate and they were given food, clothes and twenty cents, as a payment for their hard work. In comparison, twenty cents was not enough to the amount of work that they had done and above all, that was not even enough to survive in those gloomy days. Moreover, as the government unsuccessful continues, people could not tolerate the living conditions in the mid nineteen – thirties. As a result, thousands of men gathered against Bennett’s government and launched a massive parade from British Columbia to Ottawa. Then, Prime Minister Bennett labeled that these people as rebellions, police stopped them and their parade known as “On-to-Ottawa Trek”. This event explains that the government was not anxious about average Canadians. Then, Prime Minister Bennett introduced “Bennett’s New Deal” just before the election of nineteen thirty five. According this new program, Bennett would give social insurance, treatment of unemployed and limit the hours of works. After his new program published, people considered that Bennett was trying to win the election by showing his new policies. However, the new program could not save Bennett’s defeat in the election of nineteen thirty five. As a result, Mackenzie King and Liberals came back to power. Losing at the beginning of depression and came back to power again, Conservative and Liberals expressed that they focus emphatically, in order to solve conflicts during “Dirty Thirties”.

Secondly, though political leaders like Mackenzie King and Bennett who were unsuccessful with their opinions to save people from “Great Depression”, some individuals got-together and discussed their ideas on issues in nineteen thirties. As time went by, these groups formed new political parties. Some parties did a significant job, comparing to the federal government. For example, CCF, also known as Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, introduced welfare insurance, family allowance, unemployment insurance, and compensation for injured workers.

Continue to part three

How effectively did the Canadian government, individual Canadians, and new political parties respond to the challenges of the Great Depression - Part 1

Nineteen Twenties, also known as “Roaring Twenties”, was a rich time period in Canadian history. Canadian economy had increased as factories produced heavy productions and prairies provided massive amount of wheat. It was a great period of time for farmers, laborers, and other average Canadians because they got experience their wealthy fortune in that era. Some people bought automobiles and some benefited from the profit that they could earn in rising stocks. As people spent their time in roaring twenties, they never realized that many of them were going to encounter with a dark future in nineteen thirties. Today, historians have different point of views on the causes of Great Depression. Some state over production of goods as the main cause. Anyway, back in nineteen thirties, people seriously suffered from the Depression. Mostly though, average Canadians had critically undergone a harrowing ordeal since they lost their houses and wealth. Great Depression lasted for about a decade and Canadians responded somewhat effectively to the challenges and conflicts, until it came to an end.

First, as the people enjoyed their time in “Roaring Twenties”, the Canadian government and other political leaders could not predict about any economic depression in nineteen thirties due to the growing economy and cheerful lifestyle. When the stock market crashed in nineteen twenty – nine, it took just a couple of minutes to spread the panic all over Canada. However, political leaders could not manage to over come the conflicts in “Dirty Thirties”. As the Prime Minister, Mackenzie King gave the responsibility of welfare and relief to provincial governments, in nineteen thirty, federal government freed from monitoring economic problems in Canada. Furthermore, he gave “five – cent piece” to provinces, which ruled by the Liberal party. He neglected provinces those governed by his opponent political parties, such as Conservatives. These incidents, which happened at the beginning of the depression, explained how the government ineffectively reacted to troubles in thirties. Then Richard Bennett came to power after the general election of nineteen thirty, as a result of Mackenzie’s failures. Nevertheless, he too could not manage to take a significant effort, as he promised before the election.

Continue to part two

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Canada Moves Towards Independence

Prior to 1982, the Constitution Act of Canada was known as The British North America Act, where Britain had more control over making laws in Canada. The Trudeau government decided that it was the right time to bright the constitution home. They also believed that this would help to re-unit Canada with Quebec as a one country by providing more support for Quebeckers. Prior to going to Britain, Trudeau organized a conference with all the provinces, but Quebec did not participate, and it was not successful. Afterward, Trudeau was on live television and he expressed his idea of Canada having control over its own laws and regulations. For the second time, Trudeau summoned another meeting and except Quebec, all the provinces participated for the event. So, once again they skip the summit, just like a lot of people skip their Biology class at high school! Leader of Quebec, Levesque said, “Quebec is alone”. That was the excuse they came up as to why they didn’t take part. In fact, they didn’t want to participate for any activities with Canada because they consider Quebec as a separate nation from Canada. As a result of all the tough work done by the Trudeau government, on 8 March 1982, for the first time, Canada was recognized an independent nation.

In 1965, Canada came up with its own flag. The uniqueness of the flag was that it did not neglect any province or ethnic background (yeah, that’s right, including Quebec!). It was the maple leaf representing Canadian identity. The flag also did not have any symbol related to Union Jack, preventing British influence over Canada. However, it was not until recent, in 1980, where Canada adapted to its own national anthem. O Canada had been in Canada for more that a century, but it was first considered and sang in the parliament on 1 July 1980. During WW II, many patriots believed that o Canada should be the national anthem; however, some important people such as Mackenzie King said it was important to follow what we used to do. In other words, he meant Canada was not ready to adapt to O. However in 1980, Canadian national anthem began to hear in both English and French in schools, universities and officers.

Parti Quebecois in 1970s

The Immigration Act of 1978 was one of the most important pieces of legislation for Canadians. Trudeau government had changed few aspects of the old policies and that the new act was somewhat different from the old one. The main reason for all of these was that Canada needed more skill workers. Canadian government realized that countries economy was on working class and they have to be well educated in order to continue Canadian prosperity. All across the county, newspapers and CBC brought up-to-date information of the Immigration Act of 1978. They said it contained three major categories: skill class workers, family class and refugees. Due to family class immigrants, people who would come to Canada to re-unit their family, cultural diversity increased all across the country. Many people from Asia and Latin America came to Canada. However, only few people came to Canada as Russians because the Russians did not allow crossing the borders to reach out democratic countries in the West (cold war was still continuing at the time. It was metaphorically said that there was a “iron curtain” separating Warsaw from NATO allies. People in the east – Warsaw region – didn’t allow crossing that “iron curtain”! ). Due to working class immigrants, new job opportunities became available for Canadians. New school and factories opened. The wages were good in comparison to the wages earned by people with lack of education.

Another major incident in this time period was the Parti Quebecois’s victory in 1976. The leader, Rene Levesque came to office as an independent and began to establish an independent Quebec. Rene was a crock like Obama and George Wtf Bush. He didn’t know what the hell he was talking about. He said that it was time to rebuild Quebec as one country. This sparked another controversy where many people thought that Quebec would separate from Canada. However, the violence in Quebec was considerably reduced in this decade, and Quebec was still part of Canada!

