Monday, October 28, 2013


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1968-

From St. John’s to Victoria there will be 364,310 babies born in 1968. Lucky ones get to ride home from hospital in one of the 9,357 Vauxhalls imported from Britain by GM Canada. You can see this drawing in colour at  HYPERLINK ""

January 19: Will that be cash or Chargex? Shoppers in Lethbridge, Alberta and the rest of the country will have to think about the answer to this question for many years to come.  The Toronto-Dominion Bank, The Royal Bank of Canada, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and the National Bank of Canada have banded together to introduce a new credit card. Chargex instantly stimulates the economy with $300 million worth of new credit. 

February 7: With visibility at zero, Flight 332 belonging to Canadian Pacific Airways overshoots the runway and crashes into a building at Vancouver airport. Only one of the 62 passengers and crew on board the Boeing 707 is killed.

February 16: The Tenth Winter Olympiad closes in Grenoble, France. Canadian athletes bring home one gold, one silver and one bronze medal.   It’s Gold and Silver for Nancy Green, who places first in the giant slalom and earned a Silver medal for another skiing event. 

March 7: Advancing technology during the Cold War brings about the necessity of updating the old NORAD system. Ottawa and Washington will collaborate on a new protection plan in which aircraft will constantly fly throughout the Arctic with sensitive monitoring equipment to make sure the USSR stays out of our back yard. The new plan is called Airborne Warning and Aircraft Control System or AWACS for short.

March 7: The Bell Telephone Company of Canada Limited gets a new name. Bell Canada is a whole lot faster to say but folks will still call the telephone provider “Ma Bell” or “The Bell.”

March 16: The chartered banks and gold dealers have no gold to sell as the federal government suspends trading in the precious commodity. 

March 23: The last Mercury truck rolls off the line at Ford's Oakville, Ontario plant. The brand is phased out after 22 years--another casualty of AutoPact.

April 1: The old Board of Broadcast Governors makes way for the new Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Act. The first chairman of the CRTC is the most trusted civil servant in the country, Pierre Juneau. He will create Canadian content requirements for radio and television. The Juno Awards will be named for him.

April 2: Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau institutes Canada’s first lottery. His Worship hopes the profit from the gambling scheme will pay off the $250 million bill left from Expo ’67—the World’s Fair.

April 12: The New Brunswick legislature passes into law a bill that makes the Picture Province the first to offer all government services to citizens in both official languages.

April 12: Hamilton, Ontario lawyer Lincoln Alexander will sit in the House of Commons as a Progressive Conservative, representing the riding of Hamilton West. He is the first African-Canadian to be elected to Parliament. He will also become Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

On top of the world, no matter which direction they look, it will be south.
April 1: Ralph Plaistead and Jean-Luc Bombardier have led a joint Canada-US expedition to the North Pole. The 42-day trip is made by four snowmobiles. Jean-Luc, nephew of snowmobile inventor Joseph Armand Bombardier, is the first Canadian to reach the North Pole.

April 20: Pierre Elliot Trudeau is sworn in as the nation's 15th Prime Minister after Lester Pearson steps down. The press speculates that the new PM will call an election shortly.

Ford's compact Falcon is built in the St. Thomas, Ontario plant.
April 22: The 11,000 employees at Ford of Canada end a six-day strike.

Red Berenson suits up for the Blues.
May 11: The Habs beat the St. Louis Blues four games to zip for the honour of taking home the Stanley Cup. This is the first year for the bigger NHL which now has twelve teams.

May 11: The Toronto Transit Commission opens its new east-west subway extensions to the public. The system is now 9.6 kilometres longer than before.

May 15: The Centennial Planetarium, with the 280-seat Star Theatre opens in Winnipeg.

The US government has maintained a consulate in Quebec City since 1834.
May 24: The United States Consulate in Quebec City is damaged by a bomb blast. The FLQ claims the act as part of its struggle to make Quebec an independent nation.

