English Canadians or Anglo-Canadians (French: Canadiens anglais), refers to either Canadians of English ethnic origin and heritage or to English-speaking or Anglophone, Canadians of any ethnic origin; it is used primarily in contrast with French Canadians. Canada is an officially bilingual state, with English and French official language communities. Immigrant cultural groups ostensibly integrate into one or both of these communities, but often retaining elements of their original cultures. The term English-speaking Canadian is sometimes used interchangeably with English Canadian.
Although many English-speaking Canadians have strong historical roots traceable to England or other parts of the British Isles, the population as a whole belongs to a multitude of ethnic backgrounds. They or their ancestors came from various European, Asian, Caribbean, African, Latin American, and Pacific Island cultures, as well as French Canada and North American Aboriginal groups. As such, although the office of the Governor General is said to alternate between "French" and "English" persons, two recent Governors General (Adrienne Clarkson, an English-speaking Chinese Canadian; and Michaëlle Jean, a French-speaking Haitian Canadian) show that this refers to language and not culture or ethnicity.
|17,882,775 (2006; English mother tongue, including multiple responses)|
6,570,015 English ethnicity (including multiple responses)
1,367,125 English ethnicity (single responses only)
|Regions with significant populations|
|Throughout Canada, minority in Quebec|
|Mainly Protestantism, Roman Catholicism|
|Related ethnic groups|
|English Americans and other English diaspora, Scottish Canadians and other British Canadians|
The following table shows the English-speaking population of Canada's provinces and territories. The data are from Statistics Canada. Figures are given for the number of single responses "English" to the mother tongue question, as well as a total including multiple responses one of which is English.
|Province or territory||English,
|Canada — Total||25,352,315||58.5%||24,694,835||59.7%||35,859,030|
|Prince Edward Island||138,125||93.8%||125,650||94.2%||140,385|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||499,755||98.4%||500,405||98.5%||508,080|
Notably, 46% of English-speaking Canadians live in Ontario, and 30% in the two western provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. The most monolingual province is Newfoundland and Labrador at 98.5%. English-speakers are in the minority only in Quebec and Nunavut. In the cases of Quebec and New Brunswick, the vast majority of the non-Anglophone population speaks French; in the case of Nunavut, the people speak a non-official language of Canada, Inuktitut.
English Canadian history starts with the attempts to establish English settlements in Newfoundland in the sixteenth century. The first English settlement in present-day Canada was at St. Johns Newfoundland, in 1583. Newfoundland's population was significantly influenced by Irish and English immigration, much of it as a result of the migratory fishery in the decades prior to the Irish Potato famine. Although the location of the earliest English settlement in what would eventually become Canada, Newfoundland itself (now called Newfoundland and Labrador) would be the last province to enter Confederation in 1949.
The area that forms the present day province of Nova Scotia was contested by the British and French in the eighteenth century. French settlements at Port Royal, Louisbourg and what is now Prince Edward Island were seized by the British. After the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht ceded the French colony of Acadia (today's mainland Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) to Great Britain, efforts to colonize the province were limited to small settlements in Canso and Annapolis Royal. In 1749 Colonel Edward Cornwallis was given command of an expedition for the settlement of Chebucto by some three thousand persons, many of whom were Cockney. Cornwallis' settlement, Halifax, would become the provincial capital, the primary commercial centre for the Maritime provinces, a strategic British military and naval outpost and an important east coast cultural centre. To offset the Catholic presence of Acadians, foreign Protestants (mainly German) were given land and founded Lunenburg. Nova Scotia itself saw considerable immigration from Scotland, particularly to communities such as Pictou in the northern part of the province and to Cape Breton Island, but this began only with the arrival of the Hector in 1773.
The history of English Canadians is bound to the history of English settlement of North America, and particularly New England, because of the resettlement of many Loyalists following the American Revolution in areas that would form part of Canada. Many of the fifty thousand Loyalists who were resettled to the north of the United States after 1783 came from families that had already been settled for several generations in North America and were from prominent families in Boston, New York and other east coast towns. Although largely of British ancestry, these settlers had also intermarried with Huguenot and Dutch colonists and were accompanied by Loyalists of African descent. Dispossessed of their property at the end of the Revolutionary War, the Loyalists arrived as refugees to settle primarily along the shores of southern Nova Scotia, the Bay of Fundy and the Saint John River and in Quebec to the east and southwest of Montreal.
The colony of New Brunswick was created from western part of Nova Scotia at the instigation of these new English-speaking settlers. The Loyalist settlements in southwestern Quebec formed the nucleus of what would become the province of Upper Canada and, after 1867, Ontario.
Upper Canada was a primary destination for English, Scottish and Scots-Irish settlers to Canada in the nineteenth century, and was on the front lines in the War of 1812 between the British Empire and the United States. The province also received immigrants from non English-speaking sources such as Germans, many of whom settled around Kitchener (formerly called Berlin). Ontario would become the most populous province in the Dominion of Canada at the time of Confederation, and, together with Montreal, formed the country's industrial heartland and emerged as an important cultural and media centre for English Canada. Toronto is today the largest city in Canada, and, largely as a result of changing immigration patterns since the 1960s, is also one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world.
After the fall of New France to the British in 1759, a colonial governing class established itself in Quebec City. Larger numbers of English-speaking settlers arrived in the Eastern Townships and Montreal after the American Revolution. English, Scottish, and Irish communities established themselves in Montreal in the 1800s. Montreal would become Canada's largest city and commercial hub in Canada. An Anglo-Scot business elite would control Canadian commerce up until the 1950s, founding a Protestant public school system and hospitals and universities such as McGill University. These immigrants were joined by other Europeans in the early 1900s, including Italians and Jews, who assimilated to a large degree into the anglophone community. Many English-speaking Quebeckers left Quebec following the election of the Parti Québécois in 1976 resulting in a steep decline in the anglophone population; many who have remained have learned French in order to function within the dominant Francophone society.
