Chc 2D 50’s, 60’s, ‘70s,‘80s,90’s to Present Day

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CHC 2D 50’s, 60’s, ‘70s,‘80s,90’s to Present Day

The last 6 decades of the 20th century saw many changes to Canadian society. Canadians were faced with new challenges and new opportunities. Your task is to examine these events, topics and aspects of Canadian history. See Mrs. Garland to sign up for a topic below.

Baby Boomers

Consumer Society

Welcome to corporate America (206-207)

Television comes to Canada (207-208)

Canada Discovers Suburbia (209)

Some Side effects of Prosperity (210)

The Arrival of the Teenagers (211)

The Birth of Rock and Roll

Years of Minority Government in Ottawa, 1962-1968

Birth of the New Democratic Party

The Great Flag Debate

Canada Turns 100

The President of France comes to Visit

Trudeau Arrives

Canada/ American Relations, Manhattan Episode, Energy Problem, Six Month Interlude

The Canadian Economy and Relations with the United States

Who Owns Canada Anyway?

A Decade of Rapid Social Change

Voices of Protest

Beatlemania Invades Canada

The Just Society

The White Paper

Economic Relations

The Manhattan Episode

Hockey in Canada

Economic Problems

Wage and price Controls


Language Disputes

The Election

Referendum, Energy Program and Constitution(Pages 269-279)


Energy Program


Human Rights

Charter Freedoms

Aboriginal Affairs

Foreign Policy

French/English Relations

The Meech Lake Accord

Free Trade

Canadian Culture

Canadian Identity and Canadians Are…

The Debate of Nuclear Warheads

 Canada and the Cuban Missile Crisis

Assistive Summary Notes

Baby Boomers

  • After the war hundreds of thousand of veterans returned home

  • Many rejoined their family and many had new families

  • Canadian government encourage immigration from Britain and Europe

  • The birth rate went up a significant amount at this time

  • All the children born from 1945-1968 were called the Baby Boomers

  • Most immigrants were young and wanted to have a family

  • As a result of the baby boomers the classrooms become over crowded

  • The production of children’s toys, bicycles, and child care products expanded rapidly

  • New schools were built but there weren’t enough teachers to fill up the positions, therefore many immigrants came to Canada to fill these jobs

  • Because the numbers of the baby bombers, every time they entered a new age group it become the focus of social and economic decision making in Canada

  • For example, during 1975-1985 the prices of homes increased significantly because the Baby Boomers were buying homes

  • As the Baby Boomers are starting to retire in large numbers, more concerns are being made into health care for seniors and stability of pension funds.

Consumer Society

  • After WWII there was relief for Canadians

  • During the 1950s Canadians believed that they were living in the best country at the best time

  • After the war industries quickly adapted manufacturing technologies to produce goods

  • Advances that were made in factories during the war were now being used to make goods

  • Canadians who had good jobs were able to buy all the goods that were being produce such as radios, vacuums, and sewing machines

  • Manufactures were hiring a lot of workers to be able to increase production

  • As more workers found steady jobs, confidence increased and so did the spending

  • Because of this cycle economic and population growth sustain

War Brides

  • War brides were immigrants from other countries.

  • They were European women who married Canadian soldiers during World War II.

  • Only a year after the end of the war, were immigrants filling up boats, eager to begin their new life in Canada.

  • 44,886 British immigrants, 1,886 Dutch immigrants, 649 Belgian, and 100 French immigrants boarded the boat to travel to Canada.

  • Almost 22,000 children were brought over to Canada with the war brides.

  • Many of the immigrants found it difficult to adjust to the harsh climate and isolation from their family back home.

  • Most people immigrants adjusted to the situation and remained in Canada.

  • A first hand account describes “There were tears and depression from homesickness especially at Christmas.”

Immigration Increases

  • Other immigrants arrived in large numbers, escaping from political and economical reasons.

  • The Canadian economy grew and prospered.

  • In 1954 the Immigration Act outlined the three conditions required in order to receive landed immigrant status: good health, moral character, and marketable skills.

  • Between 1946 and 1979, 4.7 million immigrants arrived to help transform Canada into a leading industrial nation.

  • Between 1928 and 1971, majority of the immigrants arriving in Canada traveled by ocean liners and were processed through Pier 21 on Halifax harbour.

  • This is the reason Pier 21 became known as the “gateway that changed Canada forever.”

  • Many organizations helped the landed immigrants begin their new life.

  • The Sisters of Service supported immigrants by providing them with needs for almost 60 years.

  • In 1979, Pier 21 was closed.

