Canada in the 1960’s and 1970’s
• The 1960’s was a decade of concentrated social
change. Social movements of the 1960’s included:
• Women’s liberation
• Civil rights
• Free love
• All of these movements shared a desire for the
liberation of the individual. They created a counterculture of youth and freedom, that questioned the
“status quo” of the “establishment”
Silent Spring: The birth of the
Silent Spring is a book written by Rachel Carson and published in 1962.
It is widely credited with helping to launch the modern American
The book documented the effects of pesticides on the environment,
particularly on birds. Carson accused the chemical industry of spreading
misinformation, and public officials of accepting industry claims without
The book argued that uncontrolled and unexamined pesticide use was
harming and even killing not only animals and birds, but also humans.
Its title was meant to evoke a spring season in which no bird songs could
be heard, because they had all vanished as a result of pesticide abuse.
Greenpeace evolved from the peace movement and anti-nuclear protests in
Vancouver, British Columbia, in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
On September 15, 1971, the newly founded Don't Make a Wave Committee sent a
chartered ship, Phyllis Cormack, renamed Greenpeace for the protest, from
Vancouver to oppose United States testing of nuclear devices in Amchitka, Alaska.
The Don't Make a Wave Committee later adopted the name Greenpeace.
In a few years, Greenpeace spread to several countries and started to campaign
on other environmental issues such as commercial whaling and toxic waste.
In the late 1970s, the different regional Greenpeace groups formed Greenpeace
Greenpeace received international attention during the 1980s when the French
intelligence agency bombed the Rainbow Warrior, one of the best-known vessels
operated by Greenpeace, killing one individual.
They also received recognition in the 80’s when in May of 1985, Greenpeace
orchestrated 'Operation Exodus', the evacuation of about 300 Rongelap Atoll
islanders whose home had been contaminated with nuclear fallout from a US
nuclear test which had never been cleaned up and was still having severe health
effects on the locals. Greenpeace has evolved into one of the largest
environmental organizations in the world.
Canada in the 1960’s
• In the early 60’s Canada produced the world’s leading philosopher of
communications Marshal McLuhan.
• He observed that electronic media was becoming more important
• He was made famous by the phrase “ The medium is the message.”
and said that the new types of media would ultimately create a
• He theorized that distinctive national identities would dissolve as the
distances created by geography, succumbing to the instant
communication provided by new technology.
• The 1960’s certainly marked huge changes in the ways in which
Canadian’s perceived themselves.
• We obtained a new national symbol, we instated the official
languages Act and we experienced a huge shift in our national
Canadian Artists and Writers of the
William Robertson Davies was a Canadian novelist, playwright, critic, journalist,
and professor. He was one of Canada's best known and most popular authors
Davies was the founding Master of Massey College, a graduate residential college
associated with the University of Toronto.
Jean Margaret Laurence, was a Canadian novelist and short story writer, one of
the major figures in Canadian literature. She was also a founder of the Writers'
Trust of Canada, a non-profit literary organization that seeks to encourage
Canada's writing community.
William Ormond Mitchell, better known as W.O. Mitchell was a Canadian writer
and broadcaster. His "best-loved" novel is Who Has Seen the Wind (1947), which
portrays life on the Canadian Prairies and sold almost a million copies in Canada.
As a broadcaster, he is known for his radio series Jake and the Kid, which aired on
CBC Radio between 1950 and 1956 and was also about life on the Prairies.
Connecting the Country: Megaprojects of the
50’s and 60’s
The Trans-Canada Highway is a transcontinental federal-provincial highway system that
travels through all ten provinces of Canada between its Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean
It is, along with the Trans-Siberian Highway and Australia's Highway 1, one of the world's
longest national highways, with the main route spanning 8,030 km (4,990 mi).
Construction of the highway began in 1950, however the highway did not officially open
until 1962 and was not complete until 1971.
Canada's population was booming during the 1950s, and energy shortages were
A Canadian company TransCanada PipeLines Ltd. was incorporated in 1951 to undertake
the construction of a natural gas pipeline across Canada. The financing of the project was
split 50-50 between American and Canadian interests.
In 1954 C.D. Howe forced two competing companies to work together, deciding against a
partial American route they used an all-Canadian route
This solution reflected problems encountered with the construction of the Interprovincial
Despite the speed of its construction, the line caused angry debate in Parliament, with
the Opposition arguing that Canadians deserved consideration before American
customers and that "the main pipeline carrying Canadian oil should be laid in Canadian
Canada in the 1960’s: The new Flag
and a pension plan
In 1964 Canadians were involved in an argument over the Canadian flag, many
were attached to the British Union Flag.