As in much of western Canada, many of the earliest European communities in British Columbia began as outposts of the Hudson's Bay Company, founded in London in 1670 to carry on the fur trade via Hudson Bay. Broader settlement began in earnest with the founding of Fort Victoria in 1843 and the subsequent creation of the Colony of Vancouver Island in 1849. The capital, Victoria developed during the height of the British Empire and long self-identified as being "more English than the English".
The Colony of British Columbia was established on the mainland in 1858 by Governor James Douglas as a means of asserting British sovereignty in the face of a massive influx of gold miners, many of whom were American. Despite the enormous distances that separated the Pacific colony from Central Canada, British Columbia joined Confederation in 1871, choosing to become Canadian partly as a means of resisting possible absorption into the United States. Chinese workers, brought in to labour on the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, established sizeable populations in many B.C. communities, particularly Vancouver which quickly became the province's economic and cultural centre after the railway's completion in 1886. Like Ontario, British Columbia has received immigrants from a broad range of countries including large numbers of Germans, Scandinavians, Italians, Sikhs from India and Chinese from Hong Kong, Taiwan and in more recent years, the People's Republic, and the ongoing influx of Europeans from Europe continues. However, for many years British Columbia, in contrast to the Prairie Provinces, received a majority of immigrants from Great Britain: over half in 1911 and over 60 percent by 1921. Over half of people with British ancestry in British Columbia have direct family ties within two generations (i.e. grandparent or parent) to the British Isles, rather than via British ethnic stock from Central Canada or the Maritimes (unlike the Prairies where Canadian-British stock is more common). Europeans of non-British stock have been more common, also, in British Columbia than in any other part of Canada, although certain ethnicities such as Ukrainians and Scandinavians are more concentrated in the Prairies. Except for the Italians and more recent European immigrants, earlier waves of Europeans of all origins are near-entirely assimilated, although any number of accents are common in families and communities nearly anywhere in the province, as has also been the case since colonial times. Interethnic and interracial marriages and were also more common in British Columbia than in other provinces since colonial times .
The French-English tensions that marked the establishment of the earliest English-speaking settlements in Nova Scotia were echoed on the Prairies in the late nineteenth century. The earliest British settlement in Assiniboia (part of present-day Manitoba) involved some 300 largely Scottish colonists under the sponsorship of Lord Selkirk in 1811. The suppression of the rebellions allowed the government of Canada to proceed with a settlement of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta that was to create provinces that identified generally with English Canada in culture and outlook, although immigration included large numbers of people from non English-speaking European backgrounds, especially Scandinavians and Ukrainians.
Although Canada has long prided itself on its relatively peaceful history, war has played a significant role in the formation of an English Canadian identity. As part of the British Empire, Canada found itself at war against the Central Powers in 1914. In the main, English Canadians enlisted for service with an initial enthusiastic and genuine sense of loyalty and duty. The sacrifices and accomplishments of Canadians at battles such as Vimy Ridge and the Dieppe Raid in France are well known and respected among English Canadians and helped forge a more common sense of nationality. In World War II, Canada made its own separate declaration of war and played a critical role in supporting the Allied war effort. Again, support for the war effort to defend the United Kingdom and liberate continental Europe from Axis domination was particularly strong among English Canadians. In the post war era, although Canada was committed to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, English Canadians took considerable pride in the Nobel Prize for Peace awarded to Lester Pearson for his role in resolving the Suez Crisis and have been determined supporters of the peacekeeping activities of the United Nations.
In the late twentieth century, increasing American cultural influence combined with diminishing British influence, and political and constitutional crises driven by the exigencies of dealing with the Quebec sovereignty movement and Western alienation contributed to something of an identity crisis for English Canadians. George Grant's Lament for a Nation is still seen as an important work relating to the stresses and vulnerabilities affecting English Canada. However, the period of the 1960s through to the present have also seen tremendous accomplishments in English Canadian literature. Writers from English-speaking Canada such as Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler, Margaret Laurence, Robertson Davies, Timothy Findley, and Carol Shields dissected the experience of English Canadians  or of life in English Canadian society. and assumed a place among the world's best-known English-language literary figures. Journalist Pierre Berton wrote a number of books popularizing Canadian history which had a particular resonance among English-speaking Canadians, while critics and philosophers such as Northrop Frye and John Ralston Saul have attempted to analyze the Canadian experience. Still, particularly at the academic level, debate continues as to the nature of English Canada and the extent to which English Canadians exist as an identifiable identity.
English-speaking Canadians have not adopted symbols specific to themselves. Although English Canadians are attached to the Canadian Flag, it is the national flag and intended to be a symbol for all Canadians, regardless of ethnicity or language. The flag debate of 1965 revealed a strong attachment to the Canadian Red Ensign, previously flown as the flag of Canada prior to the adoption of the Maple Leaf in 1965. Even today, there is considerable support for use of the Red Ensign in certain specific circumstances, such as the commemoration ceremonies for the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
The maple leaf itself, as a symbol, was used as early as 1834 in what is now Quebec as a symbol of the Société St. Jean Baptiste but was adopted for use shortly afterwards by the English-speaking community in Canada. The Maple Leaf Forever, penned in 1867 at the time of Confederation was at one time regarded as an informal anthem for English Canadians, but reaction by English-speaking Canadians to a decision of a New Brunswick school to stop the singing of the anthem are attached to the official national anthem, O Canada, by Calixa Lavallée suggests that the official anthem enjoys considerable support.
The beaver is sometimes seen as another Canadian symbol, but is not necessarily specific to English Canadians. It too was used originally in connection with the Société St. Jean Baptiste before coming into currency as a more general Canadian symbol. In the 1973 political satire by Stanley Burke, Frog Fables & Beaver Tales, a spoof on Canadian politics of the Pierre Trudeau era, English Canadians are depicted in the main as well-meaning, but not terribly clever beavers (with other animals such as frogs, sea otters and gophers assigned to represent other linguistic and provincial populations). The historical relevance of the beaver stems from the early fur trade. It has been asserted that "[t]he fur trade in general and the Hudson's Bay Company in particular exercised a profound influence on the sculpting of the Canadian soul."
