CanadaInfo Navigator Bar

Canada Y2K

Here's a brief look at some of the major and interesting events in Canada over the last year of the millennium. This compilation was completed by members of the Canadian Press.


January 4 - Customs officials find 25 Chinese migrants inside two canvas-covered cargo containers on a freighter docked in Vancouver. The ship they were on had been turned away from Seattle because the dock was full. All 25, including four juveniles, make refugee claims.

January 12 - Construction at the Voisey's Bay mine site in Labrador is put on hold for at least a year after Inco fails to reach agreement with the Newfoundland government. Premier Brian Tobin wants long-term jobs and a processing plant. Inco says it needs an escape clause if its unproven mining technology doesn't work. Development of the Voisey's Bay site, which cost Inco more than 4.3-billion dollars, has been stalled for more than three years.

January 12 - Beverly McLachlin is sworn in as chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada -- the first woman to hold the post. McLachlin was born in Alberta and was a provincial court justice in British Columbia before she was appointed to Canada's highest court in 1989.

January 18 - Industry Minister John Manley announces Ottawa is willing to give subsidies to Canada's six N-H-L franchises to keep them in Canada. Under the proposed deal, the federal government would contribute up to 25 per cent of the combined total of municipal, provincial and N-H-L subsidies. Just three days later after a furious public outcry, Manley withdraws the offer.

January 19 - Ottawa goes into damage control over the so-called ``billion-dollar boondoggle'' at the Human Resources Department. Eighty per cent of files reviewed in an internal audit of job grants show no financial monitoring. The Transitional Jobs Fund is eventually scrapped. In June, a scathing report by a Liberal-dominated committee urges the government to ``rethink the whole concept'' of the Human Resources Department. By the fall, Auditor General Denis Desautels confirms millions of dollars were mismanaged at H-R-D-C but notes steps have been taken to correct things.

January 20 - Nova Scotia terminates an agreement with a US consortium interested in buying Sydney Steel and hires a liquidator. The consortium had missed a deadline for a downpayment. In June, the provincial government agrees to sell the money-losing Crown corporation to Swiss steel manufacturer Duferco for 25.5-million dollars. Duferco promises to employ at least 200 people.

January 29 - Supporters of a merger between the Reform Party and other small "c" conservatives chose a name for their proposed new party. It's the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance -- or Canadian Alliance for short. During an Ottawa convention, they also adopt a policy platform that includes a flat rate of taxation of 17 per cent. Just days later on February 1st, red-faced officials announce they will formally seek to register the party as the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance -- to avoid the unfortunate acronym of CCRAP. In late March, Reform members vote 91.9 per cent to fold the party and form the Canadian Alliance. A new leader is elected in July. Former Alberta treasurer Stockwell Day beats Reform leader Preston Manning for the job on a second ballot. Day wins a seat in the Commons in a byelection in the B-C riding of Okanagan-Coqhihalla in September.

February 1 - A 55-year-battle ends for veterans of Canada's merchant navy. Ottawa announces it will become the first Allied government to compensate civilian sailors for wartime services, primarily between 1939 and '45. Merchant marine vets get lump-sum payments of up to 24-thousand dollars in lieu of benefits they didn't receive before 1992.

February 7 - As many as 50 farmers begin an occupation of the Saskatchewan legislature to back demands for about 300-million dollars in aid. They hope that will entice Ottawa to also ante up. The N-D-P government says it can only afford things like tax breaks. The occupation ends a week later when Regina police, saying there had been threats against the farmers, move in and remove the protesters.

February 11 - Ottawa introduces legislation giving same-sex couples the same social and tax benefits as heterosexual couples. Bill C-23 is passed in April. It gives same-sex couples bankruptcy protection, survivor's benefits under the Canada Pension Plan, the right to claim tax credits for a dependent partner and other benefits. It stems from several court rulings, especially a 1999 Supreme Court decision striking down Ontario's definition of spouse that excluded gay couples.

February 17 - Transport Minister David Collenette tables legislation to protect consumers because of Air Canada's virtual monopoly in the skies. The bill would jail Air Canada executives for up to five years if they fail to comply with undertakings they made when the airline took over Canadian Airlines in December, 1999. It also gives more power to the federal Competition Bureau and the Canadian Transportation Agency to fight price gouging.

