Wednesday, May 29, 2013


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1975--

January 1: All domestically sold products must now be labeled in both Imperial and Metric measure. It will be confusing at first but we need to practise.  Canada will officially adopt the Metric System a year from today.

January 25:  Her Worship, Charlotte Whitten is dead at the age of 79. The colourful, four-term mayor of the nation’s capital was famous for her quip, “Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good.”

February 14: Fans in Winnipeg go wild as hockey star Bobby Hull ties Rocket Richard’s 30-year old record of scoring 50 goals in 50 games. Hull is playing for the Jets this season.

February 25: American Motors introduces the Pacer. Folks snap up 7,381 of the small, wide cars during the calendar year. Happy officials at American Motors Canada Limited record sales of 36,385 passenger cars and 5,196 Jeep trucks and SUVs during the year.

March 1: Music industry icons Anne Murray and Oscar Peterson win Grammys tonight.

March 4: Today’s sitting of the House of Commons is recorded by CBC Television crews.  It is the first time that cameras have ever been allowed into the House.

March 12: The RCMP charge 14 individuals and more than a dozen companies with conspiracy to defraud the government of $4 in what will come to be known as the Hamilton Harbour dredging scandal.

March 17: Gina Holden is born in Smithers, British Columbia. She will grow up to become a model—become famous in Japan—before returning to Canada to begin an acting career. She will appear in TV shows including Flash Gordon, Blood Ties, Life Unexpected and Harper’s Island.

March 24: Members of Parliament vote to make the beaver our national symbol. 
Seasons in the Sun will hit the top of the music charts in the US and the UK.

March 24: Paul Anka hosts the Juno Awards, televised for the first time, from the CNE  in Toronto. Anne Murray and Gordon Lightfoot win Junos for male and female vocalists of the year. Bachman-Turner Overdrive win best album Juno, Not Fragile and best single Juno goes to Terry Jacks for Seasons in the Sun.

March 25: Thunder Bay is snowed in. Environment Canada reports the city was hit with 102 centimetres of the white stuff, making it the biggest one-day snowfall on record.

March 26: It is 18 months in prison for Dr. Henry Morgantaler. The avowed abortion-rights doctor tells the press he has no regrets; that he is on the side of right. The Supreme Court has ruled otherwise.

April 1: Environment Canada begins reporting temperatures in Metric. To translate, double the Celsius temperature and add 32 to find the old Fahrenheit-degree equivalent.

The CN Tower will change the skyline of Toronto for years to come.

April 2: The last section of the CN Tower is lifted into place by a helicopter. The world’s tallest freestanding structure is owned by Canadian National Railways and cost $44 million. It is 533.33 metres tall and used 145 tonnes of concrete but it won’t open officially until October 1 of next year. When it does, it will attract 2 million visitors a year. Those who ride to the top in the glass elevators will hear the operator say, “Thank you for flying CN.”

Osgoode Hall in downtown Toronto is home to the Ontario Court of Appeals.

April 14: The Ontario Court of Appeal hands down a ruling that divorced women may legally pursue their ex-husbands for damages.

There will be more than 200,000 Vietnamese refugees in years to come. Half of the 'boat people' will find new homes in Canada.

May 1:  As a humanitarian gesture, Canada will accept 3,000 South Vietnamese refugees who have lost everything in a civil war and escaped the country in rickety boats.

May 2: The first shovel goes into the ground as construction of the Point Lepreau nuclear power station gets underway. The cost of the mega-project will be $1.3 billion and the facility will provide 30 percent of New Brunswick's electricity requirements when it opens in 1983.

May 17: Ten women begin training at the Ontario Police College in Aylmer, Ontario. When they graduate they will be the first female constables in the Ontario Provincial Police force. 

May 24: It is the birthday of Marc Gagnon. Born today in Chicoutimi, Quebec and faster than greased lightening on a pair of skates, he will grow up to earn more Olympic medals at Winter Games than any other Canadian athlete.
Lord Stanley's Cup, raised in victory by Bernie Parent and Bobby Clark.

May 27: The Stanley Cup belongs to the Philadelphia Flyers as they whip the Buffalo Sabres, four games to two. Unusually hot weather created a fog and the match will come to be known as The Fog Game.  It's the first time the Sabres make the finals and every one of the Flyers is Canadian.

Senators are appointed by the government of the day, not elected.
May 30: The Yukon and the Northwest Territories now have seats in the Senate. That brings to 104, the number of Senators who sit in the Red Chamber, the house of sober, second thought.
Prince Edward Island is 'the Garden in the Gulf'. The province's most famous resident is Anne of Green Gables, a character created by author Lucy Maude Montgomery.
June 26: The Supreme Court of Canada rules in favour of Prince Edward Island’s law that forbids non-residents from owning more than four hectares of land.