Soaring 105 metres (344 feet) into the air, the new home for Radio-Canada and the CBC towers over Montreal.
May 24: The sod is turned for Maison Radio-Canada in Montreal. The 23-storey landmark will open in 1972. La Maison will be home to Radio-Canada, CBC and Radio Canada International.

May 27: Walter O’Malley—chairman of the National League’s expansion committee announces that a group of investors has put up $10 million to bring major league baseball to Montreal. There is no word as to what the team will be called but Royals, Nationals and Expos are names being put forward.

Shirley M. Jeffery is ordained as a minister of word and sacrament in the Presbyterial church.
May 29: The Presbyterian Church of Canada ordains its first woman pastor.

June 1: Queen Elizabeth II officially proclaims the flag of Alberta.
June 1: The nation’s first heart transplant patient is dead. Dr. Pierre Grondin at the Montreal Heart Institute tells reporters that Albert Murphy died as a result of complications from the anti-coagulants used to stabilize the 58-year old patient.

June 3: The Royal Canadian Mint announces it will replace the silver in coins with a much less expensive nickel alloy beginning next month.

June 9: Folks from St. John’s to Victoria warm up their Northern Electric, Marconi and Electrohome TV sets to watch federal leaders Pierre Trudeau, Robert Stanfleld, Tommy Douglas and Real Caouette in the first-ever televised leaders’ debate.

June 22: Toronto’s 3,700 outside workers--including garbage collectors—walk off the job.

June 24: Golf pro Sandra Post of Oakville, Ontario wins the US Ladies' PGA Championship. She is the first rookie and the first foreign player to win the prestigious title. Sandra will be inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1988 and receive the Order of Canada, C.M. in February 2004.

June 24: Prime Minister Trudeau attends the St. Jean Baptiste Day parade in Montreal. The celebration turns ugly when separatists pelt him with rocks and bottles. The PM stands his ground as the TV cameras record the incident. His refusal to run for cover is seen as a sign of strength and courage.

Red: Liberals, Blue: Conservatives; Orange: New Democrats, Green: Social Credit
June 25: The campaign is over and the votes are counted. The Grits have swept the federal election, taking 154 seats in the House of Commons. The Tories have 72 seats in the new House, the New Democrats 22 seats and Social Credit has 15. It is the country’s first majority government in a decade. Analysts say the key to the smashing victory is the charm of the charismatic new Prime Minister and call the phenomenon “Trudeaumania.”

June 30: The Husky Tower opens officially in Calgary as Alberta Premier Manning cuts the ribbon. The 190-metre tall structure took 15 months to complete and cost $3.5 million. Its name will be changed to the Calgary Tower in 1971.

July 10: All aboard! CN Passenger Services offers great deals.

July 18: No need to check the mail box, 24,000 postal workers are on strike.

July 22: The beautiful and historic Basilica in St. Boniface, Manitoba is destroyed by fire. Spectators clogged the bridge over the Red River, delaying firefighters from getting to the scene promptly.

August 8: The Posties have voted to return to work. They have guaranteed rights and benefits, a new grievance process and consultation between union and management. The workers accept a raise of 39 to 45 cents an hour. Postal workers can expect nice fat cheques in the mail; the deal is retroactive to August 1 of last year.

August 12: Captain Angus Walters is dead at the age of 86 in his hometown of Lunenberg, Nova Scotia. He was the skipper who launched the Bluenose fishing schooner in 1921 and won the International Fisherman's Trophy Race every year until he gave up command of the ship in 1939. The Bluenose is remembered on our dime.

September 8: Dr. John McCrea’s birthplace in Guelph Ontario--now a national historic site—opens to the public for the first time. Colonel McCrea penned the poem In Flanders Fields only days before being killed on the battlefield in World War One.

September 11: An Air Canada Viscount is hijacked on route from Saint John, New Brunswick to Toronto. Holding a gun to the captain’s head, the 23-year old hijacker demands to be flown to Cuba. The plane lands in Montreal to refuel, passengers are allowed to leave and the RCMP talk the man into surrendering. It is the first air piracy incident in this country and one of 38  worldwide this year.