The Crown has historically been an intangible but significant symbol for many English Canadians. Loyalty to Great Britain created the initial fracture lines between the populations of the Thirteen Colonies and the populations of Nova Scotia and Quebec at the time of the American Revolution and forced the flight of the Loyalists after the end of the war. As such English Canada developed in the nineteenth century along lines that continued to emphasize this historical attachment, evident in the naming of cities, parks and even whole provinces after members of the royal family, the retention of flags, badges and provincial mottos expressive of loyalty, and enthusiastic responses to royal visits. While such loyalty is no longer as powerful a unifying force as it once was among English Canadians, it continues to exert a noticeable influence on English Canadian culture. According to the author and political commentator Richard Gwyn while "[t]he British connection has long vanished... it takes only a short dig down to the sedimentary layer once occupied by the Loyalists to locate the sources of a great many contemporary Canadian convictions and conventions." Gwyn considers that the modern equivalent of the once talismanic loyalty is "tolerance": "a quality now accepted almost universally as the feature that makes us a distinct people."
The 2001 Census of Canada provides information about the ethnic composition of English-speaking Canadians. This "refers to the ethnic or cultural group(s) to which the respondent's ancestors belong". However, interpretation of data is complicated by two factors.
See the definition of "ethnic origin" from the 2001 Census dictionary for further information.
The data in the following tables pertain to the population of Canada reporting English as its sole mother tongue, a total of 17,352,315 inhabitants out of 29,639,035. A figure for single ethnic origin responses is provide, as well as a total figure for ethnic origins appearing in single or multiple responses (for groups exceeding 2% of the total English-speaking population). The sum of the percentages for single responses is less than 100%, while the corresponding total for single or multiple responses is greater than 100%. The data are taken from the 2001 Census of Canada.
|North American Indian||713,925||4.1%||280,795||1.6%|
The remaining ethnic groups (single or multiple responses) forming at least 1% of the English-speaking population are Welsh (2.0%), Swedish (1.5%), Hungarian (1.5%), East Indian (1.4%), Métis (1.4%), Jewish (1.4%), Russian (1.4%), American (1.3%), Jamaican (1.2%) and Chinese (1.1%). The remaining ethnic groups (single response) forming at least 0.5% of the English-speaking population are East Indian (1.0%), Jamaican (0.8%) and Chinese (0.6%).
Depending on the principal period of immigration to Canada and other factors, ethnic groups (other than British Isles, French, and Aboriginal ones) vary in their percentage of native speakers of English. For example, while a roughly equal number of Canadians have at least partial Ukrainian and Chinese ancestry, 82% of Ukrainian Canadians speak English as their sole mother tongue, and only 17% of Chinese Canadians do (though this rises to 34% in the 0 to 14 age group). As the number of second and third-generation Chinese Canadians increases, their weight within the English-speaking population can also be expected to increase. It should also be borne in mind that some percentage of any minority ethnic group will adopt French, particularly in Quebec.
In the 2001 Canadian census, 17,572,170 Canadians indicated that they were English-speaking. As discussed in the Introduction, however, this does not mean that 17.5 million people in Canada would necessarily self-identify as being 'English Canadian'.
Except in Newfoundland and the Maritime provinces, most Canadian English is only subtly different from English spoken in much of the mid-western and western United States. Spoken English in the Maritimes has some resemblance to English of some of the New England states. While Newfoundland speaks a specific Newfoundland English dialect, and so has the most distinct accent and vocabulary, with the spoken language influenced in particular by English and Irish immigration. There are a few pronunciations that are distinctive for most English Canadians, such as 'zed' for the last letter of the alphabet.
English Canadian spelling continues to favour most spellings of British English, including 'centre', 'theatre', 'colour' and 'labour', although usage is not universal. Other spellings, such as 'gaol' and 'programme', have disappeared entirely or are in retreat. The principal differences between British and Canadian spelling are twofold: '-ise' and '-yse' words ('organise/organize' and 'analyse' in Britain, 'organize' and 'analyze/analyse' in Canada), and '-e' words ('annexe' and 'grille' in Britain, 'annex' and 'grill' in Canada, but 'axe' in both, 'ax' in the USA). But '-ize' is becoming increasingly common in Britain, bringing British spelling closer to the Canadian standard.
Vocabulary of Canadian English contains a few distinctive words and phrases. In British Columbia, for example, the Chinook word 'skookum' for, variously, 'good' or 'great' or 'reliable' or 'durable', has passed into common use, and the French word 'tuque' for a particular type of winter head covering is in quite widespread use throughout the country.
Languages besides English are spoken extensively in provinces with English-speaking majorities. Besides French (which is an official language of the province of New Brunswick and in the three territories), indigenous languages, including Inuktitut and Cree are widely spoken and are in some instances influencing the language of English speakers, just as traditional First Nations art forms are influencing public art, architecture and symbology in English Canada. Immigrants to Canada from Asia and parts of Europe in particular have brought languages other than English and French to many communities, particularly Toronto, Vancouver and other larger centres. On the west coast, for example, Chinese and Punjabi are taught in some high schools; while on the east coast efforts have been made to preserve the Scots Gaelic language brought by early settlers to Nova Scotia. In the Prairie provinces, and to a lesser degree elsewhere, there are a large number of second-generation and more Ukrainian Canadians who have retained at least partial fluency in the Ukrainian language.