June 27: Prime Minister Trudeau is on hand in L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland to cut the ribbon and officially open the country’s newest National Park. The 8,000-hectare preserve contains the oldest known settlement in the New World, one belonging to long-ago Viking pioneers.

June 28: Jeff Geddis is born in Thunder Bay. He will grow up to be an actor, starring as Mike Nesmith in the VH1 Daytime Believers: The Monkees’ Story; Andrew Shepherd in the Family Channel series, The Latest Buzz and as Matt Scott on the CBC comedy Sophie.

July 7: The New Democrats elect a university professor to lead their party. Ed Broadbent wins on the fourth ballot, beating out Lorne Nystrom, John Harney and his most formidable opponent, Rosemary Brown. Broadbent will lead the NDP for 15 years before retiring from politics to become director of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development. In 2004 he will come out of retirement to run for Parliament again.

Springhill, Nova Scotia is the hometown of superstar Anne Murray.

July 20: A raging fire sweeps through the downtown business core of Springhill, Nova Scotia, destroying 25 buildings. Damage is estimated at $3 million.

These USSR stamps honour the Soviet fishing fleet.

July 23: Fishing vessels belonging to the Soviet Union are banned from docking at Canadian ports of call. This drastic measure is taken because the Soviet Atlantic fishing fleet continually ignores set catch quotas. They take what they want. The super trawlers are floating factories. Soon, there won’t be any cod stocks left for anyone. 

July 30: There ís a new kid on the street corner as the federal government orders the creation of Petro-Canada. The Crown corporation will protect national interests. It makes Ottawa a big player in the oil patch; its coast-to-coast-to-coast retail chain is made up from the purchase of Belgium’s Petro-Fina and the American Pacific 66 chains.

August 1: Representatives of Canada are in Finland to sign the Helsinki Accord. The international agreement respects the rights of nations at the same time holding sacred individual human rights. The historic document is signed by delegates from 35 countries in all.

September 1: The CBC purchases CKLW-TV, Channel 9, in Windsor, Ontario. The station’s new call letters are CBET. 
Mirabel International will lose favour as an airport because there is no light, rapid transit to and from Montreal.

October 4: The nation’s newest airport opens in Mirabel, Quebec. The $500 million facility is intended to be a super airport serving both Ottawa and Montreal. Critics call it a white elephant. By 2004 it will only serve cargo planes. 
The SS Edmund Fitzgerald in the Detroit River.

November 10: The SS Edmond Fitzgerald sinks in a violent storm on Lake Superior with all 29 hands on board. The 222-metre long ship was carrying a load of taconite. Folk singer Gordon Lightfoot will immortalize the marine disaster in his ballad The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald.

November 11: The Cree and Inuit of Northern Quebec sign the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. This treaty gives them sovereignty over a portion of Quebec that is the size of Texas.

November 18: Buckle up or pay a big fine in Ontario. The wearing of safety belts in moving automobiles becomes law today. A dramatic public service announcement put out by the provincial Ministry of Transport is aired around the province. It shows a pumpkin flying through the air and smashing into bits on a highway. The question is asked, “If you’re not wearing your seatbelt, what’s holding you back?”

November 18: Ottawa will bail out floundering Canadair. The company that started as Vickers in 1944 will now become a new Crown Corporation. The St. Laurent, Quebec-based manufacturer will be restructured and will develop an Aerospace Division. When profitable, it will be sold to Bombardier in 1986.

November 23: Edmonton squeaks past the Alouettes 9 to 8 on the last play of the game to win the Grey Cup. It is the first time that Calgary has ever hosted a Grey Cup game. This win is sweet revenge for the Eskimos who lost the Grey Cup to Montreal last year.

Canada Post piggy bank.

December 2: By a narrow margin, posties vote to return to work after a six-week strike. The Union of Postal Workers demanded protection from jobs being replaced by machines that can read the new Postal Code, a 40-hour workweek and a $1.70 per hour wage increase over three years. They get the raise but the union position was weakened because more than 2,000 workers crossed picket lines and went to work anyway.

December 3: In a bid to deal with runaway inflation, Ottawa establishes the Anti-Inflation Board to be headed by Jean-Luc Pepin. Voters are outraged; Robert Stanfield’s Tories had announced they would set up such a commission to control prices and wages during last year’s election, which gave the Grits a minority government. 

Bricklin is a fibreglass sports car built in Saint John, New Brunswick.

