Monday, March 25, 2013


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1980-
The 1980 Buick Skylark is imported from the USA. The four-door sedan weighs in at 1 121 kilos (2,473 pounds) and lists for $6,642.

January 1: Police in Chapais, Quebec talk about the fire that started last night at the New Year’s Eve party. Preliminary investigation shows the inferno killed 42 people and sent another 50 to hospital was “definitely of criminal origin.”  Many witnesses at the nightclub watched in horror as a young man set the dry fir boughs on fire. The suspect is in custody. 

January 2: The dollar is strong. CAD$1.06 equals USD$1.

January 21: The federal government deports three staffers from the Soviet Union’s embassy in Ottawa after the RCMP accuses them of spying on Canada.

US President Ronald Regan (centre) will award Ken Taylor (right) the US Congressional Gold Medal. He is the only foreigner to ever receive the honour.

January 28: Six American diplomats escape from Iran because they have phony Canadian passports issued by Ken Taylor, our Ambassador to Iran. The Americans were employees of the US State Department who hid out at the Canadian Embassy in Tehran for three months after Iranian revolutionaries overran the American Embassy and took 66 diplomats hostage.  

February 8: The Conservative government Joe Clark has fallen. The PM is on the campaign trail. He tells people in Winnipeg that immigration law will be changed so that people who wish to come to Canada must apply for Landed Immigrant Status in their country of origin.

February 18: The electorate has spoken. Prime Minister Joe Clark and his Tories go down to defeat. Pierre Trudeau and his Grits have won a majority government with 148 seats. Though the Liberals have 48 percent of the popular vote, they hold only two seats west of Ontario. The Conservatives are reduced to 101 seats and the NDP has 32 seats in the next House of Commons. 

The green chair next to the Canada flag is the Speaker's Chair.

February 29: Prime Minister Trudeau appoints Jeanne Sauvé to serve as Speaker of the House. The reporter-turned-politician from Saskatchewan is the first woman to be Speaker. Her primary tasks are to conduct House business and manage the staff.

March 3: At a ceremony in Rideau Hall, Pierre Elliot Trudeau is sworn is as Prime Minister of Canada.
Jay Silverheels (left) as Tonto and Clayton Moore (right) as The Lone Ranger.

March 5: Actor Jay Silverheels is dead of pneumonia in Hollywood at the age of 62.  The Mohawk Indian hailed from Brantford, Ontario and was born Harold J. Smith. The Hollywood star played in many movies but is best remembered for being Tonto in the popular radio and TV series, The Lone Ranger.
Quebec's National Assembly is designed in the Second Empire style. It has been home to elected members since 1886.

March 20: In Quebec City, legislators approve the wording for the upcoming referendum question that will determine the province’s future. The Parti Quebecois government hopes to lead Quebec out of Confederation and into nationhood.

March 27: The Toronto Stock Exchange experiences its biggest loss since 1940—after the Hunt brothers fail to corner the silver market.

Murder by Decree tells the story of Jack the Ripper, a notorious serial killer.

March 20: Beloved CBC-TV star Bruno Gerussi hosts the first ever Genie Awards.  Best Motion Picture is The Changling. Christopher Plummer takes home a Genie for Best Actor, starring in Murder by Decree and Kate Lynch is awarded a Best Actress Genie for her role in Meatballs. Gordon Pinsent receives a Supporting Actor Genie for his role in Klondike Fever and Genevieve Bujold gets a Supporting Actress Genie for her role in Murder by Decree.

April 2: Burton Cummings hosts the Juno Awards held at the Harbour Castle Hilton in Toronto. He wins a Juno for best male artist. Anne Murray wins a Juno for being best female vocalist, another for album of the year—New Kind of Feeling—and a third for her hit single of the year—I Just Fall in Love Again.

April 9:  Ottawa will spend $2.7 billion to purchase 137 F-18 Hornet fighter craft for the Canadian Armed Forces.

April 14: It’s Oscar night and the National Film Board wins a golden statuette for its animated film submission, Chaque Enfant/Every Child. This the NFB's sixth Oscar since it was founded in 1939. The NFB reports to Parliament through the Federal Minister of Canadian Heritage.

April 12: A young man dips his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean as he embarks upon an ambitious attempt to cross Canada on foot. He starts his journey today in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Hoping to raise money for cancer research, Terry Fox will die trying and inspire millions with his heroic Marathon of Hope.
Countries in grey will boycott the Summer Olympics. Countries coloured green have participated in previous games, countries coloured in blue will participate for the first time, light green countries have competed under the Olympic flag.

April 22:  External Affairs Minister Mark MacGuigan announces that Canada will not participate in the 1980 Summer Olympics to be held in Moscow. This measure is meant to protest the Soviet Union’s invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

April 29: Telecommunications giant Bell Canada marks its 100th anniversary.