Canada-Russia Summit Series + October Crisis

Canada-Russia Summit Series in 1972 was a remarkable hockey series for both Canadians and the Russians. Everybody in Canada overzealously watched the series. However the climax of the series was at the final game, where it was a tie. At the end of the final game, Canada won the series by winning the last game. Canadians proved that they were champions in hockey. The trophy also managed to bring the country together. Ironically, nobody noticed the treat of cold war during this time period. Even though, Canadians were playing against their worst foe, nobody seemed to be paying much attention to current events or national security. NHL and many other major hockey leagues were a result of this series in 1972.

October Crisis was a major event during this time period in Canada. It all started with the kidnapping of James. R. Cross, British trade commissioner, in Montréal in 1970. News spread quickly across Canada. Everybody gathered around television to watch the shocking news happened in Quebec. FLQ was the terrorist that was responsible perpetrating that libel. They had been involving with number of crimes for a long time. They used weapons to achieve independence for Quebec throughout the 1960s. The criminal environment in Quebec shattered many people. Few days later the kidnapping of James Cross, another dreadful incident happened. Labour Minister Pierre Laporte was kidnapped by the same group of terrorist on October 10, 1970. Some gathered to discuss how they would face if such incident occurred in the town. They also discussed many ways to prevent any of there crimes from happening in their own cities. Just a week later, Prime Minister, Trudeau, enacted the War Measures Act, which gives the right for police to confine anyone related or had connection with the FLQ. Afterwards, almost 200 were in custody according to the Globe and Mail. At the end of the year, nevertheless, James Cross was rescued, but Pierre Laporte was not. He was dead and found in a car nearby an armed forces base in Montreal. Crimes scenes in Quebec ended but people in small cities were very fearful due to any chances of emerging terrorist groups in those cities!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cuban Missile Crisis

The1960s were the time of “British Invasion”. Music Groups from Britain came to North America and changed the customs of music. Rolling Stones, the Dave Clark Five and Beatles were some of the major music groups dominated Canadian culture in the 1960s. Beatles’ songs were resonated with people. Later, it was known as “Beatlemania”, where teenagers would sing their songs repeatedly. As a result of those modern musical bands, “counterculture” emerged from the society. They diminished the value of songs in the 1940s and 1950s. They did not like old, classic music; rather, they would try to spread popular music across Canada. In small towns all across Canada and US, families used to get together and have tea parties and sang songs. However, teenage and many young children would repeat popular songs in that period. Although, there were some Canadian singers were on the stage as well, such as Oscar Peterson, but most of the time, American influence dominated in Canada.

Though people enjoy the 1960s at home and abroad, international affairs and crisis greatly share the lives of people in that decade. In 1962, The Soviet Union installed missiles in Cuba, directly targeting America and Canada. As a result, Canadian Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker, and United States began an argument due to high tensions. Canada refuses to put its soldiers in alert. Diefenbaker also accused America for putting pressure on Canada. Diefenbaker accepted Bomarc missiles without nuclear warheads. Nevertheless, Lester B. Pearson argued that without warheads, missiles would be useless. As a result, not only with US, but also within Canadian administration, quarrels appeared. However when Pearson came to office in 1963 as the new Canadian Prime Minister, he accepted warheads. Later, the missiles in Cuba were removed by the Russians, concluding the argument between United States and Canada. However, again, this emphasized the Russian influence over North America. Canadians and Americans deeply concerned that cold war would perpetuate forever!

North America in the 1950s

The television began wide spread in the early 1950s, where every rich person owned one. On the street where the Ivavo family lived, Maczim was the only person to claimed a television. Therefore, people on their street would come to Maczim’s house on every Sunday to watch the Ed Sullivan Show. They laughed most of the time, watching Ed. Ed was one of the famous comedians at that time. Beside that, Hoedown and Front Page dominated television screen for almost ten years. Students were also addicted to television; mostly, as a result, they neglected schoolwork. There were many advantages of the television as well: it was the fastest way to exchange information between major cities. Canadian Broadcast Centre was the leading news presenter.

Other than the television, the automobile also played a key role in everyday life of Canadians and Americans. Post war era was the most prosperous time period for the continent. The automobile was the indication of that. Almost every family owned a car. The fuel was cheep. On Sundays, the Ivanov family used to visit their relatives. As the television, car also had some downsides, for example, teenagers and youth would street race. Maczim’s son also became interest in there rebellious activities!

Immigration was another major aspect in the post war era. Almost one million people came from Europe. Many of them settled in industrial states like Ontario and Pennsylvania due the diversity of job opportunities. Nevertheless, few came to Manitoba as well, but from that, only couple of families came to inner cities. Therefore, immigration was not a major aspect in North America in the late 1950s. Towards the end of this decade, almost three hundred thousand immigrants came from countries other than Britain. Many of them were Hungarians; they came as refugees seeking peace through the Soviets on their homeland.

Another major feature was the continuation of cold war. The North American Air Defence Command was formed in 1957 to protect skies over Canada and America from any possible nuclear attack from the Russians. Often, while people watched television, CBC would put updated information on cold war and alert Americans in any dangerous situation. Such incident occurred in 1955. However, there wasn’t attack!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Korean War, Canadian and US Contributions

Korean War in 1950 was the major incident following the WWII. Canada contributed almost 27 000 soldiers for Korean War. The reason to spark the war was the invasion of North Korea, communists after WWII. They invaded South Korea, which occupied by the Americans after WWII, with their massive armed forces. United Nations sent military members to settle the conflict and Canada was one of the nations among them. In Brandon, where the Ivanov family grew up, only few people participated for the war. The main reason was the memories of the WWII. However, many people realized it was important to minimize the influence of the Russian communism. The son of Filet served in Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry. He wrote a letter saying that they scored a victory at Kapyong. He also said many Canadians served their lives for the victory. However, despite all those disasters, many Canadians returned home in 1953. The Korean conflict didn’t completely resolve. In fact, we still see flashes of these times even now; consequently, Russian influence was not diminished.