However people who viewed themselves as Canadian, and not British, did not
care for it.
In 1963 Prime Minister Lester Pearson unveiled his idea for a new flag and by
1965, we had a brand new flag
Lester B. Pearson established the Canadian Pension Plan in 1965.
By the mid-1990s low contribution rate increase were not sufficient to keep up
with Canada’s aging population.
As a result the total CPP contribution rates for both employee and employer
together were raised.
Canada in the 1960’s:
Freedom of the individual
• In the early and mid-60’s, the desire for freedom was
expressed in long hair, casual dress, and loud rock and
• The decade progressed into protest marches on behalf of
peace, and the civil rights movement
• The new philosophy set individuals above the authority
of groups and what by many were considered outdated
• Government was seen by many as the accomplice of
business, instead of the protector of citizens and the
Teen Culture and the impact of the Baby boom
In the 1960’s young people became the largest demographic group as the baby
boom generation entered their teen years.
Youth-led revolutions in the 20th and 21st centuries attest to this fact.
Organizations of young people, which were often based on a student identity,
were crucial to the American Civil Rights Movement.
These included organizations such as the Southern Student Organizing Committee,
Students for a Democratic Society and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating
Committee, whose role in sit-ins, protests, and other activities of the Civil Rights
movement were crucial to its success.
The Freedom Summer relied heavily on college students; hundreds of students
engaged in registering African Americans to vote, teaching in "Freedom Schools“
The American protests in the Vietnam War were largely student-driven.
Some scholars have claimed that the activism of youth during the Vietnam War
was symbolic of a youth culture whose values were against those of mainstream
In Canada similar protests and youth organizations developed to counter
mainstream Canadian culture.
Canada in the 1960’s:
• Women were ready for liberation. Feminism, became an important
• A dependable birth control pill, introduced in the early 1960’s
made it possible for women to delay or avoid having children. This
in turn made it possible for more women to compete with men in
the business world.
• Women’s groups campaigned for equal rights, equal opportunities
in the job market and an end to discrimination based on sex.
• Prime Minister Pearson set up of Royal Commission on the status
of women, that was actually led by a woman, the first federal
commission ever to be chaired by a woman.
• In the R. v. Morgentaler case in 1988, Canada's abortion law was
struck down by the Supreme Court using the Charter of Rights and
Freedoms, by Henry Morgentaler a leading activist in Canada’s
Free Choice movement
Irene Murdoch: Divorce law in
Canada and the rights of women
Murdoch v. Murdoch  was decision by the Supreme Court of Canada where
the Court denied an abused farm wife any interest in the family farm.
This case is most notable for the public outcry it created at the time
Irene Murdoch, the wife of an Albertan farmer, submitted a claim for half the
interest in the family ranch that was registered under the husband's name. The
question put before the Court was whether there was an implied trust on behalf
of the wife for all her years of labour on the farm.
The Court upheld the trial judge's finding that the wife's labour was not beyond
what was normally expected of a ranch wife and that since there was no financial
contribution thus there could be no resulting trust.
In Irene’s defense it was claimed that the Court did not need to examine intent in
order to find a trust; rather a constructive trust based in equity could be found.
Canadian feminists publicized the case across the country.
In 1973, Irene Murdoch was paid her claim. It is thought that the case helped
bring changes to family law in Canada.
In 1975, Rosemary Brown became the first black woman to run for the leadership
of a Canadian federal party finishing a strong second in that year's New
Democratic Party leadership convention.
After departing politics, she became a Professor of women's studies at Simon
In 1993, she was appointed Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights
Commission, and served until 1996.
In 1995, she was awarded the Order of British Columbia and in 1996 was named
an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Brown was sworn to the Queen's Privy Council for Canada as a member of the
Canadian Security Intelligence Review Committee from 1993 to 1998.
This board is the overseer for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, or CSIS.
She also served on the Order of Canada Advisory Committee from 1999 until her
death in 2003.
She died of a heart attack on April 26, 2003 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Canada Post featured Brown on a Canadian postage stamp released on February 2,
David Suzuki has been known for his TV and radio series and books about nature
and the environment since the mid-1970s.
He is best known as host of the popular and long-running CBC Television science
magazine, The Nature of Things, seen in over forty nations.
He is also well known for criticizing governments for their lack of action to protect
A long time activist to reverse global climate change, Suzuki co-founded the David
Suzuki Foundation in 1990, to work "to find ways for society to live in balance with
the natural world that sustains us."
