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Camac
Posted: 03-Apr-2009, 08:05 AM
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valpal59;

I am pleased that you are interested in learning about Canada and I and my fellow Canadian Posters will do our best to inform you and anyone about Our Land.
To start, Canada is a Constitutional Monarchy within a Parliamentary Government.
That means that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is our Head of State. It is purely symbolic as she is also Head of State to most Commonwealth countries. She is represented in Canada by a Govenor General (Vice Regal) who up until just after WWII was usually some British Lord appointed by the Crown. That changed in the early 50s' when the Canadian Government appointed Vincent Massey the first born Canadian to the position. Since then all GGs have been Canadian Citizens. There are no Peers, Lords or Aristocracy in Canada as that was forbbiden in 1929 by Act of Parliament. No Canadian Citizen may accept a Peerage and keep his/her citizenship. Our Parlianment is made up of two Houses, The Commons that is elected and the Senate that is appointed. The Senate is called "The Place of Sober Second Thought" but really has no power to make laws just recommend or ammend. It is the same with the Queen and GG, they can only advise, consent, recommend and suggest.The Commons is the Supreme Authority in Canada. Our political system is very different from yours as we do not vote for any individual but for the Party. There are four major political parties here, Conservative (Republican) Liberal (Democrats), New Democrats (Socialist), and the Bloc Qubecois, (Regional Seperatist Party from Quebec) whichever party gains the most seats in Parliament forms the government and the leader of that Party (who is elected in a Party Convention)becomes Prime Minister. The Prime Minister and all Cabinet Ministers must be elected and hold a seat in Parliament. All Judges, Magistrates, and Justice of Peace are appointed not elected. We do not have District Attorneys but Crown Prosecutors. Our Criminal Law is National in that it is under the Federal Govenments Purview and the same in all Provinces and Territories.
So there is a little abridged Primer on our system. It is not perfect but it seems to work pretty good.


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oldraven 
Posted: 03-Apr-2009, 09:56 AM
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That's a good assesment, Camac, but I do want to point out that we do vote for representatives, and not for a party. We simply don't vote for our leader. We vote for our local MP (Member of Parliament) and that seat goes to a national tally of seats to see which party wins the election. The problem is, most people in the country do see it as a party race, not a representative's race. This is an issue, because many people will vote based on what the PM hopefuls have to say, and not what the person they're actually voting for has to say. You could be thinking you're voting for one policy, but may end up voting for another (not all members of a caucus have to have the same stance on every issue). I wish more people did think this way, because it would be a true representation of their ideals in the House of Commons.

That being said, I'd like to elaborate on what you said about our ministers and PM needing to be elected in their riding. If the party leader (the MP who is in the running to be Prime Minister) does not win in his/her riding, they aren't in the Government, even if their party gets the majority of seats. When that happens, the party caucus must pick a new leader, and essentially appoint a Prime Minister. Also of note is the fact that because the Caucus chooses their leader, there is no such thing as a Leader's Race, like they have in the USA.


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Camac
Posted: 03-Apr-2009, 10:10 AM
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oldraven;

Two things. Your right about voting I remember years ago when you got your ballot only the name of the Candidate was on it no party now it has the name and the party. Also if the leader of a party does not get a seat in Parliament he/she can wait for a by-election and get Parachuted in. Usually its a safe riding where the party has persuaded their winner to step aside and let the Leader run. It just happend here in Ontario with the Conservative Leader John Tory. For 18 months he had no seat. The Conservative persauded a member in a rural riding to step aside and let Tory run. He lost again and resigned as Party Leader.


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Leelee 
Posted: 04-Apr-2009, 02:45 PM
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Aye, yes here I am biggrin.gif Leelee from Western Canada thumbs_up.gif Yes, Canada is a beautiful country far and wide. We're brave, we're strong and we're free biggrin.gif

I have yet to discover more of my neighbouring Provinces, although I am hesitant to visit the Northern Territories. unsure.gif I have had the pleasure to adventure Victoria Island, Interior British Columbia, Alberta (of course) and Saskatchewan. Ah, yes I have yet to take the Train; not counting the one in Fort Edmonton Park (for part of the tour). Hopefully in the near future I'll have the opportunity to visit the Eastern Provinces and Coast smile.gif

I love the mountains as you can tell from my photo album, beautiful lakes, great fishing and hiking trails. Helicopter tours for a birdseye view (did that in Saskatchewan for the first time, absolutely awesome view wink.gif ).