September 27: Ernest Manning steps down as Premier of Alberta. The Social Credit leader has led his party to victory, seven elections in a row.

October 15: Former CBC reporter René Lévesque splits with the Liberals. He will form his own party, one dedicated to forming an independent Quebec tied to Canada through sovereignty-association. The onetime Quebec cabinet minister is voted to lead the Parti Quebecois by 2,000 delegates attending the convention in Quebec City.

October 11: Folks in Manitoba attend the opening of the Red River Floodway. The $63-million project will control flooding along the Red River and protect citizens who live near the river.

October 11: Highway 401 is now complete and dedicated today. Also known as the MacDonald-Cartier Freeway, in honour of two of the Fathers of Confederation, the 850-kilometre, limited access highway is one of the busiest in the world.

October 17: Prime Minister Trudeau tables the Official Languages Bill in Parliament. He tells members of the House that equal status for French and English is not just “a political necessity but an enrichment.”

Barbara Frum and Alan Maitland will host As it Happens in the 1970s and 1980s.

November 18: As It Happens, a new concept in news programs, airs for the first time on CBC Radio. The hosts, Philip Forsythe Smith and Harry Brown, call the day’s newsmakers to interview them. The world’s first phone-out news show will still be running strong forty-five years later and heard around the world.

November 23: Police arrest 114 students at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. The protestors are demanding a greater voice in government.

November 30: The Grey Cup belongs to the Ottawa Rough Riders as they squeak past the Stamps. The final score is 24 to 21.

December 10: Justice is swift. Charles Lavern Beasley of Texas pleads guilty to hijacking the Air Canada flight from Saint John in September. He will spend three years as  “guest” in one of Her Majesty’s Canadian prisons, then deported to the US where he will spend another ten years in prison for a bank heist.

December 31: The Top Ten selling passenger cars during the calendar year, in order, are: the full-sized Chevrolet, the full-sized Ford, Pontiac, Volkswagen, Dodge, Plymouth, Meteor, Chrysler Newport & 300, Ford Fairlane & Torino and Chevrolet’s Chevelle.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1969-

January 1: The CBC and Radio-Canada’s television signals blanket 98.8 percent of all homes. CTV and its 48 affiliate stations now reach more than half of the homes in the nation.

Heinz will mark 100 years in Canada in 2009.

January 8: Citing growth and an expanding economy, food giant Heinz moves its headquarters from Leamington, Ontario to Mississauga. The company processes 100,000 tonnes of food annually in its Leamington factories. 
The Henry F. Hall Building at Sir George Williams University in downtown Montreal.

January 29: Some 400 students occupy the computer lab at Sir George Williams (Concordia) University in Montreal. They object to the administration’s poor handling of a professor who made a racist remark.

February 1: The Post Office will no longer deliver letters on Saturday. It’s part of the Postmaster General’s bid to save money. Her Majesty’s Royal Canadian Post will run its fourth deficit in a row—the Crown corporation will lose an unprecedented $90 million this year.

February 11: Student protesters destroy the main computer and set fire to the data centre at Sir George Williams (Concordia) University in Montreal. Riot police arrest 97 people. School officials estimate damage to be more than $2 million.

February 13: A massive bomb is set off at the Montreal Stock Exchange, ripping away the northeast wall. Though 27 people are seriously injured in the blast, no one is killed. Police suspect the FLQ, a group that wants an independent Quebec. Damage is estimated at $1 million.

February 19: The strike has lasted 18 months but teachers in Quebec are now ready to sign a new contract and go back into their classrooms. 

February 20:  Police forcibly remove student protesters who are barricaded in the president's office at the University of Windsor.

March 7: The 21st-millionth Canadian is born in Winnipeg. The Dominion Bureau of Statistics says there is a birth every 87 seconds somewhere in the country. 

March 7: Pierre-Paul Geoffroy—an admitted member of the Front du Liberation du Quebec (FLQ)--pleads guilty to charges connected with 31 bombings.