The Foundation's priorities are: oceans and sustainable fishing, climate change and
clean energy, sustainability, and Suzuki's Nature Challenge.
He is a Companion of the Order of Canada. In 2004, David Suzuki was selected as
the greatest living Canadian in a CBC poll.
The 1967 International and Universal Exposition or Expo 67, as it was
commonly known, was the general exhibition, Category One World's Fair
held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, from April 27 to October 29, 1967.
It is considered to be the most successful World's Fair of the 20th
century, with the most attendees to that date and 62 nations
participating. It also set the single-day attendance record for a world's
Expo 67 was Canada's main celebration during its centennial year.
The fair was originally intended to be held in Moscow, to help the Soviet
Union celebrate the Russian Revolution's 50th anniversary; however, for
various reasons, the Soviets decided to cancel, and Canada was awarded
it in late 1962.
Canada in the 1960’s:
• In 1963 Prime Minister Pearson appointed the Royal Commission on Bilingualism
• The report found that Quebecois were alienated from the rest of Canada, partially
because the French language was not considered equal to English throughout the
• When Pierre Trudeau Became Prime Minister in 1968, he passed the Official
Languages Act in 1969, this gave equal status to English and French officially
making Canada a bilingual country.
• Canada is a member of The Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF),
known informally and more commonly as La Francophonie (or, more simply,
Francophonie) an international organization representing countries and regions
where French is the first ("mother") or customary language; and/or where a
significant proportion of the population are francophones; and/or where there is a
notable affiliation with French culture.
• The term francophonie (with a lowercase "f") also refers to the global community
of French-speaking peoples
• In a majority of member states, French is not the predominant native language.
The prerequisite for admission to the Francophonie is not the degree of French
usage in the member countries, but a prevalent presence of French culture and
language in the member country's identity.
Canada in the 1960’s:
The Quiet Revolution
• More than any other Canadian province, Québec changed
rapidly during the 1960’s.
• These changes were so profound that this period is known
in Québec as the “Revolution Tranquille” or the Quiet
Revolution. The period is called this because though the
changes were radical, they were achieved with out
The Quiet Revolution
The Quiet Revolution began with the Liberal provincial government of Jean
Lesage, who was elected in 1960, shortly after the death of Premier Maurice
Duplessis, whose reign was known by some as the Grande Noirceur (Great
Darkness), but viewed by conservatives as epitomizing a religiously and culturally
In many ways, Duplessis's death in 1959, quickly followed by the sudden death of
his successor Paul Sauvé, served as a trigger for the Quiet Revolution.
Campaigning under the slogans Il faut que ça change (Things have to change) and
Maîtres chez nous (Masters of our own house) Jean Lesage was elected within a
year of Duplessis's death.
It is generally accepted that the revolution ended before the October Crisis of
1970, but Quebec's society has continued to change dramatically since then,
notably with the rise of the sovereignty movement, seen through the election of
the Separatist Parti Québécois (first in 1976), and the formation of a separatist
political party representing Quebec on the federal level, the Bloc Québécois
(formed in 1991), as well as the 1980 and 1995 Sovereignty Referendums
Prior to the 1960s, the government of Quebec was controlled by conservative
Maurice Duplessis, leader of the Union Nationale party. Electoral fraud and
corruption were commonplace in Quebec.
“Vive le Quebec Libre”
French President Charles de Gaulle 1967
Canada in the 1960’s: The Quiet
• Economy: the Quiet Revolution sought to establish a
stronger French presence in the economy of Québec.
• Social Services: They wanted to ensure they had the same
standard of social services as other provinces
• Education: taken from the churches and turned over to a
• More Autonomy: Québec wanted co-operative federalism
• The Que
• Unfortunately none of these steps would help Canada
avoid the crisis between Québec and the rest of Canada
that would occur during the October Crisis, brought on by
the actions of the FLQ
Front de Liberation du Quebec:
• On October 5, 1970 members of the FLQ kidnapped
James Cross the British trade commissioner from his
home. The FLQ sent messages to the media saying
that, they would kill Cross unless the government
released 23 people who were in prison for terrorist
• As a concession to the kidnappers the government
allowed the FLQ manifesto to be broadcast publicly.
• The manifesto argued that in Quebec the English
minority held all positions of power and influence,
while the French majority was disadvantaged.
• Although they disagreed with the FLQ’s tactics, many
people agreed with its analysis of the situation in
• The Quebec government refused to release any
prisoners. Instead it offered to allow the kidnappers
safe passage to another country if they released
• Minutes after the government made this
announcement another cell of the FLQ abducted
Pierre Laporte, the Quebec minister of labor, while
he was playing on his lawn with his children.
