Canada 150: Key Events

Drawing on our archive of documentaries and news reports, we’ve assembled this collection of big events throughout Canada’s first 150 years. We’ll keep adding to this collection as the year goes on. Let us know your suggestions!

  • 2016
  • 13-14
  • 34 Titles
Behind the Scenes of the Quebec Referendum
  • 2014
  • 00:17:35
  • 15-17

The National
Behind the Scenes of the Quebec Referendum

The 1995 Quebec referendum ended with the federalist side winning an extremely tight victory. One of the most fascinating and enduring questions of Canadian history is what would have happened if the tight vote had gone the other way? In preparation for the 20th anniversary of the referendum next year, two of Quebec's leading journalists, Chantal Hébert and Jean Lapierre, ...
  • Added on: 12/22/2014
Bloody Saturday: The Winnipeg General Strike
  • 2007
  • 00:45:37
  • 15-17

CBC News Special
Bloody Saturday: The Winnipeg General Strike

In May 1919, 30,000 Winnipeg workers walked off the job and into the history books, launching the largest strike in Canadian history. It lasted six weeks and ended in the violence of Bloody Saturday, a day organized labour has never forgotten or forgiven. Was the strike a legitimate protest against low wages, poor working conditions and a lack of bargaining ...
  • Added on: 06/14/2013
Canada's Residential School Apology
  • 2008
  • 00:18:33
  • 13-14

News in Review - September 2008
Canada's Residential School Apology

In June, the Government of Canada apologized to Aboriginal Canadians for the way they were treated in residential schools. Thousands of Aboriginal children were forced into government-financed schools where many suffered physical and sexual abuse. In this News in Review story, we’ll look at that sad chapter in Canadian history and at the moving ceremony in the House of Commons.
Canada: A People's History, Episode 16: Years of Hope and Anger
  • 2000
  • 01:46:18
  • 9-12

Canada: A People's History
Canada: A People's History, Episode 16: Years of Hope and Anger

The 1960s and 1970s are an era of ferment on every level: politics, culture and personal life. Quebec's Quiet Revolution and youth movements across North America challenge the status quo. Some events bring the country together: a new flag is introduced and Canada shines in the world's spotlight with Expo '67; while others threaten considerable upheaval: growing calls for Quebec ...
  • Added on: 06/14/2013
Canadian National: The Continental Railway
  • 2000
  • 00:07:50
  • 13-14

News in Review - February 2000
Canadian National: The Continental Railway

According to the Laurentian theory of Canadian history, Canada as a nation developed from east to west because of the immense inland waterway of the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes, and Sir John A. Macdonald’s transcontinental railway, the natural extension of the maritime route. The importance of railways in the evolution of Canadian society cannot be underestimated. And ...
Capital Punishment in Canada
  • 1991
  • 00:14:47
  • 15-17

News in Review - November 1991
Capital Punishment in Canada

With the extradition to the United States of Charles Ng and Joseph Kindler as a starting point, Dan Bjarnason does a historical review of this important issue.
Deadly Water: The Lessons of Walkerton
  • 2000
  • 00:14:14
  • 13-14

News in Review - September 2000
Deadly Water: The Lessons of Walkerton

Safe drinking water is a prime resource for all humans and something we in Canada may have taken for granted. The tragedy that occurred in the town of Walkerton, where several people died and many more were made very sick by the presence of E. coli bacteria in the municipal water supply, is not only an important and ongoing news ...
Expulsion
  • 2004
  • 00:44:16
  • 9-12

The Canadian Experience
Expulsion

In 1755, English colonial officials forcibly expelled 7,000 French-speaking Acadians from their lands in Nova Scotia, lands that had been in Acadian hands for almost 150 years. Expulsion follows the epic story of a people played as pawns in a struggle between two empires. It is a saga of death and dislocation and resistance that reverberates still — an event ...
  • Added on: 06/14/2013
Flood of the Century: Manitoba 10 Years Later
  • 2007
  • 00:22:47
  • 9-12

The National
Flood of the Century: Manitoba 10 Years Later

In 1997 an overwhelming deluge of water ruined many lives along Manitoba’s Red River. People lost their homes, their farms, their businesses and were left to start from scratch. Ten years later, we return to the area to find out how those people are doing, whether they have rebuilt their lives and what they have learned from the devastating experience. ...
  • Added on: 06/14/2013
Franklin's Lost Ships
  • 2015
  • 00:44:26
  • 13-14