  • As technology advanced, so did the method of immigrating. Most immigrants now immigrate on airplanes.

  • In 1999, Pier 21 was opened as a historical site in Canada. It was established to honour “all those who set foot on Canadian soil through Pier 21, as well as all other gateways.”

  • Proud and graceful Canadians have begun personal pilgrimages to this historic site.

  • Pier 21 is now one of Canada’s Seven Wonders.

The Korean War, 1950-1953(Page 189)

  • 1950- North Korean and China attack south Korea

  • United States supported South Korea

  • America calls on U.N. to “rendered every assistance” to South Korea

  • Only 6 nations aided the war effort in South Korea

  • Over 1000 Canadians wounded, 406 killed

  • Through war effort U.N. able to make South Korea independent

  • Canadian soldiers would continue to stay in Korea until 1955 to maintain peace

Suez Crisis, 1956(Pages 190-191)

  • Israel is recognized in 1948 by U.N.

  • Arabs refuse the recognition of Israel and threatened to destroy more land before it was lost

  • 1948- Israel forces defeat Arab forces and cease more land

  • Uneasy truce was arranged and monitored by U.N. and lasted until 1956

  • Due to Israel’s resources(linking Europe with Africa and Asia), many world powers began interest in this region

  • United States supported Israel

  • Soviet Union supported Iraq, Syria and Egypt

  • 1956 Egyptian leader General Nasser takes full control over Suez canal zone

  • This meant a loss of power and wealth for Britain and France

  • France, Britain and Israel secretly agreed to regain control

  • Solution was found by Lester Pearson (Canada’s Secretary of State for External Affairs)

  • It called for the immediate end of all shooting and the creation of a special U.N. peacekeeping force to monitor and patrol the bordered areas

  • Canada provides 800 soldiers which was the single largest contribution by any nation

  • U.N. grew to have 6 000 troops and kept peace in the area until 1967 when asked to leave by the Egyptian government

  • Lester received the Nobel Prize for peace in 1957 due to his resolution of the Suez Crisis

John Diefenbaker 1957-1963(Page 194-195)

  • In 1957 John Diefenbaker led conservatives to a minority government

  • 1957-1958 Diefenbaker cut taxes, helped farms in prairies and raised senior’s pensions from $40 to $55 a month

  • 1958- Diefenbaker promised Canadians with thousands of new jobs. This then resulted in the Conservatives receiving the largest majority of votes ever

  • 1960- bill of rights passed

  • Diefenbaker ordered Bomarc missiles for Canadian defense in America

  • Quebec, NFLD and large Canadian cities were not impressed

  • During Diefenbaker’s time in office, unemployed increased and the economy slowed down

  • In 1963, Liberals return to power

  • Liberals managed to stay in power until 1968

Duplessis Era Comes to End in Quebec 1946-1959 (Pages 195-196)

  • Maurice Duplessis ran Quebec like a dictatorship

  • French Canadians withdrew into a defensive shell because they were fearful of English Canadians

  • Duplessis Government promoted maintenance of the traditional values, beliefs, and institutions of Quebec

  • To protect Quebec’s interest Duplessis was a strong supporter of provincial rights and fought hard to limit the powers of federal government

  • Miners went on strike when owners refused to provide higher wages and better working conditions

  • His reaction to the Asbestos strike in 1949 showed that Duplessis was not supported of labor unions.

  • The strike dragged on for five months and workers from other industries supported the asbestos workers.

  • Duplessis declared the strike illegal and injured many strikers.

  • Trudeau argued for a democratic revolution and became P.M. of Canada in 1968

  • During 1950’s in Quebec the unemployment was higher, and wages were lower then many other parts of Canada, this made Quebeckers leave Quebec to find work

  • Duplessis died in 1959

Welcome to Corporate America (206-207)

  • After World War 2 the Canadian economy and the American economy moved closer together.

  • From 1946 to 1953 American firms opened 3 hundred and 7 branch plants in Canada.

  • These firms provided many new jobs for Canadian workers and products and services for Canadian consumers.

  • Even though many Countries opened branch operations in Canada America was by far had the greatest involvement.

  • By 1956 Americans were more willing invest to invest in Canada’s economic development then their more conservative Canadian counterparts.

  • In 1963 the finance minister was convinced that American investment in Canada had to be controlled.

  • With more branch plants in Canada more of the Canadian economy was controlled by foreign investors.