The fishing is great on Pierce Lake (Meadow Lakes Provincial Parks) in Saskatchewan. Many lakes to choose from and plenty of camping spots available, cottages too. Pierce Lake was my first experience seeing a full grown Bull Moose and I might add, quite close. We were in a fishing in a small boat being very quiet and he was among the reeds close to the bank. My heart was hammering.....I knew moose were big, but eek.gif I tell ya, he was one big mother!!!! Anyhow back to the fishing.....you can catch Northern Pike, Walleye, Yellow Perch, Rainbow Trout, Lake Trout, Brown Trout, Arctic Grayling and others. I had my first Helicopter tour at Pierce Lake; the scenery is breathtaking and the Lakes are bountiful thumbs_up.gif

Another great place to fish is Nanoose Bay just outside of Parksville, Victoria Island, B.C. Again many Camping Spots, Hotels, B & Bs, Cottages etc. We have chartered a boat a few times to fish for Salmon in the Georgia, Strait. Now Ocean fishing is much different than Lake fishing. The water is much rougher where we caught fish down-rigging. Closer to the Island there are the serene, still waters to fish in.....verra nice biggrin.gif

I didn't care for Parksville as a town; we stayed in a B & B outside of the township.
I have more to share and shall return. I will try to post some links for some of these great places. TTFN smile.gif thumbs_up.gif


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Camac
Posted: 05-Apr-2009, 09:20 AM
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Leelee;

When I started this post I said I didn't want it to be a contest about who is better. I should have also said I didn't want it to be a Travelouge. Canada is a big country, 2nd largest in the World, and each and every part of it has breathtaking scenery but that is not Who we are. Granted the Geography of the Land helped to shape us.
The diversity of the country moulded the diversity of the people. Fishermen to the coasts, lumbermen to the great forests, the trappers and miners to the north. The coalmen to the Maritimes, the farmers, cattlemen, and oilmen to the Prairies,the manufacturers to the areas around the Great Lakes. All this and more shaped our History, Politics, and Culture. The Hudson Bay Company opened this land with the trappers seeking the Beaver and the Explorers mapping the routes. The Canadian Pacific Railroad linked the Country to-gether and brought British Columbia into
Conferderation. It carried the settlers to farm the Great Plains and make Canada one of the largest wheat producers in the World. It carried that wheat to the ports on each coast and the lakehead to be sold and shipped. All along its route towns and villages sprang up, some to become cities and with the cities came new immigrants and prosperity. As the settlers moved West they were met by the North West Mounted Police who carried and enforced the Law. In Canada there was no Wild West as depicted by Hollywood. Thats not to say that it was always peaceful, but that is for further discussion.

I would like those who read this thread to ask questions and discuss Why we are Who we are. This thread is to inform people that we are part of the World and should not be ignored or marginalized. Canada in its brief History has accomplished many great and important things and should be recognized.


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valpal59 
Posted: 05-Apr-2009, 12:15 PM
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Camac,
O.K. now I feel stupid. I did not realize that Canada was that big in agriculture. I live in an area that relies on agriculture to exist. Wheat is also our top crop. Corn is our next big crop then cotton, soybeans and sunflowers. Cattle is also big here.
Again, thank you for starting this topic. thumbs_up.gif

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Camac
Posted: 05-Apr-2009, 12:46 PM
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valpal

The province of Prince Edward Island has been referred to as "The 100,000 Acre Potato Farm. We grow, wheat, barley, alphalfa. rye, corn. potatoes, apples (the MacIntosh was developed here), peaches, pears, plumbs, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, carrotts, tomatos, cabbage, and turnips (rutabagas). Canada is very diverse in its' agriculture. The Niagara Peninsula in Ontario is World renowned for its' Wines . Ice Wine was first developed there. The Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia and the Oakanogan Valley in British Columbia are know for their Apples. Just North of Toronto on the way to Barrie you pass through the Holland Marsh, a hugh swamp that was drained by Dutch immigrants just after WWII and is one BIG Veggie Farm and I mean BIG. We don't grow Oranges or Grapefruit, or Bananas but if it was warm enough we could and would.


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Leelee 
Posted: 05-Apr-2009, 03:07 PM
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QUOTE
Camac Posted on 05-Apr-2009, 08:20 AM
Leelee;

When I started this post I said I didn't want it to be a contest about who is better. I should have also said I didn't want it to be a Travelouge. Canada is a big country, 2nd largest in the World, and each and every part of it has breathtaking scenery but that is not Who we are.