The population of the provinces other than Quebec in the 2001 Census is some 22,514,455. It is impossible to know with certainty how many of that number would self-identify as 'English Canadians' under the broadest interpretation of the term. Persons self-identifying with 'English' as their primary ethnic origin as part of the 2001 census - Quebec included - totaled slightly less than 6,000,000 persons. However, many Canadians who identify other ethnic origins for the purpose of the census might identify as 'English Canadian' in the broader sense of 'English-speaking Canadians' and possibly share some cultural affinities with the group identifying itself as 'English Canadian' in the more limited sense.
Of the total population of the provinces outside Quebec, the following numbers provide an approximation of the two largest religious groupings: *Protestant: 8,329,260; *Roman Catholic: 6,997,190.
Those claiming no religious affiliation in 2001 numbered 4,586,900.
For comparison purposes, other religious groups in the provinces other than Quebec in 2001:
In sum, while the single largest religious affiliation of 'English Canadians' - in the Rest of Canada sense of the term - may for convenience be slotted under the different Christian religions called Protestantism, it still represents a minority of the population at less than 37%. So-called 'English Canadians' include a large segment who do not identify as Christian. Even with a clear majority of almost 73%, English Canadian Christians represent a large diversity of beliefs that makes it exceedingly difficult to accurately portray religion as a defining characteristic.
In Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature, Margaret Atwood's seminal book on Canadian Literature published in 1973, the author argues that much of Canadian literature in both English and French is linked thematically to the notion of personal and collective survival. This theme continues to reappear in more recent literary works, such as Yann Martel's Life of Pi, winner of the 2002 Booker Prize.
In the 1970s authors such as Margaret Laurence in The Stone Angel and Robertson Davies in Fifth Business explored the changing worlds of small town Manitoba and Ontario respectively. Works of fiction such as these gave an entire generation of Canadians access to literature about themselves and helped shape a more general appreciation of the experiences of English-speaking Canadians in that era.
In the early years of the twentieth century painters in both central Canada and the west coast began applying post-impressionist style to Canadian landscape paintings. Painters such as Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, which included painters such as A.Y. Jackson, captured images of the wilderness in ways that forced English Canadians to discard their conservative and traditional views of art. In British Columbia, Emily Carr, born in Victoria in 1871, spent much of her life painting. Her early paintings of northwest coast aboriginal villages were critical to creating awareness and appreciation of First Nations cultures among English Canadians. The Arctic paintings of Lawren Harris, another member of the Group of Seven, are also highly iconic for English Canadians. Cowboy artist and sculptor Earl W. Bascom of Alberta became known as the "dean of Canadian cowboy sculpture" with his depictions of early cowboy and rodeo life.
From colonial times the arrival and settlement of the first pioneers, the fur trade empire established by the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company - although the fur company histories are more relevant to French Canadians, Métis and Scottish Canadians. - and the mass resettlement of refugee Loyalists are important starting points for some English Canadians. Some have argued that the Loyalist myth, so often accepted without second thought, represents also a collective English Canadian myth-making enterprise
The War of 1812 produced one of the earliest national heroes, Laura Secord, who is credited with having made her way through American lines at night to carry a warning to British troops of impending American plans and contributing to the victory at the Battle of Beaver Dams, where the American advance into Upper Canada was turned back.
The War of 1812 also saw the capture and burning of Washington, D.C. by the British in August 1814, an event still remembered in English Canada. The War of 1812 itself, to which Canadian and aboriginal militia forces made important contributions, is viewed as the event that ensured the survival of the colonies that would become Canada, or, as termed by the critic Northrop Frye "in many respects a war of independence for Canada."
There is an element of the heroic that attaches to Sir John A. Macdonald, the Scottish lawyer from Kingston, Ontario who became Canada's first Prime Minister. His weaknesses (such as an alleged fondness for alcohol, and the multifaceted corruption inherent in the Pacific Scandal) and the controversial events surrounding the rebellions in the west have not erased admiration for his accomplishments in nation building for English Canadians. Macdonald's pragmatism laid the foundation of the national myth of the 'two founding nations' (English and French), which was to endure well into the twentieth century among a strong minority of English Canadians and was eventually reflected in the official government policy that flowed from the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism in the 1960s.
Macdonald was also instrumental in the founding of the North-West Mounted Police in 1875, forerunners of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Canada's iconic national police force. The RCMP itself, established to "subdue the West", i.e. the newly acquired Northwest Territories, formerly the HBC's Rupert's Land, as declared in the preamble to its charter. The RCMP, long since eulogized into a moral, symbolic image of Canadian authority, far from its true nature as a paramilitary force commissioned with bringing First Nations and Métis to heel, plays a role in English Canada's perception of itself as a nation of essentially law-abiding citizens that confederated in 1867 for the purposes of establishing peace, order and good government.
The Klondike Gold Rush of 1898 in the Yukon was another event that resonated in the English Canadian imagination, with its stories of adventure and struggle in a harsh northern environment. The myth of the North itself, the forbidding landscape and difficult climate, peopled by the hardy Inuit is of central importance to English Canadians, from Susanna Moodie (whose 'north' was the 'wilderness' of 1830s southern Ontario) to the present, as the myth of the north is reexamined, challenged and reinvented for an increasingly post-colonial culture.
In the twentieth century Tommy Douglas, the politician from Saskatchewan who is credited with the creation of Canada's programme of universal health care has been recognized as the greatest Canadian in a contest sponsored by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada's national public broadcaster. Lester B. Pearson, winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace and Prime Minister of Canada responsible for the adoption of the maple leaf flag, is widely regarded as an English Canadian figure.
Another person who had an enormous impact on English Canadians was British Columbian Terry Fox whose 1981 attempt to run across Canada from St. John's, Newfoundland to the Pacific to raise money for cancer research. Although forced to discontinue the run near Thunder Bay due to a recurrence of his cancer, Terry Fox captured the imagination of millions of Canadians, particularly in the English-speaking provinces. This feat was followed by British Columbian Rick Hansen's successful Man in Motion tour shortly afterwards.
