Royal Canadian Air Force
The Royal Canadian Air Force is the air force of Canada. Its role is to "provide the Canadian Forces with relevant and effective airpower"; the RCAF is one of three environmental commands within the unified Canadian Armed Forces. As of 2013, the Royal Canadian Air Force consists of 14,500 Regular Force and 2,600 Primary Reserve personnel, supported by 2,500 civilians, operates 258 manned aircraft and 9 unmanned aerial vehicles. Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger is the current Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Chief of the Air Force Staff; the Royal Canadian Air Force is responsible for all aircraft operations of the Canadian Forces, enforcing the security of Canada's airspace and providing aircraft to support the missions of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army. The RCAF is a partner with the United States Air Force in protecting continental airspace under the North American Aerospace Defense Command; the RCAF provides all primary air resources to and is responsible for the National Search and Rescue Program.
The RCAF traces its history to the Canadian Air Force, formed in 1920. The Canadian Air Force was granted royal sanction in 1924 by King George V to form the Royal Canadian Air Force. In 1968, the RCAF was amalgamated with the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army, as part of the unification of the Canadian Forces. Air units were split between several different commands: Air Defence Command, Air Transport Command, Mobile Command, Maritime Command, as well as Training Command. In 1975, some commands were dissolved, all air units were placed under a new environmental command called Air Command. Air Command reverted to its historic name of "Royal Canadian Air Force" in August 2011; the Royal Canadian Air Force has served in the Second World War, the Korean War, the Persian Gulf War, as well as several United Nations peacekeeping missions and NATO operations. As a NATO member, the force maintained a presence in Europe during the second half of the 20th century; the Canadian Air Force was established in 1920 as the successor to a short-lived two-squadron Canadian Air Force, formed during the First World War in Europe.
John Scott Williams, MC, AFC, was tasked in 1921 with organizing the CAF, handing command over the same year to Air Marshal Lindsay Gordon. The new Canadian Air Force was a branch of the Air Board and was chiefly a training militia that provided refresher training to veteran pilots. Many CAF members worked with the Air Board's Civil Operations Branch on operations that included forestry and anti-smuggling patrols. In 1923, the CAF became responsible including civil aviation. In 1924, the Canadian Air Force, was granted the royal title. Most of its work was civil in nature. After budget cuts in the early 1930s, the air force began to rebuild. During the Second World War, the RCAF was a major contributor to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and was involved in operations in Great Britain, the north Atlantic, North Africa, southern Asia, with home defence. By the end of the war, the RCAF had become the fourth largest allied air force. During WWII the Royal Canadian Air Force were headquartered in London.
A commemorative plaque can be found on the outside of the building. After the war, the RCAF reduced its strength; because of the rising Soviet threat to the security of Europe, Canada joined NATO in 1949, the RCAF established No. 1 Air Division RCAF consisting of four wings with three fighter squadrons each, based in France and West Germany. In 1950, the RCAF became involved with the transport of supplies to the Korean War. Members of the RCAF served in USAF units as several flew in combat. Both auxiliary and regular air defence squadrons were run by Air Defence Command. At the same time, the Pinetree Line, the Mid-Canada Line and the DEW Line radar stations operated by the RCAF, were built across Canada because of the growing Soviet nuclear threat. In 1957, Canada and the United States created the joint North American Air Defense Command. Coastal defence and peacekeeping became priorities during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1968, the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army were amalgamated to form the unified Canadian Forces.
This initiative was overseen by Liberal Defence Minister, Paul Hellyer. The controversial merger maintained several existing organizations and created some new ones: In Europe, No. 1 Air Division, operated Canadair CF-104 Starfighter nuclear strike/attack and reconnaissance under NATO's 4 ATAF. Aviation assets of the Royal Canadian Navy were combined with the RCAF Canadair CP-107 Argus long-range patrol aircraft under Maritime Command. In 1975, the different commands, the scattered aviation assets, were consolidated under Air Command. In the early 1990s, Canada provided a detachment of CF-18 Hornets for the air defence mission in Operation Desert Shield; the force performed combat air patrols over operations in Kuwait and Iraq, undertook a number of air-to-ground bombing missions, and, on one occasion, attacked an Iraqi patrol boat in the Persian Gulf. In the late 1
Roberta Joan "Joni" Mitchell, CC is a Canadian singer-songwriter. Drawing from folk, pop and jazz, Mitchell's songs reflect social and environmental ideals as well as her feelings about romance, confusion and joy, she has received many accolades, including nine Grammy Awards. Rolling Stone called her "one of the greatest songwriters ever", AllMusic has stated, "When the dust settles, Joni Mitchell may stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century". Mitchell began singing in small nightclubs in her hometown of Saskatoon and throughout western Canada, before busking in the streets and nightclubs of Toronto, Ontario. In 1965, she began touring; some of her original songs were covered by other folk singers, allowing her to sign with Reprise Records and record her debut album, Song to a Seagull, in 1968. Settling in Southern California, with popular songs like "Big Yellow Taxi" and "Woodstock", helped define an era and a generation, her 1971 album Blue is cited as one of the best albums of all time.