February 21 - Ujjal Dosanjh makes history when he wins the British Columbia New Democratic Party leadership to become Canada's first Indo-Canadian premier. He takes over the job from Dan Miller, who served as interim premier following Glen Clark's resignation in August 1999. Clark resigned after it was revealed he was part of an ongoing police gambling probe.

February 23 - Marty McSorley is banished from the NHL for the rest of the 1999-2000 season for a stick attack on the Canucks' Donald Brashear in the final seconds of a February 13th game in Vancouver. Days later, the Boston defenceman becomes the first NHL player since 1988 to face a criminal charge resulting from his actions in a hockey game. In October, he is convicted by a Vancouver judge of assault with a weapon -- his hockey stick. He is given an 18-month conditional sentence, and told to use his influence to clean up the game.

February 25 - Canada's dominant telecommunications company, BCE, announces a surprise 2.5-billion-dollar cash offer to buy CT-V. The deal is seen as a way for B-C-E to get content for its burgeoning Internet activities.

February 28 - Finance Minister Paul Martin announces plans to cut taxes by 58-billion dollars over five years. The budget is expected to save an average family of four about 500 dollars in 2000, with more cuts to come in coming years.

March 2 - Alberta's Tory government introduces what turns out to be extremely contentious health-care legislation. Bill 11 allows private hospitals and surgical clinics to keep patients overnight. Critics say it's a step towards a two-tier health system but Alberta officials insist Bill 11 protects publicly funded health care. The Klein government passes the bill on May 10th following several noisy demonstrations at the legislature involving thousands of Albertans. It's proclaimed into law on September 28th.

March 15 - The Commons overwhelmingly approves legislation outlining the rules for holding a referendum on secession. The bill, a personal project of Prime Minister Chrétien, sets tough federal ground rules for any future referendum on Quebec sovereignty, giving M-P's the power to decide what is a clear referendum question and what represents a clear majority. Only if both the question and the majority are deemed clear would the federal government begin negotiations with Quebec.

March 28 - Stockwell Day officially throws his hat into the race for the leadership of the new Canadian Alliance. Day announces he is taking leave from his job as Alberta treasurer to run for the leadership.

March 31 - A 34-year-old Toronto man begins his bid to join the ranks of the wrongly convicted. A Toronto judge grants Robert Baltovich's request for bail pending the appeal of his 1992 conviction in the murder of his girlfriend, Elizabeth Bain. There have been at least six high-profile cases of wrongful conviction in recent years, including Guy Paul Morin, David Milgaard and Donald Marshall.

April 2 - In a late-night sitting, the NDP government legislates an end to a five-day strike by support workers that cancelled classes for almost 400-thousand students in BC. Teachers had refused to cross the picket lines of the 12-thousand striking members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

April 8 - Prime Minister Chretien concludes a 12-day trip to the Middle East that is remembered more for his mis-statements than new business contracts. With Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at his side, Chretien says it's OK for the Palestinians to use the threat of a unilateral declaration of independence as a bargaining chip. Later in Nazareth, he appears to side with Israel when he says it's clear why the country should keep a disputed lake in the Golan Heights. Lake Tiberias, also known as the Sea of Galilee, is the biggest stumbling block to a peace agreement between Israel and Syria. Tory Leader Joe Clark calls Chretien an "embarrassment to the country."

April 12 - Quebec Superior Court upholds the province's law on the predominance of French on outdoor signs. Gwen Simpson and Wally Hoffman are fined 500 dollars and court costs because an outdoor sign at their rural Quebec antique shop has French and English words that are the same size. Language hardliners say a ruling against the law would have opened the way to bilingual, English-predominantor maybe even unilingual English signs.

April 13 - The Nisga'a land claims treaty clears its last parliamentary hurdle when it is passed by the Senate. The treaty --113 years in the making -- gives the Nisga'a two-thousand squarekilometres of northwestern BC. They also get a form of self-government and about 250-million dollars.

April 15 - A 15-year-old Montreal boy is charged with attacks that crippled some major U-S-based web sites and raised concerns about security on the Internet. The teen, who used the name Mafiaboy on the Internet, is charged with two counts of mischief under the Young Offenders Act. The cyber attacks crippled CNN, Yahoo, E-Bay,, and other sites in February.