Gotcha Camac smile.gif Okay I shall start with a bit of History of Fort Edmonton.....

Fort Edmonton and Fort Augustus



The fur trade rivalry between the North West Company (NWC) and the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) directly contributed to the development of Fort Edmonton on the north bank of the North Saskatchewan River. When the NWC aggressively moved inland to capture French-Canadian fur trade territory, the HBC countered by establishing trading posts in direct opposition. In 1792, when the NWC built Fort George on the North Saskatchewan River, the HBC built another post, Buckingham House, right beside them. In the summer of 1795, under the orders of Angus Shaw of the NWC, John McDonald of Garth, James Hughes and crew, built Fort Augustus, three kilometres north of present-day Fort Saskatchewan. The following autumn, William Tomison (Inland Master and also in charge at Buckingham House) sent his men up to build the first Fort Edmonton, at the mouth of Sturgeon River, a "musket-shot" away from Fort Augustus.

Fort Edmonton was named by Tomison for Edmonton, Middlesex, England, the place of residence of the Lake family, no less than five of whom were influential members of the HBC Committee between 1697 and 1807.

Soon after the establishment of Fort Augustus and Edmonton House, an additional two posts were created in the same vicinity by the competing XY Company and Ogilvie’s. In this period of bitter rivalry, the smaller forts survived only a short time. Between the autumn of 1795 and 1799, the NWC and HBC established two more dual sites along the upper North Saskatchewan between Rocky Mountain House and modern Edmonton. The NWC’s Boggy Hall was countered by the HBC’s Pembina House; and the NWC’s Whitemud House was countered by the HBC’s Nelson House. Neither location became important in trade history.

Rocky Mountain House, established in 1799, when the NWC built Rocky Mountain House and the HBC countered with Acton House, was the last in the chain of dual posts throughout the prairies. Both companies made one attempt at establishing posts out in the plains, building Chesterfield Houses at the junction of the Red Deer and South Saskatchewan Rivers. The posts lasted a mere two years and were never rebuilt.

Initially, both Fort Augustus and Fort Edmonton were quite successful at producing good trade returns. In 1797, as many as 12,512 beaver furs were traded at Fort Edmonton. Nonetheless, by 1800, the volume of furs traded started to drop. Such a steady decline in trading was common in many areas since posts usually exploited the fur resources in their immediate area. Another reason for moving trading posts was the consumption of all available firewood and timbers for building within range of their transportation. In 1801, both the NWC and HBC decided to move approximately 30 kilometres upstream. The new location was a river flat that had been used as a camping and meeting place for thousands of years, now known as the Rossdale Flats in central Edmonton.

In 1810, both posts moved to the mouth of the White Earth Creek near modern Smoky Lake, where they remained for two years. By 1813, both posts were back on the North Saskatchewan, at the Rossdale Flats site. The site was on the border of territory disputed over by the Cree and Blackfoot peoples. Better still, the area lay at the meeting point of territory patrolled by the Blackfoot to the south and the Cree, Dene, and Assiniboine to the north.

After the amalgamation of the NWC and HBC in 1820, the name Fort Augustus was dropped and fur trade operations were centralized in Fort Edmonton. The post was soon selected as district headquarters for the North Saskatchewan region. Despite its new designation, Fort Edmonton kept its responsibilities for trade, transport and provisioning to fulfill in its own area. Fort Edmonton was a provisioning post, responsible for much of the pemmican and both dried and fresh meat consumed by traders and employees in the Athabasca region as well as the brigades in the Saskatchewan region. The post garden, a common feature of HBC posts, became increasingly important as the number of employees, their families and the support community continued to grow.

John Rowand was appointed Chief Trader shortly after the amalgamation of the NWC and the HBC. When the Rossdale Flats flooded twice between 1825 and 1830, Rowand decided to move his post to higher ground. The new Fort Edmonton on the river terrace was not completed until 1832, and its most imposing feature was the "Big House" or "Rowand’s Folly" as some called it. At three stories tall and containing sixteen rooms, including a ballroom and a men’s mess, Rowand’s House was acknowledges as the most expensive home west of Fort York. Today there is a replica at the Fort Edmonton Park.

The Fort, itself, was described in an early 20th century newspaper article as having high pickets and bastions and battlemented gateways, all enclosing an area 310 feet by 210 feet. The palisades were eighteen feet high and on the inside featured a high gallery, with a blockhouse on each corner. The stockade was still in place in 1887. On three sides were large gates, the one facing the river called the "Indian Gate". Accounts differ in their description of this feature. Some describe it as so small that one person could only enter by stooping. Other descriptions have a narrow door inset in the gate.