List of total casualties and losses (source: a lot, see below)

South Korea
137,899 Killed in Action
450,742 Wounded in Action
32,838 Missing in Action or POW

United States
36,516 dead (including 2,830 non-combat deaths)
92,134 wounded
8,176 Missing in Action
7,245 POW

United Kingdom
1,109 dead[9]
2,674 wounded
1,060 Missing in Action or POW

Turkey
721 dead
2,111 wounded
168 Missing in Action
216 POW

Canada
516 dead
1,042 wounded

Australia
339 dead
1,200 wounded

France
300 Killed in Action or Missing in Action

Greece
194 Killed in Action
459 wounded

Netherlands
123 Killed in Action

Philippines
112 Killed in Action

Belgium
106 Killed in Action

New Zealand
33 Killed in Action

South Africa
28 Killed in Action and 8 Missing in Action

Luxembourg
2 Killed in Action

Total: 778,053

North Korea:
215,000 dead
303,000 wounded
120,000 Missing in Action or POW

China
(Official data):
114,000 killed in combat
34,000 non-combat deaths
380,000 wounded
21,400 POW
(U.S. estimate):
400,000+ dead
486,000 wounded
21,000 POW

Soviet Union:
282 dead

Total: 1,187,682-1,545,822

sources:
http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=history/koreawar/valour/epilogue
http://www.withcountry.mil.kr/info/koreanwar/war3/20070214/1_-3722.jsp?menu=menu2
http://www.aiipowmia.com/koreacw/kwkia_menu.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/coldwar/korea_hickey_01.shtml#four

Post WWII Celebrations Cut Short by The Cold War

WWII claimed over 45 000 lives of Canadians and 416,800 of US (There were more US casualties simply because US’ population was 10 times larger than Canada’s. US population was over 100 million in 1945!). For Canada, casualties were less than WWI but many people were shattered by seeing the tragedies across the country. Some were luck enough to be alive and returned home safely. As a result, they again got the opportunity to spent time with their family. They also went across the town and met many people who they missed for 5 long years. For some families, sadness still arose through in the peacetime because some of their love once never came home. Nevertheless, everybody in Canada and US enjoyed the peaceful time period without any difficulties, like in 1930s.

But! There was a similar conflict lurking around corner: The Cold War, also known as the COOL war :-). Just after WWII ended, the cold war sparked between the United States and Russia. As a result of their enormous wealth after the Second World War, they both began to restore as many weapons as possible. For some countries, such as Canada, this was a horrible situation. Canada was exposed to both the American and Russian nuclear attacks. They both had deadly weapons, such as atomic and hydrogen bombs. Although, Canada did not play a major role in cold war in the late 1940s, people were under extreme tension, where nobody knew when they would face a nuclear attack. Some said they would go to basement, but having fought in WWII, they realized those solutions would not work in a massive nuclear attack. Therefore, people who realized the real threat from Russia distressed about the fact that Canada was in between world’s two superpowers. However, as a solution to all there conflicts, North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed on April 4 1949. The purpose of this organization was to prevent any communism spread in Europe and protect fellow countries in any attack. This solution bought relief into certain extend but it still did not managed to give a permanent solution for the problem.

The Great Depression of the 1930s in Pictures


Jobless Men Keep Going:
As the picture states, unemployed men who desperately need jobs to support their families and themselves. This scenario was very common in the depression, where men would go from factory to factory, and farm-to-farm finding jobs. Many traveled to West, into farm fields hoping for jobs. In this picture, these unfortunate men were confronted with this bid banner in front of a train yard. Trains were used by people to commute between states and provinces, as it was the only means of FREE transportation during the 1930s!


A breadline in Toronto ON Canada:
People were in line to get a loaf of bread. Events like these were very common during the 1930s because people had to rely on government services because they could not support themselves. Many people bought bread by using their relief cheques. Money was not a commodity during the depression and nobody used it to buy any material. They had to wait hours to get a loaf of bread, and finally, when they got it, it was almost stale. However, people did eat them; otherwise what was the result of waiting on a queue for hours?


Soup kitchen in Saskatoon:
people are in the line for waiting a bowl of soup. Soup kitchens were another common aspect across the continent. People have to wait for hours for a bowl of soup. Hunger was the major concern of people as oppose to health because there were only handful of places where people found something eat. When they reached, a rare place such as the one above, they used to wait until they have their turn. Many people became sick after the consumption of soup from places like this.


Roofless house is better than nothing:
Those who lived in inner cities would walk back and forth seeking jobs. When they are tired, this is the kind of place they would to rest. This picture depicts a tired unemployed man, or a vagrant. Let’s say there were two men, and only one couch, like the one above. Then, they would have to fight each other to determine who gets the seat! The only way to win is by pinfall or submission.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Home-Front During WWII

Honestly speaking, Canadian and US governments slept at the wake of World War Two aka WWII. At the beginning of the war marked the end of great depression. Canadian economy increased, and more jobs created to export war materials. However, rationing was another significant episode during that period. The government limited the quantity of food for a family for a determined time. For example, wedding cakes could make, but without icing. Furthermore, a family was limited to 545 litters of gasoline a year for its car. Although, many did not have a car, rations caused another battle at home front. People who went through the great depression didn’t have sufficient goods to consume. They preserve food as best as they could because as days gone by, the depression became worst. However, as Canada became wealthier in the 1940s, people didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy it due to the rationing policy. Many people alleged the government for this. In response, some people said “we had lived 10 years without cloths, now after all of that, they impose restrictions!” Other major aspect was the conscription. By definition, it emphasizes its awfulness. At the beginning of the war, Mackenzie King, Canadian Prime Minister said he would not force anybody to fight overseas. Many people participated due to their patriotism. However, as Nazis progressed, King realized the necessity of conscription. Many people, such as French Canadians were not happy about this decision. Those who went overseas as a result of the forced enactment of this law, needed no longer because the war was over! They returned home right after, and as result, country didn’t divide, as happened in the WWI.

As men left for the war, women played an active role in the society. Every war equipment was made by women. Other women served as guiding back planes and ship from battle missions. When the war ended, almost one hundred thousand women served at home. If they could not do that, the allied forces wouldn’t be able to defeat Germany, because almost every war material was produced by women. As a result of their hard labor, women gained a great reputation.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

WWII: Canada Declares War on Germany

With the end of the great depression, Canada and US (now that our blog is renamed to intercontinental history ) had to sallow another bitter news: WWII.

