Wednesday, January 30, 2013


 From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1988— 

January 2:  Prime Minister Mulroney and US President Ronald Reagan sign the Free Trade Deal. Now it must pass the House of Commons and get through the US Congress as well before it becomes law. If ratified, the treaty will be phased in over a ten-year period.

Acid rain affects much of the forestland in central and Atlantic Canada.

January 11: External Affairs Minister Joe Clark meets with US secretary of State to discuss acid rain. George Schultz claims Canada is making the issue appear worse than it really is.

January 15: More than 10,000 Canadians have tested positive for the AIDS virus, according to a survey conducted of provincial health laboratories.

January 28: The Supreme Court of strikes down the abortion law, ruling that free access to abortion is a woman’s right.

The RCMP perform their famed Musical Ride at the opening of the Winter Olympics.

 February 13: Her Excellency, Governor General Jeanne Sauvé, is on hand to open the XV Olympic Winter Games in Calgary.

February 25: The Supreme Court of Canada rules that Saskatchewan must either translate its laws into French and permit French to be used in the legislature and the courts.

The flag is lowered in Calgary for the last time as the Olympic torch passes to Albertville, France for the XVI Winter Olympiad.
 February 28: The Olympic Games are over. After sixteen days of glory, Canada has taken home more medals than any other country but no gold. Brian Orser and Elizabeth Manley have captured silver.

March 1: The chair of the Olympic Organizing committee tells the press the Calgary Olympic Games earned an unprecedented $32 million in profit. 

Hydro-Quebec's headquarters are on Boulevard Rene-Levesque in Montreal.

March 8: Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa announces Phase II of the James Bay hydroelectricity project by utility giant Hydro-Quebec. The cost will be $7.5 billion and the resulting dams will generate 2,500 megawatts of power. Most of the surplus hydro will be sold to New York, Vermont and Maine who expect delivery in 1995. 

March 22: It’s Genie night and Un Zoo la Nuit captures 13 Genie Awards. The gripping story about a son’s love for his father will become a film classic. 

Kurt Browning's figure skates that he wore at the championships in Budapest.

March 25: Kurt Browning becomes the first person in the world to execute a quadruple jump at the world figure skating championships in Budapest. 

The first Canadian-built Honda Civic is decked out for the occasion.
April:  Civic production begins at the Honda plant in Alliston, Ontario.  The $280 million factory only opened a year ago. 

April 1: Robert Campeau purchases the Federated Department Stores for $6.64 billion. It’s the biggest business deal ever cut by a Canadian business mogul. FDS is the holding company for Macy's, Bloomingdale's and Marshall Fields--all high-end retail shops in the United States.

The flag of Saint-Pierre & Miquelon.

April 18:  France recalls its ambassador to Canada after the fishing vessel Croix de Lorraine is seized for fishing in Canadian waters. Both countries claim jurisdiction over waters off the coast of Newfoundland and the French Department of Saint-Pierre & Miquelon, located 20 kilometres off the coast of Newfoundland.

April 12: The Tory government tables legislation in the House of Commons to sell 45 per cent of Air Canada's shares to the public. The remainder of the Crown corporation’s stocks are to be sold at a later--unspecified date.
The HMCS Halifax in 2009.
 April 30:  The HMCS Halifax is launched in Saint John, New Brunswick. The 4,750-tonne frigate will still be on active duty in 2013. 

May 18: Ryan Cooley is born in Orangeville, Ontario. He will grow up to be an actor, best known for his character JT Yorke, in Degrassi: The Next Generation, aired on CTV here at home and around the world as well. 

May 21:  The National Gallery of Canada opens in Ottawa. The stunningly beautiful glass and granite building was designed by famed architect Moishe Safdie.

Wayne Gretzky hoists the Stanley Cup.

May 26: Lord Stanley’s Cup goes home with the Edmonton Oilers after they knock the socks off the Boston Bruins in four games. This is the Oilers' third win in four years.

May 28: The aerosol industry announces a voluntary ban on adding chloro-fluorocarbons to spray cans. Scientists have proven that CFCs destroy the ozone layer.

Export A is one of the nation's best-selling cigarette brands. Macdonald Tobacco Limited is based in Quebec City.

