Thursday, January 24, 2013


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1990-

January 5: The economy of Newfoundland and Labrador reels as seafood processing giant Fishery Products International announces the closure of three plants. More than 1,300 people will lose their jobs.

January 15: Parliament slashes VIA Rail’s budget.  Many routes will be affected by the cuts including the rerouting of The Canadian. Now service from Toronto to Vancouver will be available only three days a week. The famed stainless-steel train with its domed observation cars will make the 4,466-kilometre trek along  the Canadian National route, one far less scenic than the more southern route owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway.

January 24: A national sales tax is tabled in the House of Commons. The Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney intends for Canadians to pay a tax on all goods and services.

January 29: Her Excellency, Jeanne Sauve, steps down as Governor General. Sworn in to serve as the nation’s 24th Governor General is Ramon John Hnatyshyn. The Saskatchewan native was Minister of Justice in Brian Mulroney’s cabinet. 

February 12: An environmental disaster, a mountain of tires catches fire in the village of Townsend, near Hagersville, Ontario. It is estimated that 14 million tires burning. Thick, dark, toxic smoke will blanket the area, forcing more than 4,000 people out of their homes. The fire will burn for 17 days before firefighters finally extinguish the blaze.

March 8: Paul Quarrington is at Rideau Hall to receive the Governor General's Literary Award for English Fiction with his novel, Whale Music. It is the 51st year for the award.

March 9: The Lake Meech Accord is in trouble. Newfoundland and Labrador Premier, Clyde Wells, announces his newly elected government will revoke the constitutional amendment package because it will erode the province's powers. 

March 15: Ottawa announces that men practising the Sikh religion may wear their turbans as part of their Royal Canadian Mounted Police uniforms.

A Chinese Head Tax Certificate.
 March 17: Ottawa will give $50 to $500 per person as compensation to Chinese-Canadians who forced to pay $23 million for admission to Canada between 1885-1923.  
Rita MacNeil hails from Big Pond on Cape Breton Island. She is the nation's biggest country and folk singer..
 March 18: Rick Moranis hosts the Juno Awards, held at the O’Keefe Centre in Toronto. Rita MacNeil wins a Juno for Best Female Vocalist. Kim Mitchell takes home a Best Male Vocalist Juno. Best Album Juno goes to Alannah Myles and so does the Juno for Single of the Year for her song, Black Velvet.
Bridgetown, Barbados as seen from the harbour. Parliament is the building with the flag.
 March 19: Prime Minister Mulroney is in Bridgetown, Barbados for the Caribbean Commonwealth leaders’ conference.  Canada forgives $182 million worth of debt racked up by Caribbean nations.
The $1000 bill will be withdrawn from circulation on May 8th, 2000.
 March 20: Ottawa now requires banks to track large cash deposits in order to keep criminals from laundering money.

March 22: Gerald Vincent Bull is assassinated in Brussels. The North Bay, Ontario native was an armament designer and created a “super gun” for the Iraqi military. It is believed he was shot by Mossad agents. Gerald Forsythe’s novel, The Fist of God, recounts the engineer’s life story.

March 29: Federal Environment Minister Lucien Bouchard shows his Green Paper—a document that will address today’s environmental problems.

April 1: Ottawa inks a land claim deal with First Nations people of the Yukon Territory. The settlement includes 41,000 square kilometres of land, mineral rights and $232 million in cash.
This Hydro Quebec dam is located near the Cree settlement of  Chisasibi.
April 3: Quebec Cree Grand Chief Matthew Coon-Come files for an injunction to stop Hydro Quebec from implementing phase two of the $7.5 billion expansion Great Whale Hydro development project on James Bay. Coon-Come says that flooding the 5,000-square kilometres of land will irrevocably harm the environment as well as alter the Cree people’s traditional way of life, Pressure tactics will cause New York State to withdraw from signing multi-billion dollar agreements with Hydro Quebec, effectively killing the mega-project.

April 4: Alannah Myles hit, Black Velvet, climbs to Number One on the American pop singles chart.  The Toronto singer and songwriter will have two other Top 40 hits from her debut album.

