Tuesday, January 8, 2013


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1999-

The fourth best-selling car this year is the Ford Taurus.

January 1: Folks in Kangisualujjuaq, Quebec are marking the New Year with celebrations in the school gymnasium when an avalanche strikes the Arctic Quebec town. Nine people die in the disaster.

February 4: The Genie Awards are held tonight. Red Violin wins Best Picture. A Best Actor Genie goes to Roshan Seth for Such a Long Journey and a Best Actress Genie is earned by Sandra Oh for Last Night.

February 13: It is the end of an era as the last hockey game is played in historic Maple Leaf Gardens. The Leafs' new home is the Air Canada Centre.

February 28: The Canada Winter Games open in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.

March 7: Hosted by stand-up comic, Mike Bullard, The Juno Awards are held in Hamilton, Ontario.  Best Single is One Week by Barenaked Ladies,  The Best Album Juno goes to Celine Dion for Let’s Talk About Love who also wins a Juno for Best Female Artist. The Best Male Artist Juno is won by Jim Cuddy.

March 9:  Composer Harry Somers is dead at the age of 73. The foremost English-Canadian composer of the 20th Century will be remembered for his works, Five Songs of the Newfoundland Outports and his opera, Louis Riel.

April 1: And then there were three. Nunavut becomes Canada’s newest territory. The eastern Arctic territorial capital is Iqualuit on Baffin Island and Paul Okalik is Nunavut’s first premier. The bear-shaped license plates now reads Nunavut—not Northwest Territories.

April 6: An angry former transit employee carries a gun to the main bus station in Ottawa. He kills three people and wounds four more before turning the gun on himself.

April 16: The Great One hangs up his skates for good as Wayne Gretzky retires from pro hockey.

April 16: Alexander “Skip” Spence is dead of lung cancer at the age of 52. The Windsor, Ontario native was a rock singer, guitarist and drummer, for Jefferson Airplane and Moby Grape. His career was brilliant but troubled; he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was a drug addict for much of his adult life.

April 28:  A 14-year old boy who was recently withdrawn from W. R Myers High School in Taber, Alberta because of bullying, returns to school today with a .22 rifle. He kills one student and injures two before being wrestled to the ground and arrested. 

May 11: Chevron Oil announces a major natural gas find as a result of exploration in the Northwest Territories.

May 17: David Milgaard is awarded $10 million by the Saskatchewan government. He spent 23 years in prison for the murder of Gail Miller—a crime he did not commit.

May 20: The Supreme Court expands the rights of same-sex couples.

May 23: WWF professional Owen Hart is dead of blunt chest trauma at the age of 34. The Ontario native falls 24 metres to death in a ring in Kansas City during a pay-per-view event.

May 27: Astronaut Julie Payette is on board the space shuttle Discovery. The Montreal native is in charge of the Canadarm on this mission and will be the first Canadian to board the International Space Station.

June 3: Canada and the United States sign a treaty that will resolve problems with the Pacific salmon fisheries.

June 17: Stanley Faulder of Jasper, Alberta, is executed by lethal injection in a Texas prison, despite diplomatic protests by Ottawa. He is the first Canadian to be put to death in a US prison. The criminal was charged and convicted of killing an elderly woman in her home during a botched robbery.

June 19: the 105th Stanley Cup challenge pits Dallas against the Buffalo Sabres. The Dallas Stars earn Lord Stanley’s cup in game six.

June 23: The 13th Pan American Games open in Winnipeg. Our athletes earn 196 medals, second only to the United States.

His Worship, Mayor Jean Drapeau.
August 12: Longtime former Montreal Mayor Jean Dreapeau is dead at the age of 83. Nearly two decades in office, the visionary mayor of the City of Mary transformed Montreal into a world class travel destination and played host to the World’s Fair in 1967 and the Olympics in 1976.

August 20: The Supreme Court rules that while Quebec may not unilaterally leave Confederation, Canada must recognize a clear “yes” vote as the will of the people to secede.

