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1000 - 1755 | British Gains | Union of Canada | Autonomy from Britain | Trudeau Era | 1984-present

1000 - 1755

Circa 1000 - Vikings are the first Europeans to reach North America.
1497 - Italian-born navigator John Cabot reaches the coasts of Newfoundland and Cape Breton and claims the land for Britain.
1534 - Jacques Cartier explores the St Lawrence river, claims the shores of the Gulf of St Lawrence for France.
1583 - Newfoundland becomes Britain's first overseas colony.
1600s - Fur trade rivalry between the French, English and Dutch; the Europeans exploit existing rivalries between Indian nations to form alliances.
1608 - Samuel de Champlain established a fortified trading post at Québec.
1627 - Company of New France established to govern and exploit "New France" - France's North American colonies.
1670 - Hudson's Bay Company established by London traders. The company holds trading rights for regions whose rivers drain into Hudson Bay.
1701 - Thirty Indian nations sign a peace treaty near Montreal with the French.
1755 - Acadian delegates who refused the oath of allegiance were transported out of Nova Scotia. About half of the Acadians perished.

British gains

1756 - Seven Years' War begins, between New France and the larger and economically-stronger British colonies. After early French successes, the settlement of Quebec falls in 1759 and the British advance on Montreal.
1763 - Under the Treaty of Paris, Britain acquires all French colonies east of the Mississippi including New France, which becomes the colony of Quebec.
1774 - The Quebec Act recognises the French language and the Roman Catholic religion in the colony.
1779 - Fur traders in Montreal set up the North West Company. The company builds up a network of trading posts across the west and north; its expeditions reach the Pacific coast.
1783-1784 - Loyalist refugees from the American War of Independence settle in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.
1791 - Quebec divided into Lower Canada (present-day Quebec) and Upper Canada (present-day Ontario).
1800s - Immigration picks up. Thousands of newcomers from England, Scotland and Ireland arrive each year.
1812-14 - War of 1812 between the US and Britain, largely over the effects on the US of British blockades of French ports. Action includes naval battles in the Great Lakes and a US attack on York (present-day Toronto). But the US fails to realise its plans to invade Canada.
1817 - The Bank of Montréal, the first permanent bank in British North America, was founded.
1821 - Hudson's Bay Company and North West Company merge, after years of bitter rivalry descend into bloodshed.
1836 - Canada's first railway, the Champlain and St Lawrence Railroad, opens.
1837/8 - Armed rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada, caused by disaffection with the ruling elites, poverty and social divisions.
1841 - Formation of the United Province of Canada reunites Canada East (Lower) and Canada West (Upper) Canada.
1846 - The Oregon Boundary Treaty established the boundary between British North America and the United States at the 49 north latitude.

Union of Canada

1867 - British North America Act unites Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in the Dominion of Canada.
1869 - Louis Riel founded the Comité National des Métis to protect his people's rights, and helped stage the Red River Uprising. His subsequent trial and execution aroused debate.
1870 - Manitoba becomes Canada's fifth province, followed by British Columbia in 1871 and Prince Edward Island in 1873.
1885 - Canadian Pacific railroad is completed.
1894 - The first Stanley Cup is awarded.
1896 to 1899 - Klondike Gold Rush.
1905 - Alberta and Saskatchewan become Canada's 8th and 9th provinces.
1909 - Captain J.E Bernier proclaimed Canadian sovereignty over the entire Arctic Archipelago for Canada, from the mainland to the North Pole.
1914 - Outbreak of World War I. Canada fights on the side of Britain and France. Some French-speaking Canadians are wary of the move.
1921 - Agnes Campbell Macphail became the first women elected to the House of Commons.
1921 - 1922 - Frederick Banting and Charles Best invent insulin to treat diabetes.

Autonomy from Britain

1931 - Statute of Westminster grants British dominions complete autonomy.
1939 - Outbreak of World War II. Canadian forces fight in Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, in the Atlantic and in Hong Kong.
1947 - Canada is declared to be of equal status with Great Britain within the Commonwealth.
1949 - Canada becomes founder member of NATO. Newfoundland, until then a British dominion, becomes a province of Canada.
1961 - The Saskatchewan Medical Care Insurance Bill became the first plan in North America providing universal coverage.
1965 - The present Canadian flag is adopted, replacing one which had incorporated the British flag.

Trudeau era

1968 - Pierre Trudeau of the Liberal party wins federal elections. On the provincial scene, the Parti Quebecois (PQ) is formed to push for complete independence for Quebec.
1970 - Members of a radical Quebec separatist group, the Front de Liberation du Quebec, kidnap a British trade official and murder a Quebec minister.
1976 - The Parti Quebecois wins Quebec provincial elections.
1980 - A referendum on the separation of Quebec is defeated.
1980 - Terry Fox begins his Marathon of Hope in Saint John's, Newfoundland, to raise money for cancer research. The Marathon raised over $23 million.
1982 - The UK transfers final legal powers over Canada. Canada adopts a new constitution, which includes a Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

1984 - Present

1984 - Trudeau retires. Elections are won by the Progressive Conservatives under Brian Mulroney
1988 - Canada and the US agree to establish free trade.
1992 - Canada, US and Mexico finalise the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
1993 - Mulroney resigns and is succeeded by Kim Campbell, Canada's first female Prime Minister. The Canadian parliament ratifies NAFTA. Campbell calls an election but suffers a massive defeat to the Liberals. Jean Chretien becomes Prime Minister.
1995 - A referendum in Quebec rejects independence by a margin of only 1%.
1999 - Territory of Nunavut is formed in the north-west. It is the first territory in Canada to have a majority indigenous population.
2000 - Chretien elected as Prime Minister of Canada for a third term.
2001 - Leaders of countries from across the Americas meet in Canada at the Summit of the Americas. They reaffirm their commitment to setting up the world's largest free trade zone by 2005.
2003 - Jean Chretien retires after 10 years in office. Paul Martin is sworn in as Prime Minister.
2004 - The Liberals under Prime Minister Paul Martin are elected for a fourth term. The election results saw the Liberal government win a minority government, the first in 25 years.
2006 -  On January 23, the Conservative Party of Canada, under the leadership of Stephen Harper, wins the federal election and forms a minority government. Paul Martin resigns as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
2008 - In June, Prime Minister Harper offers full apology on behalf of all Canadians for the Indian Residential Schools system which forced children to attend boarding schools.
2008 - In October, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party win their second general election to form another minority government.


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