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Archive for February, 2010

1964 — Prime Minister Lester Pearson officially opens the new distinctive square terminal at Toronto International Airport in Malton, northwest of Toronto. For most of the next four decades it is known as Terminal 1.

In 1984, the authorities return the compliment by renaming the airport after the now-deceased former Prime Minister. It becomes Lester B. Pearson International Airport.

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1863Alexander Mackenzie, who would become one of Canada’s most ardently honest Prime Ministers, is chastised in the Assembly for leaking the Ottawa Commission report to Toronto’s Globe.

Mackenzie originally pushed for the establishment of the Ottawa Commission and testified during its hearings. As a stonemason, he was incensed by the delays and bungling that went into constructing the Parliament Buildings. His belief that the report should be publicized no doubt prodded him into leaking it to his friend George Brown, publisher of the Globe.

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1920 — The Duke of Devonshire, Governor General, opens the 4th Session of the 13th Parliament in the newly rebuilt Centre Block on Parliament Hill. At his side is Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden, happy to be back on the Hill.

Since fire destroyed the original Centre Block in 1916, the House has been meeting in the auditorium of the Victoria Memorial Museum (today’s Canada Museum of Nature), forcing some of the museum staff and exhibits to find space elsewhere.

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1892: Justice minister Sir John Thompson assumes Macdonald’s seat in the House at the beginning of the 2nd Session of the 7th Parliament. He sits in the leader’s seat because the Prime Minister, John Abbott, is a Senator without a seat in the House of Commons.

Exactly four years ago, Thompson was introduced to the House at the opening of Parliament by then-Prime-Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald .

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1935 — Prime Minister R.B. Bennett suffers a breathing infection following a speaking tour to vigourously promote his New Deal. The problem persists and is later diagnosed as a problem with the rhythm of his heart called atrial fibrillation.

In the spring, Bennett consults doctors while visiting England, but his health does not improve much. H.H. Stevens, a member of Bennett’s cabinet, resigns from the Conservative party and forms his own Reconstruction party. The Reconstructionists chip into Bennett’s vote base, denying him the ability to win the election in the fall.

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1990Kim Campbell, minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development is appointed by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to be Canada’s first female Justice minister.

The 42-year-old MP from British Columbia was first elected two years ago and almost immediately joined the Mulroney cabinet. In 1993 she becomes the country’s first female National Defence minister.

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1976 — After four ballots, Joe Clark pulls ahead of front-runner Claude Wagner, a former Quebec cabinet minister, to win the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party.

At the end of the first ballot, the young 36-year-old western MP is in third place behind Wagner and lawyer Brian Mulroney. However, three unsuccessful candidates drop out and throw their support to Clark who moves ahead of Mulroney on the second ballot. By the third ballot he’s still behind Wagner. Mulroney is forced to drop off and does not commit his supporters to either candidate. Still, Clark manages to win by a scant 65 ballots on the fourth.

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