Sports heroes include, among many others, the legendary Wayne Gretzky from Ontario who led the Edmonton Oilers to successive Stanley Cup victories in the 1980s; the women's Olympic hockey team that won the Gold Medal in the 1992 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and Team Canada that won the famed Canada-Russia hockey series in 1972.
Rodeo is a popular sport in Canada. One of the great legends of Canadian rodeo is Ray Knight, known as the "Father of Canadian Professional Rodeo" having produced Canada's first professional rodeo in 1903. Another Canadian rodeo legend is Earl Bascom. Bascom, is known as the "Father of Modern Rodeo" for his rodeo equipment inventions and innovations, was the first rodeo champion to be inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.
Other significant figures include Nellie McClung (activist in politics and women's rights), Emily Carr (post-impressionist artist), Billy Bishop (World War I airman), Dr. Frederick Banting (co-discover of insulin) and Dr. Norman Bethune (doctor in China). Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, is often claimed by English Canada because of his residence on Cape Breton Island, although he was born in Scotland and later moved to the United States.
At the same time, historian and author Charlotte Gray has described Canadians as people who do not do heroes or hero-worship well, preferring instead to celebrate the collective rather than the individual: "[t]he qualities that are celebrated in our national life today are collective virtues - the bravery of our peace-keepers, the compassion of all Canadians for Manitoba's flood victims...individualism has never been celebrated in Canada. It is not a useful quality for a loose federation perched on a magnificent and inhospitable landscape..."
The contribution of French-speaking Canadians to the culture of English Canada is significant. Many popular Canadian symbols such as the maple leaf and the beaver were first adopted by Francophones. Francophone sports figures (particularly in hockey and figure-skating) have always been highly regarded. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister in the early 20th century, is viewed as an important statesman in English Canada. A more controversial figure is Pierre Trudeau, who is often praised for his handling of the October Crisis (also known as the FLQ Crisis) and the process of constitutional reform that implemented the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms but who also caused considerable Western Alienation and has been criticised for the critical failure to bring Quebec into the 1982 agreement on constitutional reform. Trudeau was nevertheless ranked 3rd in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's contest to choose The Greatest Canadian. Most recently, Haitian-born Francophone Michaëlle Jean, the current Governor-General, has overcome some initial misgivings regarding her appointment. The motto chosen for her arms, Briser les solitudes (break down the solitudes), echoes one of the significant works of early English Canadian fiction, Hugh MacLennan's Two Solitudes which describes the sometimes painful separateness dividing Canada's English and French-speaking populations.
Canada's role in the First and Second World Wars played a large part in the political evolution of Canada and the identity of English Canadians. After the fall of France in 1940 and prior to the entry of the United States into the war in 1942, Canada saw itself as Britain's principal ally against Adolf Hitler. The well-known poem In Flanders Fields, written during the First World War by John McCrae of Guelph, Ontario, is associated with Remembrance Day.
The RCMP "Mountie" has become a figure associated with Canada in the popular imagination of not only Canada, but other countries as well. Although it has many Francophone officers, in popular culture the mountie has been typically represented by an anglophone, such as Dudley Do-Right, Benton Fraser or Sergeant Preston of the Yukon. The myth of the stalwart (if somewhat rustic) heroic Canadian also appeared in the form of Johnny Canuck, a comic book figure of the mid-twentieth century.
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery of Prince Edward Island is one of English Canada's best known contribution to general popular culture. The themes of gentle slapstick and ironic but affectionate observation of small-town Canadian life that appeared in the work of Stephen Leacock carried forward into the later part of the twentieth century to reappear in successful television sitcoms such as The Beachcombers, Corner Gas and Little Mosque on the Prairie.
Traditional music in much of English-speaking Canada has sources in the music of Scotland and Ireland, brought to Newfoundland and the Maritime provinces in the 19th century. In the late 20th Century, Maritime artists, particularly musicians from Cape Breton Island such as Rita MacNeil, the Rankin Family, Natalie MacMaster and Ashley MacIsaac and Great Big Sea from Newfoundland achieved substantial popularity and influence throughout English Canada. A Celtic influence is similarly felt in the work of musicians from other parts of Canada, such as Spirit of the West, from British Columbia, Ontarian Stan Rogers, or Manitoba-born Loreena McKennitt.
... a Canadian of English ancestry or whose principal language is English, especially as opposed to French.
Mr. Lévesque's judgment was not shared by many. As in the rest of Canada, opinion polls showed overwhelming support in Quebec for the War Measures Act.
Anglo-Indian Canadians are Canadian citizens of Anglo-Indian heritage. Many Anglo-Indian Canadians have roots in the Indian subcontinent. Some of the earlier generations of Indians have British Indian heritage.Arthur Cardin
Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin, (June 28, 1879 – October 20, 1946) also known as Arthur Cardin was a Canadian politician who quit the cabinet of William Lyon Mackenzie King over the issue of conscription.
Born in Sorel, Quebec, he was a lawyer before being elected to the House of Commons of Canada for the riding of Richelieu in the 1911 federal election. A Liberal, he was re-elected in every election he contested in Richelieu and, beginning in 1935, Richelieu—Verchères. He held four ministerial positions: Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Minister of Marine, Minister of Public Works, and Minister of Transport.