May 31: Parliament decrees that the tobacco industry must begin to phase out advertising. 

June 1: There is trouble in Kahnawake, Quebec as 200 Mounties, armed with submachine guns, raid stores on the First Nations reserve. The RCMP is looking for nearly $500,000 worth of smuggled cigarettes.

Auschwitz was a concentration and extermination camp operated by the Nazis in Poland from 1940 to 1945. It is estimated that 1.3 million prisoners, mostly Jewish, died here. The sign says, "Work Sets One Free."

June 6: The Supreme Court overturns the conviction of Jim Keegstra. The one time teacher and mayor Eckville, Alberta was convicted of teaching children that the Holocaust didn’t happen and that Jews influenced world events through an evil conspiracy. The Supreme Court ruled that the Criminal Code under which Keegstra was charged violated his right so free speech under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

June 7: Michael Austin Cera is born in Brampton, Ontario. He will grow up to be an actor appearing in such TV shows as Tom Goes to the Mayor and Arrested Development. He will also be the voice of Brother Bear in the Berenstain Bears cartoon series. 

The Churchill Falls hydro-electricty complex is the third largest in North America.

June 9: The Supreme Court of Canada denies Newfoundland's 12-year legal pursuit to renegotiate a fairer contract with Quebec for the hydro-electric power that comes from Churchill Falls in Labrador.

July 21: Parliament replaces the War Measures Act with an up-to-date Emergencies Act.

August 9: Wayne Gretzky is traded to the Los Angeles Kings in what may be the biggest deal ever made in hockey. 


August 21: a warehouse filled with PCBs catches fire, forcing the residents of St. Basile le Grand, Quebec to flee from their homes. The toxic waste will burn for days.

September 2: Statistics Canada reports the wheat harvest will be off by more than 40 percent as a result of this summer’s drought. 

September 21: Ottawa will compensate the 21,800 Japanese Canadians who were forcibly evacuated from sensitive areas—particularly along the West Coast—during World War Two.

September 24: Ben Johnson is the fastest human being in the world, winning gold for Canada after running the 100-metre dash at the Seoul Olympics in 9.79 seconds. 

September 24: Barry Phillip Nichol is dead at the age of 43. The poet went by the name bpNichol—no spaces—and completely changed the way we think about poetry.  He was a co-writer of the popular CBC-TV kids’ show Fraggle Rock. His best known work is The cosmic chef.

September 27: Ben Johnson is stripped of his gold medal when he tests positive for illegal drugs.

September 30: In St. John’s, Newfoundland, Father James Hickey is sentenced to five years in prison for assaulting boys and young men. The press hints that this is just the tip of the iceberg and more priests will soon be charged with sexual assault.

The United Nations' Security Council Chamber.
 October 26:  Canada is elected to a seat on the UN Security Council. 

The 18th Prime Minister will publish his Memoirs in 2007.

November 21: The voters have spoken. The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney and his Progressive Conservative Party are returned to power in today’s election.

November 27: The Grey Cup is the property of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers after they down the BC Lions 22 to 21.

 December--  The MacDonald Tunnel is complete. The 35.5-kilometre long engineering marvel burrows under Mt. MacDonald and Mt. Cheops and through the infamous Rogers Pass in the Rocky Mountains. The cost of the project was $500 million. 

December 15: The Supreme Court of Canada rules that Quebec’s French-only language laws are illegal. Premier Bourassa threatens to use the ‘notwithstanding’ clause of Charter of Right to make sure only French is used in Quebec.

December 18: Some 12,000 people jam the Paul Sauvé Arena in Montreal and another 6,000 stand outside in the bitter cold to support Bill 101 and a French-only Quebec.

The Canadian Auto Workers represents most of the people who build our vehicles.

December 31:  Auto workers in this country have built 1,976,896 cars and trucks during the calendar year—the highest number ever.

 The Chevrolet Sprint and Pontiac Firefly share everything but labels with the Suzuki Swift. A new factory for these Basic-Small cars from General Motors and Suzuki is under construction now and will open in Ingersoll, Ontario next year.

Copyright 2009 James C. Mays
All rights reserved.

Monday, January 28, 2013


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1989—

Ford Tempo is the Number One selling passenger car. Canadians purchased 48,975 of them during the calendar year. 

