Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Cdn Annual Review 1979

Cdn Annual Review 1979

Copyright Date: 1981
Pages: 400
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Cdn Annual Review 1979
    Book Description:

    Authoritative and eminently readable, the articles can be read consecutively for interest and information, or they can be spot-read with ease to locate particular information.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7193-5
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Canadian Calendar
    (pp. xi-xiv)

      (pp. 3-4)

      The year 1979 witnessed the election and then defeat in the House of Commons of the first Conservative government in sixteen years, the continuing constitutional debate between Ottawa and the provinces, and the Quebec referendum debate. As the Canadian people seemed to watch from the sidelines, politicians and special interest groups advocated widely differing views of Canada and its future. The December 13 defeat of the Clark government and the growth of regionalism as a dominant force in Canadian politics gave many a sense of unease by the end of the year.

      Yet the May 22 election of a minority...

    • Parliament and politics
      (pp. 5-126)

      In 1979 partisan politics held centre stage. Parliament was in session for only ninety-five days, legislative accomplishments were few, and the country’s pressing problems received little sustained attention as the national parties struggled for electoral advantage. Federal-provincial negotiations were for the most part suspended also, waiting for the election of May 22 and then for the new Conservative government to get organized. In any case, all discussions were held under the long shadow of the Quebec referendum, and few significant agreements were reached. Though the referendum was postponed until 1980, its imminence brought forth some important constitutional proposals and a...

    • The national economy
      (pp. 127-182)

      The change in government had no noticeable effect on the direction of economic policy. The Conservatives had promised during the election campaign to adopt policies quite different from those deemed to have been mindlessly pursued by the previous Liberal governments to deal with unemployment, inflation, the balance of payments, interest rates, and the revitalization of Canadian industry. However, once in power the Conservatives tended to fall into the same pattern of ‘muddling along’ that had characterized the previous Liberal government. This was partially a function of the short tenure of the Conservative government and hence its inability to formulate any...

    • External affairs and defence
      (pp. 183-266)

      In 1979 the major development in Canadian external affairs, as in Canadian politics, was the election of a new Progressive Conservative government and its subsequent defeat in the Commons. The election brought to office a new cabinet with different priorities whose members had to go through a period of relative inaction and delay while they familiarized themselves with all but the most immediate issues of their portfolios. The early fall of the new government brought an abrupt halt to several planned policy moves, such as the tabling of the working papers to initiate a review of Canadian foreign and aid...


      (pp. 269-270)

      It was a year for provincial elections. Of the five electoral campaigns – Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island – only the latter produced a change in government, when the Conservatives under Angus MacLean ousted the last Liberal provincial government in Canada. Although the elections strengthened the position of Premier Lougheed and probably weakened those of Premiers Hatfield of New Brunswick and Bennett of British Columbia, on the whole the electorate seemed satisfied to maintain the political status quo. With the Newfoundland election Premier Peckford emerged as an influential figure and immediately made his presence felt...

    • Ontario
      (pp. 271-292)

      The attention of Ontario residents was directed more to national than to provincial politics in 1979. Ontario voters played a central role in the federal election victory of Joe Clark’s Conservatives on May 22, and throughout the year the government and people of Ontario were forced to concern themselves with major events outside the province on two principal fronts. First, debate continued over Quebec sovereignty (and the degree of association a sovereign Quebec could expect with the rest of Canada). Second, there was increasing pressure from oil-producing provinces to raise the price of that commodity, so vital to the health...

    • Quebec
      (pp. 292-309)

      The great referendum suspense drama continued in 1979. The historic event could not be much longer in coming, however, because the Parti québécois government published its White Paper on sovereignty-association and tabled in the National Assembly the question to be submitted to Quebeckers in the referendum. On the other side the federalist forces would be able to base their arguments on the Report of the Task Force on Canadian Unity and on the constitutional proposals of the Liberal Party of Quebec promised for January 1980. Everything pointed to a weighty debate in depth on the future of Quebec and of...

    • Nova Scotia
      (pp. 309-316)

      The first full year of Conservative Premier John M. Buchanan’s administration was a quiet one politically. Energy matters were prominent, restraint on public spending was emphasized, and a major innovation was made in labour law. A reorganization of policy and administrative controls and a cabinet shuffle were the chief events in government.

      Nova Scotian politics were dominated by the energy problem. Totally dependent upon imports for petroleum, and faced by the second-highest electrical costs in Canada, Nova Scotia embarked upon important energy conservation and fuel substitution programs. The possibility of oil discoveries off the Nova Scotian coast provided some hope...