Television comes to Canada (207-208)

  • The consumer revolution in Canada was greatly affected by the appearance of television during the 50’s

  • Television proved to be the powerful cultural force driving the raped transition to a consumer society

  • Since most Canadians lived in the southern part of Canada they were exposed to American broadcasting and there were greatly influenced

  • By 1948 the Canadian broadcasting corporation (CBC) received funds and a license to build a national Canadian television service

  • In 1952 television stations were opened in Toronto and Montreal

  • More than 15 independent stations have been granted broadcast licenses by 1954

  • During these early years television programs were broadcast live

  • Because families did not want to leave their seats, companies produced TV trays and TV dinners

Canada Discovers Suburbia (209)

  • With new cars on the roads traffic jams and air pollution became common in the 50’s

  • By 1954 the first subway was built in Toronto

  • Plant communities such as Halifax, Vancouver, Toronto and Winnipeg were developed on out the out skirts of the major cities

  • A quarter of a million Canadian families moved to Suburban communities by 1954

  • Most enjoyed the new life style preferring to live in green open and quite areas

  • Many convenient stores and malls were built along Suburban communities to reduce traffic jams

Some Side effects of Prosperity (210)

  • As the economy grew not all Canadians were able to find jobs due to lack of education and poor health

  • As many families prospered many other families fell deeper into poverty

  • As more Canadians depended on automobiles there have been an increase of traffic, car accidents and air pollution

  • Women entered the work force to increase their family incomes to buy consumer goods

  • It was common for both parents to be working leaving the house empty when the children came home from school

  • Many children sat in front of the TV to pass time, slowly replacing traditional activities

  • Sitting around the TV became a conversation killer in many families, critics nick named the TV “The Boob Tube”

  • During the 1950’s aboriginal reserves did not change much from the previous decades

  • Many children were separated from their parents and put into residential schools, many children experienced difficult lives as adults due to these schools

The Arrival of the Teenagers (211)

  • Some Canadians entered the world of work right after high school

  • Living at home most teenagers had leisure time and spending money

  • During the 1950s the Canadian economy was serious conservative

  • A Montreal law put a fine on women who wore shorts in public, a teenager who wore blue jeans to school was suspended

  • It was against the strict environment that teenagers rebelled

  • By the 1950s teenagers wanted to make an imprint on society

  • The differences between the adults and the teenagers left a generation gap between the parents and the children

  • By the end of the fifties teenagers where rebellious in conformist kind of way

  • What teens feared the most was considered oddballs, or different by their peers, therefore, teens were extremely careful to conform to the expectations of their own group so as to be “In the crowd” rather to be left out

The Birth of Rock and Roll

  • Music was an important element in the youth culture

  • The success of Canadian artists was measured by their ability to crack the American music charts

  • In the 1960s the love of individual rock players turned into the love of rock bands

  • By 1960 Toronto had become the center of English-Canadian rock and roll scene, with recording studious, record company offices, and the most powerful radio company stations in the country, CHUM 1050.

  • Parents reacted harshly in their children’s choice of music, so teens rebelled more towards their parents

Years of Minority Government in Ottawa, 1962-1968

Birth of the New Democratic Party

-The Progressive Conservative minority government of John Diefenbaker was losing popular support in 1962.

-Many Canadians were left dissatisfied when the Avro Arrow production was cancelled because many lost work.

-In 1963 an election was called and Leason Pearson and the liberals won.

-Some initiatives of the Pearson’s Government:

  • The official flag of Canada, the Canadian assistance and pension plan, the national anthem, Medicare etc.

-The CCF had a hard time getting votes because the Liberals were stealing their thunder and already introduced many of their social programs.

-Many people associated them with the past and the great depression. They saw them as too radical and pro-communist.

-In 1961 they created a new political party called the New Democratic Party (NDP) and this was made up of farmers, intellectuals, labour unionists and former members of the CCF.

-They elected Tommy Douglas as their leader and he remained leader until 1971.

-They called for women’s and worker’s rights, and social welfare.

The Great Flag Debate

-The talk of a flag began when Pearson was elected in 1963.

-He personally favoured the three maple leafs on a white centre square, Diefenbaker favoured the Red Ensign, which kept the Union Jack in the top and the Quebec Nationalists wanted nothing to do with Britain.

-In the end the design that emerged was a red maple leaf on a white background with two red bars and when it was voted upon there was 163 votes agreeing and 78 rejecting votes.

Canada Turns 100

-On January 1st 1967, Canada celebrated its centennial. The year was filled with celebration.

French and English Canadians put there differences aside to celebrate Canada’s first 100 years of being a country.