Cardin called for a "Yes" vote in the 1942 plebiscite to release the King government's from its pledge not to introduce conscription but resigned from Cabinet in May 1942 over the introduction of the National Resources Mobilization Act which gave the government the authority to do so when Mackenzie King was prepared to enable conscription through an Order in Council, although he had previously promised to seek a motion of confidence before bringing in mandatory military service.In April 1942, Cardin announced that he would be leading a slate of candidates in the June 1945 federal election most of whom were former Liberals who had left the party over the issue of conscription. The party, which won the support of the "Independent Group" of Quebec MPs led by Frédéric Dorion was to be known as the National Front and was considered more moderate than the Bloc populaire canadien. Among its policies was opposition to the "socialism" the Mackenzie King government had introduced during the war, continued opposition to conscription, and bringing about greater national unity in Canada based on equality between French and English Canadians. However, in May Cardin abandoned his plans for a new party on May 8, 1945, declaring his desire to use the new party to bring about the "unity and equality" of both the province and the country as "an illusion", due to the failure of the more radical Bloc populaire canadien and other nationalists to join his movement and unite behind his leadership. One serious problem for Cardin was hostility towards him from former Montreal mayor Camillien Houde who had been interned during the war for his opposition to conscription and was attempting to lead his own group of candidates in the 1945 election. Houde held Cardin, who had been a member of Cabinet at the time of Houde's arrest, responsible for the decision to intern him. Cardin instead ran and was re-elected to parliament as an independent candidate. He died the next year in 1946.
Cardin Mountain, later adjusted to Mount Cardin, in British Columbia is named in his honour.Big Joe Mufferaw
Big Joe Mufferaw was a French Canadian folk hero from the Ottawa Valley, perhaps best known today as the hero of a song by Stompin' Tom Connors. Like Paul Bunyan, he made his living chopping down trees. The name is also sometimes spelled Muffero, Muffera, Muffraw, and Montferrand. The last spelling, Montferrand, is his actual French name: Joseph Montferrand. Anglophones who had trouble with it used one of the other spellings.
In addition to being the subject of many Paul Bunyan-esque tall tales, Mufferaw is sometimes enlisted as a defender of oppressed French Canadian loggers in the days when their bosses were English-Canadians and their rivals for work were Irish-Canadians. In one story, Big Joe was in a Montreal bar, where a British army major named Jones was freely insulting French Canadians. After Big Joe beat the major, he bellowed, "Any more insults for the Canadians?"
Some Mufferaw tales take place in the northeast United States.
A real strongman, a logger in the Ottawa Valley timber trade by the name of Joseph Montferrand lived from 1802 to 1864. French Canadian writer Benjamin Sulte told this man's story in a 1975 book. He also is the subject of a chapter in Joan Finnegan's 1981 book Giants of the Ottawa Valley and her 1983 book Look! The Land Is Growing Giants. Bernie Bedore of Arnprior also wrote several books recounting Joe's adventures.
A statue of Joe Mufferaw was erected outside of the Mattawa Museum in Mattawa, Ontario, during the spring of 2005. It was carved by local carving artist Peter Cianafrani, and was his last statue before he died later in the spring. A plaque commemorating his name sits at the base of the statue.Bon (currency)
The bon (French Canadian, Polish) was a type of paper currency issued by merchants to meet the need for small change. Bon is an abbreviation for bon pour (French for "good for"). These notes were in wide use in the early part of the 19th century. They were sometimes referred to as "shin plasters" by English Canadians. Because of their widespread use, they are considered to be the precursor to modern banknotes.British Canadians
British Canadian primarily refers to Canadians of British ancestry or origin.
Canadians of English descent
English Canadians: meaning either ethnic origin and heritage, or English-speaking (Anglophone) Canadians of any ethnic origin.
Welsh CanadiansIt may also refer to links and trade and company names between Canada and the United Kingdom:
British–Canadian relationsCanadian identity
Canadian identity refers to the unique culture, characteristics and condition of being Canadian, as well as the many symbols and expressions that set Canada and Canadians apart from other peoples and cultures of the world.
Primary influences on the Canadian identity trace back to the arrival, beginning in the early seventeenth century, of French settlers in Acadia and the St. Lawrence River Valley and English, Scottish and other settlers in Newfoundland, the British conquest of New France in 1759, and the ensuing dominance of French and British culture in the gradual development of both an imperial and a national identity.
Throughout the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, First Nations played a critical part in the development of European colonies in Canada, from their role in assisting exploration of the continent, the fur trade and inter-European power struggles to the creation of the Métis people. Carrying through the 20th century and to the present day, Canadian aboriginal art and culture continues to exert a marked influence on Canadian identity.
The question of Canadian identity was traditionally dominated by two fundamental themes: first, the often conflicted relations between English Canadians and French Canadians stemming from the French Canadian imperative for cultural and linguistic survival; secondly, the generally close ties between English Canadians and the British Empire, resulting in a gradual political process towards complete independence from the imperial power. With the gradual loosening of political and cultural ties to Britain in the twentieth century, immigrants from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean have reshaped the Canadian identity, a process that continues today with the continuing arrival of large numbers of immigrants from non British or French backgrounds, adding the theme of multiculturalism to the debate. Today, Canada has a diverse makeup of nationalities and cultures (see Canadian culture) and constitutional protection for policies that promote multiculturalism rather than a single national myth.Canuck
"Canuck" is a slang term for a Canadian. The origins of the word are uncertain. The term "Kanuck" is first recorded in 1835 as an Americanism, originally referring to Dutch Canadians or French Canadians. By the 1850s, the spelling with a "C" became predominant. Today, English Canadians and others use "Canuck" as a mostly affectionate term for any Canadian.Cinema of Quebec
The history of cinema in Quebec started on June 27, 1896 when the Frenchman Louis Minier inaugurated the first movie projection in North America in a Montreal theatre room. However, it would have to wait until the 1960s before a genuine Quebec cinema industry would emerge. Approximately 620 feature-length films have been produced, or partially produced by the Quebec film industry since 1943.