    • New Brunswick
      (pp. 316-326)

      With his narrowest majority in his ten-year rule as premier, Richard Hatfield managed to give his Progressive Conservative government an unusually low profile, a ploy greatly helped by events in Ottawa and Quebec. When a potentially explosive issue appeared, the wily Tory leader skilfully defused it in one of several ways. Standing committees of the Legislature were constantly travelling about, hearing briefs on energy and changes in family law. A special two-man commission was named to study school board districts as pressure mounted to create two jurisdictions, one French and the other English. In the case of the stormy Acadian...

    • Manitoba
      (pp. 326-334)

      The 1979 legislative session was a relatively quiet one, and the most significant political events of the year took place outside the Legislature. The governing Progressive Conservatives continued the restraint programme and claimed advances in the economic sphere. The New Democrats elected a new leader, but had to cope with some internal squabbling. And each of the three major parties emerged from a series of October by-elections with a victory to its credit.

      The session opened on February 15 and closed on June 16. The throne speech promised to rationalize the federal and provincial tax rebate systems; to investigate the...

    • British Columbia
      (pp. 334-352)

      Social Credit Premier W.R. Bennett began and ended the year in deep trouble both with his own party and with important elements of his constituency, most notably the business community. The problem was an inability to set a clear course for British Columbia public affairs and a series of political scandals that the Socreds were unable to deal with effectively. In May, however, the Social Credit Party did manage to receive a slim majority from the electorate. Pyrrhic or not, the victory was Mr Bennett’s, and on May 11 he was still premier. He then set out to correct the...

    • Prince Edward Island
      (pp. 352-359)

      The Island tiptoed into a provincial election, and for the rest of 1979 took a rest. Even political change caused little excitement because it was generally expected.

      It was obvious early in the year that the legislature, elected in 1978, could scarcely function, with sixteen Liberals, fifteen Progressive Conservatives, and one vacancy. Too much rested on the Speaker, whose impartiality would be threatened. As a leading federal authority on parliamentary rules, Stanley Knowles, said in aGuardiantelephone interview, if a government cannot survive a motion of non-confidence on its own strength it should not be up to the Speaker...

    • Saskatchewan
      (pp. 359-370)
      J.R. MILLER

      It seemed as if ‘next year’ had finally arrived in ‘next year country.’ Agriculture overcame climatic problems to register good gains, and the mineral sector made amazing advances. Politically, the province experienced a quiet year. The legislative sessions suggested that the New Democrat government, enjoying a renewed lease on power after the 1978 election, was more interested in consolidation than innovation.

      Both legislative sessions were distinguished by the absence of controversial legislation, if not by the absence of controversy. The 110 bills introduced in the spring session were largely of a housekeeping nature, the only exceptions being a programme aimed...

    • Alberta
      (pp. 370-383)

      Public life in Alberta during 1979 was highlighted by the overwhelming victory of the Conservative Party in the nineteenth provincial election and the continued growth in government revenues from the sale of natural resources which facilitated substantial increases in government expenditures along with reduced levels of taxation.

      In early January political activists began to second-guess Premier Peter Lougheed regarding the date of an expected winter election. Most pundits felt the premier would utilize the acrimony arising out of a federal-provincial conference in early February to justify an election call for early March. Mr Lougheed pointedly refrained from picking a fight...

    • Newfoundland and Labrador
      (pp. 383-391)

      The year that marked the thirtieth anniversary of Newfoundland’s entry into confederation was one of optimism. Everywhere there were signs of growing confidence both in the potential for economic development and in the ability of the province to manage its affairs. More particularly, among the people of the province there emerged a new sense of being about to assume command of their own destinies.

      In the Legislature the year began quietly enough. The opposition had been somewhat subdued by the involvement of its leader in the incident of the leaked police reports on the fire in Dr Tom Farrell’s apartment....

    • The Yukon
      (pp. 391-399)

      The Yukon’s major event in 1979 was the creation of a fully elected cabinet, responsible to the legislative assembly on all matters of Yukon jurisdiction. Whether this represented an advance towards self-government would ultimately be decided by its effect on the constitutional aspects of a negotiated land claims settlement. It did serve to focus decision-making on issues of local concern. Except for politics, it was a year of waiting. The economy declined, the Alaska Highway gas pipeline receded into the future, and land claims negotiations made little apparent progress.

      Election returns for the sixteen-member Yukon Legislative Assembly in November 1978...

    • The Northwest Territories
      (pp. 399-406)

      The Northwest Territories had a definite change of government in 1979, proving that real change is possible without a party system.

      The 8th Legislative Assembly, which had been elected in 1975, came to the end of its legal term on March 31. Nine of its fifteen members were of native ancestry, a ratio just marginally higher than that of the population as a whole. However, during its term the 8th Assembly was frequently seen to be at cross-purposes with the native associations.

      Its last session ran from January 19 to February 16 and from March 28 to 30. Much of...

  7. Obituaries
    (pp. 407-410)
  8. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 411-412)
  9. Index of names
    (pp. 413-420)
  10. Index of subjects
    (pp. 421-428)