Sunday, October 13, 2013


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1970-

Ford's new compact Maverick is popular with consumers. This one wears the Grabber package.
January 1: Only 25.8 percent of the full-time workforce is made up of women. Another 8.4 percent of women work part time. Seven million of us have jobs and bring home regular pay cheques. It’s a risk—1,048 workers will die on the job and 17,362 workers will be injured at work. For those who make it to work every day until the age of 65, there is the Old Age Pension, now pegged at $78.58 a month.

January 1: The twin cities of Fort William and Port Arthur merge to become Thunder Bay. It boasts  an average of 2167.7 hours of bright sunshine each year, making it the sunniest place in Eastern Canada.

January 16: Ottawa announces its intentions to introduce the Metric System. This will help us to sell more goods abroad. People will grumble and complain but on January 1, 1976 miles, pounds and Imperial gallons will be replaced by kilometres, kilos and litres.

Lawren Harris painted January Thaw, Edge of Town, in 1921. Today it the oil on canvas painting is in the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.
January 29: Lawren Harris is dead at the age of 84. He was one of the original Group of Seven. The artist was most famous for his foreboding abstract landscapes of northern Canada.

February 1: Two years after instituting survivors’ benefits, Canada Pension begins to issue disability cheques to people who are no longer able to work.

February 2: While Canada does not take a seat at the Organization of American States, it sends an observer to the meetings. Canada will become a full partner and take its place at the table in 1990.

February 4: The Liberian tanker, Arrow, strikes Cerebrus Rock, off Chedabucto Bay, Nova Scotia during a bad storm. Nearly 16 million litres of heavy bunker C oil pollute the Atlantic Ocean as the ship breaks up and finally sinks on the 12th.  
Sunlight has been Canada's favourite laundry soap for many years and will still be the best-selling suds in 2013.
February 17: A federal ban on phosphates goes into effect. Used in laundry soap, phosphates destroy marine life and are killing the Great Lakes. 

Marie-Josee Croze will win a Jutra and a Genie in 2000 and win Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003.

February 23: Marie-Josee Croze is born in Montreal. She will grow up to become a star of stage and screen in both French and English. She will be best known for her role as an assassin in Stephen Spielberg's thriller, Munich.

Andy Kim sold more than a million albums with this release.

February 23: The first-ever Canadian music awards are held in Toronto. They are called the Golden Leaf Awards—next year they will be renamed the Juno Awards. Best male vocalist is Andy Kim, best female vocalist is Ginette Reno, the best group is The Guess Who and best country artist is Tommy Hunter.
Million Dollar Babies will tell the Dionne Quintuplets' story in a 1994 CBC television movie.

February 27: Marie Dionne is dead in Montreal, as a result of of a blood clot to the brain. One of the famed Dionne Quintuplets, she was only 37.  

March 2: Keith Spicer is named as the first Official Languages Commissioner. His job is to promote bilingualism and to ensure the equality of French and English. 

March 7: A total eclipse of the sun makes for a dark day over much of the continental eastern seaboard. The solar blackout is particularly noticable in southern Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. 

March 10:  Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau wears traditional Inuit garb to open the first Arctic Winter Games in Yellowknife. Some 700 athletes from Alaska, the Yukon and the NWT take part. The games are broadcast live in several languages on CBC North. Winners of events such as blanket tossing and igloo building take home a Golden Ulu—the traditional knife of the Inuit people.

 March 20: The Francophonie is established. The worldwide organization made up of French-speaking nations includes Canada as a founding member.

March 23: Film director Del Lord is dead at the age of 75. The Grimbsy, Ontario native is best remembered as being the director of more than three dozen The Three Stooges movies.

March 31: Ottawa bans fishing in Lake Erie because mercury levels in fish are so dangerously high that eating them can make people ill. The fourth largest of the Great Lakes are so badly polluted that those who care put bumper stickers on their cars that read, "Lake Erie Died For Your Sins."

