Friday, February 14, 2014


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1947--

  The 1947 Pontiac Fleetleader Four-door Sedan sports a new grille and lists for $1,516 f.ob. Oshawa.  Production will be only 515 units for the calendar year because of material shortages.

January 1: As of today we have Canadian—not--British passports. We are still British subjects but we are now officially Canadians, no longer merely classified as Britons born abroad.

January 1: Long distance operators will now dial any of 86 three-digit area codes to help subscribers reach their parties. The three Maritime Provinces, and Bermuda share area code 902; Quebec and Ontario are large enough to require two area codes each while the Prairie Provinces and British Columbia get one each. When Newfoundland and Labrador join Canada in 1949, the province will share area code 902 with its Maritime cousins.

January 2: Every vehicle operator in Newfoundland and Labrador will drive on the right side of the road instead of on the left.

January 11: Geologists have discovered vast deposits of thick tar sands along the Athabasca River, 32 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. No one knows how to get the tar out of the ground or turn it into petroleum products but where there’s a will, there’s a way. One day we will need the oil.

More than 22,000 Canadians of Japanese heritage were stripped of their homes, businesses and possessions and forced into labour camps in 1942.
January 24: As a result of widespread protests, the government backtracks on its previously announced plans to deport all Japanese-Canadians to Japan as undesirable aliens. However, they will not be allowed to move without reporting to the police and they may still not fish in the Pacific Ocean. Opposition MPs from British Columbia, where a third of all Japanese-Canadians live, are outraged at the change.

Fred Rose was MP for the Cartier Riding in Montreal.
January 30:  Members of the House of Commons expel MP Fred Rose. He has been convicted of selling state secrets to the Soviet Union. The only MP to ever be sentenced as a spy, he must serve six years in federal prison.

February 10: It is a girl for Bernard and Rose Arbour of Montreal. Daughter Louise will grow up to become a lawyer and a Supreme Court Justice. When Madame Justice steps down in 2004 she will be appointed as the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights.

February 13: The Alberta Minister of Mines is in Leduc to open a valve on a gusher that will turn out to be the biggest ever for Imperial Oil. The Number One Well opens a whole new oil field and ushers in prosperity for folks in Wild Rose country.

February 16: Teenager Barbara Ann Scott of Ottawa wins the World Figure Skating Championship in Stockholm tonight.

February 19:  In Toronto, Bell Telephone introduces its newest invention. The communications giant shows of a phone that works from a moving automobile. It is good for police and the press speculates that perhaps one day ordinary citizens may have such devices in their personal vehicles.

March 1: Alan Thicke is born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. He will grow up to be an actor, best remembered for his role as Jason Seaver in the TV show Growing Pains.

March 4: The Federal Government announces its intention to establish nine weather stations across the Arctic.

March 10: Avril Phaedra Douglas Campbell is born in Port Alberni, B.C. “Kim” will grow up to become Canada’s 19th Prime Minister and the first woman to lead our nation. Her tenure in office will be short lived, however. In 2005 she will lecture at Harvard University and be named one of the 50 most influential women in the world.

March 11: Figure skater Barbara Ann Scott is feted with a ticker-tape parade down Bay Street after her well deserved win at the World Figure Skating Championship in Sweden. She is offered a new convertible but turns it down in order to maintain her amateur status as she wishes to compete in the Olympics next year.

April 2: The rules about serving liquor have changed at Queen’s Park and cocktail bars are now legal in Ontario.

April 4: The International Civil Aviation Organization is founded today. The United Nations agency will set up its world headquarters in Montreal.

April 15: Russian defector Igor Gouzenko has been made a British subject. The onetime cipher clerk at the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa blew the lid off a major Communist spy ring that reached right into Parliament.

April 19: The Montreal Canadiens will not skate home the Stanley Cup for a second year straight. The Habs lose to the Toronto Maple Leafs four games to two.

Senator William Meawasige of Serpent River, Ontario and Senator John B. Tootoosis of Poundmaker Saskatchewan are founding members of the North American Indian Brotherhood. In 1982 the organization's name will be changed to the Assembly of First Nations.
April 21: The Federal government makes history when a parliamentary committee seeks advice from the newly organized NAIB on the future of policies that will affect native peoples.

May 1: Wartime rationing of butter ends nationwide, as do price controls. Butter immediately jumps 10 cents a pound almost everywhere.

May 2: Ottawa announces that it will accept 1,000 Jewish refugee children from Europe, all of them orphaned by the war.

May 3: Doug Henning is born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He will become a budding magician, putting on his first magic show when he is 14. His fantastic act will awe hundreds of millions of fans the world over until he dies of liver cancer in 2000 at the age of 52.

May 14: The Chinese Immigration Act, a.k.a. the Exclusion Act of 1923 is repealed by Parliament. The old law prohibited people of Oriental background from entering Canada as permanent residents.