April 30: NHL legend Gordie Howe announces he will hang up his skates for good. The Hartford Whaler is 52 years old and holds records for most games played, most goals, most points and most assists.
The Plymouth Caravelle is built in Windsor, Ontario.

May 10: Ottawa announces it will give troubled Chrysler Canada $200 million in loan guarantees. Queen’s Park will put another $10 million in the pot to keep the 54-year old Windsor, Ontario automaker afloat. The company will pay back the money in two years but will find itself in more hot water in 2009.

May 22: In an emotional day at the polls, Quebeckers say “oui!” to Canada as 60 percent of voters reject independence. Regarding the victory, Prime Minister Trudeau somberly tells reporters, “We have all lost a little in this referendum. If you take account of the broken friendships, the strained family relationships, the hurt pride, there is no one among us who has not suffered some wound which we must try to heal in the days and weeks to come.”

May 23: Canada’s Wonderland opens its doors for the first time. Superhero Wayne Gretzky raises the maple leaf flag as 12,000 guests watch. Located 30 kilometres north of Toronto, the $120-million theme park is 1.3-kilometres square, it is filled with 48 thrill rides—including 15 roller coasters--and 200 other premier attractions. Wonderland will amuse more than 3 million people a season in the 21st Century.

May 24:  The New York Islanders skate to the Stanley Cup, beating the Philadelphia Flyers in four games to two.

June 16: Country singer Bob Nolan is dead of a heart attack. He is 72 years of age. He is best remembered as of the founders of the hit cowboy singing group, Sons of the Pioneers. His 1941 recording of Cool Water and Tumblin' Tumbleweeds earned them a Grammy. The Winnipeg native will be inducted posthumously into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993 and into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005.

June 27:  Parliament declares O Canada to be our national anthem and Governor General Ed Schreyer makes a special royal proclamation as well. To mark its passage in the House of Commons, all MPs stand and sang the anthem. God Save the Queen is now Canada's royal anthem.

The new flag was designed by Christopher Pratt.

June 24: Newfoundland and Labrador’s new flag is hoisted officially for the first time. The new flag replaces the Union Jack, flown since the 1500s.

July 21: Newfoundland’s fishing industry is paralyzed by layoffs, labour disputes and lockouts, leaving 35,000 fishery workers high and dry.

July 19: The 22nd Summer Olympics open in Moscow. Canada and 59 other nations boycott the games to protest the USSR’s 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.

July 30: To mark the province's 75th anniversary, Alberta’s royal coat of arms is augmented with a crest and supporters by order of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

August 1: Alberta and Saskatchewan increase the price of a barrel of crude oil by $2. A 45-gallon drum of Canadian sweet crude will now fetch $16.75—and that is $20 less than other countries. The hike will cost consumers 1.5 cents a litre more when they pull into Irving, Olco, Beaver or Husky stations.

August 27:  The Winnipeg Tribune and the Ottawa Journal publish for the last time. The newspapers have been losing money for some time according to Southam and Thomson, their respective owners.

September 1:  Saskatchewan and Alberta mark their 75th anniversaries as provinces in Confederation. The Diamond Jubilee celebrations have included many festivals and special events including visits from Their Majesties, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. 

September 2:  Doctors in New Westminster, British Columbia confirm test results that cancer has spread to the lungs of runner Terry Fox. The one-legged athlete was forced to give up his Marathon of Hope in Thunder Bay yesterday, after 143 days on the road.  Terry has raised $2 million for cancer research since he started walking across Canada.  A true hero, Terrence Stanley Fox will die at sunrise on June 28, 1981—a month short of his 23rd birthday.

Prime Minister Trudeau will look on as Queen Elizabeth II brings home the constitution and the Charter of Rights in 1982.

October 2: A frustrated Prime Minister Trudeau tells the press that since he can’t get an agreement with the First Ministers that he will introduce legislation in Parliament and have MPs unilaterally vote in a new constitution with a Charter of Rights.

Churchill Falls, Labrador.

October 6: Newfoundland and Quebec sign the Churchill Falls hydro agreement. It is the largest hydro project in the world and accounts for one percent of the world’s electricity by itself. 

October 23:  No longer just another Toronto newspaper, the first national edition of The Globe & Mail is printed throughout the country using satellite technology. 

October 28: The National Energy Programme comes into existence. The tax will take more than $100 million from the Alberta treasury and be used to equalize gas and oil prices across the country.  Hated by westerners, they will joke that Petro-Canada stands for “Pierre Elliot Trudeau rips off Canada” and thousands of cars will sport bumper stickers that read, “Let those eastern bastards freeze in the dark.”

