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Cdn Annual Review 1981

Cdn Annual Review 1981

Copyright Date: 1984
Pages: 504
  • Book Info
    Cdn Annual Review 1981
    Book Description:

    TheCanadian Annual Reviewhas become an indispensable reference over the years. This is its twenty-second edition.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7195-9
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  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. 3-6)

      During 1981 the political debate in Parliament focused almost exclusively on the constitution and the state of the economy. With respect to the latter the government tried to defend itself against both the Tories and the New Democrats who attacked Liberal economy policy throughout the year. The Conservatives, at least in part, continued to be motivated by their defeat in the 1980 general election, while the New Democrats tried to improve their visibility and image by advocating alternative policies to those presented by the government.

      Politically and legally the patriation of the Canadian constitution dominated the political arena and agenda...

    • Parliament and politics
      (pp. 7-206)

      Seldom has an issue so dominated Canadian politics as did constitutional reform in 1981. ‘Au fil des jours et des mois,’ wrote one parliamentary observer (Claude Turcotte,Le Devoir, December 29), ‘le mot “historique” revenait régulièrement dans le vocabulaire des parlementaires à l’occasion d’un vote, d’un debate ou d’une réunion.’ In the oft-told story of Canada’s development from colony to nation, it was the final chapter. After fifty-four years it brought to a close the efforts of seven prime ministers, dozens of provincial premiers, and thousands of bureaucrats to patriate the constitution and decide upon a means by which Canadians...

    • The national economy
      (pp. 207-270)

      Canada’s economic performance on a year-to-year basis has been mixed. After experiencing no real growth in 1980, the Canadian economy grew by three per cent during 1981. While this was an obvious improvement and equal to the expansion in real gnp in 1979, the growth in 1981 was well below the average growth rate of 4.6 per cent registered over the period 1971 to 1978.

      Business investment provided the major stimulus in 1981, expanding by 6.9 per cent in real terms. However, though this increase was substantially higher than the average 5 per cent increase over the period 1971 to...

    • External affairs and defence
      (pp. 271-340)

      The two main themes in External Affairs during 1981 were Canadian-American relations and so-called North-South issues in relations between the industrial nations and the developing nations. The coming to power of the Reagan administration in the United States starkly illustrated the divergence between the economic philosophies of the two governments. Tension arose especially over American opposition to Canada’s Foreign Investment Review Act and National Energy Program with a growing rhetoric of threatened retaliation in Congress. The apparent rise of forces of economic protectionism in both countries suggested the danger of continuing strains in the relationship in the future. On North-South...


      (pp. 343-344)

      On the electoral front provincial elections were held in four provinces – Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. For many observers the electoral victory of the Parti québécois was considered remarkable given the results of the 1980 referendum and the low political fortunes of the pq prior to the election. The Quebec outcome was deemed a personal defeat for Claude Ryan, and it appeared likely that the Liberals would reassess his leadership. In the case of Ontario the Tories and Premier Bill Davis finally obtained the legislative majority which had eluded them in the two previous elections. This meant the...

    • Ontario
      (pp. 345-367)

      For Ontario, 1981 was election year. The Progressive Conservative government of Premier William Davis was returned to office with the legislative majority it had been denied on two previous occasions, and the province was thus virtually assured of experiencing more than forty years of continuous administration by the same political party. The year also saw the province actively involved in the constitutional negotiations that culminated in the federal-provincial accord of November 5. On the economic front, bad news continued to prevail, with rising unemployment, high prices, and limited growth as in many other provinces. This economic distress was accompanied by...

    • Quebec
      (pp. 367-381)

      The year 1981 was featured by a remarkable election victory for the Parti québécois, and by a no less remarkable defeat for this party in the matter of the constitution.

      After its election triumph on April 13, the Parti québécois was confronted by a major constitutional crisis and by a severe economic slump.

      The Quebec government seemed somewhat winded as it began its second mandate, and it enacted very little legislation. It passed only about thirty public bills during the year. Members sat for the short sixth session and end of the 31st Legislature March 10-12, and for three sessions...

    • Nova Scotia
      (pp. 381-388)

      The year 1981 saw Nova Scotians endure a police strike in Halifax, a generally declining economy, and a provincial election. The important Walker Commission on Public Education Finance issued its findings in March. Hopeful signs for the future included federal-provincial agreements to revitalize Sydney Steel and a resolution to the longstanding federal-provincial conflict over offshore jurisdiction. The legislative session was widely and correctly perceived as a pre-election exercise, especially after the Buchanan government presented its budget in April.

      The third session of the Fifty-Second General Assembly of Nova Scotia sat for sixteen weeks (February 19 to March 13, March 23...

    • New Brunswick
      (pp. 388-396)

      Premier Richard Hatfield’s continued mastery over New Brunswick’s political scene stood out in sharp relief when contrasted with the terrible state of the provincial economy. The unemployed rate rose steadily throughout the year to reach record levels as the forest industry went into what really was a depression. Only heavy federal funding through a bewildering number of support programs kept New Brunswick’s economic head above water.

