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.

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