November 17: Christine Weller of Surrey, BC is abducted. The 12-year old girl’s lifeless body will be found on Christmas day. Police do not know it yet but she is the first victim of serial killer Clifford Olsen who will be arrested on August 12, 1981 and finally confess to his crimes in January of 1982.

November 23:  The Edmonton Eskimos whip the Hamilton Tiger Cats 48 to 10 to win the Grey Cup.

December 11:  The Honourable Jean Lesage is dead of cancer at the age of 68. The politician was an MP in Ottawa for 13 years and Liberal Premier of Quebec from 1960 to 1966. He is credited with many social and political reforms, the creation of both education and cultural affairs ministries as well as ending years of corruption and patronage.

This series of currency was issued in 1973.

December 30: The dollar has lost a lot of ground during the year. One Canadian dollar equals 86 cents in US currency.

December 31:  Dr. Marshall McLuhan is dead. The scholarly professor at the University of Toronto completely changed the world of communications with his profound insights. He was most famous for coining the phrase “global village” and startled the world into a new perception when he said, “The media is the message.”

  Built in Oakville, Ontario, the1980 Mercury Marquis Meteor four-door sedan listed for $7,886. The Grand Marquis with all the trimmings sold for $9,976.

Friday, March 22, 2013


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1981-

January 1:  Say ‘good-bye’ to Imperial gallons, as of today gasoline will retail in Metric measure only. A popular cartoon depicts a Martian landing somewhere in Canada. The space alien marches up to a gas pump and demands that it, “Take me to your litre.”
Sourced exclusively from Chrysler Canada in Windsor, Ontario the 1981 Imperial carries a hefty $23,554 price tag.
January 1:  There are 24, 343,000 of us stretched out from St. John’s to Victoria and from Pelee Island to the Arctic. 

January 20:  Owen Lee Hargreaves is born in Calgary. He will grow up to be a professional footballer, playing for England in the 2006 World Cup.

February 5: Andrea Martin hosts the Juno Awards at the O’Keefe Centre in Toronto.  Anne Murray wins a Juno for best female vocalist, another for her album, Greatest Hits and a third for her hit single, Could I Have this Dance. Bruce Cockburn wins a Juno for best male vocalist. Prime Minister Trudeau announces that Joni Mitchell will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. 

The 1982 Mercury LN7 (above) and the Ford EXP are the first two-seater coupes in the Blue Oval's lineup since 1956.

February 16:  Production of the Ford EXP and the Mercury LN7 begin in St. Thomas, Ontario.  The pair from Ford of Canada holds the distinction of being the first front-wheel drive cars to be produced in the country.

March 23: The Supreme Court hands down a decision that Saskatchewan resident Andre Mercure has the right to trial in French. Mercure was arrested for speeding but has refused to recognize or pay the ticket because it was printed only in English.
The 1981 Mercury Zephyr and the Ford Fairmont were built in St. Thomas, Ontario.

March 30: Ford Canada president, Roy Bennett, says that 1980 sales were off by 36 percent with a total of 289,800 sets of wheels being put in the driveways of Canadians.

April 19:  Hayden Christensen is born in Vancouver. He will grow up to be an actor best known for his role as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars. Hayden will be named one of the 50 hottest bachelors of 2005 by People magazine.

Petrofina operates 1,000 gas stations in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

May 1: The federal government levies a tax of $1.15 a barrel of oil to pay for Petro-Canada's recent $1.46 billion purchase of the Belgian gasoline retailer Petrofina. 

May 21: the New York Islanders take home the Stanley Cup. They deserve it after trouncing the Minnesota North Stars four games to zip. 

June 1: Statistics Canada says there are 24,343,181 of us stretched out from St. John’s to Victoria and from Pelee Island to Grise Fjiord.

June 14: A drunk driver kills 21-year old Fred Gribble, Jr. in British Columbia. His mother, Sally, is furious to learn the driver is a repeat offender. She will found Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a.k.a. MADD. 

Ken Taylor's heroic action in helping our American neighbours escape from Iran will be made into an Oscar-winning movie in 2012.

June 16: Ken Taylor, Canada’s former ambassador to Iran is in Washington to receive the Congressional Gold Medal from President Reagan. Ken was instrumental in hiding six Americans trapped in Iran and helping them escape. He is the first foreigner to be so honoured. 

A statue of Terry Fox will be erected in Ottawa in 1983.

June 28: The nation is in mourning and flags are lowered to half-mast across the land as 22-year old Terry Fox succumbs to cancer at sunrise. His family is at his hospital bedside in New Westminster.  The one-legged runner ran for 143 days and 5373 kilometres from St. John's, Newfoundland to Thunder Bay, Ontario but cancer had spread to his lungs and he was forced to abandon his quest.  Terry Fox  has raised $23 million for cancer research and leaves a legacy of courage for generations to come. In 2013 there will be annual Terry Fox runs in more than 50 countries.

