Questions from the Historica-Dominion Institute Citizenship Challenge “Are You Smarter Than a 10th Grader”

October 22, 2012

Question 1: Who were Les Automatistes of Québec?

  1. A political organisation
  2. One of Québec’s largest mechanical engineering companies
  3. A group of pioneering modern abstract artists
  4. A musical group whose songs cheered les Québécois during the Depression
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A: The answer is C. Founded in the 1940s, Les Automatistes were a group of pioneering modern abstract artists who believed painting should be spontaneous. They are still regarded as one of Canada’s most influential artistic and social movements.


Question 2 : Who is the only Canadian Prime Minister to be awarded the Nobel Prize?

  1. Pierre Elliot Trudeau
  2. Lester B. Pearson
  3. Sir Robert Borden
  4. William Lyon Mackenzie King
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A: The Answer is B. Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson was pivotal in the creation of the UN Peacekeeping force in 1956. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize one year later. Canada has participated in almost every Peacekeeping mission, including the 1960 Operation in Congo.


Question 3: In what year was the Constitution of Canada amended to entrench the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

  1. 1980
  2. 1981
  3. 1982
  4. 1983
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A: The answer is C: 1982. The Charter attempts to summarize fundamental freedoms while also setting out additional rights, including Mobility Rights, Aboriginal Peoples’ Rights and Multiculturalism.


Question 4: True or False: The right to vote comes with a responsibility to vote in federal, provincial or territorial and local elections?

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A: The answer is TRUE. The right to vote comes with a responsibility to vote in federal, provincial or territorial and local elections. This responsibility has had a long and complicated history as female, Japanese and Aboriginal populations had to wait as late as 1960 for the right to vote in Canada.


Question 5: How many steps are there in The Legislative Process?

  1. 1
  2. 7
  3. 5
  4. 3
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A: The answer is B. There are 7 steps in how a bill becomes law, which includes three different readings and approval from all three parts of Parliament.


Question 6: Which politician became the first to head a responsible government in Canada in 1849?

  1. Sir Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine
  2. William Osgoode
  3.  Joseph Howe
  4. William Lyon Mackenzie
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A: The answer is A: Sir Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine. After the Rebellions of 1837, Francophone Louis Hippolyte La Fontaine, along with Anglophone Robert Baldwin, worked together in establishing responsible government, which gave legislative power to the elected assembly of the colony, not the monarchy.


Question 7: O Canada was proclaimed Canada’s National Anthem in 1980. When was it first performed?

  1. 1980
  2. 1914
  3. 1939
  4. 1880
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A: The answer is D: 1880. The poem that would become our National Anthem was written by Judge Adolphe-Basile Routhier and set to the music of Calixa Lavallée. It was performed for the first time at the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day celebrations of 1880 but it would take a few decades for the song to become as popular among English Canadians as it was in Québec.


Question 8: When was the Canadian Flag first raised?

  1. 1965
  2. 1867
  3. 1918
  4. 1963
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A: The answer is A: 1965. After a long and controversial debate between Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, members of parliament, and the Canadian public, the national flag was officially unveiled February 15, 1965.


Question 9: Which First World War battle is known to have secured Canadians’ reputation for valour as the “shock troops of the British Empire”?  

  1. Battle of Passchendaele
  2. Battle of Vimy Ridge
  3. Battle of Dieppe
  4. Battle of Paardeberg
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A: The answer is B. The Battle of Vimy Ridge was fought April 9 to 14, 1917. The victory was considered the turning point of the First War World


Question 10: Which War of 1812 Battle is significant in that it was fought mostly by French Canadiens?

  1. Battle of Lacolle
  2. Battle of Beaver Dams
  3. Battle of Châteauguay
  4. Battle of Chrysler’s Farm
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A: The Answer is C: Battle of Châteauguay. The War of 1812 united not only British-Canadians, but French-Canadians, Aboriginal populations, and African Canadians against American forces. Former Slave Richard Pierpoint petitioned for the creation of The Colour Corps, a unit comprised solely of African British Loyalists.

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