December 31: The Top Ten selling automobiles for the calendar year are Chevrolet (full size); Ford (full-size); Plymouth Valiant; Chevrolet Malibu; Dodge Dart; Oldsmobile Cutlass; Toyota; Pontiac (full-size); Pontiac LeMans and Chevroletís Nova. At the bottom of the list is Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Barracuda with 13 sales; Bricklin with 22 sales; clearance of last yearís AMC Javelin and Ambassador with 97 sales; the Pontiac Sunbird with 120 sales; Dodge Aspen with 241 sales; Plymouth Volare with 266 sales; Jaguar with 340 sales; Imperial with 369 sales and the Pontiac Acadian with 708 sales.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1976-

Lincoln introduces its Designer Series for 1976 with specially trimmed models by Cartier, Pucci, Bill Blass and Givinchy. Sales for the calendar year added up to 5,045 units delivered across the nation.

January 5: The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals opens a blood bank for dogs in Montreal.

January 7: Eric Serge Gagne is born in Montreal. He will teach himself English by watching TV sitcoms and grow up to be a pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Gagne will win the Cy Young Award in 2003.

January 12: General Vehicles, Incorporated is declared bankrupt by a judge in Phoenix, Arizona. Among its subsidiaries is Bricklin Canada, Limited, a sports car manufacturer with factories in Minto and Saint John, New Brunswick.

January 14: For the first time since 1884, there will be no future editions of Eaton’s Catalogue. Once the nation’s largest retailer, the T. Eaton Company Limited will file for bankruptcy in 1997.

January 20: The Quebec Court of Appeals upholds the acquittal of Dr. Henry Morgentaler from a lower court. He was charged with performing an illegal abortion.

January 25: Mia Kirshner is born in Toronto. She will grow up to be a Hollywood star, seen in such movies as Love and Human Remains, the popular Global TV series, The L Word and the CTV fantasy series, The Vampire Diaries.

January 28: The government of Saskatchewan nationalizes the province’s potash industry.

February 3: Prime Minister Trudeau and wife Margaret are in Havana to strengthen ties Canada’s ties with Cuba. Margaret tells the Cuban leader that Pierre has taught her about love. The PM tells Premier Castro to get his troops out of Angola.

February 4: The Supreme Court rules that provinces can no longer censor movies.

February 7: Toronto Maple Leaf Darryl Sittler scores six goals and four assists in a game against the Boston Bruins.

February 22: The Tories have a new leader. On the fourth ballot they have elected Joe Clark, an Albertan. Claude Wagner is second and third is a lawyer by the name of Brian Mulroney.

Oil rigs pump around the clock in Alberta.
March 1: Alberta establishes the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust fund with money from the province’s oil-rich economy.

March 2: Time magazine ceases publication in Canada when tax advantages for US magazines offering Canadian content are dropped. Such publications are viewed as being a threat to Canadian culture.

March 9: It’s a boy for Brian and Mila Mulroney. Benedict (Ben) will grow up to earn degrees from Laval University and Duke University and will be best known to millions of viewers as the host of Canadian Idol on CTV.

Queen's Park has been home to the Ontario Provincial Parliament in Toronto since 1860.
March 10: The proceedings at Queen’s Park in Toronto are now broadcast throughout Ontario on radio and TV for the first time.

March 12: The oil refinery at Come By Chance, Newfoundland is bankrupt to the tune of  $500 million. It opened three years ago to great fanfare by industrial tycoon John Shaheen. The refinery will reopen in 1987 and be profitable, serving the needs of Newfoundland and Labrador while exporting more than $2 billion worth of gasoline-based products annually by 2007.

The Homecoming was a surprise hit, based on a TV commercial that Hagood Hardy wrote for Salada Tea.
March 15: John Allen Cameron hosts the Juno Awards, held at the Ryerson Polytechnic Institute. Joni Mitchell wins a Juno as female vocalist of the year. Gino Vannelli wins a Juno as male vocalist of the year. Bachman-Turner Overdrive get the group of the year Juno, another for best album Juno for Four-Wheel Drive and a third for best single, You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet. Haygood Hardy wins a Juno as composer of the year for The Homecoming.

March 29: The Man Who Skied Down Everest is the first Canadian feature-length documentary film to win an Oscar. The movie was made by Crawley Films.

April 1: Ottawa places broadcasting and telecommunications under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission. Now, the agency has the authority to regulate telephone companies, too.

April 1: The federal government hikes the minimum wage to $2.90 an hour.

April 5: Wilder Penfield is dead at the age of 85. The father of neurosurgery made the first maps of the sensory and motor cortices of the brain. He was a pioneer in understanding and treating epilepsy. The street that passes in front of the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital he founded will be renamed in his honour on October 5, 1978.

April 14: Some 90,000 angry teachers stage a 24-hour wildcat strike across Quebec.

April 15: The Federal Cabinet lifts the moratorium on oil exploration in the Beaufort Sea. Dome Petroleum will buy $50 million in insurance against any possible environmental damage.

April 18: Somebody has goofed. It is revealed that the new Olympic Stadium in Montreal has 15,000 seats with no view of the field.

May 2 – The Canadian edition of Time magazine is discontinued.