Perhaps no individual is as closely associated with the history of this post as John Rowand. He was a remarkable figure: tough, egotistical but an excellent trader and administrator. He was liked by many Aboriginal people, and respected by the rest. Company employees found him tough, but they respected and probably feared him a bit too. Rowand commanded Edmonton until his death in 1854. One story of his death claimed that he suffered a stroke while berating his son. He was replaced by William Christie, who served at the fort from 1858 to 1872.

The position of Edmonton as administrative center of the provisioning posts, and as one link in the system of trails that led across the prairies and into the mountains, brought many visitors to the post. Among the visitors were the Palliser expedition, the Hind expedition, the Earl of Southesk with his men, Viscount Milton and Dr. Cheadle, and the Overlanders. As the Fort Edmonton community, and all the little communities around it, continued to grow, more services were provided and soon, the Catholic, Anglican, and Methodist Churches sent missionaries.

The site of the Fort became the Legislature Grounds in Edmonton, a site the HBC occupied until completion of the Legislature required the final demolition of the last Fort Edmonton buildings just prior to the First World War.


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Camac
Posted: 05-Apr-2009, 04:41 PM
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Leelee;
Good article well researched and I'm glad you posted it.
It is interesting to note that the Hudson Bay Company, a great rival of what was to become the Northwest Company, headquartered in Montreal, came into being in 1670 through the efforts of two French-Canadian Courier du Bois, , Radisson and Groseilliers when they approach Prince Rupert the cousin of King Charles II of England with the idea of setting up a company to trade for Beaver in Hudsons' Bay. Thus was born the oldest retail merchant in the world and English Canada.. Edmonton Alberta is one of many towns and cities that grew from the HBC Trading Posts. In 1869 The Hudson Bay Company ceded all lands in the watershed of Hudsons' Bay to the Dominion of Canada. Please post more on the History of Alberta and the West.


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Posted: 06-Apr-2009, 08:43 AM
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Since we are talking about our country and what made us to who we are now then I think that though it's history I would like to tell about one the major battle in Quebec history which was a turning point in what contributed to bring the Province of Quebec to what it is today and it is the "Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

It was one of the bloodiest battle of its history,which this year will celebrate its 250th anniversary,and to this day unfortunately the French did not take the defeat kindly.The French are a very stubborn lot I must say. tongue.gif

I will post its history my segment as it is a bit lenghty and by doing so when one's read it will have a better understanding of what happen in those dreadful days.

The first segment will be about the battle itself and its preparations.

Battle of the Plains of Abraham

The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, also known as the Battle of Quebec, was a pivotal battle in the Seven Years' War (referred to as French and Indian War in the United States). The confrontation, which began on 12 September 1759, was fought between the British Army and Navy, and the French Army, on a plateau just outside the walls of Quebec City. The battle involved fewer than 10,000 troops between both sides, but proved to be a deciding moment in the conflict between France and Britain over the fate of New France, influencing the later creation of Canada.

The culmination of a three-month siege by the British, the battle lasted less than an hour. British troops commanded by General James Wolfe successfully resisted the column advance of French troops and Canadian military under Louis-Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm. Both generals were mortally wounded during the battle; Wolfe died on the field and Montcalm died the next morning. In the wake of the battle, France's remaining military force in Canada and the rest of North America came under increasing pressure from British forces. Within four years, nearly all of France's possessions in eastern North America would be ceded to Great Britain.


Preparations

Through the summer siege, illness spread through the British camps. The French easily defeated an initial invasion attempt east of the city on 31 July in the Battle of Beauport, with heavy British casualties, and in August, Wolfe himself was bedridden, causing already low morale to slump even further among the British troops. With many men in camp hospitals, British fighting numbers were thinned, and Wolfe personally felt that a new attack was needed by the end of September, or Britain's opportunity would be lost. In addition, his frustration with Montcalm's defensive stance continued to grow. In a letter to his mother, Wolfe wrote, "The Marquis of Montcalm is at the head of a great number of bad soldiers, and I am at the head of a small number of good ones that wish for nothing so much as to fight him; but the wary old fellow avoids an action, doubtful of the behaviour of his army." Montcalm also expressed frustration over the long siege, relating that he and his troops slept clothed and booted, and his horse was always saddled in preparation for an attack.

