Thursday, January 10, 2013


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1997--

The Chevrolet Cavalier is the best- selling car this year.

January 1: Hagood Hardy, the popular pianist and composer has died at the age of 59. He recorded the soundtrack for the film Anne of Green Gables but is immortalized for his 1975 hit single--The Homecoming—based on a 1972 Salada Tea commercial created for television.

January 4: People who are out of work will not longer apply for Unemployment Insurance. The new federal scheme is harder to qualify for and is now called Employment Insurance. Average citizens still call it pogey.

January 12: Frank Angelo is dead after post-surgical complications. In 1985 he co-founded the ultra-chic Toronto-based MAC Cosmetic company that took the movie industry by storm.  
Cole's Notes first appeared in 1948.

January 22:  Jack Cole is dead. He and his orphaned brother, Carl, founded Coles Books near the University of Toronto in the 1930s. Unable to make monthly rent at first, they paid rent daily. The two built their store into the nation’s largest book retail chain. They created Coles Notes—comprehensive student study guides--sold American rights to a company in 1958 that rebadged them in the US as Cliff’s Notes. In 1994 Coles merged with Smithbooks and now operates under the name Chapters.

February 4: Peter McCain, president of McCain Foods Limited, is dead. The Florenceville, New Brunswick food giant is the world’s largest maker of French fries. McCain’s has 55 factories in 20 countries that process more than 450 tonnes of potatoes every hour.

February 7:  Lennox Lewis of Kitchener, Ontario is declared heavyweight boxing champ in Las Vegas. The two-metre tall WBA pugilist will hang up his gloves with 41 wins, two losses and one draw.
Ashwin and Sarah tie the knot.

February 7: It’s wedding bells for Juno and Grammy winner Sarah McLachlin and drummer Ashwin Sood. The Halifax-born superstar is acclaimed for such smash hits as Angel, Building a Mystery, Adia, Possessions, Fallen and World on Fire. They will separate in 2008.

February 14: Abitibi-Price and Stone Consolidated, two of the world’s largest paper manufacturers, announce a corporate merger will take place.

Lois Marshall.
February 20: Soprano Lois Marshall is dead at the age of 83. The University of Toronto graduate had a long and exciting career despite being handicapped by polio. She will be best remembered for her solo performances with the Bach Aria Group.

March – The 1,500th Tim Horton’s opens in Pickerington, Ohio.

March 2: J. Carson Mark is dead in Los Alamos, New Mexico at the age of 73.  Born in Lindsay, Ontario the world-renowned mathematician was tapped by the US government to work on Project Manhattan. He was in charge of the development of the hydrogen bomb in the 1950s.

March 6: The federal government passes legislation restricting tobacco advertising. No longer can cigarette companies sponsor festivals and events.

Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada.
March 7: Queen Elizabeth II kicks off her royal website by exchanging e-mails with school kids in Nakina, Ontario.

March 9: Jann Arden hosts this year’s Juno Awards held at the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario. Single of the Year is Ironic by Alanis Morissette. The Best Album Juno goes to the Tragically Hip for Trouble at the Henhouse. Bryan Adams and Celine Dion take home Best Male and Female Artist Junos.

March 19: Bre-X Minerals claims to have found 70 million ounces worth of gold at a site in Indonesia. The claim begins to unravel when the company’s head geologist, Michael De Guzman, jumps—some say he was thrown—from a helicopter.  The fraud will be discovered and people will lose millions of dollars on the scam.

April 22: It’s spring on the Prairies. That means massive flooding of the Red River. The Manitoba government orders a state of emergency and evacuation for those living in the affected area. Damage caused by ‘The Flood of the Century’ is estimated at $500 million.

April 23: The last trade ever to be made takes place on the floor of the Toronto Stock Exchange. The 145-year old TSE moves to computer trading.

May 20: An unwelcome blanket of snow hits central Alberta causing much damage to spring foliage.

May 31: Confederation Bridge, linking Prince Edward Island to New Brunswick, opens to much fanfare. Festivities include some 75,000 people taking part in the “Bridge Walk” and the “Bridge Run.” The Bluenose II, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Snowbirds all put in an appearance. Some don’t like the name, wanting the 12.9-metre span to be called Abegweit Crossing. Others prefer Span of Green Gables.

June 2: The fedceral election campaign is over and the ballots are counted. Prime Minister Jean Chretien and his Grits win a second majority government. Preston Manning and his Reform Party replace the Bloc Quebecois as the Queen’s Loyal Opposition. The Tories, who numbered only two in the last Parliament, have risen in numbers to take 20 seats in the House of Parliament and regain their status as an official party.