April 9: An Angus Reid poll shows the Mulroney Tories have the support of only 15 percent of decided voters. It is the lowest poll on record for a sitting government.
The House of Commons in session.
April 10: After nine months of vicious fighting, the bill for the controversial Goods and Services Tax passes in the House of Commons. The vote is 144 yeas to 114 nays.  The 7% percent will replace the 13.5 percent Manufacturers Sales Tax. The bill now goes to the Senate for approval and then to the Governor General for Royal assent.

April 11: Harold Ballard is dead at the age of 86. The sports legend was the owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Maple Leaf Gardens. He leaves behind an estate valued at $50 million—most of it donated to charities.

April 19:The Crown lays charges against five teens for setting a fire at the Tyre King Recycling centre in Hagersville, Ontario. The 14 million scrap tires burned for seventeen days.  
In 1954, Woodward's opened an ultra-modern store in uptown New Westminster, BC.
April 27: Charles Woodward is dead at the age of 66. The business tycoon was head of Woodward's Department Stores Ltd for more than 30 years.  He added 21 stores to the family-owned chain before resigning in 1988 and selling to The Hudson’s Bay Company.

May 3: The nine justices of the Supreme Court of Canada rule unanimously that Angelique Lyn Lavallee of Winnipeg acted in self defence when she killed her long-time partner after years of abuse on August 30, 1986. The battered wife syndrome becomes a legitimate defence in murder charges.

May 12: Federal Environment Minister, Lucien Bouchard, is alarmed that changes may be made in the Meech Lake Accord. He resigns from the Tory government. In a few short months he will be back in politics as the leader of the newly formed Bloc Quebecois.

May 16: A tire dump near St. Amable, Quebec catches fire. An estimated 10 million tires burn over the next six days and hundreds are forced from their homes before firefighters can extinguish the blaze. It is estimated that there are 25 million old tires in similar dumps around Quebec. Cement giants Lafarge Canada in St. Constant and Ciment Saint-Laurent in Joliette will sign a contract with officials in Quebec City in 2001 to burn 7.5 million of the old tires, converting them into fuel for their cement plants.

“Sorry Charlie, Starkist doesn’t want tuna with good taste, but tuna that tastes good.”
 May 17: As a result of the ‘tainted tuna scandal’ Star-Kist Canada will shutter its factory and abandon the Canadian market.  In 1985, a million cans of spoiled tuna were processed in the company's cannery in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.  The Federal Minister of Fisheries overrode the inspectors' decision. Only when The Fifth Estate broke the story on its news show were the cans yanked off store shelves. Closure of the plant has put 400 people out of work.

Royal Air Force Panavia Tornados on a training exercise at CFB Goose Bay.
May 22: NATO announces it will cancel the low-level flight training centre for member nations at Canadian Forces Base Goose Bay in Labrador.

This the Oilers' fifth Stanley Cup victory in seven years.
May 24: The Edmonton Oilers beat the Boston Bruins four games to one, to win the Stanley Cup.

May 31: Alberta will sell off half of its Crown corporation, Alberta Government Telephones, established by the Liberal government in 1906. It is estimated that the sale of AGT will bring $1.5 million into the government’s coffers. The company will be known as Telus in 1996.

Senator Waters
June 6: The Honourable Stanley Charles Waters is sworn in as Canada’s first elected Senator. Representing the Reform Party and the people of Alberta, he will press for a “triple E” senate—elected, effective and equal. The idea is not popular and will eventually be abandoned. Senator Waters will die of brain cancer in 1991.

June 10: With only 20 days to go before it dies, the First Ministers gather together to renegotiate and sign a new version of the Lake Meech Accord. Premier Clyde Wells says he will have to take it to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador before signing.

June 12: Rising in the Manitoba legislature, eagle feather in hand, Member of the Legislative Assembly Elijah Harper says “no” to the Lake Meech Accord. The Cree band chief and provincial politician objects to the constitutional package because First Nations people were not consulted.
Miracle Food Mart in Windsor, Ontario.
July 20: Quebec grocery giant Steinberg sells 58 of its Miracle Food Mart and 11 Ultra-Mart stores for $235 million. Most of the stores are in the Greater Toronto Area and will be operated under the A&P or Dominion banners.

