Reporters looking for the Canadian context for events such as the devastating Sichuan earthquake can turn to the Natural Resources Canada earthquake database for basic details on every known earthquake in Canada since the 1600s. You can contact NRCCan to obtain the entire dataset, but data going back to 1985 is now available for download at http://www.earthquakescanada.nrcan.gc.ca/stnsdata/nedb/bull_e.php.
The searchable interface allows you to specify whether you want all earthquakes for all or part of the period, only those that were felt, or only those in certain parts of the country.
The data comes with some caveats, which you can read about on the site, such as uncertainty about the true depth of quakes. But the datasets come with latitude and longitude coordinates so you can map the data, as well as the approximate location in text, the date and time of the event, whether it was felt, and a link to detailed technical data. You can view the data in your browser, or download in text or Excel formats. This data would be ideal for both an in-depth look at earthquake incidence in Canada, and a quick contextual story following a big quake somewhere in the world.