Canada in the 80`s and 90`s Due

Canada: 1980-2000
“Well, welcome to the 1980s”
With these words, Pierre Elliot
Trudeau celebrates his political
comeback as Prime Minister after
winning a majority Liberal
government in the February, 1980
Although he had been Prime Minister
since 1968 (except for Conservative
Prime Minister Joe Clark's threemonth minority government in 1979),
his next four years in power would
define Canada for decades to come.
Fuddle Duddle, as Coined by Pierre Trudeau
It will make sense when you watch it.
1980: The National Energy Program
One of Trudeau's first actions after the
election was to bring in the National
Energy Program. The NEP was
designed to protect Canada's oil
supply and promote Canadian
ownership of our energy resources.
Petro-Canada was created as a
national oil and gas company.
The NEP made Alberta's oil and gas available at cheaper than
world prices to Canadian manufacturing companies, especially
in eastern Canada, and further taxed oil and gas profits.
In protest, Alberta's Premier Peter Lougheed threatened to cut
oil shipments to eastern Canada. Prices were raised to reflect
world prices but the NEP remained in place until 1984. It
became a symbol of the rising feeling of Western Canadian
Alienation, as Western Canadians felt taken for granted and
pushed around by a federal government more focussed on
1980: “Oui ou Non”:
The Quebec Referendum
May 20, 1980, Quebec Premier
René Lévesque holds a
referendum to separate Quebec
from Canada. Levesque in 1964
59.6% voted against separation,
while only 40.4% voted for it.
In his speeches against separation, Prime Minister Trudeau
promises a new constitutional agreement with Quebec. After
much political wrangling, Trudeau succeeds in bringing Canada's
Constitution, the British North America Act of 1867, home to
Canada from Britain. Bringing home the constitution
Levesque opposes the constitutional changes and Quebec
refuses to sign the agreement which becomes law anyway.
Levesque on the constitution
1982 Patriation of the Constitution
“Today I have proclaimed this
new Constitution, one that is
truly Canadian at last. There
could be no better moment for
me as Queen of Canada to
declare again my unbounded
confidence in the future of this
wonderful country.”
-Queen Elizabeth at
the proclamation ceremony,
April 17, 1982.
Patriation is a legal term made up in Canada to mean taking
control of our constitution from Great Britain. The British
North America Act of 1867 was revised and became the
Constitution Act of 1982. .
Canada had gained its independence as a country.
The Charter of Rights
and Freedoms
The new Constitution Act
included an entrenched Charter
of Rights and Freedoms which
protects political, civil and
minority rights in Canada.
Entrenched is a legal term meaning that it can only be
changed through a nation-wide amendment process,
the same amendment process needed to change the
Constitution Act.
Amendments to the Constitution Act can only be
passed if agreed to by 7 provinces totalling more than
50% of Canada's population.
The 1981-1984 Recession
From 1981 to 1984, Canada's economy
experienced its worst downturn since the
Great Depression, with interest rates
climbing to 23%, and more than 1.5 million
Canadians out of work.
Because of government spending to try to turn around the
recession, and because of the high interest rates, the federal
government debt tripled from $84 Billion in 1981 to $240 Billion
in 1986. It is now at just under $500 Billion.
The debt rise led to government cutbacks in social programs
such as unemployment insurance and welfare that continues to
this day.
The recession was the end of decades of unhindered prosperity
and growth for Canada, and poverty, unemployment and
homelessness increased. Similar to the Depression of the 1930s,
food banks became a normal fact of life for some families, rather
than an emergency measure.
1984: Canada shifts right
Pierre Trudeau retired in February, 1984,
and John Turner replaced him as liberal
leader and Prime Minister. Turner called
an election and faced off against the new
Progressive Conservative leader, Brian
Mulroney. Mulroney's victory was partly
due to his crushing win over Turner in a
televised debate.
Mulroney received unprecedented
support from Quebec and he
promised to make a constitutional
deal which Quebec would support.
Mulroney's economic policies aimed
at taming the debt with cuts to
social programs and public
spending, a right-wing position
described as “neo-conservatism”.
Trudeau's First Resignation
Bonus marks to anyone who can stay awake for
all of this.
Constitutional Talks: Meech Lake 1987-1990
Mulroney's first attempt to bring Quebec to
the table was the 1987 Meech lake Accord.