March 11: Gasoline will replace Gravy Train as the last of the RCMP dogsled teams are retired in favour of snowmobiles.

March 14: Megan Follows is born in Toronto. She will grow up to be a Gemini winning actress, best known for her portrayal of Anne of Green Gables, the heartwarming classic story set in Prince Edward Island.

Bright Land painted by Arthur Lismer in 1938.
March 23: Arthur Lismer is dead at the age of 84. The influential artist and writer belonged to the fabled Group of Seven who interpreted Canada’s wilderness through their unique style of paintings.

Parliament in Ottawa

March 26: Justice Minister Pierre Trudeau introduces his controversial Omnibus Bill into the House of Commons. Designed to overhaul the criminal code, it includes a provision to decriminalize homosexuality. 

March 27: Ottawa announces it will build an international airport outside of Montreal near the town of Mirabel. Plans call for it to be the largest airport in the world. It will open in 1975 but declining fortunes will cause the facility to be downgraded to cargo flights in 2004.

April 1: Quebec now recognizes civil marriages as being legal.

April 6: More than 5,000 angry citizens gather in Toronto to protest the United States’ military presence in Vietnam. 

April 8: Play ball! The Montreal Expos play their first game against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium.  New York fans are stunned as the Expos shut out the Mets 11 to nothing. The Expos will move to Washington, DC in 2004.

April 14: The Montreal Expos play their first home game at Jarry Park Stadium. The game is broadcast across the country. Many new terms have had to be created in French. The Expos beat the St. Louis Cardinals 8 to 7. 

May 2: Telesat Canada is established in Ottawa. In 2008 it will be the fourth-largest communication satellite company in the world. Its customers will include Bell ExpressVu, Star Choice and more than 200 TV stations.

May 3:  Jimi Hendrix is arrested for heroin possession at Toronto International Airport; The rock star is released on $10,000 bail.
May 4: The Stanley Cup goes home with the Habs as they trounce St. Louis four games to zip.

May 7: It is time to butt out as the CBC and Radio-Canada ban tobacco adverts on all of the public broadcasters' networks.

May 15: Maurice Joseph ‘Joe’ 'Phantom' Malone is dead in Montreal at the age of 79. The Sillery, Quebec native played centre. He held the record for second highest career goals in the first 50 years of the National Hockey Association--the NHL.

May 16: Yannick Bisson is born in Montreal. He will grow up to become an actor playing roles such as Agent Jack Hudson in the TV series Sue Thomas F.B. Eye and Inspector Murdoch in The Murdoch Mysteries. 

The Forillon Park covers 244 square kilometres.

May 23: Ottawa and Quebec City jointly announce plans to create the Forillon Park in the Gaspe—the first national park to be established in Quebec.

June 1: John Lennon and Yoko Ono mark the last day of their seven-day “Bed-in for Peace” in Suite 1742 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. Today-in bed--they record the hit song Give Peace a Chance. 

June 2: The National Arts Centre opens in Ottawa. The $46 million building features rooftop gardens and spectacular views of the Rideau Canal.

June 9: Premier W. A. C. Bennett is in Castlegar, BC to dedicate the Keenleyside Dam on the Columbia River. Named for Hugh Keenleyside, Canada’s Ambassador to Mexico from 1944 to 1947, the dam is designed to control the flow of water into the Columbia River system, but a 185-mw power plant will be added in 2002.

June 25: Citizens of Manitoba elect their first-ever New Democratic government. Edward Richard Schreyer will be the NDP Premier.

June 27: By Royal Assent the law now legalizes birth control.

July 2: The University of Saskatchewan begins to operate the first school of veterinary medicine in western Canada.

July 3: Ending 71 years of service, the Caribou, a.k.a. the Newfie Bullet pulls into the St. John’s railway station for the very last time at eight o’clock this morning. The diesel engine has pulled four coaches, two dining cars, eight sleepers and a baggage car across the 881.599 kilometres (547.8 miles) of narrow gauge track. The train earned the nickname “Bullet” because it was so slow, taking 27 hours to cross the island of Newfoundland. Folks will now ride CN Roadcruisers—a fancy name for buses. The Bullet will become a tourist attraction at the Coastal Railway Museum in St. John's.