Redundantly speaking, the worst thing to the Ivanov family in this time was the broke out of the WWII. Departure of hundreds of other men in Brandon and in Winnipeg made the whole country miserable. Unlike in the WWI, there were no celebrations or patriot movements. In the WWI, according to Mr. Ivanov, everybody was cheerful and enthusiastic; however, they did not see the tragic forthcoming of it. Having all these remarkable experience, many people didn’t agree with the declaration of new war. Among them, one was James S. Woodsworth, and they were the people whom many took into account as heroes. Almost every young man had to depart from his families to participate for the war. After leaving Canada, most men served at Dipper Raid in 1942. During the battle, the French Coast became a pool of blood. Almost 1000 soldiers were killed during the combat. Some were lucky enough to survive to tell the story. They returned to Britain after a miserable failure on the French Coast Lack of readiness was the major cause to this tragic situation. Afterwards, many were re-directed to serve in the Italian Campaign in 1943. The mission, Operation Husky, launched to liberate Italy. Many young, amateur, soldiers friends gained a reputation as elite fighters, where they fought for neighbouring houses until the enemy was get out of those houses. Soon the Canadians managed to complete the mission successfully. Nevertheless, around 2500 soldiers lost their lives; but, unlike Dieppe Raid, many of survived. Anyhow, the victory in Italy was a major step forward for Allied victory over Nazis.

Just like the WWI, US didn’t join Canada and other allies at the wake of the WWII. They followed a “wait and see” strategy. The same can be re-written as, “we don’t care about others, let’s wait and see. Only if they attack us, then will fight.” However (just for the record), US did join allied forces and played a major role in liberating France.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Canadian Wrestlers at Wrestlemania 26

With Wrestlemania only 3 hours away, I though this is the best time to take a look at Canadian wrestlers who will shine at WM 26. With out a shadow of a doubt, the best wrestlers in the world are Canadians. Consider Stewart “Stu” Hart for instance. He revolutionized the wrestling industry. Because of him, today we enjoy wrestling. Here a list of popular Canadian Wrestles:

Chris Jericho aka “the best in the world at what he does”: Jericho, trained by Stu Hart, is currently the World Heavyweight Champion. It was widely believed Chris Jericho’s *** was His Wrestlemania opponent is another Canadain wreslter –“Rated R Superstar” Edge.

Edge – Having the won the Royal Rumble for the first time in 2010, Edge might be able to cached in his opportunity at Wrestlemania 26 – with a spear!! Edge, arguably, is one of the most recognizable wrestlers in the world today.

Bret Hart – the legendary, 500 time WWE World Heavyweight Campion, promised that Wrestlemania 26 the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be! Can’t wait to see how that’s going to work out. He was inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006. This year, he is the inducted his father Stu Hart to the WWE Hall of Fame. Bret is famous for his failure to job his title at the Survivor Series 1997. From then on, it was widely believed that Vince screwed Bret, but according to Vince McMahon himself, he used to say Bret screwed Bret.

Christian - Jason Reso, the man commonly recognized as “Captain Charisma” is a 4 time World Heavyweight Champion. He will be competing in the Money in the Bank ladder match for an opportunity to contend for either WWE Championship or the World Heavyweight Championship.

Money “Flows” During the Depression

In the midst of the Great Depression, Canadian Prime Minister R.B. Bennett promised that he would give $ 20 million to every province, and he did. As a matter of fact, Bennett spent much of time buying lottery tickets to raise money to heal the wounds. However, it could not heal the consequences though. That money hardly reached average Canadian’s hands. Provincial governments also did nothing to change economic situation. For example, in Winnipeg, many people didn’t trust the government, because they did not implement any significant policies to change the lives of ordinary people. At the end of Bennett’s era in 1935, he introduced a new plan called “Bennett’s New Deal”, which was a gimmick –just like John McCain’s gas tax holiday that he proposed in the summer of 2008. In this plan, Bennett stated that he would do anything to cope with the depression. For example, he said he would introduce an unemployment and social insurance scheme. As soon as this news spread, people thought that he had been already in the office for 5 years and had done nothing to improve our living condition. Canadain’s became really angry at him. The Ivanov family felt the same way. In the election of 1935, the Liberals came to power; however, they too had hard time to figure out solutions for the depression.

People felt big governments didn’t work, and wasn’t effective in coming up with solutions. As a result, new political parties formed all over the country. Co-operate Commonwealth Federation (CCF) was one of them. It was a dynamic political party formed by James Woodswroth during this time. He was a resident in Winnipeg and many people, event the Ivanov family, trusted on this movement. During their tenure, they provided social welfare. It made a significant difference. They made a great progress since the formation of their party. They gained some constituency in British Columbia and Saskatewan because people trusted their work better than the federal government. Many people believed new political parties could make a difference. However, the depression was not over. Newspapers stated that in 1939, over one million were on relief. Many relied on the new political movements to find jobs.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

After 200 Years, US Finally has Healthcare

Before I start to talk about anything, let me take this opportunity to congratulate Pres. Obama and Vice President Joe “Joseph Robinette aka the senior a** kicker” Biden for finally passing health care. After 200 something years, you guys finally manage to pull this one off. So congratulations. Bill Clinton failed to do it, Franklin Roosevelt failed to do it, and most importantly, George Bush, the rattlesnake, FAILED to do it!!!! However, Obama managed to do something that everyone failed. Now that’s the kind of change Americans expected from Obama. Therefore, the Obama Administration should be very proud of themselves.

Now, since the enactment of the new health care bill, also known as Obama Care, a lot people comparing it to Canadian health care bill. Many American born in the deep south swaps of everglades, and in red states, say Canada has socialized health care. Let me talk about a persona story: when I broke my leg, I had to spend a week in the hospital. And the total cost is…. $14 (Yeh!!! That’s in Canadian Dollars, which is about the same in US Dollars) The only reason I had to pay $14 is because I watched Football! So is that the definition of socialized health care?

Now that Obama has passed health care, the world can sleep little bit better. The taxes will increase a little bit to covert the a** of the health care bill. US deflect will little bit increase. All these are taking place because of the previous administration. Oh yeh!! because they were responsible for job growth, in US and in Iraq.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Causes of The Great Depression

Over production in the 1920s:
The Roaring twenties were a phosphorus time period for Canadians. Since the end of WWI, innovation and entrepreneurship lead to making the country and the continent wealthier. The best example is The Model. Over thousands of Model Ts were produced and Canada, and even more in the United States. With lower prices, every average family owned a Model T. When the depression occurred, nobody could afford to buy cars anymore. As a result, cars were piled up stocks. Works were laid out from factories – adding more people to unemployed list. This scenario didn’t limit to cars. It applied almost every staple made in North America at the time.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, aka Obama's Baby Stimulus Plan:
Ever since George W Bush, a rattlesnake from the state of Texas trained by Bush the Sr, left the office in 2009, Americans were depressed because during his presidency, everybody enjoyed a peaceful and a prosperous time period. CM Barack Obama (CM stands for Chicago Made), Bush’s predecessor, promised to change everything. As Obama promised he changed, and still changing, everything Bush did. Part of his changes included American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. This added fewer jobs and more debt. The hiring rate and the debt rate were far apart, that every person hired, either ten people were fired or $1000 added to the national debt. As a consequence, the changes Obama made also played a major role in making a depression!