All ten provincial premiers, including
Quebec's Robert Bourassa, agreed to the
accord, which recognized Quebec as a
'distinct society', and increased provincial
Provinces had three years to ratify, or vote for, the agreement
in their legislatures. Opposition rose across Canada, arguing
that agreement would weaken the federal government, and it
would give Quebec a special status that would be resented by
the rest of Canada.
Elijah Harper, a Manitoba MLA, refused to vote for the Accord
because it did not guarantee rights for First Nations peoples.
Because of his stand, Manitoba couldn't get the unanimous
agreement it needed to pass it. When Newfoundland also
refused to ratify the agreement, it failed in 1990. Elijah Harper
Meech Lake
Constitution Again: Charlottetown 1992
Quebec's anger over the failure of Meech
resulted in a dramatic rise in separatism in the
province. Mulroney tried again to bring Quebec
aboard with the Charlottetown Accord of 1992.
Similar to Meech, the Accord weakened federal
authority and increased provincial powers in
many areas. Quebec's 'distinct society' was
again recognized, and this time aboriginal
leaders were invited to the discussions.
Opposition to the Accord showed how divided Canada had
become. Preston Manning and the Reform Party, the new
Western Canadian protest party were against it, and the hardcore separatists in Quebec also opposed it. Former Prime
Minister Trudeau said it would destroy Canada.
A national referendum resulted in a “No” vote of 54.3%, and the
Charlottetown Accord failed. Charlottetown
1988: The Free Trade Agreement
In 1988, Canada negotiated and
signed a free trade agreement
with the United States. Under the
U.S.-Canada agreement, trade
was made easier, and there were
no tariffs on goods traded
between the two countries.
In the negotiations, Canada was able to protect its culture from
U.S. control, and water resources were kept off the table as well.
On the plus side, Canadian exports to the U.S. rose, but the U.S.
has not always lived up to the spirit of the agreement on such
issues as softwood lumber tariffs.
In 1994, Mexico joined the agreement which is now called
NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The G.S.T. and the Fall of Mulroney
In 1991, the government introduced the
Goods and Services Tax (G.S.T.), a 7% sales
tax. Although the tax replaced a hidden tax
on manufactured goods that had long
existed, the fact that shoppers could now
see the tax at the check-out counter made it
an unpopular one.
By 1993, when Mulroney would have had to call an election, his
popularity had dropped to the lowest of any Prime Minister ever
measured by polls. He resigned as Prime Minister, and the
Progressive Conservative leadership was won by Kim Campbell,
who became Canada's first female Prime Minister.
Campbell called an election, but with the loss of the West to the
new Reform Party, and the loss of Quebec to the separatist
federal party, the Bloc Quebecois, the Progressive
Conservatives went from 169 seats to just two seats in the House
of Commons. Liberal leader Jean Chretien was elected Prime
Minister and would remain P.M. for the next ten years.
1995: Quebec again on the brink
"Do you agree that Quebec should become sovereign
after having made a formal offer to Canada for a new
economic and political partnership within the scope of
the bill respecting the future of Quebec and of the
agreement signed on June 12, 1995?"
In 1995, the Parti Quebecois again held a referendum on the
separation of Quebec. Their complicated ballot question asked for
Quebec to become an independent country with “sovereignty
association”, or a mutual partnership, with Canada. Referendum
Prime Minister Jean Chretien's Liberal government argued that
Quebec would be cut off from Canada and ruined economically.
Meanwhile, First Nations groups, notably the James Bay Cree
which controlled huge areas of northern Quebec, stated they
would remain with Canada if Quebec separated.
The vote on October 30, 1995 was very close, with 50.58% voting
No and 49.42% voting Yes.
Canadians in Bosnia 1992
Canada was a significant contributor to the NATO mission
in Bosnia-Herzegovina known as the Stabilization Force,
or SFOR. Canadian troops first came to the Balkans in
February 1992 as part of the United Nations Protection
Force (UNPROFOR), which was formed to protect noncombatants during the wars that tore apart the former
Republic of Yugoslavia. With the signing on
December 14, 1995, of the General Framework
Agreement for Peace at Paris, after negotiations
conducted at Dayton, Ohio, NATO entered BosniaHerzegovina with the 60,000-strong Implementation
Force (IFOR) to ensure that the belligerent parties
complied with its terms.
