Sunday, February 17, 2013


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1984-

January 1:  We will pump 25.7 billion dollars' worth of fuel into our vehicles this year. Gasoline costs 42.9 cents a litre in Alberta and 55.3 cents a litre in Quebec. A litre of regular leaded gasoline retails for 50 cents a litre in Ontario and 49.3 cents a litre in Saskatchewan. Newfoundlanders shell out 54.9 cents a litre for regular unleaded and 59.3 cents for a litre of premium gas.
The T. Eaton Company Limited was established in 1869. The retail giant will declare bankruptcy in 1999.
 January 2: Employees at the Eaton’s store in Brampton, Ontario are the first in the company’s nationwide retail chain to receive union certification.

January 9: Folks living in the Nova Scotia communities of Port Hawkesbury, Point Tupper, Port Hastings, Mulgrave and in the Troy Trailer Court can say 'good-bye' to rabbit ears and fuzzy reception. For only $12.80 a month they can opt for cable TV delivery and now, Canso Cable adds WJBK and WTVS from Detroit to its cable offerings.

January 24: Macintosh introduces the Apple computer. It will change the way we live.

February 19: The Olympic Winter Games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia are over. Gaetan Boucher of St. Hubert, Quebec brings home two Olympic gold medals and a bronze one to boot.

February 29: After a “long walk in the snow,” Pierre Elliot Trudeau announces he will step down as Prime Minister. He’s been in office for sixteen years.

March 8: The Supreme Court of Canada rules that it is Ottawa--not St. John’s--that owns the oil in Hibernia field off the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.

March 12: King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Spain are in Ottawa. They will be in Canada for a six-day state visit.

March 14: Marc Garneau will be the first Canadian astronaut, according to the Canadian Space Agency announcement. The Royal Canadian Navy Commander will go into space three times. In the 2008 general election he will win a seat in Parliament and represent the people who live in the riding of Westmount-Ville Marie as a Liberal Member of Parliament.

The Terry Fox Story earns six Genies at this year's Genie Awards.
 March 21: The Fifth Annual Genie Awards are held in Toronto. Best Motion Picture is The Terry Fox Story. Best Actor Genie goes to Eric Fryer in The Terry Fox Story. Best Actress Genie goes to Martha Henry for her role as Mrs. Ross in The Wars.

March 22: Jane Gray is dead. The pioneer broadcaster was the first woman to take to the airwaves with her 1924 radio advice show broadcast on CJGC (today’s CFPL) in London, Ontario. 

March 26: The Right Honourable Chief Justice Bora Laskin is dead from pneumonia at the age of 71. The 14th Chief Justice was appointed to the bench in 1973 by Prime Minister Trudeau, Laskin was the first Jew to sit on the Supreme Court.

March 29: Lynn Russell Williams is elected President of United Steelworkers of America. The first Canadian to hold the position, he will receive the Order of Canada in 2005 and a Toronto street will be named in his honour in 2007.

April 5: A fire in Colliery No. 26 in Glace Bay kills one miner. The mine is shut down for good by the Cape Breton Development Corporation. There are still two other coal mines in operation on the island.

April 9: Pulp and paper workers in British Columbia return to work after a two-month lockout and strike.

The six-jointed robotic arm, Canadarm, cost $108 million.

April 10: Canadarm retrieves a crippled satellite from orbit so the Space Shuttle Challenger crew can repair it. The ingenious space tool is Canada’s contribution to the current NASA program.

April 11: Newfoundland is paralyzed by a major ice storm. Environment Canada will measure 150 millimetres of rain in St. John's.A 15-millimetre coat of ice covers everything in sight, causing hydro lines to snap. More than half the province’s citizens will be without electricity for the next three days.
Lloyd Robertson and Harvey Kirck.

April 11: After twenty years at the CTV Nightly News anchor desk, Harvey Kirck—one of the country’s most trusted faces—says ‘good night’ to Lloyd Robertson for the last time. Lloyd will read the news by himself until he retires in 2011--35 years at CTV--59 years as a newsreader in all.