-Canada, specifically Montreal, was the host of the International Exposition. The exposition was held over a six month period. 50 million people traveled to Montreal over this time and 62 nations participated in the Expo. It was one of the most successful world fairs ever.

The President of France comes to Visit

-During the centennial activities the President of France, Charles De Gaulle, visited Canada. The proper protocol for a foreign head of state when they visit Canada is to arrive in Ottawa. However, De Gaulle ignored this policy and arrived in Quebec City and gave a speech to French Canadians. When finishing his speech, De Gaulle used the phrase “Vive le Quebec Libre!” (Long live a free Quebec). These were the words found on the first bomb left by the FLQ. Canada was shocked and De Gaulle cut his trip short.

Trudeau Arrives

-The 1960’s brought forth times of youth and social action, Canada needed a Prime Minister to fit the time, Pierre Trudeau was a lawyer from Montreal who liked sports, dancing parties, and fashionable clothes, and was the perfect guy for the job.

-Trudeau became Minister of Justice and soon became Liberal party leader. When Pearson retired Trudeau took the position of party leader and called an election.

-Trudeau, during the election was usually welcomes by screaming crowds and became a media darling.

-He supported a “just society” where everyone’s rights were respected. Pierre Trudeau had achieved a majority government and began making good on his promises. Trudeau had arrived.

Canada/ American Relations, Manhattan Episode, Energy Problem, Six Month Interlude

The Canadian Economy and Relations with the United States

  • Hot and cold during 1960’s

  • John Diefenbaker refuse to accept American nuclear warheads

  • (Rearing American control of Canadian national program)

  • 1963 Pearson signed a pact to arm Bomarc missiles with American warheads

  • Slowdowns in late 1950s and early 1960s- Canadians afraid of losing jobs

  • To keep job, must buy Canadian products (1960s)

  • 1960s economy for Canada & America grew; American firms continued to open branch plants in Canada to serve Canadian consumers

  • Late 1960s product demand increase because of production of plastic credit cards [“buy now, pay later”]

  • 1965 Canada-US Automotive Products Trade Agreement (APTA/Autopact) signed to permit the free movement of new cars, trucks, and auto parts across boarder

  • Before agreement, protective tax of 15% imposed on all American automobiles & parts imported to Canada

  • Automobile production in North America became more efficient, competitive and profitable thus increased Canadian wages

  • Full Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in 1989

Who Owns Canada Anyway?

  • 1965 Walter Gordon (Pearson’s minister of finance) published book entitled “A Choice For Canada”

  • Recommended program to “buy back Canada” before it was too late

  • 1957 Canadians favoured steady flow of American $

  • 1975 81% of total foreign investments in Canada ($34.7 billion) was from American sources

  • 1974 Foreign Investment Review Agency (FIRA) created by federal Government to control foreign investments in Canada

A Decade of Rapid Social Change

  • Work done by hand, now done with machine

  • Development of inexpensive plastic and aluminium substituted for expensive resources (wood & metal)

  • This increased profits and introduced products such as storage containers, green plastic garbage bags, unbreakable glassware & foil wrap

  • Late 1960s coloured TVs introduced; electrons improved

  • Science developed birth control pills, (concern of over population)

  • 1960s permissive outlook towards sex emerged

  • Religion attendance decreased

  • Women demanded more equality; entered workforce

  • Feminist movement emerged in 1960s; brought attention to gender bias that prevailed in society

Voices of Protest

  • Baby boomers had serious concerns about the world; the atomic bomb threatened to destroy world

  • 1960s hippies (symbol of rebellion)

  • Activists; seriously concerned of world they were to inherit

  • 1966 Clayton-Thomas artist of “Brainwash” (commentary on Vietnam War)

  • “Black Day in July” tells stories of race riots followed by the assassination of American civil rights leader Reverent Martin Luther King 1968

Beatlemania Invades Canada

  • 1964 world celebs

  • 1965 Beatles established themselves as musical voice of baby boom generation

  • 1970 they spit up and took rock music to new levels

  • Permissive attitudes of 1960s profound effect on evolution of various forms of self- expression

The Just Society

  • The Canadian economy boomed during most of the 1960s.

  • When Trudeau came into power he promised a “just society” a place where everyone was equal.

  • In the year 1970 Trudeau proposed to increase family allowances for poorer citizens.

  • Planned to eliminate allowance for families earning more than $10 000 per year.

  • National reaction was hostile, the plan dropped.

  • Government managed to make unemployment insurance fairer.

  • Unemployment due to long-term illness and pregnancy was not covered.