After considering and rejecting a number of plans for landings on the north shore, a decision was made in late August by Wolfe and his brigadiers to land upriver of the city. If successful, such a landing would force Montcalm to fight, as a British force on the north shore of the St. Lawrence would cut his supply lines to Montreal. Initial suggestions for landing sites ranged as far as 32 kilometres up the St. Lawrence, which would have given the French troops one or two days to prepare for the attack. Following the failed British assault on Montmorency, Montcalm altered his deployment, sending Bougainville and a column of approximately 1,500 regular troops, 200 cavalry, and a group of New French militia — some 3,000 men in all — upriver to Cap-Rouge to monitor the British ships upstream. He further strengthened his defences of the Beauport shore following the abandonment of the British camp at Montmorency, which he regarded as preparations for a descent on Beauport. In spite of warnings from local commanders, he did not view an upstream landing as a serious possibility.

The British, meanwhile, prepared for their risky deployment upstream. Troops had already been aboard landing ships and drifting up and down the river for several days when Wolfe on 12 September, made a final decision on the British landing site, selecting L'Anse-au-Foulon. L'Anse-au-Foulon is a cove situated southwest of the city, three kilometres upstream from Cap Diamant. It lies at the bottom of a 53-metre high cliff leading to the plateau above, and was protected by a battery of guns. It is not known why Wolfe selected Foulon, as the original landing site was to be further up the river, in a position where the British would be able to develop a foothold and strike at Bougainville's force to draw Montcalm out of Quebec and onto the plains. Brigadier-General George Townshend wrote that "by some intelligence the General had, he has changed his mind as to the place he intended to land." In his final letter, dated HMS Sutherland, 8:30 p.m. September 12, Wolfe wrote:

“ I had the honour to inform you today that it is my duty to attack the French army. To the best of my knowledge and ability, I have fixed upon that spot where we can act with most force and are most likely to succeed. If I am mistaken I am sorry for it and must be answerable to His Majesty and the public for the consequences. ”

Wolfe's plan of attack depended on secrecy and surprise. His plan required that a small party of men should land by night on the north shore, climb the tall cliff, seize a small road, and overpower the garrison that protected it, allowing the bulk of his army (5,000 men) to ascend the cliff and then deploy for battle on the plateau. Even if the first landing party succeeded in their mission and the army was able to follow, such a deployment would still leave his forces inside the French line of defense with no immediate retreat but the river. It is possible that Wolfe's decision to change the landing site was owing less to a desire for secrecy and more to his general disdain for his brigadiers (a feeling that was reciprocated); it is also possible that he was still suffering the effects of his illness and the opiates he used as painkillers.

Landing

Map of the battle of the plains of Abraham, September 13th, 1759Bougainville, tasked with the defence of the large area between Cap Diamant and Cap Rouge, was upstream with his troops at Cap Rouge on the night of 12 September, and missed seeing numerous British ships moving downstream. A camp of approximately 100 militia led by Captain Louis Du Pont Duchambon de Vergor, who had unsuccessfully faced the British four years previously at Fort Beauséjour, had been assigned to watch the narrow road at L'Anse-au-Foulon which followed a streambank, the Coulée Saint-Denis. On the night of 12 September and morning of 13 September, however, the camp may have contained as few as 40 men, as others were off harvesting. Vaudreuil and others had expressed their concern at the possibility of L'Anse-au-Foulon being vulnerable, but Montcalm dismissed them, saying 100 men would hold off the army until daylight, remarking, "It is not to be supposed that the enemies have wings so that they can in the same night cross the river, disembark, climb the obstructed acclivity, and scale the walls, for which last operation they would have to carry ladders."

Sentries did detect boats moving along the river that morning, but they were expecting a French supply convoy to pass that night — a plan that had been changed without Vergor being notified. When the boats, loaded with the first wave of British troops, were challenged, a French-speaking officer, either a Captain Fraser or Captain Donald McDonald of the 78th Fraser Highlanders battalion, was able to answer the challenge in excellent French, allaying suspicion.

The boats, however, had drifted slightly off course: instead of landing at the base of the road, many soldiers found themselves at the base of a slope. A group of 24 volunteers led by colonel William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe with fixed bayonets were sent to clear the picket along the road, and climbed the slope, a manoeuvre that allowed them to come up behind Vergor's camp and capture it quickly. Wolfe followed an hour later when he could use an easy access road to climb to the plain. Thus, by the time the sun rose over the Plains of Abraham, Wolfe's army had a solid foothold at the top of the cliffs.



This conclude the first segments of this great battle and I will post about the battle itself, its first engagements and the battle on the plains.