April 17 - Premier Pat Binns wins another majority in the PEI election, while the Liberals oust the Democrats in Yukon. Binns' Tories take 26 of the 27 seats up for grabs in the province. Both the Liberal and NDP leaders lose their seats. On the other side of the country, Pat Duncan's Liberals win 10 of 17 seats in the Yukon election. Former government leader Piers McDonald loses his seat by a mere 12 votes. His NDP wins six seats and the Yukon Party gets one.

April 20 - Mayhem at an Ottawa area high school on April 20th, the first anniversary of the Columbine massacre. Four students and school employee are wounded by a youth wielding a steak knife. Police arrest a 15-year-old boy. Elsewhere, fear and uncertainty keep most students out of Canada's largest high school. Fredericton high is three-quarters empty, after threats of violence to coincide with the Columbine anniversary.

April 24 - Vietnam outrages Canada and the world by executing a Canadian woman. With just a day's notice to her husband, Toronto's Nguyen Thi Hiep is put to death by firing squad -- despite evidence that she was duped into becoming a drug mule in 1996. Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy immediately suspends all relations with Vietnam. Thi Hiep's 74-year-old mother, who was serving a life-sentence in the same case, is released in September under a presidential pardon and returns to Canada.

May 3 - The man known to millions of Canadians as TV's "Friendly Giant," dies of cancer in Toronto. Bob Homme was 81. Homme created, wrote and starred in "The Friendly Giant" children's show, which ran on CBC television from 1958 to 1985.

May 5 - Canada's top military judge quashes a charge of disobeying an order against a former Winnipeg sergeant who refused to take the anthrax vaccine while in Kuwait in 1998. The judge accepted Mike Kipling's defence that the vaccine was not safe and therefore the military infringed on his rights. Less than a month later, the military announces it is appealing the ruling.

May 6 - Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard wins overwhelming support for his separatist goals. Ninety-one per cent of Parti Quebecois delegates at a Montreal convention vote to back his leadership. That's much better than the lukewarm 76 per cent rating he received in 1996.

May 9 - Ontario promises 25-thousand dollars each for victims of hepatitis C. The money goes to Ontario residents who were excluded from a federal-provincial compensation package. The federal package limits compensation to those infected between 1986 and 1990.

May 9 - The federal government introduces legislation overhauling Canada's grain transportation system. Freight costs for Western farmers are cut, 175-million dollars is pumped into Prairie roads, and the Canadian Wheat Board's control over grain delivery is altered. CN Rail describes the reforms as "incomplete and unbalanced."

May 12 - Safe water becomes something Canadians won't take for granted after tragedy strikes the town of Walkerton, Ontario. Seven people are killed and 23-hundred sickened when a deadly form of E-coli bacteria enters the town's water supply after days of heavy rain. The region's medical officer of health issues a boil water advisory on May 21st after hearing of several children being treated for bloody diarrhea, vomiting and cramps. A few days later, Murray McQuigge blames the outbreak on water problems the Walkerton Public Utilities Commission had known about for some time. Ontario Provincial Police and Ontario's chief coroner launch separate investigations, while the province calls an inquiry. The boil-water advisory is finally lifted December 6th.

May 15 - More than 65-hundred students from across BC gathered at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver to set a world orchestra record. They played Beethoven's 9th Symphony for almost 10 minutes to get into the Guinness Book of World Records. The orchestra added almost three-thousand people and three minutes to the previous record set in England in 1998.

May 17 - Toronto's Ben Webster becomes the first Canadian to reach the top of Mount Everest in the new millennium. The 38-year-old Webster is the 13th Canadian to reach the summit. Six days later, a car dealership owner from Vulcan, Alberta also reaches the top of Everest. But high winds keep Byron Smith from becoming the first person to broadcast video live from the summit.

May 25 - Ten-thousand health-care workers walk off the job at 159 hospitals and long-term care centres across Alberta in an illegal strike. The two-year settlement they accept two days later gives licenced practical nurses a 16 per cent pay hike over two years -- nearly double what their employers had offered. But the contract comes with a price-tag. A judge fines the union and its president, Dan MacLennan, 400-thousand dollars for breaking the law.