June 7: The Detroit Red Wings take home the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1955. They sweep the Philadelphia Flyers in front of a hometown crowd at the Joe Louis Arena.

June 18: Before a program is broadcast on television, a new rating system will appear on the screen, advising viewers as to the content and its suitability for minors.

July 2: A string of 13 tornadoes sweeps across southeastern Michigan and southwestern Ontario killing seven in and around Windsor and Detroit.

July 9: Beauty queen Danielle House is stripped of her Miss Canada International title after being convicted of assaulting her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend in a night club. Danielle, from Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, won’t lose a minute’s sleep over the loss, going on to be the centrefold in Playboy and starring in the movie Solid Cover.

July 30: Phil Fontaine is elected to be president of the Assembly of First Nations.

August 7: At 9.41 CST, the space shuttle Discovery blasts off into outer space. Aboard the craft is Vancouver scientist Dr. Bjarni Tryggvason. He will spend the next 12 days studying changes in the Earth’s atmomosphere.

September 2: Religious schools are a thing of the past as voters do away with the denominational school system in Newfoundland and Labrador. The old system will be replaced with public schools.

September 25: Raised in Manitoba, actor, author, radio personality, rock star and professional wrestler Chris Jericho is inducted into the Canadian Wrestling Hall of Fame.

October 2: Ottawa calls David Berger, the Canadian Ambassador to Israel, home to protest the use of forged Canadian passports by undercover Mossad agents.

October 7: The Airbus affair is over. Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney settles out of court with the federal government for an undisclosed amount. In 1995 the Crown accused the PM of accepting secret kickbacks from the European airplane manufacturing consortium.

October 13: A Thanksgiving Day outing turns tragic as a tour bus filled with members of a Golden Age club--on a fall leaf colour tour north of Quebec City--leaves the road and plunges ten metres down a ravine, taking 44 of the 48 on board to their deaths. It is the worst road accident in Canadian history.

October 17: In a nation that sprawls across six time zones, news never sleeps. Now, there’s more news than ever as CTV News1 takes to the airwaves with a short, punchy headline format. The format won't change but the name will be changed to  CTV Newsnet in 1999.

October 26: Racer Jacques Villeneuve overtakes Michael Schumacher in the 48th lap at Jerez and becomes the first Canadian to capture the Formula One title.

November 3: Princess Diana would be proud: the last land mines in the Canadian Forces are destroyed.

Clyde Gilmour's record library is still used by the CBC today.
November 7: Popular CBC Radio host, Clyde Gilmour, is dead at the age of 85. His program, Gilmour’s Albums was a Sunday afternoon staple on the CBC for forty years.

November 14: Eight teenagers swarm Reena Virk under the Craigflower Bridge, just west of Victoria, BC. They beat the unpopular girl and drown her. Her body will wash ashore at George Inlet, eight days from now. The perpetrators will be identified and do time.

November 16: The 85th Grey Cup is held in Edmonton with 60,431 fans packed into Commonwealth Stadium. The Toronto Argonauts whip the Saskatchewan Roughriders, 47 to 23.

November 17: The first barrel of oil is pumped from the Hibernia well, some 300 kilometres off the coast of St. John’s, Newfoundland. The mega-project will quickly become the nation’s most prolific well with production rates hitting 50,000 barrels a day.

 November 21: The 21 nation members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation —a.k.a.—APEC Conference is held in Vancouver. A storm of controversy erupts when the RCMP use pepper spray on protesters.

December 14: The 18th Genie Awards celebrate the best of the film industry. A Best Picture Genie goes to The Sweet Hereafter. Ian Holm wins a Best Actor Genie for his role in The Sweet Hereafter. Molly Parker earns a Best Actress Genie for her role in Kissed. Peter MacNeill and Seana McKenna take home Best Supporting Actor and Actress Genies for their roles in The Hanging Garden.

December 14: Rock hero Kurt Winter is dead of kidney failure at the age of 51. He was the lead guitarist for The Guess Who-- known for his stunning machine gun style of playing. He left the Winnipeg rock band in 1974 to strike out on his own.

December 24: Publishing magnate Pierre Peladeau is dead at the age of 72. He will create Le Journal de Montreal and build his business into the largest printing company in the world. Quebecor will file for bankruptcy protection in 2008.

General Motors' Saturn is the tenth best-selling car this year.

December 31: The top ten selling cars are the Chevy Cavalier, Pontiac Sunfire, Honda Civic, Ford Escort, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry, Pontiac Grand Am, Ford Taurus, Chrysler Intrepid and the Saturn.


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