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Camac
Posted: 06-Apr-2009, 08:56 AM
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LOA;

Excellent. We have Leelee in the West, oldraven in the Maritimes, You in La Belle Provence (Quebec). With the consent of all of you I will cover Ontario. Also the War of 1812 on the Niagara Frontier and around Detroit. I would also like to cover the Great War 1914-1917 as I am totally fascinated by it. Between all of us we will tell any and all the History, Customs, Culture, and Politics of "OUR LAND".... thumbs_up.gif thumbs_up.gif thumbs_up.gif


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InRi 
Posted: 06-Apr-2009, 10:22 AM
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Great postings! thumbs_up.gif

I'll print out, translate into German and assemble to a kind of collection-book about the Canadian history. Of course with named nomination of the authors and a adequate appreciation.

Thank you very much!

Ingo


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Leelee 
Posted: 06-Apr-2009, 06:36 PM
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Jasper & Mount Robson
Early Climbers, Tourists and Settlements


Along with the surveyors and pack trains came men that knew how to handle the horses. Many of these, greatly impressed with the beauty of the area, decided ton stay and make a living. One of these was John Yates. He "came into real prominence early in 1907 when he was able to outmaneuver, outdrink and outride his opponents in a contest for the contract to carry the mail to the railroad construction camps between Edmonton and Tete Jaune Cache". (Ted Hart, 1979)

In 1906, A.O. Wheeler, organising the Alpine Club of Canada with Sir Sandford Fleming as Honorary President, decided that the organisations first assault should be on untrodden Mt. Robson. Wheeler convinced three experienced Canadian climbers to undertake the challenge - A.P. and Lucius Coleman and the Reverend George B. Kinney of Victoria.

After leaving the Saskatchewan River it took the climbing expedition 41 days to reach the base of "the imperial mountain of our aspiration; one vast, lone, snow-clad, cloud capped peak wrapped in the solitude of centuries" (Esther Fraser, 1969). Unfortunately, it had taken the group weeks longer than anticipated. Their food was almost gone and their horses were sick and lame. Finally, after reaching Emperor Falls, the weather worsened and they decided to retreat. On their journey back to Edmonton they happened upon none other than John Yates. As the three climbers were in need of food, the meeting was a fortunate one. Yates volunteered food and a horse (to speed A.P. Coleman to Edmonton for his necessitated return to his Toronto professorship). Coleman was duly impressed with Yates abilities and requested his services as an outfitter and guide for another attempt on Robson the following year (1908). Yates accepted.

QUOTE
"He was the most resourceful man with horses and in general conduct of camp life imaginable: strong, courageous, and alert in all emergencies. His skill in packing a horse so as to avoid a sore back on the trail was only equaled by his versatility in turning dried goat meat, smoked fish, desiccated potatoes, and odds and ends of rice, oatmeal and bannocks in flavoursome 'bouillon' or 'Mulligan'."
A.P. Coleman, 1906


John Yates and Adolphus Moberly (one of H.J. Moberly's descendants) guided the 1908 expedition up the Moose River, over Moose Pass into the headwaters of the Smoky, and over Robson Pass to the foot of Robson Glacier. The group named Adolphus Lake in honour of the assistance provided by Moberly. Another lake in the vicinity was named Berg Lake for the icebergs (calved from Berg Glacier) found floating there. Again, continuous rain and snow excluded the possibility of an attempt on Mt. Robson and, as they waited, their food supplies dwindled. Yates was sent back to Athabasca for more supplies. Luckily, he ran into some of Moberly's band (who supplied him with provisions) a short way down the Moose River. They camped at the base of Mt. Robson for three weeks amongst the wind, rain, sleet and snow. After a number of assaults, one of which Kinney attempted alone, they decided to retreat from the mountain. Plans were made to return the following year and again Yates was asked to accompany the expedition.

In the Spring of 1909 Kinney heard rumours of the approach of a group of foreign mountaineers bound for the Alpine Club of Canada's Mt. Robson. Fearing a successful non-Canadian assault Kinney set out from Victoria early in hopes of beating them to the summit.

On arrival in Edmonton Kinney learned that Yates would not accompany him. Yates felt it was too early in the season to attempt a climb, especially after the particularly heavy winter snows. On June 17th, Kinney set out from edmonton alone with three pack horses, three months provisions, and just under three dollars in his pocket. Along the Athabasca in the Jasper area he was trapped by rising flood waters on an island in the river. When the waters subsided Kinney made his way along a high trail to the cabin of John Moberly. Here he found another man, Donald "Curly" Phillips, who had been similarly stranded.