May 27 - Maurice "Rocket" Richard lost his battle with cancer at the age of 78. For four days Quebecers -- indeed all of Canada -- paid homage to the hockey legend. More than 100-thousand mourners paid their respects as his body lay in state at Montreal's Molson Centre. Many of the same people lined the streets for the funeral procession through Montreal's downtown core a few days later. Those attending included NHL heroes from seven decades, as well as past and present prime ministers.

May 28 - Canada buries one of its unknown war heroes. The remains of an unidentified Canadian soldier killed during the First World War are buried near the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The unknown soldier's body was flown in from France and had lain in state at Parliament's Hall of Honour. Fifteen-thousand people gather to witness the full military funeral.

June 3 - Police take no chances on the first day of the meetings of the Organization of American States in Windsor, Ontario. Protesters hanging a banner on the chain-link fence surrounding the conference compound are pepper sprayed. The same fate awaits others who try to block a busload of delegates from getting inside. Protesters condemn the OAS as a threat to labour and human rights. But in his opening address, Prime Minister Chrétien says expanding free trade will help end global poverty.

June 9 - Quebec pop star Celine Dion announces she is pregnant. The music diva had received fertility treatments in the US.

June 15 - The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously upholds the federal gun control law, rejecting a challenge mounted by Alberta. The law was passed in 1995 and requires every gun owner to get a licence by the end of 2000 and to register every firearm they own by January 1st, 2003.

July 2 - A promising member of Canada's national biathlon team dies in a bizarre accident. Mary Beth Miller is killed by a black bear while jogging in a wooded area north of Quebec City. Miller won a bronze medal at the North American biathlon championships in 1999 and was considered a top contender for Canada's Olympic biathlon team.

July 4 - Canada's billion-dollar cigarette-smuggling lawsuit against RJ Reynolds Tobacco Holdings is snuffed out in a US court. The district court judge rules that an 18th-century law bars American courts from collecting another country's revenues. Ottawa alleged cigarette makers attempted to defraud it of tax revenue in the early 1990's with a scheme that shipped Canadian brands of cigarettes to the US and then smuggled them back into Canada.

July 5 - An Ontario judge upholds the right of parents to spank their children. But he suggests Parliament should amend the Criminal Code which allows using reasonable force to discipline children, to guide parents, teachers and law enforcement officials as to what constitutes reasonable force and what is criminal abuse.

July 6 - CanWest Global Communications becomes the country's largest media company in a 3.5-billion-dollar deal. It does so by acquiring more T-V stations and by snapping up a large portion of the Hollinger newspaper chain. Along with a 50-per-cent interest in the National Post, CanWest buys 13 large metropolitan English-language dailies, dozens of dailies and weeklies and all of Hollinger's Canadian Internet properties. On the broadcasting side, CanWest acquires eight stations from WIC Communications, as well as stations in Hamilton and Victoria.

July 6 - Kingston, Ontario's infamous Prison for Women closes its doors on a turbulent 66 years of history. It gained notoriety in 1994 when six women were strip searched and shackled by mostly male guards. Four years later, each of the women was awarded 50-thousand dollars after an investigation provided the public with a shocking picture of life inside the maximum-security prison.

July 11 - A high-profile B-C abortion provider survives another attempt on his life. Gynecologist Dr. Garson Romalis (roh-MAH'-lis) is stabbed in the back outside his Vancouver office. Six years earlier, in November 1994, Romalis was shot in the leg by a sniper at his home. The shooting suspect was never caught.

July 11 - Halifax Regional Council becomes the first jurisdiction in the country to ban the use of pesticides on lawns and gardens. The ban is to be phased in over four years, coming fully into effect by April, 2003. Pesticide manufacturers vow to fight the ban all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

July12 - Matthew Coon-Come becomes the new National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. Coon-Come upsets incumbent Phil Fontaine in voting in Ottawa. Observers suggest the 44-year-old longtime chief of the Cree in Quebec will be more aggressive in his dealings with the federal government.

