A day late, admittedly, but here’s the week!
March 26, 1885 - The North-West Rebellion began at The Battle of Duck Lake, near modern-day Rosthern, Saskatchewan. Superintendant Lief Crozier and his force of approximately 100 North West Mounted Police and Prince Albert Volunteers were flanked by Gabriel Dumont and a larger Métis force. 12 Government forces and 5 Métis were killed. Dumont himself was injured. Although the Métis force was victorious in driving Crozier back, the battle is often seen a strategic defeat, as Crozier and his men were allowed to retreat without capture.
1921 - The Bluenose is officially launched in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, to hundreds of onlookers. The schooner was built from oak, pine, birch and spruce sourced from Nova Scotia (except the masts, which were sourced from Oregon). Reportedly, a crowd member watching the launch asked one of the shipwrights, “What’s this one going to be like?” To which he replied: “She’ll be alright, but she’s a bit different to most vessels.” A bit different indeed.
March 27, 1647 – Louis XIV and Charles de Montmagny, governor of New France, set up the Council of Québec, the first constitutional document of New France and reportedly in Canadian history. The Council of Québec was designed to “adopt fur trade regulations, and any other regulations necessary for the good of the country” (Source).
March 28, 1918 – 23-year old Joseph Mercier is arrested at a bowling alley in Québec City for failing to carry his conscription papers on his person. The arrest sparks a weekend of rioting in the city, with reportedly four civilians killed and 12 injured.
March 29, 1945 – The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) is formally ended in Ottawa, Ontario. The BCATP is often regarded as one of Canada’s greatest contributions to the Second World War, with approximately 360 schools at 231 locations across Canada, and 131, 553 graduates of the program by its end. American President Franklin D. Roosevelt called Canada during this period “the aerodrome of democracy.”
1993 – Catherine Callback is elected Premier of Prince Edward Island, becoming the first Canadian female premier. (Obligatory Sister Suffragette link!)
March 30, 1834 – William Lyon Mackenzie defeats John Rolph and becomes the first mayor of the City of Toronto. At the time, Toronto had a population of approximately 10,000.
March 31, 1949 – At one minute before midnight, Newfoundland entered into Confederation with Canada. Listen in to this CBC Radio story on the momentous event here. One Newfoundlander, who voted against Confederation, said: “We’re in this now and we’re going to be good Canadians, but whatever they want to call me, I’ll still be a Newfoundlander at heart.”
April 1, 1924 – Over a year after receiving “Royal” designation from King George V, the Royal Canadian Air Force became a professional, full-time service on this day. April 1 is now celebrated as the RCAF’s officially birthday.
1999 – Nunavut becomes the newest Canadian territory, with approximately 2 million square kilometres of territory in Canada’s Eastern Arctic; its first Commissioner is Helen Maksagak. Happy Birthday, Nunavut!