Greater Bonds with The US:
The Europe and Canada were closely tied with the United States when it comes to economy. Millions of goods were import and exported in the 1920s. When New York Stock Market collapsed in the 1929, stock holder lost money and killed themselves. Now, killing people may be a good thing, because there is less competition, losing money wasn’t. US companies were forced to shutdown. Unemployment rate dramatically increased. American consumer confident declined, and as a result, Americans didn’t buy. Since nobody could afford to buy anything, importing goods were pointless. This forced Canadian productions, like wheat, lumber, timber, fish, and snow, to stop. Consequently, workers were laid out factories.

To be continued…. keep on keeping on

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Hoover Wagons and the Bennett Buggies

During the Dirty Thirties – another name for 1930s – nobody could afford to spend money on gasoline. As time progressed, provinces adopt various types of gas tax policies, since it was a major source of income to the provincial governments. When these provinces went into deficit, they increased these taxes, making gas even harder to buy. Thus, people could drive their Model Ts they brought in the previous decade. (Read about Model T and the Roaring Twenties) Instated of driving, what people did was that they used horses to pull the cars! The engine was removed to make the car lighter. Smart??


These cars were common in North America during the 1930s. In Canada, they were known as Bennett Buggies – to symbolize the failed policies of Richard Bennett. Bennett was the Prime Mister of Canada from 1930 – 1935. In the United States, the same cars were known as Hoover Wagons. The idea was the same: people use it to condemn then President of US, Herbert Hoover.

Surprisingly, Hoover Wagons are still being used by some in the United States. Most notable person using Hoover Wagon is Ralph Nader, who was also ran for president in 2000, 2004 and in 2008. One of the major campaign promises of Ralph Nader was that if he becomes the president of US in 2009 (after winning in ’08 of course), he would give people every family a Hoover Wagon as this reduce global warming. Since he lost in 2008, he polices were never enacted. But it was clearly evident, that if they were enacted, GM, Ford and Chrysler never needed a federal bailout – because they could have made inexpensive Hoover Wagon for families making $250000 or less. It would've also saved 700 billion dollars Obama spend on the stimulus bill!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Political Turmoil in the 1930s

Politics is and was every where. This was particularly evident in the 1930s. As usual, when the country was in turmoil, finger pointings and blame games were nothing unusual.

McKenzie King and the Liberals were in charge when the depression started. However the Liberals were shattered in the election of 1930 because McKenzie King neglected provinces with Conservative Governments. For instance, King didn’t give the “five cent piece” to any province with a Conservative Government. Manitoba, where the Ivanov family originally settled down, was one of them. Therefore, almost everybody in Manitoba stood against King’s actions, the Liberals as well as the federal government. As a result, R.B. Bennett came into the office. In order to cope with the depression, he set up a relief scheme through out the country, mostly in Ontario. Men worked day and night under dreadful working conditions, and at the end of the day, they received a payment of 20 cents. 20 cents was mealy sufficient to sustain anybody. Thus, this plan clearly didn’t work!

In reaction, many people protested the government. “On-to-Ottawa Trek” was one of them, where people tried to go in front of the parliament and protested. Having seen all these events, people thought the changes of the two parties, from the Liberals to Conservatives, were like exchanging gingers with chillies!

People who traveled to the prairies hoping to find jobs were forced to travel to other parts of the country. In the prairies, farmlands and windmills were shattered and everybody was deprived. These circumstances were common throughout North America and much of the Europe. The government’s lack of responsibility was one of the main aspects that worsen the depression. R. B Bennett’s policies were no differing from the once already executed by McKenzie King. In the midst of the political bickering, average citizens would continue to suffer for years to come!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

1930s Great Depression Chokeslams Canada

End of the 1920s and begging of the 1930s were a peaceful time period for the Ivaov family. But then, out the blue, bad news came: Mr. Ivanov had passed away. He was 77 years old. He lived peacefully ever since the family arrived in Canada. He worked hard for decades. He was one of the courageous men the family had ever seen. Filat and entire family were deeply sad about this tragedy. The other major incident in the 1930s was the fact that Filat was forced to leave the town the find a job. Filat left his family, his son Maczim and wife, for the second time since he first for WWI. The 1930s were the very opposite of the previous decade. It was the beginning of a long lasting depression. Almost every middle class worker had lost their jobs because factories were closed due to overproduction. Filat worked as a sheet metal laborer. The manager of the factory laid of workers because there was no demand for his productions. This did not limit for the Ivaov family only, but it expanded through the entire province of Manitoba and across Canada. As a result, men had to leave their families to find jobs.

The next worst thing that happened to the Ivanov family was that Maczim lost his job. He too had a job. After he left college, Maczim worked in a shoe factory. During the late 1920s, the town was prosperous. His wife, Anna, also had a job, and she served as a cobbler. However, at the beginning of the 1930s, almost everybody lost their jobs. Nevertheless, Maczim did not leave my hometown because he had to look after his two sister’s families. Sabina and Selena’s husbands left Brandon to find jobs and support their families. They also had children. Maczim was responsible for looking after them. They came to his house and lived for almost 6 years. These events were common for every family. Millions of Canadian families had to “brutally” endure the great depression For instance, Maczim recalled meeting a person called Adam at his factory, who had two children. However, he had to leave his family because he was looking for jobs desperately. After few days, Maczim also realized that he should attempt to find a job, but his family did not allow him to do so. He was loitering around the town, but no one provided him a job; because other had their own problems as well. The only way most Canadian families survived was using government aid. Canadian Government provided a family with a $4.55 a week. Although it may seem little, but it was a huge a relief for millions of families. What's more, the prices of groceries were relatively low: a loaf of bread was 6 cents and flour was 11 cents per kilogram. Needless to say, these prices pale in comparison to the hardships that people went through.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

1920s American Influence on Canada: Music, Movies, Fashions, Dances

The 1920s in Canada wasn’t just a famous time period for the inventions, like the radio and Model T. It was also famous for the American influence on Canadian culture. American music, movies, fashions, dances and magazines dominated Canadian culture and the lives of young people. Almost every middle class citizen, like the members of the Ivanov family, could afford to buy tickets to watch movies in a local theater. The fare of a ticket was twenty five cents in 1924. Back then, there were only black and white silent movies. I don’t think anybody in modern here ever heard of silent movies, so let me explain it: silent movies are just like modern movies except no sound was present. Watching a silent movie today would be like amusing ourselves to death, but back then, people did enjoy them, as it was the only medium of visual entertainment. In fact, teenagers, young men and women in their twenties used to imitate characters in those movies. They wore baggy pants and greased down hats. They wore fashionable bright hats, bows and ties. Jazz was also a big part of Canadian lives. Canada idealized American movie stars. Couples, after their marriage, would continuously dance for days!! It was reported that in the later 1920s, a Canadian teenager was hospitalized due to non-stop dancing. He danced for four days, before finally became unconscious.