July 14 - Terror and chaos explode in Alberta in mid-summer. A tornado hits the Green Acres campground near Pine Lake. Twelve people are killed and 130 are injured. Much of the campground is stripped barren by the deadly wind. It's the most devastating tornado since 27 people died in a twister in the Edmonton area in 1987.

July 20 - In a national first, the B-C government asks the province's Supreme Court to declare that same-sex marriages are legal. Attorney General Andrew Petter says the federal ban on gay marriages is discriminatory. The court challenge is expected to reach the Supreme Court of Canada in about seven years.

July 26 - A damning report from Ontario's Environmental Commissioner says Ontario has "virtually no control" to prevent a Walkerton-style contamination of drinking water from E-coli. Gord Miller says "no one knows the condition of Ontario's groundwater" because there's no data. Miller also calls for legislation to address the environmental effects of large-scale factory farms and the handling of animal waste. One of the suspected causes of the Walkerton tragedy is animal manure being washed into the town's water supply.

July 30 - Air Canada cancels at least 30 flights worldwide in late July due to a lack of available flight crews. Pilots and flight attendants have limits on the amount of time they can fly each month under their collective agreements, and many Air Canada crew members had met the limits. Up to three-thousand travellers were affected.

July 31 - Ontario's Court of Appeal rules the law that prohibits possession of marijuana is unconstitutional because it doesn't account for those who use pot for medicinal purposes. The court also says that if Ottawa doesn't clarify the law within a year, marijuana possession will be legal for anyone in Ontario.

August 2 - Toronto's garbage and what to do with it causes a stink that lasts through the autumn. City council approves a plan to ship garbage north by rail to the abandoned Adams Lake mine near Kirkland Lake. It votes again on October 11th to seal the deal with Rail Cycle North, but removes a clause that would have left the city on the hook for unforseen costs. The contractor balks, and the deal dies on October 20th.

August 3 - They signed on for a three-week trip escorting military equipment home from Kosovo. Instead, they got a high seas adventure. In mid-summer, three Canadian Forces soldiers and almost one-quarter-of-a-billion dollars of Canada's military hardware are stuck on a cargo ship as it circles in international waters off Newfoundland. The ship's U-S owner is locked in a pay dispute with the Montreal company that chartered it on behalf of the Defence Department. Finally, on August 3rd, a Canadian navy special team boards the vessel. The GTS "Katie" is unloaded in Montreal a week later.

August 8 - The Ontario government announces new laws aimed at ensuring the safety of the province's drinking water. Coming three months after the E-coli tragedy in Walkerton, the regulations require regular sampling and testing of water by accredited labs. The rules also lay out reporting requirements when water turns out to be bad and force water-treatment plants to produce quarterly reports to be made available to the public.

August 14 - A Newfoundland biblical scholar and educator, Reverend Marion Pardy, is elected as moderator of the United Church of Canada. She is the fourth female leader of the country's largest Protestant denomination.

August 16 - Prime Minister Jean Chrétien tien is hit in the face with a pie thrown by a protester in Charlottetown. It's the fourth time someone has managed to avoid security and get near the Prime Minister or his residence.

August 17 - The process of replacing the military's creaking Sea King helicopters formally begins. The federal government announces it has 2.9-billion dollars to spend on 28 shipborne aircraft. The government hopes to see the first new choppers flying in navy colours by 2005, by which time the youngest Sea Kings will be more than 40-years old.

August 24 - The province of British Columbia balances the books for the first time since 1990. With help from a much-improved economy, the province shows a 52-million-dollar surplus for 1999-2000, a huge turnaround from the projected deficit of 1.5-billion dollars.

August 28 - Toronto is among five cities named as finalists to hold the 2008 Summer Olympics. The others are Beijing, Paris, Instanbul, and Osaka. The entire IOC membership will select the 2008 host city in Moscow in July 2001.

August 29 - The native lobster dispute on New Brunswick's Miramichi Bay boils over again. Fisheries officers and natives dodge and duel in the early morning hours. Two native boats sink in the melee. One is rammed, one native is doused with pepper spray and a fisheries officer is hit in the jaw with a rock. Former Ontario premier Bob Rae, brought in as a mediator in September, appears to broker the closest thing to a deal so far. But it's never realized. By October 1st, Burnt Church natives have voluntarily pulled most of their traps from Miramichi Bay. A few vow more confrontations in the spring.