April 1: AMC’s Gremlin makes its debut. The first modern subcompact car to be built by a North American automaker has mirthful, showing A Gremlin running in circles around Volkswagen—its chief competition. There are teething problems: only eight Gremlins will leave the Brampton, Ontario plant during the first month of manufacture.

April 5: Bobby Orr becomes the first NHL defenceman to win the scoring title.

We're here!
April 8: The CBC has acquired the rights from Children’s Television Workshop to broadcast a homegrown version of the wildly popular kids’ show Sesame Street. Children who watch Radio-Canada will get a French-language edition in 1975.

May 1: It is a sad day for movie buffs in Ottawa as the majestic Capitol Cinema closes after 50 years. The last show is nostalgic, Mary Pickford in Pollyanna is screened with Alex Trebek acting as host for the evening. The grand move palace with its 5,230 seats, marble lobby and majestic, colonnaded mezzanine will be razed five years before Members of Provincial Parliament pass the Heritage Act at Queen's Park.

Le Stade Olympic Stadium will feature a retractable roof and an incline tower but they won't be completed in time for the Summer Games.

May 2: There is plenty of excitement to go around as the International Olympic Commission announces that Montreal will host the 1976 Olympic Games. 

Bruins fans go wild in Beantown. Bobby Orr is in the convertible.

 May 3: The Boston Bruins face the St. Louis Blues for the Stanley Cup. The Bruins will take the trophy in four games—their first Stanley Cup victory in 29 years.

 May 9: The song American Woman hits Number One on the US Billboard music chart. It will stay Number One for three weeks—a mega hit for the Winnipeg band. The song will be voted Best Canadian Single of All Time in 2000.

May 10:  AS many as 5,000 people gather at the American Consulate in Toronto to protest against the US military’s invasion of Cambodia. Nearly 100 protesters are arrested.

May 12: Mike Weir is born in Sarnia, Ontario. He will grow up to be a professional golfer and win the PGA Masters Tournament in 2003.

May 19: Some 5,000 postal delivery and inside postal workers start rotating strikes that bring mail delivery to a standstill. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers will receive the wages they want.

May 20: Workers at Heinz in Leamington, Ontario vote 97 percent in favour of a strike. The 900 employees will walk the picket line for 45 days. The dispute is primarily about wages. Workers will allow farmers to cross the picket lines in order to pick up their tomato seeds. Labour leaders tell the press, "Farmers have been hurt enough."

May 22: The Vancouver Canucks are now part of the National Hockey League. The franchise cost $6 million.

An Electrohome stereo from the late 1960s.
May 22: The Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission lays down the rules for Canadian Content in broadcasting. Now, 35 percent of the music heard each hour on radio must be homegrown. CanCon is referred to as 'the maple syrup law' by those who don't like the rule.

May 29: The Hudson Bay Company moves its world headquarters from London, England to Winnipeg. HBC is the world’s oldest privately charted company—300 years old this year.

May 29: Ottawa hikes the federal minimum wage from $1.25 an hour to $1.65 an hour. Each province still has jurisdiction over what one earns. In Nova Scotia women may not be paid less than 90 cents an hour.

May 31: Some 2,500 hospital workers in Quebec are on strike. They will stay off the job until they get higher wages.

June 2: Ottawa sends $1 million in emergency provisions, including tents and flour, to victims of the earthquake that struck Peru two days ago.

June 26: The age for voting in federal elections is lowered from 21 to 18 years of age.

June 26: The Supreme Court of Canada upholds the federal law requiring compulsory breath tests for drivers suspected of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

The Chevrolet Chevelle was built in Oshawa, Ontario and St. Therese, Quebec.
June 30: Automakers export 80,647 passenger cars to the US, setting an all-time record for cars shipped in a single month. In the five years of Auto Pact’s existence, the prosperity the trade deal brings to Canada’s national economy cannot be underestimated.

July 3: The HMCS Bonaventure aircraft carrier is decommissioned in Halifax. She has served with honour since she was launched in 1945 and will soon be scrapped in Taiwan.