In 2000, The New York Times chose Blue as one of the 25 albums that represented "turning points and pinnacles in 20th-century popular music". In 2017, NPR ranked Blue Number 1 on a list of Greatest Albums Made By Women. Mitchell's fifth album, For the Roses, was released in 1972, she switched labels and began exploring more jazz-influenced melodic ideas, by way of lush pop textures, on 1974's Court and Spark, which featured the radio hits "Help Me" and "Free Man in Paris" and became her best-selling album. Around 1975, Mitchell's vocal range began to shift from mezzo-soprano to more of a wide-ranging contralto, her distinctive piano and open-tuned guitar compositions grew more harmonically and rhythmically complex as she explored jazz, melding it with influences of rock and roll, R&B, classical music and non-western beats. In the late 1970s, she began working with noted jazz musicians, among them Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, as well as Charles Mingus, who asked her to collaborate on his final recordings.
She turned again toward pop, embraced electronic music, engaged in political protest. In 2002, she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards. Mitchell is the sole producer credited on most including all her work in the 1970s. A blunt critic of the music industry, she quit touring and released her 17th, last, album of original songs in 2007. With roots in visual art, Mitchell has designed most of her own album covers, she describes herself as a "painter derailed by circumstance". Mitchell was born Roberta Joan Anderson on November 7, 1943, in Fort Macleod, Canada, the daughter of Myrtle Marguerite and William Andrew Anderson, her mother's ancestors were Irish. Her mother was a teacher while her father was a Royal Canadian Air Force flight lieutenant who instructed new pilots at RCAF Station Fort Macleod, she moved with her parents to various bases in western Canada. After the war she settled with her family in Saskatchewan, she sang about her small-town upbringing in several of her songs, including "Song for Sharon".
At school Mitchell struggled. During this time she studied classical piano. At age nine, Mitchell contracted polio in an epidemic, was hospitalised for weeks. Following this incident she focused on her creative talent, considered a singing or dancing career for the first time. By nine, she was a smoker. At 11, she moved with her family to the city of Saskatoon, she responded badly to formal education. One unconventional teacher did manage to make an impact on her, stimulating her to write poetry, her first album includes a dedication to him. In Grade 12, she dropped out and hung out downtown with a rowdy set until deciding that she was getting too close to the criminal world. At this time, country music began to eclipse rock, Mitchell wanted to play the guitar; as her mother disapproved of its hillbilly associations, she settled for the ukulele. She taught herself guitar from a Pete Seeger songbook; the polio had weakened her left hand, so she devised alternative tunings to compensate. Mitchell started singing with her friends at bonfires around Waskesiu Lake, northwest of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
Her first paid performance was on October 31, 1962, at a Saskatoon club that featured folk and jazz performers. At 18, she widened her repertoire to include her own favorite performers like Édith Piaf and Miles Davis. Though she never performed jazz herself in those days and her friends sought out gigs by jazz musicians. Mitchell said, "My jazz background began with one of the early Lambert and Ross albums." That album, The Hottest New Group in Jazz, was hard to find in Canada, she says. "So I bought it at a bootleg price. I considered. I learned every song off of it, I don't think there is another album anywhere—including my own—on which I know every note and word of every song."But art was still her chief passion at this stage, when she finished high school at
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces; this began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Fort Macleod named Macleod, is a town in the southwest corner of the province of Alberta, Canada. It was founded as a North-West Mounted Police barracks, is named in honour of the North-West Mounted Police Colonel James Macleod, it was known as the Town of Macleod between 1892 and 1912. The fort was built as a 70 by 70 meters square on October 18, 1874; the east side held the west side held those of the Mounties. Buildings such as hospitals and guardrooms were in the south end. Stables and the blacksmith's shop were in the north end; the town grew on the location of the Fort Macleod North-West Mounted Police Barracks, the second headquarters of the NWMP after Fort Livingstone was abandoned in 1876. Fort Macleod was established in 1874 on a peninsula along the Oldman River moved in 1884 to the present town location; the Museum of the North-West Mounted Police is located in Fort Macleod. Once agricultural settlement and the railway came to the region, Macleod boomed; the town became a divisional point for the Canadian Pacific Railway and frontier wood construction began to be replaced by brick and sandstone.
