25 BC Milestones of the 20th Century

  1. 1903 The June election of Premier Richard McBride and his Conservatives marks the introduction of party politics to the BC legislature.
  2. 1913 Rock slides in the Fraser Canyon, caused by railway construction, nearly block the river at Hells Gate, cutting off the annual salmon migration and decimating the fishery; it is one of the worst environmental disasters in BC history, not rectified until the 1940s.
  3. 1914 South Asian migrants aboard the Komagata Maru in Vancouver harbour in May are refused entry to Canada and the ship is sent back to India in June. A landmark in the history of BC race relations.
  4. 1917 BC women win the right to vote in provincial elections in April.
  5. 1919 Development of the differential flotation system by engineers at the Cominco smelter in Trail allows it to become the largest lead-zinc producer in the world and gives BC its most enduring heavy industrial site.
  6. 1922 The Great Trek from downtown Vancouver out to Point Grey on October 28 pressured the provincial government to move ahead with construction of a new site for the University of British Columbia, which opened three years later.
  7. 1925 The Victoria Cougars defeated Montreal to win the Stanley Cup, the last time a team from BC won the Cup.
  8. 1927 The paintings of Emily Carr achieve national recognition at a major show in Ottawa through November and December.
  9. 1935 Striking relief camp workers descend on Vancouver in May to protest conditions in the camps, leading to the notorious On-to-Ottawa Trek.
  10. 1942 The year starts off with all persons "of the Japanese race" being relocated from the BC coast to camps and communities in the Interior and to other provinces in one of the worst violations of human rights in Canadian history.
  11. 1945 The report of the Sloan Commission leads to the introduction of a new forest tenure system that profoundly influences the development of forest policy and the forest industry in the province.
  12. 1952 Mungo Martin is hired as chief carver at the provincial museum's Thunderbird Park; the appointment is symbolic of an explosive renaissance of aboriginal culture in BC.
  13. 1952 Social Credit wins the provincial election in June, inaugurating 20 years of Socred government under Premier W.A.C. Bennett.
  14. 1958 BC celebrates its centennial.
  15. 1959 The Union Steamship Company is sold, ending 70 years of passenger and freight service along the BC coast.
  16. 1962 The provincial government creates BC Hydro to undertake massive hydroelectric projects on the Columbia and Peace rivers.
  17. 1962 Using money won on a television game show, Gray Campbell publishes his first book, inaugurating Gray's Publishing and a subsequent surge of BC literary culture.
  18. 1965 Vancouver City College opens its doors, the first of a series of community colleges that were part of a rapid expansion of post-secondary education in BC.
  19. 1971 The voyage of the Phyllis Cormack from English Bay in September launches the environmental organization Greenpeace.
  20. 1972 The August election of BC's first New Democratic Party government ends W.A.C. Bennett's 20-year run as premier.
  21. 1982 The appearance of Phillip Borsos's award-winning film The Grey Fox announces the maturation of a BC-based film industry.
  22. 1983 The Solidarity Movement organizes the largest political demonstrations in BC history from July to November to protest the government's austerity program.
  23. 1986 Vancouver celebrates its centennial by hosting Expo 86, attracting over 22 million visitors.
  24. 1993 The establishment of a BC Treaty Commission marks a new departure in provincial government policy on aboriginal land claims.
  25. 1999 The sale of MacMillan Bloedel, BC's largest forest company, to the American timber giant Weyerhaeuser, marks the end of an era.

What milestones or major events would you add to this list? Let us know!