  • A new plan introduced in 1971 extended unemployment payments to all employees, increased benefit payments and covered long-term illness and pregnancy.

The White Paper

-About 300 000 aboriginals lived in Canada at the time, most poor and suffered of discrimination.

- The government wanted to help them and ensure equality of all Canadians

-Jean Chrétien (Minister of Indian Affairs) worked closely with Trudeau to devise a plan known as The White Paper in 1969.

- White Paper proposed to repeal the old Indian Act, abolish the Department of Indian Affairs, and give

the Indian bands the power to run their own affairs on their reserves.

  • Proposed changes were opposed by Aboriginal leaders.

  • Saw the White Paper as a document written by non-Aboriginals, with the basic aim of assimilating them into the rest of Canadian society.

  • Cardinal (Aboriginal leader) argued that his people fought for years to preserve their identity, and the Indian Act, whatever its flaws, gave them a sense of community.

  • Government backed down and withdrew White Paper.

Economic Relations

  • Canadians were more concerned about the increasingly high degree of American economic investment in Canada

  • Government created Petro-Canada in 1973

  • Purpose was to give country a large publicly owned oil company in an industry dominated by American companies

  • 1974 government created Foreign Investment Review Agency (FIRA)

  • Purpose was to review any proposed takeover of a Canadian firm by a foreign business

  • Some people in Canada opposed it and the government weakened the power of FIRA in response to these pressures

The Manhattan Episode

-Canadian territorial sovereignty was challenged in 1969 by the voyage of a large American tanker, the Manhattan in the Canadian arctic

-An American oil company (Humble oil) built the huge tanker to test whether oil could be transported safely from Alaska to New York City

- Part of the waters the ship traveled were Canadian waters, The Canadians were outraged by the fact that the Americans would not fly the Canadian flag beside the American flag

- Humble oil decided it was too expensive to transport oil by tanker through the North West Passage, instead Alaskan oil would be more cheaply transported from Alaska down the west coast.

- Over the next two decades, Canadian negotiators worked hard to define and extend Canada’s jurisdiction over its coastlines

Hockey in Canada

  • Before 1968 professional hockey was confined of 6 teams (Montreal, Toronto, Boston, New York, Chicago and Detroit)

  • Even though 4 of the 6 teams were located in the US a majority of the players were Canadian

  • In 1967-1968 season the NHL added 6 new American cities to the league

  • 1970-1971 Vancouver and buffalo were included

  • In 1971 the world hockey association began with teams in 12, then 14 cities

  • Bobby Hull from Pointe Anne Ontario was the top player in the new league

-WHA folded in 1979 because they could not compete with the NHL salaries required

Economic Problems

-Late 1960s Canadian economy experienced rising levels of inflation

- In the 17970s the Canadian economy was experiencing rising unemployment and rising prices

- As a result in 1972 Trudeau lost his majority government

Energy Crisis

-Even though oil prices increased Canada was at advantage because we produced two thirds of Canada’s oil in Alberta

Wage and price Controls

-On October 13, 1975 Prime Minister Trudeau announced a program of wage a price control which he earlier in the campaign did not agree with. Now he stated that they were necessary for Canada’s inflation problem.

-Trade unions cause were a major reason the price increased. Union workers bargained wage price because their salary was decreasing due to inflation. When the wage increases it ends up costing more for businesses.

-wage control does not guarantee lower inflation and can sometimes be unfair due to so many contracts and agreements in the economy.

-1967, a separatist party, Parti-Quebecois, switched the attention from economic problems

-Quebecois became the official opposition to the liberal province.

-Rene Levesque, the leader of the Parti-Quebecois came to power in 1968

Language Disputes

-Non-French immigrants wanted to English to be their first language, but the Quebec government decided English would be taught as a second language. The French culture became threatened when the Non-French speaking immigrants increased and Quebec’s birth rate decreased.

-Robert Bourassa passed the Bill 22 in 1974 stating French the official language of Quebec.

-In 1976 the federal government declared either French or English could be used by air traffic controller and pilots.

Economic Problems

-In addition to the economic problems rose federal deficit. That is when the government spend more money than they receive and they must borrow funds to make up the difference.

-1970 government spending began exceeding revenues by larger and larger amounts. By 1979 the deficit reached its peak of 16 billion dollars.

The Energy Problem

-The Middle East oil producers quadrupled the price of oil between 1973- 74

-Alberta supplied oil 2/3 of our needs.