In 1906 a fire destroyed most of the wooden buildings. From 1906 to 1912 Macleod had its greatest period of growth, as more new brick and stone building replaced the destroyed wooden ones. In 1912 the CPR moved the divisional point and 200 jobs to Lethbridge, devastating the local economy. Fort Macleod ceased to grow, in 1924 was forced to declare bankruptcy; until the 1970s, the town's economy stagnated and the buildings from the turn-of-the-century remained untouched. In 1978 Alberta Culture started to inventory the downtown buildings, in 1982 the downtown became Alberta's first "Provincial Historic Area"; as well, Heritage Canada started a Main Street Restoration Project in 1982, aiming to preserve the sandstone and brick buildings, some dating back to 1878. In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Fort Macleod recorded a population of 2,967 living in 1,226 of its 1,426 total private dwellings, a −4.8% change from its 2011 population of 3,117. With a land area of 23.41 km2, it had a population density of 126.7/km2 in 2016.
In the 2011 Census, the Town of Fort Macleod had a population of 3,117 living in 1,244 of its 1,350 total dwellings, a 1.5% change from its 2006 population of 3,072. With a land area of 23.34 km2, it had a population density of 133.5/km2 in 2011. The town is located in the Municipal District of Willow Creek No. 26, at the intersection of Highway 2 and Highway 3, on the Oldman River. It lies west of the larger community of Lethbridge, near the reserves of the Peigan and Kainai First Nations, it is located close to the Waterton Lakes National Park. The town is located 8 kilometres north of the McBride Lake Wind Farm, one of the largest wind farms in Alberta; the wind farm has a capacity of 75 megawatts of electricity. Fort Macleod experiences a humid continental climate; the community enjoys frequent breaks from cold spells in winter when the Chinook wind blows down-slope from the Rocky Mountains. A Chinook on 27 February 1992 caused the temperature to rise to 26.5 °C. The highest temperature recorded at Fort Macleod was 102 °F on 7 July 1896, 18 July 1910 and 17 July 1919.
The coldest temperature recorded was −49 °F on 2 February 1905, 17 December 1924 and 28 January 1929. The town is home to the Fort Macleod Mustangs hockey team of the Ranchland Hockey League. Fort Macleod's local weekly newspaper is the Fort Macleod Gazette. Historical newspapersMacleod Advertiser — published May 25, 1909, through September 11, 1913 Macleod Chronicle — in print July 1908 through June 1909 Macleod Gazette — early issues were entitled The Macleod Gazette and Alberta Stock Record Macleod News — ran from November 2, 1916, through to June 1919 Macleod Spectator — lasted from April 30, 1912, until October 26, 1916 A selection of historical newspapers from Fort Macleod have been digitized from microfilm and are available in the Southern Alberta Newspaper Collection from the University of Lethbridge Library digitized collections. Included are: Macleod Advertiser, Macleod Chronicle, Macleod Gazette, Macleod News, & Macleod Spectator. Henrietta Muir Edwards, women's rights activist Frederick Maurice Watson Harvey, Irish-Canadian soldier and rugby union athlete Sir Frederick Haultain, former premier of the North-West Territories Joni Mitchell, musician Constantine Scollen, missionary Ang Lee's Academy Award-winning movie Brokeback Mountain was filmed in part in Fort Macleod.