Canada Post issues a commemorative stamp to mark the visit of the tall ships to Quebec City and 450th anniversary of Jacques Cartier's claim of Quebec for France.
 April 15: A fleet of tall ships leaves St-Malo, France. They will race across the Atlantic Ocean to Canada where they will participate in celebrating the 450th anniversary of Jacques Cartier's discovery of Quebec.

April 19: Eastern Provincial Airways is snapped up by Canadian Pacific. EPA has been very successful in providing Atlantic Canada with air service since its inception in 1949.

April 28: By parliamentary decree, today is a national day of mourning in remembrance of workers killed or injured on the job. By 2014, the day will be observed in more than 80 countries.

April 30: Winds are clocked at 100 kilometres an hour in Toronto. It's strong enough that the baseball game between the Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers is cancelled.

Rene Jalbert (left) Sergeant at Arms in Quebec's National Assembly is a true hero.

May 8: Corporal Denis Lortie storms the National Assembly in Quebec City. The armed soldier slays three and sends another thirteen people to hospital. Rene Jalbert, the Sergeant-at-Arms of the National Assembly spends more than five hours calmly talks the soldier, negotiating with him to laying down his weapons and surrendering.

May 17: Broadcaster and journalist Gordon Sinclair is dead at the age of 83. A World War Two radio news correspondent,  international reporter for the Toronto Star and a familiar voice on CFRB in Toronto and on all the stations owned by Standard Broadcasting Limited, he was known to millions more as a witty panelist on the CBC’s popular quiz show, Front Page Challenge.
May 19: Newspaper workers are back at work after a two-month strike against the Vancouver Sun and The Province.

May 19: The Edmonton Oilers skate their way to the Stanley Cup, beating the New York Islanders four games to one. This win is especially tasty, Edmonton having lost the playoffs to New York last year.
Honda's Alliston, Ontario plant in 2008.

June 4: Ground is broken in Alliston, Ontario for an automobile factory. Honda Canada intends to produce 40,000 vehicles a year in the $100 million plant.

June 9: A fleet of Tall Ships arrives in Halifax harbour. The graceful wind-powered boats are on their way to Quebec City to mark the 450th anniversary of explorer Jacques Cartier's declaration of Quebec as part of France.

June 16: John Turner is practically anointed as leader of the party at the Liberal national leadership convention held in Ottawa. He will replace Pierre Trudeau as PM.

June 17: The province of New Brunswick marks 200 years since it was founded as a British colony. The Picture Province was one of the four colonies that became Canada in 1867.

June 18: Nearly 450 years to the day that Jacques Cartier first anchored in Canada, seventy majestic Tall Ships dock in Quebec City to commemorate the event.
Canada's spy agency will move into this Ottawa building in 1995.
June 21: Royal assent is given to the bill passed by MPs in the House of Commons last month creating the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. Replacing the RCMP, the service is charged with keeping eye on spies and terrorists.
The Right Honourable Pierre Elliot Trudeau is the nation's 15th Prime Minister.

June 27: Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau is named as this year’s winner of the Albert Einstein Peace Prize. The PM has worked ceaselessly on a worldwide campaign to reduce tensions between East and West.
Many superstitions NHL players think it's bad luck to touch the Campbell Cup.

June 26: Clarence Sutherland Campbell is dead at the age of 78. Born in Fleming, Saskatchewan, he was the third president of the National Hockey League from 1946 to 1977. The Clarence S. Campbell Bowl is named in his honour. It is awarded to the winning team in the Western Conference playoffs.

June 30: John Napier Wyndham Turner is sworn in as the nation’s 17th Prime Minister.
GM's Autoplex in Oshawa, Ontario will grow to 930,000 square metres of factory floor space in 2012.
July 4: General Motors of Canada announces it will spend $1 billion to upgrade its plants. The price tag includes 125 high-tech robots.

August 12:  The Summer Olympics close in Los Angeles. Our athletes bring home a record breaking 44 medals. Sadly, the Soviet bloc countries boycotted the games.

August 31: MuchMusic hits the airwaves for the first time.  The TV network is hip and hot. More than one small child will note, “It’s like radio with pictures!”

September 1: There’s more television than ever as TSN begins to broadcast sports events.
Montreal's Central Station opened in 1943. It will 18 million VIA Rail  passengers a year in 2012.