May 28: Lynn Johnston is born in Collingwood, Ontario. She will grow up to become a cartoonist, famous for her comic strip about the Patterson family who live in the fictitious town of Millborough, Ontario. The strip will go into syndication in 1979.  For Better or Worse will appear in 2,000 newspapers in 20 countries in eight languages in 2006 and be retired for good in 2007.

June 6: Canada Savings Bonds go on sale at all charted banks. Bearing 2.75 percent interest, they will mature in 1958. Federal law prohibits individuals from owning more than $2,000 worth of bonds at any time.

June 9: Wartime rationing winds down. Today the Price Board removes butter, cheese, canned soups, salt and honey from the list of rationed goods. Strawberry and raspberry jams are now ration free but Ottawa still controls the prices.

June 10: Harry S. Truman arrives in Ottawa for a two-day visit. He is the first American to ever visit Ottawa in his official capacity as president.

June 15: Canadians with Asian heritage may now vote in Federal elections.

June 24: The McColl-Frontenac Oil Company Limited and its chain of service stations have been bought by the American company, Texaco. No longer will motorists “fill ‘er up” at the sign of the Red Indian. On July 2nd, the familiar logo will be replaced by the Red Star and the Green “T” of Texaco Canada Limited.

June 26: Former Prime Minister Richard B. Bennett is dead of a heart attack at the age of 77.  The New Brunswick native served as PM from 1930 to 1935. After leaving office he moved to Britain. The First Vicount Bennett died in his bath this morning.

Dominion Day: As of today, blind persons are eligible for disability pensions at the age of 21 instead of having to wait until they are 40 years of age. The Old Age Pension will be increased from $28 to $32.75 a month.

July 22: It is a boy for Jean Duceppe and his wife Helene in Montreal. Gilles will grow up to be a politician and leader of the Bloc Quebecois.

July 22: The nation’s first nuclear reactor--the  NRX--goes on line in Chalk River, Ontario. Although it is only 2.4 metres across and three metres tall, this amazing device generates 10 million kilowatts of power.

August 8: Kenneth Wayne Dryden is born in Hamilton, Ontario. He will grow up to be an NHL goaltender. Retiring after seven seasons, he will write a book that is nominated for the Governor General’s Literature Award. He will also become a politician, serving as MP for York Centre and as a federal cabinet minister in Paul Martin’s government.

August 10: Wallace R. Campbell is dead. He worked for the Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited for 42 years. Some say the former president and chairman of the board never recovered from the stroke he suffered during the 99-day strike in 1945.

August 21: The radical Sons of Freedom burn down the British Columbia homes and farms of Freedomite Doukhobor neighbours and relatives who refuse to join their extremist sect. The Doukhobors are conservative Protestants who came to Canada in the 1800s to escape religious persecution in Czarist Russia.
The most beautiful woman in the Dominion is Margaret Marshall, this year's reigning Miss Canada. She's being interviewed here by host Keith Sandy at CKEY in Toronto.

September 7: Miss Canada decides to compete in the Miss America Pageant and comes home from the flashy Atlantic City extravaganza as the second runner up. Margaret Marshall tells the press, “I’d so much rather be Miss Canada.”

October 6: Canada will accept 20,000 displaced persons instead of the original 10,000 envisioned by Ottawa. Many of the refugees are from Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

October 27:  Workers picket the CCM plant in Weston, Ontario. They want a pay hike from 47c an hour to 76c. They want time-and-a-half for overtime, two weeks’ paid holidays and to be paid for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. It will take two weeks of negotiations and walking the picket line but UAW Local 28 will get what it wants from management.
Sentiments run high on all sides as the future of Newfoundland and Labrador are debated throughout the land.

November 6: The terms of confederation are spelled out today by Ottawa for delegates of the National Convention from Newfoundland. While negotiating with Canada, delegates are also secretly exploring the possibility of becoming the 49th of the United States.

November 21: Vancouver’s first FM station signs on the air. The CBC introduces CBR-FM. The new station is found at 105.7 on the FM dial.

November 29: The Toronto Argonauts whip the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 10 to 9 to take home the Grey Cup for the second year in a row.
Bonheur d'Occasion will be translated into English and win the Governor General's Literature Award.

December 1: Gabrielle Roy wins the Prix Femina for her novel Bonheur d’Occasion, the story takes place in the slums of St. Henri, a  Montreal neighbourhood.  It is the first time a Canadian has won the prestigious literary prize from France. A movie will be made from the book in 1983.

December 31: Burton Cummings is born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He will grow up to be a rock and roll legend spending ten years with The Guess Who. The group’s hits will include American Woman, No Time, Share the Land and These Eyes. When the band breaks up in 1975 Cummings will go solo. In 2005 he will own the Salisbury House restaurant chain.

The 1947 Mercury 8 Fordor Sedan sells for $1,459. Our Ambassador to the United States drives a classy, upscale Mercury.

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