O Canada

The RCMP turns 100

When Canada bought Rupert’s Land from the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1870, it needed to police those millions of square kilometres, so in 1873, the North West Mounted Police was formed by an act of Parliament. Successful applicants had to be males between the ages of 18 and 40, of sound constitution and good...
  • A grand hotel

    August 10, 2018 by Don Gillmor
    The Château Frontenac opened on Dec. 11, 1893, one of the grand Canadian Pacific Railway hotels that include the Banff Springs Hotel and the Chateau Lake Louise. Designed by American architect Bruce Price, it sits on a prominent site in Quebec City, perched 54 metres...
  • The short heroic life of Buzz Beurling

    May 25, 2018 by Don Gillmor
    George (Buzz) Beurling was credited with 31½ “kills” in the Second World War, more than any other Canadian pilot, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order, Distinguished Flying Cross and two Distinguished Flying Medals. He was a gifted pilot, a superb marksman and fearless in...
  • Berton’s correspondent

    April 10, 2018 by Don Gillmor
    Lester Giffin was a private with the 85th Battalion at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917. In the years after that momentous battle, he felt its importance hadn’t been recognized by the general public, and in 1982, at the age of 89, he decided...
  • Crowfoot’s lament

    January 17, 2018 by Don Gillmor
    After Confederation, the West was being transformed. A railway was being built, uniting the country but displacing both the bison and the First Nations. Soldiers and settlers were arriving. Louis Riel was trying to gather support for his rebellion. In 1879, Crowfoot, chief of the...
  • The last PoW

    December 14, 2017 by Don Gillmor
    On Dec. 5, 1952, Andrew Robert MacKenzie was flying over North Korea in his F-86 Sabre jet when he experienced hydraulic problems. He was at 42,000 feet, in a firefight with enemy MiG jets when he was hit. “Before I could take any evasive action,...
  • Dallaire’s nightmare

    September 19, 2017 by Don Gillmor
    I too was a commander who set out on what I thought was an exciting adventure,” Romeo Dallaire writes in Waiting for First Light: My Ongoing Battle with PTSD, “only to bear witness to the most terrible horrors on earth.” It is a familiar story, one first heard in...
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