The laundry apartment is located at 2422 Third Avenue, where a sign is posted marking the "passionate reunion" of Jack and Ennis. Passchendaele was filmed in Fort Macleod's historic downtown, which acted as a stand-in for Calgary circa 1915. Scenes involving the dust storm and Matthew McConaughey's character were filmed in Fort Macleod in Christopher Nolan's 2014 film Interstellar, where the giant dust clouds were created on location using large fans to blow cellulose-based synthetic dust through the air. Francesco Lucente's motion picture drama Badland was filmed in Fort Macleod. Francesco Lucente lived in Fort Macleod from 1974 to 1978, his father Salvatore Lucente owned Queens Hotels during that time. Fort Macleod Airport List of communities in Alberta List of towns in Alberta RCAF Station Fort Macleod Famous Five Foundation biography of Henrietta Muir Edwards http://www.usask.ca/history/buffalo/About%20Buffalo.htm Official website
Alberta is a western province of Canada. With an estimated population of 4,067,175 as of 2016 census, it is Canada's fourth most populous province and the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces, its area is about 660,000 square kilometres. Alberta and its neighbour Saskatchewan were districts of the Northwest Territories until they were established as provinces on September 1, 1905; the premier has been Rachel Notley since May 2015. Alberta is bounded by the provinces of British Columbia to the west and Saskatchewan to the east, the Northwest Territories to the north, the U. S. state of Montana to the south. Alberta is one of three Canadian provinces and territories to border only a single U. S. state and one of only two landlocked provinces. It has a predominantly humid continental climate, with stark contrasts over a year. Alberta's capital, Edmonton, is near the geographic centre of the province and is the primary supply and service hub for Canada's crude oil, the Athabasca oil sands and other northern resource industries.
About 290 km south of the capital is the largest city in Alberta. Calgary and Edmonton centre Alberta's two census metropolitan areas, both of which have populations exceeding one million, while the province has 16 census agglomerations. Tourist destinations in the province include Banff, Drumheller, Sylvan Lake and Lake Louise. Alberta is named after the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. Princess Louise was the wife of Marquess of Lorne, Governor General of Canada. Lake Louise and Mount Alberta were named in her honour. Alberta, with an area of 661,848 km2, is the fourth-largest province after Quebec and British Columbia. To the south, the province borders on the 49th parallel north, separating it from the U. S. state of Montana, while to the north the 60th parallel north divides it from the Northwest Territories. To the east, the 110th meridian west separates it from the province of Saskatchewan, while on the west its boundary with British Columbia follows the 120th meridian west south from the Northwest Territories at 60°N until it reaches the Continental Divide at the Rocky Mountains, from that point follows the line of peaks marking the Continental Divide in a southeasterly direction until it reaches the Montana border at 49°N.
The province extends 660 km east to west at its maximum width. Its highest point is 3,747 m at the summit of Mount Columbia in the Rocky Mountains along the southwest border while its lowest point is 152 m on the Slave River in Wood Buffalo National Park in the northeast. With the exception of the semi-arid steppe of the south-eastern section, the province has adequate water resources. There are numerous lakes used for swimming, fishing and a range of water sports. There are three large lakes, Lake Claire in Wood Buffalo National Park, Lesser Slave Lake, Lake Athabasca which lies in both Alberta and Saskatchewan; the longest river in the province is the Athabasca River which travels 1,538 km from the Columbia Icefield in the Rocky Mountains to Lake Athabasca. The largest river is the Peace River with an average flow of 2161 m3/s; the Peace River originates in the Rocky Mountains of northern British Columbia and flows through northern Alberta and into the Slave River, a tributary of the Mackenzie River.
Alberta's capital city, Edmonton, is located at about the geographic centre of the province. It is the most northerly major city in Canada, serves as a gateway and hub for resource development in northern Canada; the region, with its proximity to Canada's largest oil fields, has most of western Canada's oil refinery capacity. Calgary is about 280 km south of Edmonton and 240 km north of Montana, surrounded by extensive ranching country. 75% of the province's population lives in the Calgary–Edmonton Corridor. The land grant policy to the railroads served as a means to populate the province in its early years. Most of the northern half of the province is boreal forest, while the Rocky Mountains along the southwestern boundary are forested; the southern quarter of the province is prairie, ranging from shortgrass prairie in the southeastern corner to mixed grass prairie in an arc to the west and north of it. The central aspen parkland region extending in a broad arc between the prairies and the forests, from Calgary, north to Edmonton, east to Lloydminster, contains the most fertile soil in the province and most of the population.