August 30 - Canadians who contracted hepatitis C from tainted blood, but weren't included in a federal-provincial compensation package, grudgingly accept a deal from the Red Cross. The five-to-seven thousand recipients receive 10-thousand dollars each. The settlement absolves the Red Cross of any liability but leaves victims free to sue their province or the federal government.

September 1 - Multimedia giant Rogers Communications buys control of the Toronto Blue Jays for 112-million dollars U-S from Interbrew S-A. The sale raises hopes that a deep-pocketed new owner will help rejuvenate a team that has fallen on hard times since winning the World series twice in the early 1990's. Former Sun Media president Paul Godfrey is named the Jays' new chief executive.

September 5 - Representatives of four major churches formally apologize to the aboriginal people of Newfoundland and Labrador for 500 years of assimilation and discrimination. An Innu leader says the apology has to be more specific.

September 11 - Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and provincial premiers reach a deal to boost federal funding for health care. The agreement sees federal transfers increase to 18.3-billion dollars-a-year for health in 2001 -- boosted to 21-billion in 2005-2006. The money will be funnelled through the Canada Health and Social Transfer, which allows the provinces to spend it as they see fit. The provinces will in turn report on how health care is being delivered.

September 11 - Tory leader Joe Clark and Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day win seats in the House of Commons in two by-elections. Day handily wins in the B-C interior riding of Okanagan-Coquihalla. Clark also scores an easy win in the Nova Scotia riding of Kings-Hants, but a victory celebration is cut short by the defection of two Quebec Tories to the Liberals. Prime Minister Chretien denies backstabbing Clark, saying Quebecers David Price and Diane St-Jacques told Clark they were leaving weeks earlier.

September 13 - Montreal crime reporter Michel Auger is shot five times in the parking lot of the French-language newspaper, le Journal de Montreal. Auger has extensively covered Quebec's six-year-old biker gang war over control of illegal drugs. Following his recovery, Auger begins lobbying for stricter anti-gang legislation. Two months after the attack, police arrest a 52-year-old man they suspect supplied the gun used to shoot Auger.

September 14 - After buying CTV earlier in the year, BCE strikes an alliance with the Thomson family. The four-billion-dollar deal combines the Globe and Mail and its associated Web sites, CTV and the Internet portal Sympatico. It's all part of the race between cable, broadcast and telecom companies to get content to fill their wires.

September 16 - It's called the social event of the year. Former prime minister Brian Mulroney's daughter Caroline marries American Andrew Lapham in a lavish ceremony in Montreal. Former US president George Bush is among the wedding guests.

September 18 - Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy announces he will not run in the next federal election -- ending almost 30 years in politics. The 60-year-old cabinet heavyweight and Liberal godfather in Manitoba says the time has come for him to pursue other opportunities outside of government. He later becomes head of a new think-tank on international issues at the University of British Columbia, The Liu Centre for Global Issues.

September 18 - Manitoba's former Conservative premier announces he's stepping down. Gary Filmon's resignation as the MLA for Tuxedo caps off a 25-year political career. Filmon accepts appointments to five corporate boards and will also do some consulting work. Filmon was Manitoba premier for 11 years. He says he received a lot of death threats over the Meech Lake Accord -- but that was rivalled by the number he got when the Winnipeg Jets hockey team left the city.

September 21 - One of the country's most reviled criminals loses his bid to appeal his first-degree murder conviction. The Supreme Court of Canada rejects Paul Bernardo's application for a new trial. Bernardo was convicted in 1995 in the sex slayings of Ontario schoolgirls Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French. His lawyer had argued the judge erred in instructing the jury about assessing the character of Bernardo's then-wife Karla Homolka. Bernardo calls her a willing participant in the crimes.

September 25 - Canada's longest serving current premier calls it quits. After nine years at the helm in Saskatchewan, Roy Romanow announces plans to resign as soon as a successor is chosen. First elected to the provincial legislature in 1967, Romanow took over as leader of the Saskatchewan NDP from Allan Blakeney 20 years later. Romanow became the Saskatchewan premier in a landslide victory over Grant Devine's Conservatives in 1991.