Due to language and cultural differences between the predominantly francophone population of Quebec and the predominantly anglophone population of the rest of Canada, Quebec's film industry is commonly regarded as a distinct entity from its English Canadian counterpart. In addition to participating in Canada's national Genie Awards, the Quebec film industry also maintains its own awards ceremony, the Prix Iris (formerly known as Jutra). In addition, the popularity of homegrown French language films among Quebec audiences, as opposed to English Canadians' preference for Hollywood films, means that Quebec films are often more successful at the box office than English Canadian films — in fact, the top-grossing Canadian film of the year is often a French language film from Quebec.Conscription Crisis of 1917
The Conscription Crisis of 1917 (French: Crise de la conscription de 1917) was a political and military crisis in Canada during World War I. It was mainly caused by disagreement on whether men should be conscripted to fight in the war, but also brought out many issues regarding relations between French Canadians and English Canadians. Almost all French Canadians opposed conscription; they felt that they had no particular loyalty to either Britain or France. Led by Henri Bourassa, they felt their only loyalty was to Canada. English Canadians supported the war effort as they felt stronger ties to the British Empire .On January 1, 1918, the Unionist government began to enforce the Military Service Act. The act caused 404,385 men to be liable for military service, from which 385,510 sought exemption.
The most violent opposition occurred in Quebec, where anti-war attitudes drawn from French-Canadian nationalism sparked a weekend of rioting between March 28 and April 1, 1918. The disturbances began on the Thursday when Dominion Police detained a French-Canadian man who had failed to present his draft exemption papers. Despite the man's release, an angry mob of nearly 200 soon descended upon the St. Roch District Police Station where the man had been held. Rioters then ransacked the conscription registration office as well as two pro-conscription newspapers within Quebec City. The final and bloodiest conflict happened Easter Monday, when crowds once again organized against the military presence in the city, which by then had grown to 1,200 soldiers. The soldiers were ordered to fire on the crowds, immediately causing them to disperse. Though the actual number of civilian casualties is debated, official reports from that day name five men killed by gunfire. Dozens more were injured. Among the soldiers are 32 recorded injuries that day, with no deaths. Monday, April 1, marked the end of the Easter Riots, which totaled over 150 casualties and $300,000 in damage.Cornish Canadians
Cornish Canadians are Canadians of Cornish descent, including those who were born in Cornwall. The number of Canadian citizens of Cornish descent cannot be determined through census statistics, though speculative estimates place the population as high as 20,000.English Canada
English Canada is a term referring to one of the following:
The Canadian provinces that have an anglophone majority. This excludes the francophone province of Quebec in total, and New Brunswick in part. Consequently, usage is usually in the context of geopolitical discussions involving Quebec. Among supporters of the two-nations theory, English-Canada is one of two founding nations, the other being French-Canada or Quebec. In avoidance of the two-nations theory, English-Canada is often referred to as the "ROC" (Rest of Canada).
When discussing English-speaking Canadians in contrast to opposed to French-speaking Canadians. It is employed when comparing English- and French-language literature, media, art, and institutions. The 20% of Canadians whose native language is neither English nor French are either lumped into one of the two groups according to their knowledge and usage of the official language or classified separately as allophones.
English Canadians, in some historical contexts, refers to Canadians who have origins in England (in contrast to: Canadiens French: Canadien(ne)s français(es)), French Canadians Scottish Canadians, Irish Canadians etc.)According to the 2006 Census of Canada, the population of English-speaking Canadians is between 17,882,775 and 24,423,375, finding the population outside of this designation to be 23,805,130 individuals.Estimates of Canadians with origins described as English is estimated to be about six million; a precise number is difficult to estimate for several reasons. Another 6.7 million people reported their ethnicity as simply "Canadian" without further specification, which would include those with an admixture of multiple ethnicities, particularly those long present in Canada (e.g. French, Irish, English, and Scottish), making it possible that the number is much higher than the nearly 6 million who reported as having English origins. On the other hand, historically, there have also been numerous Canadians who have hidden their true ancestry for different political reasons to join the dominant English group, such as to avoid discrimination, as seems to have been the case of the reported German-origin population, which dropped by nearly half after the First World War with a commensurate rise in reports of English origins.European Canadians
European Canadians (French: les Canadiens Européens), also known as Euro-Canadians, are Canadians with ancestry from Europe. They form the largest panethnic group within Canada.
The French were the first Europeans to establish a continuous presence in what is now Canada. Hélène Desportes is considered the first white child born in New France. She was born circa 1620, to Pierre Desportes (born Lisieux, Normandie, France) and Françoise Langlois.In the 2016 census, the largest European ancestry groups originated from the British Isles (11,211,850 including 6,320,085 English, 4,799,005 Scottish and 4,627,000 Irish), French (4,680,820), German (3,322,405), Italian (1,587,965). However, the country's largest self-reported ethnic origin is "Canadian" (accounting for 11,135,965 of the population). Since 1996, "Canadian" as an ethnic group has been added to census questionnaires for possible ancestry, which likely caused English Canadians, British Canadians and French Canadians to become severely underrepresented. The grouping is similar to that of "American" in neighbouring United States and is most commonly espoused by European Canadians whose ancestors have been some of the earliest European settlers of what is now Canada, to the point where they no longer feel a connection to their countries of origin. In the 2011 National Household Survey Profile, 10,563,805 people (32.1%) chose "Canadian" as their ethnic group, making it the single largest group in the country.Francœur Motion
The Francœur Motion, introduced in the Legislative Assembly of Quebec in 1918 by Liberal MLA Joseph-Napoléon Francœur, declared that Quebec would be prepared to leave the Canadian federation if English Canadians felt the presence of Quebec was "an obstacle to the union, progress and development of Canada".
Que cette Chambre est d’avis que la Province de Québec serait disposée à accepter la rupture du pacte confédératif, si dans les autres provinces, on croit qu’elle est un obstacle à l’union, au progrès et au développement du Canada.
(That this House is of the opinion that the Province of Quebec would be prepared to accept the break-up of the Confederation Pact if, in the other provinces, it is believed to be an obstacle to the union, progress and development of Canada.)
Francœur's motion was a response to the harsh reaction in English Canada to Quebec's strong anti-conscription feelings during the Conscription Crisis of 1917 of the First World War. Many Quebecers opposed conscription because of anti-imperialist sentiments. The motion attracted widespread attention in the press and was notably approved by the newspaper Le Canada. Premier of Quebec Lomer Gouin finally convinced Francœur not to present it to the Legislative Assembly because he did not wish to see a vote taken on it.James David Edgar
Sir James David Edgar, (August 10, 1841 – July 31, 1899) was a Canadian politician.