Much of the unforested part of Alberta is given over either to grain or to dairy farming, with mixed farming more common in the north and centre, while ranching and irrigated agriculture predominate in the south. The Alberta badlands are located in southeastern Alberta, where the Red Deer River crosses the flat prairie and farmland, features deep canyons and striking landforms. Dinosaur Provincial Park, near Brooks, showcases the badlands terrain, desert flora, remnants from Alberta's past when dinosaurs roamed the lush landscape. Alberta has a humid continental climate with cold winters; the province is open to cold arctic weather systems from the north, which produce cold conditions in winter. As the fronts between the air masses shift north and south across Alberta, the temperature can change rapidly. Arctic
British Commonwealth Air Training Plan
The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, or Empire Air Training Scheme referred to as "The Plan", was a massive, joint military aircrew training program created by the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand, during the Second World War. BCATP remains as one of the single largest aviation training programs in history and was responsible for training nearly half the pilots, bomb aimers, air gunners, wireless operators and flight engineers who served with the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force during the war. Under a parallel agreement, the Joint Air Training Scheme, South Africa trained 33,347 aircrew for the South African Air Force and other Allied air forces; this number was exceeded only by Canada. Students from many other countries attended schools under these plans, including Argentina, Ceylon, Denmark, Fiji, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States, where the similar Civilian Pilot Training Program was underway by the end of 1938.
The United Kingdom was considered an unsuitable location for air training, due to the possibility of enemy attack, the strain caused by wartime traffic at airfields and the unpredictable weather, so the plan called for the facilities in the Dominions to train British and each other's aircrews. Negotiations regarding joint training, between the four governments concerned, took place in Ottawa during the first few months of the war. On 17 December 1939, they signed the Air Training Agreement – referred to as the "Riverdale Agreement", after the UK representative at the negotiations, Lord Riverdale; the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan was viewed as an ambitious programme. The 1939 agreement stated that the training was to be similar to that of the RAF: three initial training schools, thirteen elementary flying training schools, sixteen service flying training schools, ten air observer schools, ten bombing and gunnery schools, two air navigation schools and four wireless schools were to be created.
The agreement called for the training of nearly 50,000 aircrew each year, for as long as necessary: 22,000 aircrew from Great Britain, 13,000 from Canada, 11,000 from Australia and 3,300 from New Zealand. Under the agreement, air crews received elementary training in various Commonwealth countries before travelling to Canada for advanced courses. Training costs were to be divided between the four governments. Article XV of the agreement stipulated that graduates belonging to Dominion air forces, where they were assigned to service with the RAF, should be placed in new squadrons identified with the RAAF, RCAF and RNZAF; these units became known as "Article XV squadrons". Articles XVI and XVII stipulated that the UK government would be wholly responsible for the pay and entitlements of graduates, once they were placed with RAF or Article XV units; some pre-war/regular RAAF and RCAF squadrons served under RAF operational control, while New Zealand and Rhodesian personnel were assigned to RAF squadrons with the honorifics of "" and "" in their names.
However, in practice – and technically in contravention of Article XV – most personnel from other Commonwealth countries, while they were under RAF operational control, were assigned to British units. On 29 April 1940, the first Canadian training course commenced, with 221 recruits, at No. 1 Initial Training School RCAF, located at the Eglinton Hunt Club, Toronto. From this intake, 39 received their wings as aircrew on 30 September 1940. All of these graduates, were retained by the BCATP in Canada, as instructors, staff pilots or in similar flying assignments; the first BCATP personnel sent to the UK were 37 Canadian observers, who received their wings at RCAF Trenton, near Trenton, Ontario, on 27 October 1940. The first BCATP-trained pilots posted to Europe as a group were 37 RAAF personnel who graduated in November 1941, from No. 2 Service Flying Training School, RCAF Uplands, Ottawa. Prior to the inception of the Empire Air Training Scheme, the RAAF trained only about 50 pilots per year. Under the Air Training Agreement, Australia undertook to provide 28,000 aircrew over three years, representing 36% of the total number trained by the BCATP.
By 1945, more than 37,500 Australian aircrew had been trained in Australia. During 1940, Royal Australian Air Force schools were established across Australia to support EATS in Initial Training, Elementary Flying Training, Service Flying Training, Air Navigation, Air Observer and Gunnery and Wireless Air Gunnery; the first flying course started on 29 April 1940. Keith Chisholm was the first Australian to be trained under EATS. For a period, most RAAF aircrews received advanced training in Canada. During mid-1940, some RAAF trainees began to receive advanced training at RAF facilities in Southern Rhodesia. On 14 November 1940, the first contingent to graduate from advanced training in Canada embarked for Britain, Following the outbreak of the Pacific War in December 1941, the majority of RAAF aircrews completed their training in Australia and served with RAAF units in the South West Pacific Theatre. In addition, an increasing number of Australian personnel were transferred from Europe and the Mediterranean to RAF squadrons in the South East Asian Theatre.
Some Article XV squadrons were transferred to RAAF or RAF formations involved in the Pacific War. A significa