July 5: Air Canada Flight 621, bound from Montreal to Toronto to Los Angeles, loses both starboard engines while attempting to land in Toronto. All 109 on board the Douglas DC-8 perish.

July 16: Education will now be conducted in French in Manitoba. Francophones in the province have fought for 54 years to be recognized.

July 28: Isabelle Brasseur is born in Kingsbury, Quebec. She will grow up to be a figure skater. Paired with Lloyd Eisler, the duo will earn bronze medals at the 1992 and 1994 Olympic Games and be the 1993 World Champions.

August – Workers in St. Thomas, Ontario begin building Ford’s new subcompact, the Pinto. A total of 46,485 of the pint-sized, chubby-cheeked cuties will be shipped to the US by year’s end.

August 2: Three people are killed in Active Passage, off the coast of British Columbia when a Soviet freighter, the Sergey Yesinin slices the Queen of Victoria, a BC ferry, in half.  

August 20: One of the worst tornadoes in history hits Sudbury, Ontario at eight o’clock this morning. With winds of 160 kilometres an hour, the F3 tornado kills six and 200 are injured. Damage is estimated at $17 million. 

September 1: Mitsou Annie Marie Gelinas is born in Loretteville, Quebec. Mitsou will grow up to become a pop and rock idol, most famous for her hit Bye, Bye Mon Cowboy. She will also be a movie star and a talk show host as well as a successful businesswoman.

September – Big yellow school buses load up 335,676 kids from coast to coast—all of them headed for Kindergarten. In Prince Edward Island the number of kids headed to Kindergarten is an even metric dozen. In the Yukon the figure is 19. A total of 12,927 children in Newfoundland and Labrador will learn to colour within the lines, 152,722 Ontarians and 105,428 Quebeckers will learn to ‘play well with others.’

September 14: The Trouble with Tracy, starring Diane Nyland and Steve Wilson makes its debut on CTV.  The sitcom will become legendary in the television industry for being the worst series ever made. Airing every afternoon at 3.30 Eastern Time, all 130 episodes will be shot with a single camera on a single set. Despite its cheapness, it is a pioneer endeavour by CTV to meet Canadian content requirements.  

September 27: The Ontario Educational Communications Authority takes to the airwaves. It will change its name to TVO a.k.a. TV Ontario-- the nation’s first educational broadcaster.

October 5: The Quebec Liberation Front kidnaps British Trade Commissioner James Cross from his home in Montreal. The FLQ demands $500,000 for his release and want 21 ‘political prisoners’ released from Quebec jails.

October 10: Quebec Minister of Immigration, Manpower and Labour, Pierre LaPorte is kidnapped from his home by members of the FLQ. 

October 15: The October Crisis begins as Prime Minister Trudeau takes to the airwaves to tell the nation he has invoked the War Measures Act. Troops are ordered to Montreal and Quebec City to stop the FLQ's war on Canada. 

October 17: Police find the body of Pierre LaPorte, stuffed in the trunk of a Chevrolet. The 49-year old politician has been strangled to death. His memory will be honoured with a stamp and the bridge that spans the St. Lawrence River in Quebec City will be named for him.

Nancy Durell, Miss Grey Cup 1970 with Prime Minister Trudeau.
November 28: The Calgary Stampeders lose the Grey Cup to the Montreal Allouettes in Toronto. The final score is 23 to 10. 

December 3: The FLQ release kidnapped British Trade Commissioner James Cross in exchange for safe passage to Cuba for seven of its members.

December 23: Prime Minister Trudeau tells the nation that the armed forces will be withdrawn from Quebec on January 4th

December 28: The country’s biggest manhunt ends with the FLQ members who kidnapped James Cross and murdered Pierre LaPorte are arrested in a farmhouse, south of Montreal.

Toyota Corollas are assembled in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia.

December 31: New vehicle sales may be off but production continues to rise to 1,077,915 units built—a hike of 9.7 percent over the previous year. Only 440,914 units are retailed but the Big Three, Renault, Volvo, Isuzu, Toyota, International-Harvester and White all stamp “Made in Canada/Fabrique au Canada” on their products.

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