Russ Munro reported the D-Day invasion of Normandy in 1944.
June 21: Ross Munro is dead in Toronto at the age of 76.  He was a war correspondent for Canadian Press during World War Two. He was editor and publisher of the Edmonton Journal, Winnipeg Tribune and the Montreal Gazette.

June 23: The Meech Lake Accord is dead. Quebeckers feel left out of national life.

The Right Honourable John Turner was the 17th Prime Minister.
June 23: Former Prime Minister John Turner has stepped down as leader of the Liberal Party. Jean Chretien wins the leadership race on the first ballot at the convention in Calgary.

June 28: Federal Health Minister Perrin Beatty announces Ottawa will spend $112 million on a national AIDS strategy. The money will be used to stop transmission of the disease, search for a cure, and develop education programmes.

July 11: A land dispute between the Mohawk people and officials of the town of Oka, Quebec escalates into armed conflict. Three people will die. Mohawks barricade themselves and the army will bring tanks and throw up a razor wire barrier. The standoff will last 78 days before being peaceably resolved.
Wayne and Shuster were Ed Sullivan's favourite comedy duo--appearing on his CBS variety show 67 times, more than any other performers.

July 18:  Louis Weingarten is dead of brain cancer at the age of 72. Better known to Canadians as Johny Wayne, he was half of the famed comedic duo Wayne & Shuster. They have performed together since the 1930s. There is an old joke that real Canadians are easy to identify—they’re the ones who know which one is Wayne and which one is Shuster. Johnny Wayne will be buried in his hometown of Toronto. 
Joseph Gaétan Robert Gérald (Gerry) Boulet
July 18: Gerry Boulet is dead at the age of 44. The lead singer of Offenbach was described as having “ a voice that grated asphalt at 500 kilometres an hour.” The rock star succumbed to colon cancer in Montreal.

August 25: Novelist Morley Callaghan is dead in Toronto at the age of 87. One of this country’s best short story writers, Morley once knocked out buddy Ernest Hemmingway in a boxing match in Paris. Morley was also the host of the long-running programme Anthology, heard on Saturday nights on CBC Radio.
The 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis. The Mercury brand will be dropped in Canada at the end of the 1999 model year.
September – An eight-day strike at Ford Canada is settled and retooling at the St. Thomas and Oakville plants get under way. The Mercury Grand Marquis and the Ford Crown Victoria will be built in St. Thomas and the new mid-sized vans will be built in Oakville.
Robert Keith"Bob" Rae was Ontario's 21st Premier, serving from 1991 to 1995.
September 6: With 74 orange seats at Queen’s Park, Bob Rae leads the New Democratic Party to a surprise majority victory in the Ontario election.

September 26: The Oka Crisis is over. Mohawk warriors throw their weapons into a fire, burn tobacco in a peace ceremony and walk out of the pine woods. They are detained by the army and arrested by the Surete du Quebec.

September 27: To ensure passage of the Goods & Services Tax, Prime Minister Mulroney enlarges the size of the Senate and appoints a dozen new Tory Senators to the Red Chamber.
Craig Russell as Judy Garland.
October 30: Craig Russell is dead of a stroke at the age of 42. Famous for his impressions of a dozen Hollywood divas—from Mae West to Bette Midler—the movie star and female impersonator will be laid to rest in Port Perry, Ontario.

November 7: Author and English professor Hugh MacLennan is dead in North Hatley, Quebec at the age of 83. Born in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, he will be best remembered for his classic novels Barometer Rising and Two Solitiudes. The Tragically Hip pay homage to Hugh with their song Courage—recorded on their 1992 album, Fully Completely.

November 16: Northern Dancer is dead at the age of 29. Inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1965, the 1964 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner was the most successful thoroughbred horse of the 20th Century. Canada Post will honour the horse with a stamp in 1999.
November 25: The Winnipeg Blue Bombers whip the Edmonton Eskimos at the 78th Grey Cup. The score is 50 to 11.  

December 9:   The widow, Marguerite d'Youville, founder of the Sisters of Charity, a.k.a. the Grey Nuns, is the first Canadian to be canonized by Pope John Paul. St. Margeurite’s feast day will be every October 16.

December 17: By Royal Assent, the GST becomes law and will take effect on January 1, 1991. The national sales tax is set at 7 percent.

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