September 3: A bomb explodes in Montreal’s Central Station killing three and wounding more than 30 people. The Crown will charge a homeless American war veteran with the crime, who admits he set off the blast to protest the Pope’s upcoming visit to Montreal.
The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney (left) with wife Mila (right) savour victory on election night.

September 4: Brian Mulroney and his Progressive Conservatives win a landslide victory, taking 211 of the 282 seats in the House of Commons, including 58 seats in his home province of Quebec. The election was decided in the public’s mind during the three leaders’ televised debates.
His Holliness, John Paul II kisses the tarmac upon arriving in Quebec City. The Bishop of Rome will cover 15,000 kilometres during his 12-day visit to Canada.
September 9: Pope John Paul II arrives in Quebec City. This is a reigning pontiff’s first visit to Canada. His Holiness will speak with and serve communion to millions on his 12-day tour across the country.

September 17: Brian Mulroney is sworn in as the nation’s 18th Prime Minister. He will step down on June 25th 1993 after nearly a decade in office.

September 18: Team Canada whips Sweden two games to zip to win the Canada Cup.

September 27: Avril Lavigne is born in Belleville, Ontario. When she grows up she will become a pop rock singer, songwriter and movie star, too. Fans will buy more than 34 million of her albums by 2010. 
October – General Motors workers walk out of the Oshawa plant. The strike will drag on for two weeks.

October 4: Environmental disaster takes place in Arctic Quebec when 20,000 caribou drown in the flooded Caniapiscau River.

October 5: Astronaut Marc Garneau is the first Canadian to blast off into outer space. He is part of NASA’s crew on the Challenger space shuttle.

October 26: New Brunswick Premier Richard Hatfield is charged by the Crown with possession of drugs. RCMP found marijuana among his personal effects during Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to the Picture Province.

November 13: The Albert Einstein Peace Prize is awarded to Pierre Trudeau at a special ceremony in Washington, DC. The former PM is recognized for his “North-South” dialogue efforts in getting rich and poor nations to understand each other better.

November 18: The 72nd Grey Cup is held at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are the winners, beating the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 47 to 17.

December –The United Auto Workers of Canada want more say in negotiations. They split from the American parent and reorganize as the Canadian Auto Workers. The CAW story is documented in the Genie Award-winning movie, Final Offer.
Parachute Club

December 5: The Juno Awards are held in Exhibition Place at Automotive Building on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. The event is televised live on the CBC. Female vocalist of the year is Carole Pope. Male vocalist is Bryan Adams. Best album is Cuts Like a Knife by Bryan Adams and Best Single is Rise Up by the Parachute Club.

December 6: Saskatchewan cabinet minister Colin Thatcher is found guilty of murdering his ex-wife, JoAnn. He didn’t want to pay out the $820,000 ordered by the judge in the divorce settlement and killed her in a most gruesome manner. Thatcher is sentenced to life imprisonment. He will be released in 2006.

December 19: Wayne Gretzky scores his 1,000th point in front of a hometown game against the Los Angeles Kings. The Great One is 23 years old.
Petro-Canada Centre will be renamed Suncor Energy Centre in 2009.

December 25: Calgarians get a nice Christmas present from Petro-Canada as the just completed West Tower graces the city’s skyline. The 210-metre tall, 53-storey skyscraper is finished in red granite and reflective glass. Those who don’t like the Crown corporation competing in the oil industry refer to the building derisively as “Red Square.” The East and West Towers stand on guard over Calgary and the national interest in the oil patch.

The Plymouth Reliant is built by Chrysler Canada workers in Windsor, Ontario. The K-car will be immortalized in song--along with Kraft Dinner--by the band, Barenaked Ladies in 1993 on their If I had a $1000000 album

December 31:  The number one selling car in the country is the Plymouth Reliant with 32,642 sales. Second is Ford’s Tempo with 31,642 units sold. Dodge Aries—the K-car twin to the Plymouth Reliant—holds down third place. Hyundai’s Pony takes an astonishing 10.5 percent of the national sales pie. 

Copyright 2009 to James C. Mays
All rights reserved