May 10: It is the birth date of Kristen French. The vivacious teen will be kidnapped, tortured and murdered by Karla Homolka and her husband Paul Bernardo in 1992.

May 16: The Habs trounce the Philadelphia Flyers four games to zip to take home the Stanley Cup.

Unemployed men line up for work in Quebec in 1932.

May 20: The ranks of folks on pogey swells. StatsCan announces that unemployment has hit 7.4 percent, the highest level since 1961.

The Honourable Eugene Whelan wore a green Stetson hat when he was Minister of Agriculture.
June 3: Angry about cuts to production and lower subsidies, 5,000 Quebec dairy farmers storm Parliament Hill. Parking their tractors on the lawn, they throw milk at Eugene Whelan, Minister of Agriculture.

A Canadian natural gas plant.
June 10: The National Energy Board hikes the price of natural gas being exported to the United States by a whopping 21 percent.

June 11: The National Energy Board announces the amount of natural gas being shipped to the United States will be cut by twelve percent.

Between Friends/Entre Amis depicts life on the Canadian and US border.
June 16: Prime Minister Trudeau is in Washington to present President Ford with Canada’s gift to the United States as it marks its 200th birthday. The gift to our neighbours and friends is the lavishly illustrated coffee table book, Between Friends/Entre Amis.
Canadian Pacific is but one airline that won't be taking anyone anywhere until the strike is settled.

June 20: Tens of thousands of travellers are grounded as the 2,800 members of the Canadian Air Line Pilots Association go on strike. The issue is whether or not French is acceptable in the air. The walkout is resolved in nine days.

June 25: The CN Tower is officially open. At 533.33 metres, it is the tallest freestanding structure in the world. The proud owner is Canadian National. More than 2 million people will visit annually. In 2003, the Ostankino Tower in Moscow will open and it will eclipse the CN Tower with its taller antenna.

July 1: It is the birth date of Leslie Ernin Mahaffey. She will be kidnapped, tortured and slain by serial killers Karla Homolka and her husband Paul Bernardo in 1991.

July 10: James Moore is born in Vancouver. He will grow up to host a conservative radio talk show before be elected to Parliament as a Tory for the British Columbia riding of Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam.

July 14: Members of Parliament vote to abolish the death penalty. It has been 14 years since the last hanging took place in this country.  Of the 1,481 people sentenced to death since Confederation, 710 have been executed—697 men and 13 women.

July 17: Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, is in Montreal to open the 21st Olympic Games. Tickets are $30 for the opening ceremonies.

August 1: The Olympic Games are over and the torch will pass to Moscow which will host the 1980 Summer Olympic Games. Our athletes earn eleven silver and bronze medals.

August 4: Newspaper baron and billionaire Roy Herbert Thomson is dead at the age of 82. The Toronto born native, Lord Thomson of Fleet owned a media empire made up of more than 200 newspapers. Toronto’s prestigious Roy Thomson Hall will be named in his honour,.

September 15: Team Canada wins the first Canada Cup beating Czechoslovakia 5 to 4.

August 27: Sara Chalke is born in Ottawa. Her family will move to Vancouver. When she grows up she will star in the TV series Roseanne, in the role of Becky,  and appear in the TV sitcom Scrubs as Dr. Elliot Reid.

September 29: The courts rule that the use of French is acceptable in the skies. Air Canada will lift its ban. Some pilots are still convinced that use of another language may lead to an air tragedy.

October 7: Rachel McAdams is born in London, Ontario. She will grow up to study acting and graduate with honours from York University. Rachel will appear in movies such as The Hot Chick, Mean Girls and The Wedding Crashers.

November 15: It is election night in Quebec. The Liberals are defeated roundly by a political newcomer, the Parti Quebecois. Under the leadership of former CBC/SRC reporter Rene Levesque, the PQ wants to lead la belle province out of Confederation and make Quebec a sovereign nation.

November 24: The PQ government is sworn in. Though the platform calls for Quebec to be an independent nation, democratically elected officials dutifully pledge their allegiance to the Queen.

November 28: Playing before 53,467 fans at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, the Ottawa Rough Riders squeak past the Saskatchewan Roughriders 23 to 20 for the Grey Cup. The match will be considered to be the most thrilling Grey Cup games of all times.

St. Paul's Anglican church in Halifax was founded in 1749.
November 30: The Anglican Church of Canada ordains its first female priests.

Built by Chrysler Canada workers in Windsor, Ontario, the 1976 Chrysler Cordoba, with seats of rich Corinthian leather, garnered 19,378 domestic sales during the calendar year.

December 31: The Top Ten selling cars this year are the full-size Chevrolet, Plymouth Volare, Chevrolet Malibu, full-size Ford, Dodge Aspen, Oldsmobile Cutlass, Honda, Toyota, Chevrolet Nova and the Chevrolet Monte Carlo.