-Alberta wanted to raise their prices because they were still suffering due to the depression

-In 1979, The Middle East drew up the world prices by 150%

-The deficit became a national issue which was a major reason for the defeat of the Liberals

The Election

-In 1979, the liberals lost to the Conservative led by Joe Clarke

-After passing a budget the Conservatives lost to the Liberals again

Referendum, Energy Program and Constitution


Levesque had promised in 1976 that although Quebec had elected a separatist party, the Party Quebecois, a referendum would be held sometime in the future to allow citizens to decide the issue of whether or not Quebec would separate from Canada. The PQ then set out to prove that it could provide sound government to the people of Quebec until the referendum was held.

In 1977, the PQ passed Bill 101, the Charter of French language. This included:

  • French was the official language of business, government and the courts

  • Store signs, billboards and public notices are all to be in French

  • All children must attend French schools, except those whose families were born in Quebec and English is their first language

  • Immigrants must send their kids to French schools

This bill provoked hostility among Quebec Anglophones and most immigrants in the province. An estimated 100 000 English and immigrants left Quebec in the first four years of the PQ.

The referendum was held on May 20, 1980. Over 60% voted “non/no” to the referendum question. The nest day in Ottawa, Trudeau announced that the government would immediately begin the progress of renewing Canada’s 100-year old Constitution.

Energy Program

After the second energy crisis in 1979, the Liberal government was determined to reduce Canada’s dependence upon imported oil. An energy plan, the National Energy Program (NEP) was created. The plan involved extracting oil from the tar sands in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan in huge mega-projects, involving the provincial and federal governments. The NEP was a massive, complicated plan that ran into one expected difficulty and one unexpected fatal one. Alberta saw NEP as more interference by the federal government into its industry. Peter Lougheed, the premier of Alberta ordered a cutback in production of 180 000 barrels of oil per day. In the end Alberta worked out a deal with Ottawa on sharing tax revenues, and the NEP appeared to be on track. Starting in 1981 oil prices began to decrease and the NEP collapsed along with it.


Most Canadians knew little about their constitution when Trudeau announced in May 1980 that he would begin the process to renew it. Canada’s constitution was drafted in 1864 and was finally passed in 1867. Much of Canada’s constitution deals with powers held by central and provincial levels of government. When provinces wanted to take their issues to court they had to go to London, England because there was no court in Canada that had the authority to settle these disputes. In 1931 the Statue of Westminster was enacted and constitutional challenges could be heard in the new Supreme Court of Canada. Canada’s constitution was the only act of another nation’s parliament. Prime Minister Trudeau wanted to bring home the constitution for Canadians. As long as the amendment problem remand unsolved, it seemed that the constitution could not be brought home from Britain. After failing one last time in September 1980 to get the provinces to agree on amendment formula, Trudeau decided that the federal government would bring home the constitution with out provincial consent. Several provinces went to the Supreme Court because of Trudeau’s threat. Both sides ended up with victory. The judges declared that there was no law that stopped the federal government from acting on its own. However there was an “Unwritten understanding” that there should be a majority of provinces agreeing with the federal government before constitutional changes were made. On April 17th 1982 Queen Elizabeth signed the Proclamation of the Canadian Constitution. The Constitution contained a new amending formula and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Human Rights, Charter Freedoms, Aboriginal Affairs and Foreign Policy

  • Canadians were active; in debates at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels regarding human rights(1970-1980’s)

  • On July 14, 1976 a bill abolishing capital punishment in Canada was passed by 8 votes.

  • Quebec’s bill 101 was challenged for being discriminatory against people who spoke English.

  • IN 1988, abortions were removed from the criminal code.

  • The Human rights of 1977 established a federal anti – discrimination code and gave Canadians the right to examine any government files. Kept on them.

  • In December 1979 the Ontario court of appeal ruled that a person could be sued for racial discrimination.

  • In 1977, a royal commission was established to look into the “extent and prevalence” of illegal RCMP activities.

  • The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came to affect 1982.

    • Gave all Canadian citizens

      • fundamental freedoms

      • mobility rights

      • legal rights

      • equality rights

      • official languages of Canada

      • minority language education rights

      • aboriginal rights

      • rights for Canadian citizens

  • The James Bay land claim agreement gave 6500 Cree and 4200 Inuit in northern Quebec 225 million dollars over 20 years

  • Aboriginal groups managed to stop a natural gas pipeline project that was to be built in the Mackenzie River

  • Canada carefully considers how to maintain independent foreign policy choices when faced with pressure from the United States.

  • In 1976, US Senator Edward Ted Kennedy came to Canada for a three day study of the medical system. The Americans were considering Canada as a possible model for their own country.