NAFTA is the largest free-trade zone in the world.
January 1: The controversial Canadian-American Free Trade Agreement takes effect. It will be implemented over a ten-year period. 

du Maurier has long been the nation's favourite cigarette. This advert is from 1951.
 January 1: Advertisements for tobacco are banned. 

Women may now serve as combat soldiers in the Canadian Forces.
 January 19: The country gets its first female combat soldier when Heather Erxleben graduates from CFB Wainright. The Vancouver native was one of only 21 women to pass the training. 

Former Premier Peckford will publish his memoirs in 2012.
 January 21: After ten years as Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Brian Peckford announces he will step down from office. 

February – The 400th Tim Horton’s opens. This coffee shop is located in Halifax.

February 4:  Scientists at Laval University in Quebec City send shock waves across the country when they release data showing that Inuit in Arctic Quebec have the highest levels of PCBs in mother’s milk on the planet.

March 1: The Canadian Space Agency is created by Parliament. It will open its doors in 1990 in St. Hubert, Quebec.

March 2: It is revealed that track athlete Ben Johnson had been taking anabolic steroids for months before the Seoul Olympics. The springer was stripped of his gold medal because he used the drugs. 

March 4: Ed Broadbent announces his retirement after leading the New Democratic Party for 14 years. He will be named Director of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development in Montreal.

March 6: The Roman Catholic Church in Newfoundland will establish an inquiry to look into charges that priests may have sexually assaulted children.

March 9: The Supreme Court of Canada refuses to rule on an abortion case. The justices order MPs  to draw up legislation that defines whether a fetus has the right to life or not.

An Air Ontario 24-1000 Felowship by Fokker.

March 10: An Air Ontario flight crashes after takeoff near Dryden, Ontario. The death toll from the crash is 24 and another 45 are injured. An inquiry will determine that ice buildup on the wings caused the tragedy.
Andre-Phillipe Gagnon is one of the nation's best known comedians.
 March 12: Andre-Philippe Gagnon hosts the Juno Awards, held at the O’Keefe Centre in Toronto. Best Female Vocalist Juno goes to k.d. lang. Best Male Vocalist Juno goes to Robbie Robertson who also wins a Juno for Album of the Year. Single of the Year Juno goes to Blue Rodeo for their hit, Try. 

March 16: Kurt Browning wins the gold in the men's division at the World Figure Skating Championship in Paris.

March 31: Financial woes have forced the sale of Wardair to Canadian Airlines International. The steak & champagne air carrier was founded by aviation pioneer Max Ward in 1953 to serve people in the Northwest Territories and the Yukon.

April --  The new CAMI plant opens in Ingersoll, Ontario. It is a 50-50 joint venture between GM Canada and Suzuki of Japan. 

  Built in the CAMI (Canadian Automotive Manufacturing, Inc.) plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, this 1989 GM’s Geo Tracker is for Canadians only. The  Suzuki Sidekick 4WD is built alongside the Tracker. Workers build 6,100 of the pint-sized SUVs in 1989.

April 1: Canada and France have agreed to have the territorial boundary dispute between Newfoundland and St. Pierre & Miquelon settled by an international tribunal. 

April 7: Greyhound Bus 1482, headed from Montreal to New York City, is highjacked and the driver forced to drive to Ottawa where the passengers are held hostage on Parliament Hill. The highjacker claims to have dynamite and will blow up the bus if Syria does not withdraw its troops from Lebanon.

April 20: The last dollar bills are printed. The $300 million of paper bills in circulation will be replaced by the new dollar coin dubbed the “loonie” because the coin has a depiction of a loon on the obverse side.

April 23: The Roman Catholic Church authorizes a five-member panel in St. John’s, Newfoundland to inquire into allegations of sexual abuse of children at the Mount Cashel Orphanage. The investigation will be most troubling.

May 25: The Calgary Flames burn up the ice and take home the Stanley Cup after beating les Habs four games to two.

This is the flag of the Fransaskois--Francophones who live in Saskatchewan.
 June 1: Saskatchewan will spend $4 million to translate all its laws into French. It is estimated that 50,000 Francophones live in the province.