September 28 - The nation plunges into mourning after Pierre Elliott Trudeau dies at his home in Montreal. The country's 15th prime minister, who had suffered from cancer and Parkinson's Disease, was 80. Trudeau served as Liberal Prime Minister from 1968 to '79 and again from 1980 to 1984. Tens of thousands of Canadians pay their respects as Trudeau lies in state on Parliament Hill, and then in Montreal. His funeral at Montreal's Notre Dame Basilica is attended by diplomats and world dignitaries, including former U-S president Jimmy Carter and Cuban President Fidel Castro. Tributes pour in, but none are as poignant as the eulogy given by son Justin, who says his father may have been many things to other people, but to his sons, Trudeau was, above all, "Dad." Trudeau is buried in the family cemetery at St-Remi-de-Napierville, near Montreal.

September 29 - Things finally start looking up for Air Canada after the merger with Canadian Airlines created frustrating problems for both travellers and front-line workers. The Canadian Auto Workers union agrees to allow reservation, check-in and Aeroplan agents at either Air Canada or Canadian Airlines to share the workload. The same month, Air Canada pilots ratify a four-year deal offering job security, improved pensions and salary increases.

October 4 - Prime Minister Jean Chrétien announces that Canada's highest mountain, Mount Logan in Kluane National Park in Yukon, will be renamed Mount Pierre Elliott Trudeau after the late prime minister. The decision prompts outrage from Western Canadians and geologists. Chrétien later says the decision is being reconsidered, although he still favours the idea.

October 5 - Canadian Nobel Prize winner Michael Smith, a leading researcher into cancer, dies in Vancouver of the disease he worked so hard to understand. He was 68. Smith won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1993 for his work on a method of altering DNA to determine its function.

October 16 - Brian Tobin steps down as Newfoundland premier to run for the Liberals in the federal election. The former federal fisheries minister is seen as a star who can shore up Liberal support in Atlantic Canada. The next day, he's sworn in as Industry Minister in Jean Chr&ecaute;tien's cabinet.

October 18 - Finance Minister Paul Martin presents a mini-budget with billions in tax cuts for average Canadians, aggressive debt repayment, but little new spending. He announces about 35-billion dollars in new tax cuts over five years, on top of the 58-billion dollars promised in the February budget. As for the deficit, which now stands at 565-billion dollars, Martin plans to lower it by 10-billion dollars this year alone.

October 20 - Charges are laid against former BC premier Glen Clark in connection with the awarding of a casino license to a friend. Clark is charged with breach of trust and fraud. His neighbour, Dimitrios Pilarinos, faces nine counts -- mostly for fraud. Clark resigned as premier in 1999, several months after the RCMP raided his home as part of a criminal investigation.

October 20 - Bail is denied in Montreal to a man charged with planting firebombs at three Second Cup coffee shops. Rheal Mathieu -- a former member of the Quebec Liberation Front -- faces eight charges. Francophone extremists are alleged to have planted the bombs at businesses with English names.

October 22 - Prime Minister Chrétien calls a federal election for November 27th, saying it's time to choose between the Alliance and the Liberals. Canadian Alliance Leader Stockwell Day, an evangelical Christian, makes no appearances, keeping his pledge to spend Sundays with his family. The election call comes less than three-and-a-half years into Chretien's mandate, prompting Conservative Leader Joe Clark to accuse him of walking off the job and leaving work undone.

October 25 - The Toronto Stock Exchange suffers its largest point decline ever -- pulled down by a sell-off in Nortel Networks. The hi-tech heavyweight had issued a disappointing quarterly report. The T-S-E 300 fell 840.26 points, or eight per cent, closing at 9511.8.

November 27 - The little guy from Shawinigan does it again. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and the Liberals ride another near sweep in Ontario and gains in Quebec and the East to a third consecutive majority government. It's a feat not duplicated since Mackenzie King did it at the end of the Second World War. The Liberals win 172 of the 301 ridings up for grabs. They won 155 in the 1997 election. Chrétien, accused of arrogance by his rivals throughout the campaign, says he is humbled by the win. He says he will do his best "to lead a competent and efficient government."

SOURCE: The Canadian Press.

Copyright Craig I.W. Marlatt