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.

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