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100 years since Canada joined WWI

60,000 Canadians killed in battle

Today marks 100 years since Canada joined with Britain and Europe's major powers in entering the First World War.

The declaration of war came in a telegram from the British government to the governor general.

Much different from today when most countries try to avoid war, Western University history professor Jonathan Vance says Canadians had an expectation in 1914 that they'd be joining the battles.

Many, he says, even celebrated the fact, largely because they believed the war would be short-lived.

The First World War was one of the most traumatic events in Canada's history.

By the time it was over, more than 60-thousand Canadians were killed, and many thousands more returned home broken.

It altered the country's political future --creating a new relationship with the British empire and dividing French and English communities over issues such as conscription.

But it also brought votes for women, daylight savings time and income tax -- brought in as a "temporary measure."

The Harper government has been touting Canada's achievements this year in a number of conflicts, including commemorations of the anniversaries for the First World War and the 70th anniversary of D-D Day.

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