      Lieutenant Governor Hédard Robichaud read his last throne speech on March 25 (he resigned in November and was succeeded by a bilingual anglophone historian, Dr George Stanley). At first glance the speech contained little...

    • Manitoba
      (pp. 396-404)

      Manitoba changed governments in 1981, defeating the Lyon government after a single term of office. This took place in spite of the apparent promise of megaproject development.

      The Legislature resumed on February 3 and adjourned in the early hours of May 27. The session the year before had been an activist one, spoiled by bad publicity and some pratfalls resulting from poorly prepared bills. Consequently 1981 was quieter, and the legislation introduced was mostly non-controversial.

      The budget was brought down on April 14 by the new finance minister, Brian Ransom, who had been appointed to the post in January. There...

    • British Columbia
      (pp. 404-417)

      In 1975 New Democrat Premier David Barrett, faced by a sharp decline in government resource revenues and the prospect of continuing economic difficulties, had sought to solve his problems by calling a snap election and starting over. He gambled and lost. In 1981 Social Credit Premier W.R. Bennett was faced with even worse problems; he decided not to gamble. The prospect of an election in the province continued to be a news item throughout the year, but the governing Socreds did not issue election writs. A troubled economy coupled with continuing government scandals and embarrassments were undoubtedly the main reason...

    • Prince Edward Island
      (pp. 417-423)

      Changes in political leadership and the pressures of financial restraints and energy problems dominated the Island’s public life in 1981.

      The Legislature opened on February 19, and the throne speech highlighted the government’s view, frequently expressed in recent years, that nothing short of a fundamental change in the attitude of Islanders would enable them to solve their current difficulties. ‘It is clear,’ declared the lieutenant governor, ‘that we are presently in the midst of a profound change. Many of the unrealistic assumptions and expectations of the past few decades must be discarded. A new view of society, and of ourselves,...

    • Saskatchewan
      (pp. 423-433)
      J.R. MILLER

      A quiet year produced mixed results. Few changes occurred in provincial politics, and dramatic developments in federal-provincial relations had little impact on the balance of party forces. Although the government performed unimpressively, the opposition proved unable to capitalize on the opportunity. The economy performed well by national standards but only adequately by the measurements Saskatchewan was used to. Grain farmers did well, but cattlemen had another bad year. In the crucial mining industry, the part of the economy on which the government had pinned its hopes of development through state enterprise, there were definite signs of coming stagnation among the...

    • Alberta
      (pp. 433-446)

      The central theme of Alberta politics and public affairs in 1981 was perhaps ‘threatened prosperity.’ The bitterness and conflict between the Alberta government and the national government that had been so pronounced in the late months of 1980 continued to grow during 1981, overshadowing the continued strong showing of the provincial economy and dominating the political scene. Controversy over constitutional change and oil pricing continued, and while the separatist movements faltered somewhat from their ominously strong showing in the fall of 1980, they remained a feature of provincial politics to which all parties and leaders had to address themselves. Fittingly...

    • Newfoundland and Labrador
      (pp. 446-455)

      The year 1981 commenced on a note of hopeful expectancy that both the flagging economy, depressed by high interest rates, and the lull following the first speculative burst of oil-related activity were temporary phenomena. Indeed, Finance Minister John Collins in his budget address of April 14, assuming that a measure of recovery was imminent, predicted for the fiscal year an increase in gross domestic product of 3 per cent in real terms as contrasted with the disappointing decline of 3.7 per cent during fiscal 1980.

      It was, however, clear that the pot at the end of Mr Collins’s rainbow was...

    • The Yukon
      (pp. 455-462)

      In the seventies, the emergence of Beaufort Sea oil and gas as a factor in continental energy policies brought increased attention to the Yukon. The isolation it had enjoyed from national and international concern since the Second World War was dramatically altered. The resulting mood in the territory was a sense of inevitable and rapid change. By 1981 it had become obvious that change was not to be rapid, and the issues of 1981 were therefore those of introversion. There was a preoccupation with local controversies in which the key element was pushing and shoving among federal agencies, the cabinet...

    • The Northwest Territories
      (pp. 462-468)

      During 1981 political events in the Northwest Territories were marked by growing public awareness of federal/territorial issues and the effects of political decisions on the North. Northern groups, wary of the implications of the proposed constitution and federal oil and gas legislation, pressed for greater federal consideration. The widespread concern over constitutional issues and aboriginal rights across the Territories, coupled with growing political consensus, led to unprecedented action by the Legislative Assembly during the year.

      Early in January two additional members of the Legislative Assembly, one representing the central Arctic and the other the eastern Arctic, were nominated by the...

  7. Obituaries
    (pp. 469-472)
  8. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 473-474)
  9. Index of names
    (pp. 475-482)
  10. Index of subjects
    (pp. 483-489)