During the midst of American takeover of Canadian values, conservative parents, namely those who recently immigrated to Canada, were worried about their kids. Most of them wanted their kids to stick Canadian traditions and values. (I’m not saying American culture is bad :-), but I’m just reporting facts, and the information retained from the interview I had the Ivanov family.) In the 20s, Mary Pickford was a famous Canadian actress, who also had a great reputation in Hollywood. She stood up for Canadian values over the American’s. Pickford gave Canada a great stance in the American film-world, and also in a time where America took over Canadian culture. Despite Pickford’s to elevate Canadian culture, young women were prejudiced by American fashions. Flappers were the most common dress to women at the time.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Inventions of the 1920s in Canada

During the Roaring Twenties, Canadian cities were rapidly growing. With the recently invented radio, people had access to news happening in North America. Sometimes people enjoyed sports news, especially hockey. People gathered around radios when they hear the voice of Foster Hewitt, who was the most famous sportscaster then, in 1920s and 1930s. People could listen to news, music, entertainment shows and weather forecast. Suddenly, the North American continent became a small village. Somebody in Edmonton knew what was happening PEI or New York. For some middle class families, like the Ivanov family that I’ve been writing about for the past week, radio was an expensive device. On average, a middle class woman earned per hour. During the twenties, however, job market was more diverse. With the end of WWI, Canada families reunited with their recently came loves ones. People who couldn’t afford to buy a radio, newspapers were the only available media source for them. Furthermore, radios were common cafes and stores. It’s was common see small groups of people gather around a radio to listen news and entertainment events.

Another great invention at the period was the automobile. Needless to say, the Ivanov family couldn’t even dream of buying one. Since the invention of the automobile, many more job opportunities were available for middle class families. Many men resigned from their conventional jobs, and began working as road building laborers. Indeed, roads and traffic signs were rapidly built. Filet’s working supervisor had a model T car and he used to come to work by that. As he recalled, the supervisor would say “That is the best,” Everywhere in a given town, roads were built and automobiles had changed the daily life of people. Model T – invented by Henry Ford – was the most common automobile. With a Model T, two hour journey can be accomplished by just fifteen minutes. As a result, families could invite relatives far away for a dinner, for instance, and have a good time.

Read more about Model T - http://canadian-history.blogspot.com/2010/02/history-of-model-t-automobile-in-canada.html

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Introducing to the Ivanov Family

Over the past few days, I had the opportunity to talk to a Russian family who immigrated to Canada at the turn of the century, in 1901. I already wrote two posts about their adventurous journey as new comers to Canada. But I forgot to introduce them to you! :-( It's pity, but first thing is first - here's a brief introduction to the Ivanov family:

"As a Russian family, The Ivanov family came to Canada at the Turn of the Century. They managed to settle in Manitoba because of job opportunities and availability of free land. Mr. Ivanov’s poor education made it hard to find a job and he finally managed to become a railway ballast laborer. The Ivanov family consisted of seven members. Filat, the older son of Mr and Mrs Ivnov, managed to job to support his family. Mrs. Ivanov, who was 35 then, could not find a job the in first few years after we had migrated to Canada. The sibling of Filat, Palton who was 12 and Pavel who was 10, often helped him to sell newspapers, which was his primary job at the time. Things the Ivanovs hoped were to provide their kids with a better education and hoped that they would become good citizens in the future.

The Ivanovs feared that they world be unemployed for a longer period of time because of their lack of education, their unfamiliarity of the new language and inability to adapt to an unfamiliar society. Because of these reasons, they never knew what would happen to their kids and to themselves. It was very hard for them to adapt to the new society because of poor language skills. Mr. Ivanov’s job, as a railway ballast laborer in the Brandon Railway Station, was the one of most significant events because it foreshadowed a rich future. Other important events include the days that Filat found his first job as a newspaper boy and the first day of his school in Kenton Junior High School in 1901. Filat admitted that he liked Canada because there was no violence; there were equality rights and a good education system."

If you haven't done so, please go back and read the previous two posts that I wrote earlier. I'll write again tomorrow.

-- David

Hardships During WWI

If you haven't, please read the introduction first

Continuation of the Russian story from the previous post…

“One thing that really shocked the Ivanov family was that Mrs. Ivanov got a hard job in her husband’s working place. When men had been dismissed because of the World War I, almost all women had to change their daily role as wives or as mothers. Therefore, same thing happened to Mrs. Ivanov. She had to do a job to earn money because of missing her sons.

At the beginning, Mrs. Ivanov dreamed of getting a job ever since she arrived in Canada. When Mr. Ivanov retired when he was 55 due to his terrible health conditions, she was willing to take a job in my father’s work place. Mr. Ivanov’s work place was converted into artillery manufacturing company during World War I. Mrs. Ivanov also thought, if she did not get it immediately, some one else would get it. For that reason, at the beginning, she got along with her new job, as a machine operator. As she did it, she understood the hardship of that occupation. She worked with chemicals that used for explosives. She was paid the minimum wage, fifteen cents, and that was worse than what her husband used to earn. This was very common at the time - women at her work place were treated badly because many men did not recognize women’s rights and freedoms. They had different attitudes toward women. They had to work with heavy machines. Women also had to make artillery for the war in the Home Front. They had to load and unload heavy equipment to and from the cargo trains.

For Mrs Ivanov, she didn’t have any safety awareness at her factory, while she was working with chemicals and other hazards. One day, her hair was colored in yellow and it smelled like gunpowder. On the other hand, many women, including Mrs. Ivanov, fought to gain their rights in elections. They argued that the Canadian government must give them the right to vote in elections. Women justified their reasons stating that they had worked hard in factories to make weapons and other artillery gears. Because of the demands of women, Canadian Government gave that opportunity for women who had relationships with Canadian troops. Even though, women got the right to vote in elections, their working conditions didn’t changed. As WW I progressed, women had to work under toughest conditions yet!”