Kinney eventually persuaded Phillips to join in his endeavors and they began their ascent to Mt. Robson.

QUOTE
"No ascent in the history of the Canadian Rockies demanded more sheer guts and determination in the face of hair-raising brushes with death by avalanche, exposure and starvation."
Ted Hart, 1979


After two unsuccessful attempts due to inclement weather the pair had to wait one week before trying again. Finally, on August 12, they managed to reach the 10,500 foot level. They hacked a ledge out of the ice and bivouacked for the night. On Friday, August 13th, 1909, as they were making their way up the steep slopes an ominous storm passed over but they continued to climb with ice covering their hands and feet. On the ridge leading to the summit the wind had heavily corniced the snow, but still they pushed on through the blinding storm. Late in the afternoon Kinney "on a needle peak that rose so abruptly that even cornices cannot build very far out on it. Baring my head I said in the name of Almighty God, by whose strength I have climbed here, I capture this peak, Mount Robson, for my own country and for the Alpine Club of Canada" (Ted Hart, 1979).

The descent of the mountain was as hazardous (if not more hazardous) than the ascent. A late afternoon Chinook had melted most of the steps they had cut in the ice. Finally, they reached base camp and devoured a few bits of marmot to end their grueling 24 hour mountain experience.

On their way back to the Jasper area they met John Yates accompanied by the "foreign" climbing expedition of A.M. Mumm, L.S. Amery, Geoffrey Hastings, Mortiz Inderbinen and James Shand-Harvey (another packer) on their way to Mt. Robson. Most of the members of this expedition had attended A.O. Wheeler's Alpine Club of Canada meeting at Lake O'Hara. When they reached the base of the mountain their Swiss guide, Moritz Inderbiben, suggested that they would climb Robson in 9 hours. In the early morning hours of September 7 they began their attempt to climb the mountain. By 2:00 in the afternoon Mumm realised it was no use and the party retreated to arrive back in camp at 9:00 that evening. They returned to Edmonton with hopes of future success.

As the Grand Trunk pushed its steel towards the Yellowhead summit a few outfitters from the Banff area decided to move to Jasper and establish their businesses their. Fred Stephens and Fred Brewster were two of these men who were able to establish reputable businesses in the Yellowhead area. Stephens joined up with Yates and the two of them outfitted and guided a second Mumm expedition with Moritz Inderbinen and J. Norman Collie. The expedition was later joined by Allan McConnachie and George Swain. Inclement weather, however, forced another retreat. They planned further exploratory travels in the area between the Moose and Smoky Rivers for the following year (1911).

End-of-Steel villages were beginning to spring up all along the Grand trunk Pacific Railway grade. Movement into the Yellowhead area was being facilitated by the "iron horse" and more and more people took advantage of the ease of transportation. However, life in the villages wasn't always easy. Typhoid raged from camp to camp, taking its toll of human life. Living conditions were sometimes atrocious, and labour disputes erupted sporadically.

By 1911 work trains were running to Summit City (Mile 0), Lucerne, Moose City and Red Pass (Mile 29).

QUOTE
"At Fitzhugh, which is within the province of Alberta, the lid was kept closed a little by the Mounted Police, but their jurisdiction ended at the border of British Columbia, and there at the summit, right on the boundary, the doors were opened wide and down through Mile 17 and 29 and 50 they remained that way... Mile 29 had a reputation of which even its inhabitants refused to be proud"
Fort George Herald, September 20th, 1923


Nonetheless, the railway went through. In fact, two railways went through: the Grand Trunk Pacific and, shortly thereafter, the Canadian Northern. Lucerne became an important terminal for the Grand Trunk with a depot, a coal tipple, a marshaling yard for freight cars, two round houses, two stores, a school, a doctors office, pool hall, saloons, barbers, bunkhouses and restaurants.

In 1911, A.O. Wheeler, working as a private surveyor, organised a joint Alpine Club of Canada - Smithsonian Institution expedition into the Robson area. he was able to secure funding from the Dominion Government of Canada, the provincial governments of Alberta and British Columbia, and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. The Smithsonian Institution of Washington, D.C. supplied a group of scientists organised by Dr. Charles Walcott (Secretary of the Smithsonian) and headed by Ned Hollister (Assistant Curator of Mammals at the U.S. National Museum), Charles Walcott, Jr., and Harry Blagden. The photographer for the expedition was Byron Harmon and the climbing experts were A.O. Wheeler, Conrad Kain, and the Reverend George Kinney. Curly Phillips, Fred Stephens (who soon left the expedition after an argument with Wheeler) and James Shand-Harvey were outfitters and packers.