The Nature of Things
Franklin's Lost Ships Classroom Favourites

In 1845 Sir John Franklin set off to find the Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic. Franklin, his two ships and 129 men were never heard from again. And the fate of the expedition has become one of the greatest mysteries in the history of exploration. But does the discovery last summer of Franklin’s flagship Erebus mean the mystery has ...
  • Added on: 05/04/2015
Gomery Report: Anatomy Of A Scandal
  • 2005
  • 00:16:01
  • 13-14

News in Review - December 2005
Gomery Report: Anatomy Of A Scandal

In early November, Justice John Gomery tabled his report on the so-called sponsorship scandal. The sponsorship program was created by Prime Minister Jean Chrtien's Liberal government just after the 1995 Quebec referendum. It was supposed to promote national unity. Instead hundreds of millions of dollars were wasted on kickbacks and corruption. In this News in Review story, we'll look at ...
Great Canadian Speeches (Part 1 of 2)
  • 1997
  • 01:17:58
  • 13-14

CBC News Special
Great Canadian Speeches (Part 1 of 2)

From the News Archives of the CBC comes the landmark production Great Canadian Speeches, a two-volume collection capturing key moments in our political history. Mackenzie King makes farewell address to the Liberal Party. Pierre Trudeau invokes the War Measures Act on national television. Tommy Douglas responds to Trudeau. René Lévesque addresses the 1980 Quebec referendum defeat. Jean Chrétien speaks prior to ...
  • Added on: 06/14/2013
Great Canadian Speeches (Part 2 of 2)
  • 1997
  • 01:37:51
  • 13-14

CBC News Special
Great Canadian Speeches (Part 2 of 2)

From the News Archives of the CBC comes the landmark production Great Canadian Speeches, a two-volume collection capturing key moments in our political history. Lester Pearson promotes a new flag before hostile legionnaires. Kim Campbell gives 1993 concession speech. Jacques Parizeau delivers 1995 post-Quebec-referendum speech. Lucien Bouchard presents 1995 post-Quebec-referendum speech. Preston Manning announces the 1996 Reform Party Fresh Start Campaign.
  • Added on: 06/14/2013
Idle No More: A Protest for Aboriginal Rights
  • 2013
  • 00:19:00
  • 13-14

News in Review - March 2013
Idle No More: A Protest for Aboriginal Rights

What began as an online conversation about native rights quickly put Canada into the international spotlight as a movement called Idle No More popped up across the country. It was prompted by the federal government introducing Bill C‐45 which would have a significant impact on the lives of indigenous peoples.
Ipperwash, Dudley George and Police Surveillance
  • 2004
  • 00:02:40
  • 15-17

The National
Ipperwash, Dudley George and Police Surveillance

In January 2004, CBC News obtained surveillance videotapes taken by Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers in September 1995 at Ipperwash Provincial Park. The recordings were made as Aboriginal protesters from the Stony Point First Nation occupied the park, and in one tape police officers can be heard making racist remarks about the protesters. These remarks were recorded the day before police moved ...
  • Added on: 12/03/2014
Joey: The Last Father of Confederation
  • 1992
  • 00:12:54
  • 13-14

News in Review - February 1992
Joey: The Last Father of Confederation

The death of former Newfoundland Premier Joey Smallwood in December 1991 recalls an important chapter in Canadian constitutional history.
Legacy of Pain
  • 1999
  • 00:43:57
  • 15-17

The Fifth Estate
Legacy of Pain

On December 6, 1989, Marc Lépine walked into Montreal's École Polytechnique and shot 14 young women to death. The massacre shocked the world. Questions about Lépine and his motives were difficult to answer. A profile of Marc Lépine traces his upbringing and other factors that shaped his distorted world in an effort to provide some explanation for his heinous crime. ...
  • Added on: 06/14/2013
Living in Hope: Viola Desmond's Story
  • 2007
  • 00:54:30
  • 13-14