July 12: Some 48,000 woodworkers walk off the job in British Columbia, effectively paralyzing the forest product sector of the market. 

The automatic WF26 weather station the Nazis installed in Labrador was code named "Kurt."

July 15: As of today there is proof that Nazi Germany established and operated a top-secret automatic weather station in Martin's Bay on the coast of Labrador in 1943. There were indeed Nazi Eyes on Canada—just as the wartime CBC radio drama suggested!

July 17: The government of British Columbia names a mountain peak near the town of Valemont after fallen hero Terry Fox. The mountain is in Terry Fox Provincial Park. The young man will be voted as one of the most influential Canadians of the Twentieth Century.

The Chateau Montebello hotel and resort is part of a 26,000-hectare wildlife sanctuary.

July 20: Leaders of the G-7 nations arrive in Montebello, Quebec for a world economic summit. Prime Minister Trudeau is this year’s host. 

The Halifax police force, 1914.

July 22: The 196 officers of the Halifax police force ratify a three-year contract and return to work after a 53-day strike. 

July 30: The 83-kilometre stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway near Thunder Bay where Terry Fox ended his cross-country run is named in his honour. In 2005, the Royal Canadian Mint will issue 20 million loonies bearing his likeness, to mark the 25th anniversary of Terry's Marathon of Hope.  A new elementary school will open in Bathurst, New Brunswick in September of 2005 bearing Terry’s name.

August 31: The Crown lays eight new charges of first-degree murder against 41-year old Clifford Olson of Coquitlam, BC. The self-employed contractor has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. He will eventually confess to murdering eleven children, making him this nation’s most horrific serial killer.

Bill 101, the law that makes French the only language in Quebec, spawns a board game.

September 1: All signs in Quebec must be in French only. The Office de la Langue Francaise will send out inspectors to make sure the law is enforced. Storeowners who use English will pay fines of up to $500.  Shop owner Alan Singer of Westmount refuses, vowing to take his case to the Supreme Court.

September 13:  The Canada Cup goes home with the Soviet Union. Playing before a capacity crowd in Montreal, the final score is 8 to 1. It’s the first time the Soviets win the trophy. 

September 13: The first Terry Fox Run takes place today in more than 700 communities across the country. Some 300,000 Canadians will participate in the 10-kilometre marathon and raise $3.5 million for cancer research and awareness.

September 17: Folks who live in Kitchener, Ontario receive their blue boxes. This is the first recycling programme in the world. The habit will spread around the globe.

Family and Rainstorm by Alex Coleville 1955.

September 25: The Post Office announces the price of a First Class letter will jump from 17 cents to 30 cents next year. 

September 28: The Supreme Court rules that it is legal to repatriate the constitution without the consensus of the provinces. 

September 30: There is much excitement throughout the country as the International Olympic Committee announces Calgary has been chosen to be the site of the 1988 Winter Olympics. 

October 16: No longer a federal ministry, Canada Post becomes a Crown corporation that is expected to turn a profit.
The Fathers of Confederation in Charlottetown, 1864.

November 5: All of the First Ministers except Quebec are in agreement to bring the British North America Act home to Canada. Our constitution has been in British care and keeping since 1867. 
In 2006 The Royal Canadian Mint will strike a $30 silver-and-hologram coin to honour Astronaut Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space and 25 years of Canadarm's service.

November 14: the 15-metre long Canadarm waves to Earth from outer space. Attached to the NASA space shuttle Columbia, the device was designed and built by Spar Aerospace in Toronto. It will be used to make repairs as well as load and unload cargo.

November 21: More than 100,000 angry demonstrators jam Parliament Hill to protest 15 percent interest rates. They are out of sight, having hit a 33-year high.

November 24: By decree of Parliament, all 35,000 grocery stores across the nation may only list weights of meat and produce in kilos and grams.

December 27: Wayne Gretzky scores five goals for Edmonton against the Philadelphia Flyers.  The Great One has scored 50 goals in the last 39 games, more than hockey legend Rocket Richard.

December 28: Pioneer motion picture director, producer and screenwriter Allan Dwan is dead at the age of 96. Born in Toronto, his family moved to the US when he was eleven. His first movie was The Gold Lust in 1911. He was one of the few directors to make a successful transition from silent movies to the talkies. Allan directed more than 400 movies including Robin Hood in 1922 starring fellow Canadian Mary Pickford, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm in 1938 with Shirley Temple and the highly successful Sands of Iwo Jimo in 1949.

The 1981 Pontiac Acadian sells for $5,081. Automatic transmission adds $378 to the bill, power brakes cost an extra $90 while air conditioning costs $628 plus the $100 Luxury Tax one pays to Ottawa for air conditioning.