Next: ups and downs through The Roaring Twenties

- Daivd

A Russian Family's take on Canada at the Turn of the Century

If you haven't, please read the introduction first

“ The worst thing that happened to the Ivanov family in this time period was the dismiss of Povel and Palton due to WWI. Povel and Palton were sibling of Filat. As the family recalled, Mr. Ivanov had told their sons “It is your responsibility to save your kids and country”. He also said, “Russians are on the battlefield, so you must go and join them” Therefore, Filat, the olderest son, left with no choice. Filat's wife, Anya, had a two year old son, Maczim. Anya and Mrs. Ivanov didn't like the fact that Filat was going for the war leaving the family behind. Mr. Ivanov decided not to go for the war because of his old age. He was then 55 years old at the time. However, he was glad to see his sons leaving home for the Western Front. The day they left was a significant moment in everyone's life. As soon as they left home, the Ivanov family had changed. Mr Ivanov retired from his job. Therefore, his wife had to find a job. Many vacancies were there due to the missing men in the war. She was given a job in the same place where her husband used to work; in the railway ballast labor camp. Filat's two sisters, Sabina and Selena, decided to help their mother. Nevertheless, Mr. Ivanov didn't allow them to do so. However, after Filat had arrived home they told him that they got plenty of time after school, and spent that time helping Mrs. Ivanov. Anya, came to live with Filat's parents. She couldn't help Mrs. Ivanov and Filat's sisters in the factory because she had to take care of Maczim. However, she did help Mrs Ivanov at home and she also looked after Mr. Ivanov. There was a letter written by Filat to the Ivanov family while he was serving at Vimy Ridge in March in 1917. On those days, everybody felt confident about the Allies’ victory because of the great battle. However, as a newly immigrated family, the Ivanovs' always worried about thier kids. On top of that, when Filat had arrived at home, he was informed that Platon, who was thirty years old then, killed during a battle in Passchendele in 1917. This is another dreadful moment that the Ivaonovs still share. Mr. Ivanov did not feel as bad as Mrs. Ivanov. Mr. Ivanov said Platon served bravely for Canada.”

This is just the first part of the discussion that I had with the Ivaov Family. More to come later.

- David

Sunday, February 28, 2010

History of Abolitionism in Canada

The uniqueness of being a Canadian is to be able live freely with being prejudiced or segregated in the society. Every Canadian have been blessed by the God for stand up against racial discrimination and stand for equality. There is no other nation in the world like Canada that stand up against racism and discrimination.

Couple of centuries ago, a group of patriots gathered in Toronto, Ontario to solve a common conflict. They went for the southern parts of the United States eliminate slavery from plantations. They guided those slaves through an underground railroad to the peaceful nation of Canada, where people would gather for a common cause, rather than being divided. Those abolitionists, despite the unlawful attacks by the states sheriffs and other law-enforcements, bravely managed to free more than hundred of slaves from the cruel hands of their masters. Consequently, today our society expresses gratitude to the moral accountability of humanity and shares the values of those people.

As time progressed, while slavery drew to a conclusion in the 1940s, another major conflict erupted in Germany. When Adolf Hitler became the chancellor, racism and fascism exceeded the bounds of peace. Hitler, once stated Jews as vermin and were responsible for the defeat in World War I, determined to take the ravage from them. As a result, as we all know, he placed Jews in ghettos and concentration camps, and some were beaten, and some were burned, and some were gassed. As Canadian troops liberated Jews from the death camps, they led all those who were deprived to the freedom of Canada.

Over and over again, Canada always tried to promote freedom and peace. Although many consider Canadian contributions are worthless, history contracts it. When the slavery was at its peak in US in 1840-1860, more than 30,000 American Slaves came to Canada for freedom. There are countless examples of Canadian contributions to promote unity and peace in world. That's just one thing that only Canada - no other country in the world - can be proud about.

Brief Description about Wilfrid Laurier

He was great leader who once proclaimed “The nineteenth century was the century of the United States. I think that we can claim that it is Canada that shall fill the twentieth century.” Canada was greatly while he was the prime minister of Canada.During the crisis of Boer war, English Canadians argued that Canada should support Britians colony, while French argued that Canada should stay away from conflicts. The prime minister settled the argument by allowing people who were willing to battle. Eventually, around 10000 Canadians fought in Boer war. Laurier argued Alberta and Saskatchewan, should have a Roman Catholic school system supported by taxes, much like the Ontario education system. Clifford Sifton, Canada’s Minister of the Interior, resigned over this proposal. He was often referred to as the ‘master of compromise due to the extensive amount of work he did on behalf of the Canadians. In 1911 he won British support for his proposal that Canada should not be bound by British treaties. Laurier argued that Canadian independence cannot be abused by Britain. In the 1911 federal election, Henri Bourassa’s Nationalist Party in Quebec and Robert Borden’s Conservatives defeated Laurier’s Liberals. Left with only 88 seats following the election, the Liberals were out of power and Robert Borden became prime minister.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

History of Model T Automobile in Canada


This is a type of Model T car. This picture was taken in Brandon Manitoba at an automobile show. At the time, Model T was used by top-class Canadians only. Almost Every body in higher classes had an automobile. Working class Canadians and recent immigrants had to rely on conventional means of transportations, ideally cycling and horse back riding. Model T was around $ 400 in 1925. The inventor of Model T, Henry Ford, was a popular name across Canada during this decade because of his great invention. Roads, speed limit signs and other signals were begun to build rapidly across Canada as result of the advancement of automobile. Model T was widely credited as the first affordable automobile. It was said to “put America and Canadians” on wheels. Since now families have automobiles, they visited their relatives on weekdays. What used to take hours and hours of traveling now only took minutes.

With the invention of the automobile came the assembly line. The assembly line, also a great invention by Henry Ford, accelerated the process of making cars. Before the line, rate of production was much lower, however; it took only few minutes to make a new car. Thus, in the late 1900s, over 472,000 cars were made. With higher production and lower costs, even much more people managed to buy a new car. Model T was a sign of prosperity in Canada in late 1990s. The assembly line also created numerous number of employment opportunities. In the roaring twenties, Canadians had access to wide variety of job opportunities – just in the auto sector only.