The Sunday Edition
Living in Hope: Viola Desmond's Story New

This special presentation from CBC Radio's Sunday Edition is a dramatized account of a pivotal moment in Canadian race relations. On November 8, 1946 Viola Desmond refuses to move to the upstairs balcony in the Roseland Theatre, and is forcibly removed from the theatre and thrown in jail. The resulting legal battle was taken all the way to the Nova ...
  • Added on: 02/02/2017
NAFTA: Going Continental
  • 1994
  • 00:14:15
  • 13-14

News in Review - February 1994
NAFTA: Going Continental

This News in Review report on free trade between Canada, the United States and Mexico examines the social and economic implications of the deal now that it has been formally passed in all three countries.
Nunavut: Birth of a Territory
  • 1999
  • 00:14:23
  • 13-14

News in Review - April 1999
Nunavut: Birth of a Territory

"From sea unto sea unto sea" takes on even more significance as 25 000 people, mainly native peoples, celebrate the birth of their new territory and a new government within the Canadian confederation. This special News in Review report documents the division of the former Northwest Territories into two separate legislative entities. Largely unknown to most southerners, Nunavut in many respects is ...
Omar Khadr: Out of the Shadows
  • 2015
  • 00:44:03
  • 13-14

Firsthand
Omar Khadr: Out of the Shadows

This documentary delivers an intimate portrait of how a teenager from a Toronto suburb ended up being at the centre of one of the first U.S. war crimes trials since the prosecution of Nazi commanders in the 1940s. He is the only juvenile who has ever been tried for war crimes. Out of the Shadows gives Omar Khadr the opportunity to speak ...
  • Added on: 11/17/2015
Rail Disaster: Devastation in Lac-Mégantic
  • 2013
  • 00:17:29
  • 13-14

News in Review - September 2013
Rail Disaster: Devastation in Lac-Mégantic

In the early hours of July 6, a train of 72 tankers carrying crude oil slips its breaks and rolls downhill, jumping the tracks and exploding in the small town of Lac-Mégantic, eastern Quebec. The flames and fireballs could be seen for miles. Forty-seven people died in the explosions and fires that followed. Many of them were in a nearby ...
Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion
  • 2003
  • 02:57:10
  • 9-12

Feature Film
Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion

On December 6, 1917, Halifax became a casualty of WWI when the Mont-Blanc, a French-owned freighter loaded with thousands of tons of explosives collided with a Belgian relief ship in Halifax Harbour. The explosion and shockwaves killed 2,000 people, injured 9,000 and flattened two square kilometers of the city. Out of the carnage came stories of small sacrifices and great ...
  • Added on: 06/14/2013
Taming “The Beast”: The Fort McMurray Wildfire
  • 2016
  • 00:19:15
  • 13-14

News in Review - September 2016
Taming “The Beast”: The Fort McMurray Wildfire

In the spring of 2016 a wildfire in northeastern Alberta grew so quickly it overtook the community of Fort McMurray. Almost 90,000 people were told to leave the town immediately. The fire consumed 590,000 hectares and destroyed 2,400 homes before being tamed. Firefighters nicknamed it ​"​The Beast.​" ​ It became the largest and costliest wildfire in the province’s history.​
The Dionne Quintuplets: A New Perspective
  • 1995
  • 00:09:53
  • 13-14

News in Review - November 1995
The Dionne Quintuplets: A New Perspective

This story looks at what the Dionnes represented in Canada 60 years ago and how their recent disclosure impacts the universal issue of the exploitation of children and others.
The Krever Inquiry: Assigning Blame
  • 1998
  • 00:11:47
  • 13-14

News in Review - February 1998
The Krever Inquiry: Assigning Blame

With anger, disillusionment and a significant loss of faith, Canadians witnessed the tragedy and legal drama of the tainted blood scandal, in this country as well as throughout the world. In each country where the supply of blood products were tainted, the investigation, repercussions and compensations did not occur in the same way. This final report on the Canadian situation ...
The Meech Lake Special
  • 1990
  • 00:55:26
  • 13-14

News in Review - December 1990
The Meech Lake Special

This 1990 fall special covers three important time periods and explores chronologically the events leading to the failure of the Meech Lake Accord. The Roots of Meech covers the years 1759-1968. The second period, The Trudeau Years, takes us through 1968-1984, and the final segment, The Key Players, brings us to June 24, 1990, the day the Accord died. Archival ...
The Mystery of the Bell
  • 2014
  • 00:45:11
  • 13-14