The SkyDome and the CN Tower in the background.

June 3: Toronto’s SkyDome opens officially. The $500 million structure features a fully-motorized, retractable roof, seats 50,000 spectators  and boasts a 348-room hotel with 70 rooms overlooking the stadium’s interior.
VIA Rail serves eight provinces.

June 5: Via Rail has its budget slashed in half. Gone is the famed Canadian with its fabled dome car.  So are 2,700 jobs. Parliament has ordered the Crown corporation to save $1 billion over the next five years.

June 24: Sociologist Pierre Simard estimates there are as many as 15,000 homeless people living on the streets of Montreal. The figure has been rising by 2,000 a year.
Her Majesty's new image was designed by Dora de Pédery-Hunt who lives in Toronto.

June 26: Our coins look a little different as The Royal Mint updates Queen Elizabeth’s image. This is the third time our coins have changed since Her Majesty ascended to the throne in 1953.

Trans-Canada Air was created by an act of Parliament in 1936. TCA became Air Canada in 1965.
 July 6: The federal government sells off the remaining 53 percent of Air Canada. The company is now private, no longer a Crown corporation.
A tanker plane drops water on a fire.
 July 7:  More than 250 forest fires in Manitoba have caused 23,000 people to flee their homes. The fires are the result of a prolonged drought.

July 8: A tornado slams the village of Peebles, Saskatchewan, striking with such force that the remains of the general store and the skating/curling rink are found three kilometres away.

July 31:  Because the world never sleeps, CBC Newsworld take to the airwaves for the first time.
The Honourable Michael Wilson was Finance Minister from 1984 to 1991.
 August – Finance Minister Michael Wilson proposes a new tax to replace the hidden federal sales tax. The new tax will be called the Goods & Services Tax, GST for short. It is slated for introduction in 1991.

August 11: The Canadian Automobile Association reports that it costs an average of $100 a week to own and operate a car. The cost is only $87.50 in Alberta.

August 24: A team of Canadian and American scientists has discovered the cause of cystic fibrosis  is a defective gene.

September 1: RDS, the French-language sports network, is launched on cable TV.

September 8:  Residents of White River, Ontario win a victory over the Disney Corporation. The town will have a statue dedicated to the Winnie-the Pooh. The real-life bear was born in the small Ontario town in 1914.

October 15: Wayne Gretzky beats Gordie Howe’s all-time scoring record of 1,850 points in Edmonton, in a game against the Los Angeles Kings.

October 16: Federal Environment Minister, Lucien Bouchard, announces Ottawa will give the provinces $100 million to clean up a thousand toxic waste sites around the country.

November 9: The world changes today as the Berlin Wall falls and Communism crumbles. Within a year East and West Germany will be reunited as one nation.

November 16: A tornado strikes Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, causing $2 million in damage. This is the latest in the year that a tornado has ever been recorded in the province.
The Christian Brothers in Newfoundland in 1900.

November 17: The Mount Cashel orphanage in St. John’s, Newfoundland closes it doors after sheltering boys for 90 years. The institution has become the subject of controversy, accusation and public scrutiny for alleged abuse of youngsters by the brothers who run the home.

The Grey Cup  match is held in Toronto's new SkyDome. It is one of the best playoff games in CFL history and will be honoured with a stamp from Canada Post as part of the CFL's hundredth anniversary.
November 26:  The Saskatchewan Roughriders take down the Hamilton Tiger Cats to win the Grey Cup. The final score is 43 to 40.
The Honourable Audrey McLauglin is the NDP Member of Parliament for the Yukon.

December 2: Audrey McLaughlin is elected to lead the New Democratic Party at the convention in Winnipeg. She is the first woman to head a national political party.
The 14 victims at l'Ecole Polytechnique at l'Universite de Montreal.
December 6: Mark Lepine walks into the Universite de Montreal with a semi-automatic rifle to stalk and kill students. He murders 14 young women and injures 12 more before killing himself. It is the most horrific bloodbath in our nation’s history.

December 13: Ottawa announces it will spend $150 million on Canadians who contracted AIDS. Some 1,250 patients have been infected by tainted blood collected by the Red Cross from 1979 to 1985.

Copyright to James C. Mays 2012
All rights reserved