Genocide in Rwanda 1994
Background: Belgium once controlled Rwanda. When Belgium
authorities discovered (around 1959) that Tutsi leaders were lobbying
for control, they encouraged the Hutus to rise up against the would-be
Tutsi usurpers. This resulted in the massacre of tens of thousands of
Tutsis, and power fell into the hands of the Hutus who gained
independence 1962. Tutsis took refuge in Uganda and founded the
Rwandan Patriotic Front
In 1973, a coup d’etat organized by the Hutu extremist General Juvenal
Habyarimana, overthrew the existing government. This dictator
encouraged discrimination between the Hutus and the Tutsis. In 1990,
violence broke out between Habyarimana's and RPF's armies.
Rwandan Tutsis and moderate Hutus also became the targets of
attacks by Habyarimana's forces. The conflict worsened after the death
of Habyarimana in 1994. The massacre of Tutsis and moderate Hutus
began. Peacekeepers who were assigned to the site to keep the
peace led by Canadian General Roméo Dallaire found
themselves powerless in the face of this all-out genocide taking place
before their very eyes. Indeed, insufficient troops, coupled with a
restricted mandate hampered the Peacekeepers; they could not
intervene effectively despite the intense pressure applied to the UN by
General Dallaire for more troops and equipment. In less than four
months, the death toll reached one million, most of the victims being
Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
Photo Reel and song dedicated to the Rwanda
Be happy that the pictures are blurry
The sad part is that the baby is still alive.
Canada’s international role in
land mine reduction
• In 1996 , Canada challenged
countries from around the
world to sign a treaty
banning the production and
use of land mines. In 1997,
134 countries and
organizations signed the
treaty, known as the Ottawa
Process. Since 1997, 20
million stockpiled
landmines have been
destroyed, and the # of
countries producing land
mines has dropped from 54
to 16
Landmine Victims raise money for landmine
Cambodian Landmine survivors play volleyball
in the World Series.
Canadian Timeline, 1980 - 2000
Pierre Trudeau (Liberal) wins federal
Quebec votes against separation in a
“O Canada” becomes National Anthem
National Energy Program created.
Terry Fox dies, 9 months after a return of his cancer ended his
cross-country marathon to raise money for cancer research.
Constitution patriated. Charter of Rights introduced.
The Ocean Ranger oil platform sinks in a storm off the coast of
Canadian Timeline (2), 1980 - 2000
retires. John Turner wins Liberal leadership,
becomes P.M., then loses federal election to Brian
Mulroney (Progressive Conservatives).
Sauvé, first female federal cabinet minister
and first female speaker of the house, is named first
female Governor General.
Bomb downs Canada-bound Air India Flight 182 in sea near
Ireland. 329 passengers, including 279 Canadians, killed.
Garneau becomes the first Canadian in space.
Expo '86 held in British Columbia
Reform Party, Western-Canadian political party, founded.
Canadian Timeline (3), 1980 - 2000
Brian Mulroney wins federal re-election on the issue of Free Trade with the U.S.
Calgary holds Winter Olympics.
U.S- Canada Free Trade Agreement begins.
Montreal Massacre: Dec. 6, gunman slays 14 women at a Montreal university.
I graduated from high school
Meech Lake Accord fails.
Stand-off between Mohawk First
Nation and government in Oka.
Canadian Forces take part in the first
Gulf War against Iraq.
Oka Crisis.
Oka News Report
Canadian Timeline (4), 1980 - 2000
Cod fishery is shut down in the Atlantic region.
Charlottetown Accord fails in national referendum.
Toronto Blue Jays win the World Series.
Brian Mulroney resigns. Kim Campbell becomes leader of the
Progressive Conservatives and first female Prime Minister, but
is defeated by Jean Chretien in the federal election.
Canadian soldiers in Somalia charged with torture and murder
of civilians.
Another Quebec referendum on separation. The NO vote
squeaks a win to keep Quebec in Canada.
Canadian Timeline (5), 1980 - 2000
Nisga'a Land Claim Agreement completed,
giving First Nation self-government of
2000 sq. km. in Nass River Valley.
Chretien wins re-election as Prime Minister
in federal election that sends five political
parties to Parliament.
Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward
Island opens.
April 1, the territory of Nunavut is founded.
Wayne Gretzky (#99) retires from playing hockey.
Wayne Gretsky's Highlights
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