Doc Zone
The Mystery of the Bell Classroom Favourites

Could this CBC documentary solve a long-standing mystery in Metis history? From Ontario to Alberta, we follow a trail of clues through four generations of suspects in the search for one of the most sought-after historical objects in Canada. According to legend, Canadian soldiers stole the church bell from Batoche, Saskachewan after they’d defeated Louis Riel and his Metis fighters ...
  • Added on: 06/18/2014
The National Dream, Episode 1: The Great Lone Land
  • 1974
  • 00:55:39
  • 9-12

The National Dream
The National Dream, Episode 1: The Great Lone Land

In the first episode of the celebrated series The National Dream, the government of Sir John A. Macdonald announces its intentions to build a railway to the Pacific, bring British Columbia into Confederation and preserve Canadian sovereignty from sea to sea.
  • Added on: 12/16/2013
The National Dream, Episode 8: The Last Spike
  • 1974
  • 00:54:54
  • 9-12

The National Dream
The National Dream, Episode 8: The Last Spike

In the final episode of The National Dream, eastern militiamen begin the cruellest journey in Canadian military history and the national crisis is averted. The CPR faces riots, strikes and bankruptcy before an 11th-hour government loan saves the day. In November 1885, Donald Smith drives the last spike in the CPR to link Canada from sea to sea.
  • Added on: 06/14/2013
The October Crisis Twenty Years Later
  • 1990
  • 00:11:26
  • 13-14

News in Review - November 1990
The October Crisis Twenty Years Later

In 1970, the October Crisis in Quebec shocked the nation. The explosive situation which existed then is vividly reviewed using archival footage, including Trudeau's "Just watch me" interview.
The Oka Legacy
  • 2015
  • 00:44:07
  • 15-17

Firsthand
The Oka Legacy

The Oka Legacy is a POV documentary that explores how the Oka Crisis has transformed contemporary Indigenous identity in Canada. Through Mohawk filmmaker Sonia Bonspille Boileau’s own personal journey, The Oka Legacy retraces the events that took place in her hometown in 1990 by talking with people who lived through the events firsthand, like Clifton Nicholas and Waneek Horn Miller, as well as ...
The Trials of the Toronto 18
  • 2010
  • 00:16:37
  • 13-14

News in Review - March 2010
The Trials of the Toronto 18

In June 2006, police in Ontario arrested 18 young men and charged them with planning the biggest terrorist attack in Canadian history. In this News in Review we’ll look at the trials of the so-called Toronto 18. We’ll also examine what could have led these young Canadians to want to attack their own country.
Titanic: The Canadian Story
  • 2012
  • 01:27:37
  • 13-14

Doc Zone
Titanic: The Canadian Story

CBC and Radio-Canada present a special documentary marking the centenary of one of the most tragic shipping disasters of our time. Among the more than 2,200 passengers and crew were 130 men, women and children bound for Canada. They came from all walks of life, some called Canada home, others chose this country as a place of opportunity or refuge. ...
  • Added on: 06/14/2013

Guides

Canada's Residential School Apology

Canada's Residential School Apology

Canada: A People's History TRP, Grades 10 to 12

Canada: A People's History TRP, Grades 10 to 12

Canada: A People's History TRP, Grades 5 to 9

Canada: A People's History TRP, Grades 5 to 9

Canadian National: The Continental Railway

Canadian National: The Continental Railway

Deadly Water: The Lessons of Walkerton

Deadly Water: The Lessons of Walkerton

Gomery Report: Anatomy Of A Scandal

Gomery Report: Anatomy Of A Scandal

Idle No More: A Protest for Aboriginal Rights

Idle No More: A Protest for Aboriginal Rights

Nunavut: Birth of a Territory

Nunavut: Birth of a Territory

NIR-13-09 - Rail Disaster: Devastation in Lac-Megantic

NIR-13-09 - Rail Disaster: Devastation in Lac-Megantic

NIR-16-09 - Taming “The Beast”: The Fort McMurray Wildfire

NIR-16-09 - Taming “The Beast”: The Fort McMurray Wildfire

Mystery of the Bell Teacher Resource Guide [.pdf]

Mystery of the Bell Teacher Resource Guide [.pdf]

The Trials of the Toronto 18

The Trials of the Toronto 18