At the beginning of the great depression, people couldn’t afford to but cars anymore. Newly produced cars were pilled up in storages. That’s was basically the end of the era of Model T, but not Ford. Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company is still regarded as one of the greatest cooperate automobile manufactures of all time.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Memories of 1919 Winnipeg General Strike


This picture was taken during the Winnipeg General Strike. On May 15 in 1919, around 15 000 additional people, most of them were labors, came to Winnipeg to give their support. Shops closed and most of labors strike against the government and employers, demanding better working conditions and better wages. At the end of the strike, one person killed and around 30 were killed. On June 21 1919 known as Bloody Saturday as a result of these violent activities .How ever, many labor leaders who participated in the strike were arrested and many other people found that they were fired form their jobs. Some people were fighting against police officers. Although, some people went to see the protest they never played a key role because they were influenced not to do so. Their mangers at the work place did not allow to them to open their mouth. The values of democracy were put in the backseat during the strike. Some were beaten and some were killed during this protest. Employees were against the government. Employees demanded better working condition and wages. They demanded to increase their wages (eighty five cents an hour).

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The History of the Royal Canadian Air Force

Prior to WWII, Canada did not have a large number of military equipment. However, as the war progressed, Canada began to expand its military and artillery material. As Germany began to overrun many counties, such as Denmark, Norway, and above all, France, Canada realized that Britain was in great danger. Nevertheless, at the end of the WWII, Canada claimed the fourth largest Air Force in the world. Therefore, Royal Canadian Air Force significantly contributed for the victory of Allies in WWII by training aircrews in Allied countries, playing a leading role in the Battle of Britain, bombing over Germany, and giving protection to Allied troops from the skies.

First, one of the main initial functions of the Royal Canadian Air Force was to aid in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Pilots from many countries, such as Australia, and New Zealand participated to for this program. At the end of the war, 131, 553 pilots were trained from Canadian institutions. From that, 42 110 pilots went to Royal Air Force, 9606 went to Royal Australian Air Force and 7002 went for Royal New Zealand Air Force.(Shores,1984,p.30) Those pilots who trained from Canadian institutions gave a massive contribution for the victory of Allies in WWII. Therefore, Canada contributed by training pilots in Canadian free open skies, which trainees contributed for the Allies' victory in WWII.

Secondly, Royal Canadian Air Force made a momentous contribution in the Battle of Britain. As England Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, stated, "The Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin", the Battle of Britain began by alarming Allied nations. After France surrendered, the German Air Force, Luftwaffe, began to bomb southern England and London in August 1940. Nevertheless, Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Air Force gained six victories in the first ten day of the Battle of Britain in the difficult circumstances. Flt Lt P S 'Stan' Turner, and Flt Lt Roberts Grassick were some of the successful Canadian pilots, who played a vital role in the Battle of Britain. The Royal Canadian Contribution in Britain had increased, as three squadrons formed in eight months. (Shores, 1984, pp.46-47) These included five-day and three night units in Fighter command. Royal Canadian Air Force claimed more than 60 night victories in the Battle of Britain. Most successful Canadian night fighter pilots in Western Europe had been R A Kipp and R Bannock. (Shores, 1984, p.56) Due to this massive contribution of Royal Canadian Air Force, German attacks over Britain had stopped. Without Canadian support, Britain would have fallen into German attacks. Therefore, Royal Canadian Air Force made a significant contribution saving Britain against the rain of German bombs.

Thirdly, Royal Canadian Air Force gave a great support to Royal Air Force in bombing over Germany. For instance, on May17 1943, Royal Canadian Air Force were involved in the bombing activities on hydroelectric installations in the Ruhr Valley of Germany. Because of the Canadians great efforts, they managed to blow up two dams of the hydroelectric plant. The Royal Canadian Air Force pilots risked their lives over German skies. They weaken much military equipment and other war material in Germany. Accordingly, the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Air Force work together in bombing missions over Germany. Therefore, Royal Canadian Air Force helped many Allied nations by destroying much of the valuable German resources.

Finally, Royal Canadian Air Force helped protecting Allied troops on ground. Since Canada transported many resources to Europe by using convoys, the Royal Canadian Observation Post had the responsibility for protecting as many convoys as they could. Consequently, by the end of the 1943, U - boat activities in the Western Atlantic was greatly reduced and controlled by Royal Canadian Air Force. (Shores, 1984, p.38) Furthermore, 36-bomber squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force secured the skies over Juno Beach on D - Day. 404 squadron attacked three German destroyers on the first day of D - Day. Moreover, during the first days of the invasion of Normandy, 414 of Royal Canadian Air Force was involved in spotting ships and supplies supporting on lands for Allied troops. As a result, many of these goods went into Allied forces without harm from enemy attacks. Eventually, these incidents led to the liberation in the Europe. Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Air Force protected troops and resources on ground from Germans. For that reason, Royal Canadian Air Force provided a remarkable service for the liberation of Europe and the victory for Allied nations.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Standardized Testing System During WWI

Standardized tests have been used extensively in the past century to evaluate students’ progress in their academic career. For example, standardized testing system in the United States began during the First World War, when they required a system to test soldiers’ aptitude and knowledge. Invented by Robert Yerkes, a psychologist at the American Psychological Association and the chairmen of the Committee on the Psychological Examination of Recruits, SATs were used to evaluate over 6 million us soldiers. The exam concluded soldiers who had northern European family roots scored better than the once who emigrated from Eastern Europe.

Furthermore, soldiers with higher scores perform better in the invasion of France. Many of them, Canadians included, managed to communicate in a way that is efficient and easier. Canadain soldiers, needless to say, were very fluent in French. Upon arriving in France, they talked to french soldiers in a way thay Germans couldn't understand.

During WWI, soldiers who perform better in those standardized test were more effective in carrying out militery strategies than others. Analogy: a person who graduated from university is more smarter than who has graduated from high school.

United States marine, who came to battlefield in the last 100 days were well trained by ground officials. In other words, they had access to what Canadian soldires did not - they had more time for preparations. Those preparations include standardized testing. People who failed the initial testing were subjected to second round, and the next round if they did not perform any better. An army of testing officials were also recurred during WWI in both Canada and United States. Thus, when American army join Canadian and other allies on D-Day, they brought state-of-the art machine guns and tanks - which was a turning point of WWI.

Standardized testing system invented during WWI proved that, if it was well used, more productive results can be achieved, namely the victory for allies in World War I. Nowadays, these testing systems are very common all over the world - especially in Canada, America and Europe. In America alone, over 10 million students write SAT every year.

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