In his twenties, Edgar was a law student, legal editor of the Toronto Globe, an alderman on Toronto's city council and an organizer for the Liberal Party in Ontario. He was also rare among English Canadians of the time for his sympathy for the rights of French-Canadians. Edgar was married to Matilda Ridout and together they had nine children.
Born in Hatley, Canada East (later Quebec), Edgar was educated in Lennoxville and Quebec City. He moved to Toronto as an adult and became a lawyer in 1864. He was elected an alderman in 1866, and was a supporter of George Brown and the Reform Party. He ran as a Liberal in the 1871 Ontario provincial election, but was defeated by a margin of four votes in his attempt to win a seat in the provincial legislature.
He was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada in the 1872 federal election, and became Whip in the caucus of Alexander Mackenzie. He helped bring down the Conservative government over the Pacific Scandal. However, despite the election of a Liberal government in the ensuing election, Edgar was defeated in his own riding.
In 1874, he started a railway company called the Ontario and Pacific Junction Railway. This was an attempt to build a line between Toronto and Lake Nipissing. In 1881, it was renamed the Ontario and Sault Ste. Marie Railway. Both ventures failed to win a contract. Fred Cumberland, a partner in the O&PJR venture, formed a rival company called the Northern and Pacific Junction Railway. In 1888, the N&PJR merged with the Grand Trunk Railway.
Edgar was undaunted by these setbacks and in 1889 started a new company called the Belt Line Railway in Toronto. The city's steep ravines made access to some areas very difficult. The land developers of these areas required either a commuter railway or a system of bridges to ease access to their properties for buyers. This new venture sought to build a commuter rail line in Toronto connecting downtown with undeveloped neighbourhoods as far north as Eglinton Avenue between the Don River and the Humber River. Eventually two rail loops were built with 44 stations in total. The passenger railway opened in 1892 but ran for only two years, four months before going bankrupt. (The city built bridges, eventually.)
He used his experience to become the Liberal's railway critic when he returned to Parliament (and the Opposition benches) through an 1884 by-election.
In the 1880s, Edgar became a vocal opponent of the Protestant Protective Association, an anti-Catholic political party associated with the Ontario Conservative Party. He argued in favour of tolerance and cooperation between English and French Canadians as well as between Protestants and Catholics. He also argued against the concept of Imperial Federation, for greater Canadian independence from Britain, and in favour of reciprocity with the United States.
When the Liberals formed a government under Sir Wilfrid Laurier following the 1896 federal election, Edgar was nominated to become Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, and was given a knighthood by Queen Victoria. Edgar was in poor health, however, and died in 1899 prior to the end of this term.List of English Canadians
The number of Canadians who are of English descent is largely unknowable given the propensity of many Canadians to use the term "English Canadian" or "English-Canadian" to mean anglophone Canadian.List of Prime Ministers of Canada by religious affiliation
This is a list of Prime Ministers of Canada by religious affiliation. It notes party affiliation after the name. All Canadian Prime Ministers have affiliations with Christianity.
In early Canadian history, religion played an important role in politics. The Conservative Party was composed mainly of Anglicans and conservative French-Canadian Catholics while the Liberal Party was backed by reform-minded French Canadian Catholics and non-Anglican English Canadians due to their support in Quebec and Ontario. In recent years, religion has played a background role in Canadian politics. Modern Prime Ministers have been reticent about discussing their faith.Manor series
The Manor series is a fleet of 42 lightweight streamlined sleeping cars built by the Budd Company for the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1954–1955. Each contained five bedrooms, one compartment, four sections and four roomettes. The cars were named for distinguished English Canadians. Via Rail acquired the fleet from the Canadian Pacific in 1978 and the cars remain in active service.Manx Canadians
Manx Canadians are Canadian citizens of Manx descent or Manx people who reside in Canada. According to the Canada 2016 Census, there were 6,125 people of Manx descent in Canada.Rock et Belles Oreilles
Rock et Belles Oreilles (RBO) was a Québécois radio, television and stage comedy group that was very popular in the essentially French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec during the 1980s and 1990s. Its name was a pun on the name of the famous Hanna-Barbera blue dog character Huckleberry Hound ("Roquet Belles Oreilles" in French).
The group was formed in 1981. The original lineup consisted of Guy A. Lepage, Yves P. Pelletier, Bruno E. Landry, André G. Ducharme, Richard Z. Sirois and Chantal Francke. Sirois left the group in 1987, and Francke left in 1992. The group separated in 1995.
RBO specialized in performing parodies of well-known advertisements, TV shows and movies, as well as impersonating politicians, showbiz stars and various famous people. They quickly became known for being highly politically incorrect. Many of their sketches poked fun at English Canadians, though this was counterbalanced by making fun of Quebec nationalists and political icons such as René Lévesque as well. They also caused a few scandals with sketches involving feces, super-Jesus, dildos or the Holocaust.
One of their most famous recurring sketches, "Bonjour la police", was about police officers who were always eating doughnuts and coffee at Dunkin' Donuts instead of working; a song written by the group (also titled "Bonjour la police") was based on these sketches.
Team member Guy A. Lepage became in the early 2000s a media mogul and TV series director, very popular on the Quebec entertainment scene, with popular series such as the sitcom Un gars, une fille and the talk-show Tout le monde en parle, based on a popular French TV show with the same title. Most other members were stand-up comics or talk-show hosts in the early 2000s.
Rock et Belles Oreilles came back for a New Year's Eve special on December 31, 2006, "Le Bye Bye de RBO" and did it again in 2007.
|Newfoundland and Labrador||39.9%|
|Prince Edward Island||31.1%|