July 7: C’est la vie! Canada is officially bilingual. Civil servants will take language courses and whole generations of kids will attend bilingual immersion schools as the Official Languages Act receives Royal Assent.

July 20: More than 35,000 spectators gather around a large screen in Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square to watch American astronauts walk on the moon.

July 24: Rick Fox is born in Toronto. He will grow up to be an NBA star, playing for the Celtics and the Lakers before becoming a well-known actor.

August 19: It’s a boy for journalist Suzanne Perry and her actor/model husband John. Matthew will grow up in Ottawa and become a TV and movie star, best known for his roles on Friends and The West Wing.

August 25: Cameron Mathison is born in Sarnia, Ontario. He will graduate with a degree in Civil Engineering at McGill University before becoming a soap star on All My Children and then a TV game show and reality show host.

September – Toyota begins assembly of the Corolla in Point Edward, Nova Scotia.

September 1: Cable TV is a fast growing phenomenon. A total of 22.6 percent of all domestic households are wired for cable to date, a 3.5 percent increase over last year. Installation costs $5 in most parts of the country.

September 14: Ottawa and Washington exchange a flurry of diplomatic notes as an American oil tanker, Manhattan, negotiates the Northwest Passage without Canada’s permission. The United States considers the Arctic waterways to be open to international traffic. Canada does not.

October 8: Dylan Neal is born in Richmond Hill, Ontario. He will grow up to be an actor, best known for his roles on the TV shows Dawson Creek and Blood Ties.

October 13: A massive wave of riots takes place in Montreal. McGill University and the United States Consulate are stormed by furious crowds who object to Anglophone rights. Overwhelmed local law enforcement agencies receive assistance from the Ontario Provincial Police and 600 soldiers.
October 13: Police disperse more than 20,000 protesters in Quebec City. The crowd is opposed to a government bill to allow university students the right to study in English.

October 17: Rick Mercer is born in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He will grow up to become a comic, a network TV star best known for his roles on This Hour Has 22 Minutes and The Rick Mercer Report aired on the CBC.

October 23: During a power trial off the coast of Britain, the gearbox on the HMCS Kootenay explodes, killing nine sailors and injuring another 53. It is the worst peacetime disaster in Canadian Forces Maritime Command. The destroyer escort will be decommissioned in 1995.

November 1: Tahir “Tie” Domi is born in Windsor, Ontario. He will grow up to be an NHL player. He will skate for 17 seasons before retiring in 2006 to be a TSN broadcaster.

November 14: Athlete Fanny “Bobbie” Rosenfeld has died in Toronto. She earned gold and silver medals at the 1928 Olympic Games held in Amsterdam. Voted “Female Athlete of the First Half of the 20th Century,” she wrote a sports column for the Globe & Mail until 1966.

Quarterback Russ Jackson throws a record breaking four touchdowns during the 57th Grey Cup match.
November 30: The Ottawa Roughriders beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders for the right to take home the Grey Cup. The final score is 24 to 21.

December 1: Police may now administer Breathalyzer tests to drivers they believe to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

December 9:  It’s a boy for Newfoundland playwright Michael Cook and partner Janis Spence. Son Sebastian Spence will grow up to will become an actor starring in popular TV shows including Dawson’s Creek, First Wave, Battlestar Galactica and Sophie.

December 22: Myriam Bedard is born in Neufchatel, Quebec. She will grow up to become a biathlete, bringing home two gold medals from the 1994 Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway.

December 30: Canada’s most shameful slum neighbourhood will soon be razed. Africville—located near the city dump in Halifax—has been home to African Canadians for more than 150 years.

December 31: The Province of Ontario collects $411 million in driver’s permit and license fees. Prince Edward Island pockets $5.1 million.