• Laporte sent the government a letter pleading for his
life. CBC report of Laporte’s letter
The War Measures Act
• On 16 October, the federal government
stated that because of a state of
“apprehended insurrection” in Quebec,
it was invoking the War Measures Act.
• This gives the authorities the power to
arrest without warrant anyone
suspected of being connected to the
• Over the next few days, hundreds of
people were jailed. (In the end, only 20
people were actually convicted of any
Protest of the War Measures Act at Brandon University during the October
The End of the Crisis
• Pierre Laporte’s body was discovered in the trunk
of a car.
• Police found Cross, who was released after 59 days.
• In exchange for his release, five kidnappers
received safe passage to Cuba.
• Four men were arrested; Paul Rose, his brother
Jacques, Francis Simard, and Bernard Lortie. They
were convicted of Pierre Laporte’s murder
• In January 1971 the army withdrew from Quebec.
• Although the FLQ failed in it’s purpose to
cause Québec to separate, the desire to
separate remains strong in some segments of
• The divisions between French and English in
Canada continues today
• This can be seen in the Bloc Québécois one of
the most powerful political parties in Canada
Pierre Trudeau and Trudeaumania
• Trudeaumania was the nickname given in early 1968 to the excitement
generated by Pierre Trudeau's leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.
• Trudeaumania continued during the his first federal election campaign and
during Trudeau's early years as Prime Minister of Canada.
• Many young people in Canada at this time, especially young women, were
influenced by the 1970s counterculture and identified with Trudeau, a
nonconformist who was relatively young.
• They were dazzled by his charm and good looks, and a large fan base was
established throughout the country
• Trudeau had once sympathized with Marxists and had spent time in the
democratic socialist Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, and many of his
fans were attracted to his socially liberal stances (he legalized homosexuality and
created more flexible divorce laws as Justice Minister under Lester B. Pearson).
• Trudeau was also admired for his laid-back attitude and his celebrity
relationships; he was described as a modern, hip and happening person, he and
as a swinger.
• In 2004, he was voted the third-Greatest Canadian by CBC viewers, after Terry
Fox and Tommy Douglas.
The “Just Society”
Pierre Trudeau used this term to illustrate his vision for Canada
He first used the term in the 1968, at the height of "Trudeaumania“
Unlike the "Great Society" of US President Lyndon B. Johnson, the label Just
Society was not attached to a specific set of reforms, but rather applied to all
Trudeau's policies, from multiculturalism to the creation of the Charter of Rights
Trudeau defined a just society before becoming the Prime Minister of Canada as:
The Just Society will be one in which the rights of minorities will be safe from the
whims of intolerant majorities.
The Just Society will be one in which those regions and groups which have not
fully shared in the country's affluence will be given a better opportunity.
The Just Society will be one where such urban problems as housing and pollution
will be attacked through the application of new knowledge and new techniques.
The Just Society will be one in which our Indian and Inuit populations will be
encouraged to assume the full rights of citizenship through policies which will give
them both greater responsibility for their own future and more meaningful
equality of opportunity.
The Just Society will be a united Canada, united because all of its citizens will be
actively involved in the development of a country where equality of opportunity is
ensured and individuals are permitted to fulfill themselves in the fashion they
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) was formed in
1968 by the Canadian government under Pierre Trudeau.
CIDA administers foreign aid programs in developing countries, and
operates in partnership with other Canadian organizations in the public
and private sectors as well as other international organizations.
Its mandate is to "support sustainable development in developing
countries in order to reduce poverty and contribute to a more secure,
equitable, and prosperous world."
The Foreign Investment Review Agency
The Foreign Investment Review Agency (FIRA) was established by Pierre
Trudeau in 1973 to ensure that the foreign acquisition and establishment
of businesses in Canada was beneficial to the country.
The 1957 report of the Gordon Commission (formally titled Royal
Commission on Canada's Economic Prospects) firmly planted foreign
investment on the political agenda.
In 1968 Watkins report (known formally as Foreign Ownership and the
Structure of Canadian Industry), called for a national policy capable of
handling Canada’s interests in the age of the multinational corporation.
The FIRA was placed under the jurisdiction of the Department of Industry,
Trade and Commerce.
Takeovers were assessed based on their contribution to job creation,
Canadian participation in management, competition with existing
industries, new technology, and compatibility with federal and provincial
When Prime Minister Brian Mulroney came to office in 1985, the agency
was renamed Investment Canada and its mandate drastically reduced.