  • In 1979 Canadians again came to the aid of the United States during the shortages of that winter.

  • Tensions over illegal fishing activities continue to be sore spot in Canada’s relations with the United States and other nations.

  • Canada signed an agreement with South Korea in 1976 that allowed the sale of a 700 million dollar CANDU nuclear reactor

French/English Relations

  • February 29, 1984: Pierre Trudeau resigns from politics

  • His successor was former Finance Minister John Turner, who became the 17th Prime Minister of Canada

  • His advisors told him to call a quick election, as he would easily win over the inexperienced Brian Mulroney

  • They were wrong. Turner only won 40 seats, compared to the Conservatives’ 211 ( including 60 out of 75 in Quebec)

  • Quebeckers liked Mulroney because he too was dissatisfied with the patriation of the constitution.

The Meech Lake Accord

  • Quebec had never signed the Constitution Act of 1982, as it failed to recognize Quebec’s uniqueness. Brian Mulroney wanted to end this isolation.

  • In 1985, he signed an agreement with Robert Bourassa to begin the process, but never really got around to doing anything until 1987

  • Mulroney and the premiers met at Meech Lake, to discuss Quebec’s place in Confederation.

  • They eventually agreed on the accord, and it was successful in the House of Commons until Pierre Trudeau spoke out against it.

  • Trudeau’s words were followed by Aboriginal protests, as First Nations rights were not included in the Accord.

  • The Reform Party was formed in 1987, and they were strongly opposed to the Meech Lake Accord, as they felt that giving Quebec more power would cause strained relations between the provinces.

  • Although Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Alberta had ratified the accord, public support was only at 28%. Changes in the legislature of Manitoba and New Brunswick caused more difficulty, as all 10 provinces had to accept it.

  • Tension was increasing not only between French and English Canada, but also the First Nations and the government. The Accord, which was meant to unite the nation, seemed to be dividing it.

  • The governments of both Manitoba and Newfoundland refused to vote on the Meech Lake Accord, resulting in its failure.

Free Trade

  • Pierre Trudeau and President Ronald Reagan had never been close. Relations between the two countries were strained. When Mulroney came to power, he quickly befriended Reagan, and our relationship with the US started to improve.

  • In 1984, a trade commission suggested the two countries enter a Free Trade Agreement. If tariffs were eliminated, the massive American market would be open to Canadian goods.

  • Free trade also meant that large American corporations could now undersell Canadian companies.

  • Reagan demanded an end to government subsidies (money given to a company to help offset costs) because they felt that Canadian companies were able to undersell Americans because they’re unfairly subsidized.

  • In 1988, the Free Trade Agreement was signed. Mulroney’s opponents planned to use this against him in the upcoming election.

  • The Conservatives again won a majority, but their numbers were down from 211 to 170, with only 43% of the popular vote. This means that more Canadians were against free trade than for it.

Canadian Culture

  • Canadian musicians were becoming recognized for their talents. Bryan Adams signed a deal with A&M records in 1979. In 1984, he and Canadian producer David Foster organized the celebrity recording of “Tears are Not Enough” for Ethiopian famine relief.

  • K.D Lang, Anne Murray, and a young Quebecoise singer named Celine Dion quickly rose to fame.

  • Dion would go on to win numerous Grammys and sold over 10 million recordings over her career.

  • Other Canadians were making an impact on the world. Too. Rick Hansen traveled over 40 000 kilometers and 34 countries in a wheelchair on his campaign for spinal cord research.

  • Steve Fonyo, who lost his leg to cancer like his idol Terry Fox, wanted to carry out Fox’s goal by running across Canada. He was able to complete his run by dipping his artificial leg in the Pacific Ocean.

Canadian Identity and Canadians Are…

Understanding who we are and where we have come from will help put into perspectives the issue and challenges that Canadian society needs to deal with in the twenty-first century. In 1921 through the request of the Government of Canada, King George V of England proclaimed the design of the Canadian Coat of Arms and gave Canada its identity. Symbols on the Coat of Arms were given specifically to represent a country for who they are. Like a fingerprint, each countries cultural identity is unique to its nation. But unlike a fingerprint, the cultural identity changes as the society continues to evolve.