Arriving at Moose City Conrad Kain experienced a taste of an end-of-steel village by having his clothes, some food, and a cook stove stolen while he was briefly out of his tent. Fortunately, everything was easily replaced and they were off to Mt. Robson via the Moose River.

While the expedition was waiting at Berg Lake (for the horses to make the return circuit around Robson to avoid the steep cliffs in the Valley of a Thousand Falls) Conrad Kain set off alone and succeeded in climbing Mt. Whitehorn, then first man known to have done so. Wheeler stalled the group and no attempt was made on Robson, the general feeling being that he wanted to save the second assault for the Alpine Club of Canada's Berg Lake Camp in 1913.

In 1912 F. M. Rattenbury was contacted as an architect by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway to produce the plans for Chateau Mt. Robson (which would have been located in the vicinity of the present viewpoint) to cater to the expected influx of visitors to the area. In the Spring of 1913 A.O. Wheeler began bargaining with the Grand Trunk and the Government of British Columbia to have a trail constructed up the Grand Fork of the Fraser to Berg Lake. Finally, the B.C. government agreed to pay the costs of having a trail built (if it was possible) and Donald Phillips was awarded the contract at fifty dollars per mile. Phillips, Curly Cochrane and Frank Doucette began the work to fashion a switchback pack trail up the Grand Fork and over the cliffs in the Valley of a Thousand Falls. The most amazing feat of the entire endeavour was a flying trestle bridge around a sheer rock cliff coming up to Emperor Falls.

After finishing the trail Phillips joined up with the Otto brothers to pack in the equipment for the Alpine Club of Canada's Berg Lake Camp. Prior to the camp and at A.O. Wheelers insistence, Mt. Robson was declared a Provincial Park, and the Deputy Minister of Public Works was at Berg Lake to welcome the Alpine Club of Canada to the newly established park. Participants included representatives from Canada, the United States of America, Great Britain, Austria and Switzerland. During the Berg Lake Camp the first truly successful assault on Mt. Robson was executed by Conrad Kain. As Kain descended to the camp Curly Phillips declared that his previously believed "first assault" with George Kinney was not to the very summit of the mountain.

QUOTE
"The view was glorious in all directions. One could compare the sea of glaciers and mountains with a stormy ocean. Mt. Robson is about 2,000 feet higher than all the other mountains in the neighborhood. Indescribably beautiful was the vertical view towards Berg Lake and the camp below. Unfortunately, only fifteen minutes were allowed us on the summit, ten of pure pleasure and five of teeth chattering. The rope and our damp clothes were frozen as hard as bone. And so we had to think of the long descent.
Conrad Kain, Canadian Alpine Journal, 1913


With the ease of railway transportation many more mountain climbers, tourists and other people seeking recreational and business opportunities ventured into the Jasper and Mt. Robson areas.

By April of 1914, the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway had completed its transcontinental to Prince George and by October of 1915, to Vancouver. Late in 1915 the need for steel in war-torn France had increased and the Dominion Government ordered that steel from one of the duplicate GTP - CNR tracks through the Yellowhead be sent overseas. Most of the Grand Trunk's tracks were retained while most of the Canadian Northern's were torn up. By December of 1918 the Dominion Government had amalgamated the Canadian Northern, Grand Trunk Pacific and other railways to form the Canadian national Railways.


By Jeff Waugh





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Camac
Posted: 07-Apr-2009, 08:46 AM
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Leelee;


When I was a kid back in the late 40's and into the 50's we lived in the Town of New Toronto which was a big mashalling yard for both CPR and CNR. There was still Steam Locomotives then as Diesel Electric were just coming into use. It was great as kids to go watch the Engines hauling frieght or passengers through the yard There was a big Roundhouse there also and one of my friends Dad was a machinist who worked there. In the winter we kids would go up to the yard with a pail and pick up the scattered coal to take home.Sometimes when we were playing hockey and no one had a puck we would use a lump of coal. Long time ago and a different life. Sometimes I miss those days.

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InRi 
Posted: 07-Apr-2009, 09:59 AM
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Chieftain of the Saxons
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Hi everyone,

I want to chip in with a link about the CPR, that I found. There's something to read about the history of this company and there's a nice photo-gallery with a lot of old photos too.

History of the CPR

Regards

Ingo

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