Archive for September, 2009

Sep301977 — The vaccine for swine flu that has been in storage for nearly a year is about to expire and will be flushed away. Health Minister Marc Lalonde had announced the intention of vaccinating nine million Canadians even though there were no cases of swine flu in the country at the time.

The government of Pierre Trudeau was following the lead of President Gerald Ford in the U.S. who had introduced a flu vaccination program after the outbreak of swine flu cases south of the border. The pandemic never really happened, turning the vaccine programs into a fiasco.


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Sep291911William Lyon Mackenzie King offers to write Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s biography. He has the time because he recently lost his seat in the House of Commons and will be resigning as Labour minister with the defeat of the Laurier government.

Laurier agrees to the idea, but it’s never pursued. King becomes chairman of the Ontario General Reform Association and serves as a consultant to the Rockefellers before returning to politics to become Canada’s longest-serving Prime Minister.

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Sep282000Pierre Trudeau dies in Montreal of prostate cancer. He was also suffering from Parkinson’s disease. After retiring from politics, he worked for the Montreal law firm Heenan Blaikie until his death.

Trudeau’s body lies in state in Parliament’s Centre Block before it is taken by train to Montreal for a state funeral at Notre-Dame Basilica. The service includes a moving eulogy by his oldest son, Justin. Trudeau is buried in the family crypt at St-Rémi-de-Napierville Cemetery in St-Rémi, Quebec.

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Sep271943 –Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King learns that his nephew, who is serving in the Canadian forces, is missing in action in the Mediterranean and presumed dead.

His nephew, the youngest son of King’s brother Max, was a physician. He bore his uncle’s name: William Lyon Mackenzie King.

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Sep261955 — Jean-Paul St. Laurent, the son of Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent, wins the by-election in Temiscouata, Quebec, becoming the third child of a Prime Minister to sit in the House of Commons. The other two were Hugh Macdonald and Charles Hibbert Tupper.

The Temiscouata seat became vacant when the Liberal incumbant, Jean-Francois Pouliot, was appointed to the Senate. Jean-Paul goes on to win re-election in 1957, but is defeated in the 1958 election.

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Sep251926 — After less than three months as Prime Minister, Arthur Meighen steps down and William Lyon Mackenzie King returns to the top job.

At the beginning of the summer, Governor General Lord Byng had asked Meighen to form a government after King resigned. Meighen then appointed an ‘acting’ cabinet in an effort to avoid having the ministers seek re-election. The move triggered a non-confidence vote, forcing the Conservatives to call a summer election that was won by the Liberals.

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Sep241891 — Like his predecessor Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s new Prime Minister John Abbott supports the idea of letting the courts decide the legality of Manitoba abandonning publicly funded French schools. The government’s response to the Manitoba challenge was first announced last year by Justice Minister Sir John Thompson.

Although the Supreme Court of Canada overturns the Manitoba legislation the following month, the issue drags on in the courts for years.

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