Today, Canada is based on the premise that people from varied ethnic backgrounds and beliefs can build a better future together. English, French, Scottish, and Irish are still the largest ethnic groups in Canada. Canada developed into a major industrial power during the twentieth century. When the twentieth century started, most Canadians were engaged in primary industries such as farming, mining, forestry, and hunting. But by the 1990’s Canada had obviously entered a post-industrial period known as the Information Age. Edward Samuel Rogers in 1925 recreated the radio by adding a revolutionary alternating radio current tube on it. Before radios would run on big bulky batteries but now he has found a way to make them run on good old fashion electricity. This made most home appliances safer because it revolutionized the way electronics were powered. The Ski-Doo was also created in Canada by Joseph-Armand Bombardier, he has also created different modeled vehicles for the power sport industry.

In 1966 the Canadian pension plan was introduced to provide monthly pension payments to retired workers. Universal social welfare programs became part of Canada’s national identity. Canadian’s do more business with the American’s than with the rest of the world combined. However most Canadian’s see themselves as distinctly not American. Canadian’s are law abiding and very polite. Canadian constitution emphasizes peace order and good government. Most Canadian’s are seen as polite, reasonable, caring, generous, optimistic, good willing and peaceful people. Canadian television and radio broadcasts are monitored and commissioned by Canadian representatives, so Canadian music and television may be viewed as well. Canadian’s have been involved in every United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operation through to 2000, and still carry on to this day. For example fighting for the 9/11 incident. Canada has the worlds best hockey athletes as well as many other great athletes that take part in the winter Olympic games. For example Wayne Gretzky was named Canada’s male athlete of the twentieth century.

Many Canadian’s have distinguished themselves internationally as visual and literary artists, as performing artists and humorists. Canada is known for their vast amounts of famous comedians such as, Mike Myers, Dave Thomas, Catherine O’Hara and many others. Canadian’s may not wave the national flag as often as some other nationalities, but most believe that they are living in the greatest country in the world. Since 1992 this feeling has been confirmed by the United Nations Human Development Index (UNHDI).

Human Rights

  • Throughout the 1970s and 1980s there were many political battles in response to the simple question, “How could Canada become an even better place to live?”

  • From global human rights perspective, all provinces in Canada had to decide whether or not they agreed to support the new United Nations’ human rights declarations

  • It took ten years to get all the provinces to approve the UN covenants that focused on economic, civil, social, and political rights

  • Human rights issues for women was another important issue of the time. In September 1976 the federal Advisory Council on the Status of Women demanded that abortion be removed from the Criminal Code, that sections of the Criminal Code dealing with rape and sexual offenses be updated, and that human rights commission be established

  • In 1979 military jobs, excluding combat roles, were opened to women

  • The Human Rights Act of 1977 established a federal anti-discrimination code which gave Canadians the right to examine any government files that were being kept on them

  • Equal pay for equal work was one of the many important rights covered in this Act

  • In December 1979, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that a person could sue for damages for racial discrimination

Charter of Rights

  • The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into effect as part of the Canadian Constitution in 1982

  • It gave all Canadian citizens and those in permanent residence the following rights:

      • Fundamental freedoms

      • Mobility rights

      • Legal rights

      • Equality rights

      • Official languages of Canada

      • Minority language educational rights

      • Aboriginal rights

      • Rights for Canadian citizens

  • The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteed the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a democratic and free society.

Aboriginal Affairs

  • The Assembly of First Nations represented status Indians and First Nations people in Canada. The Native Council of Canada represented Métis and non-status Indians. The Inuit Tapirisat of Canada promoted Inuit identity and concerns. These national organizations along with local Aboriginal communities struggled to improve the lives of the people in their communities as well as fighting for environmental issues that affected all Canadians

  • The Commission’s recommendations led to a new bill that would reorganize and improve health care for Cree people, but the bill was not passed into law until the year 1992

  • Aboriginal peoples across Canada were extremely angry when they were only granted observer status at the First Ministers Constitutional Conference in Ottawa in 1979. They were not recognized as full political participants in the issues that affected the constitutional debate

Foreign Policy

  • Canada played a very important role as a middle power and mediator in global affairs. The cold war endangered the world with nuclear war. The United States and the Soviet Union were the main players in the cold war events. Throughout these years, Canada carefully considered how to maintain independent foreign policy choices when faced with pressure from the United States

  • Cold war hostilities between the Soviet Union and United States was the focus of global news. Despite the Canadian government’s insistence that Canada would be a nuclear-free nation, Canada was involved in quite a few ways in developing the nuclear capabilities of other countries

  • There was little trust and much suspicion in the world, especially since the Soviet Union and the United States each wanted to punish the actions of the other, and they warned each other not to continue actions that threatened world peace. During the 1970s and 1980s, Canadians continued to play an active role in maintaining peace and cease-fire agreements

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