August 20: After 130 years, Eaton’s closes its doors forever. Once the nation’s largest retail chain, the department store company has fallen on hard times. Sears buys the doomed retailer and announces its intention to reopen the Eaton’s brand in selected cities.

September 3: This Labour Day will be remembered for the most deadly automobile accident in the country. An 87-vehicle pile up takes place on Highway 401 near Windsor, Ontario. Vehicles catch fire, prompting rescue crews to say it looks like a war scene. Caused by foggy conditions, seven people die and 50 are injured in “Carnage Alley.”

The Governor General reads the speech from the throne to Members of the House of Parliament and Senators.

October 7: Adrienne Clarkson is installed as the 26th Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces. She is the first Canadian of Chinese ancestry to hold the position and the second woman. Her Excellency will perform Vice Regal duties on behalf of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II until 2005.

October 8: The new Embassy of the United States opens in Ottawa. American president, Bill Clinton, is on hand to dedicate the imposing structure. It is the first time in history that an American president has been present for the opening of an American embassy.

October 15: Kingston, Ontario native Robert Mundell wins the Nobel Prize for economics. Among his many achievements are pioneering theories in monetary dynamics and laying the groundwork for the introduction of the Euro.

October 31: Race car driver Greg Moore is dead as the result of a crash on the 10th lap of the Marlboro 500 held in Monterrey, California. The BC native was only 24.

November 13: There’s a new World Heavyweight Champion as Lennox Lewis beats Evander Holyfield. Lewis will win the title three times before hanging up his gloves and becoming a colour commentator on television.

November 21: Nimiq 1 is launched into outer space from Kazakshstan. The geostationary satellite is the nation’s first direct digital broadcast satellite and will carry programming for Bell ExpressVu. Nimiq is an Inuit word meaning “force that binds together.”

Danny McManus, quarterback for the Tabbies, is the CFL's Most Outstanding Player and the MVP of this year's Grey Cup.

November 28: The 87th Grey Cup match is held at BC Place in Vancouver. Facing off for the second year in a row, the Hamilton Tiger Cats get revenge on the Calgary Stampeders. The final score is 32 to 21.

December 2: Author Matthew Cohen is dead of lung cancer at the age of 56. Born in Kingston, Ontario, he wrote children’s books under the nom de plume Teddy Jam. His book, Emotional Arithmetic will be made into a movie in 2007. 

December 8: Air Canada announces its intention to purchase Canadian Airlines, the nation’s second largest air carrier. The deal will be complete in 2001.

December 11: World champion show horse, Big Ben, is dead of colic. He was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and will be honoured with a stamp by Canada Post.

December 14: Small time crook, Ahmed Ressam of Montreal, is arrested in Seattle when police find him in possession of large amounts of explosives. He intends to blow up the Los Angeles International Airport. The Millennium Bomber will be convicted and given a 25-year sentence.

December 2: Country music legend Clarence Eugene “Hank” Snow is dead at the age of 85. Born in Brooklyn, Queens County, Nova Scotia, Hank ordered his first guitar from the Eaton’s catalogue when he was 14.  He began recording for RCA Victor in 1936 and stayed with them his entire career. He moved to the Grand Ole’ Opry in 1950. On tours, a young man named Elvis Presley was his opening act. He sold more than 80 million albums during his lifetime including such hits as “I’m Movin’ On, ” “I’ve Been Everywhere” and “My Nova Scotia Home.”

December 31: The top ten selling passenger cars this year are the: Honda Civic, the Chevy Cavalier, the Pontiac Sunfire, the Toyota Corolla, the Ford Taurus, the Chrysler Intrepid, the Chevy Malibu, the Pontiac Grand Am, the Mazda Protégé and the
Honda Accord.
The Chevrolet Cavalier was the second best-selling car this year.

Copyright 2009, James C. Mays
All rights reserved

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