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 counter-culture
of youth and freedom, that questioned the
“status quo” of the “establishment”
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of groups and what by many were considered outdated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 attest to this fact. Organizations of young people, which
were often based on a student identity, were crucial to the American Civil Rights
• sit-ins, protests, and other activities of the Civil Rights movement were crucial to
• 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 of 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.
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
• Why do you think she gave it that title?
• 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 Don't Make a Wave Committee sent a 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.
• 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.
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.
• Murdoch v. Murdoch (1973) was a decision by the Supreme Court
of Canada in which the Court denied an abused farm wife any
interest in the family farm.
• The Court found 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.
• Canadian feminists publicized the case across the country and there
was public outcry.
• Irene Murdoch was later 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,
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
than print, which would provide greater global communication and
blur national identities.
• He was made famous by the phrase “ The medium is the message.”
and said that the new types of media would ultimately create a
Connecting the Country: Megaprojects of the
50’s and 60’s
• The Trans-Canada Highway is a federal-provincial highway system that travels through
all ten provinces of Canada from coast to coast.
• It is 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
• 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 soil".
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.
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.
• 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 a first, a significant proportion of the population are
francophones, 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
Canada in the 1960’s:
The Quiet Revolution
• More than any other Canadian province, Québec changed rapidly during the
• 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 violence.
• 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 pure Quebec.
• 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.
“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
• 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.
• Was the decision to suspend rights justified? Why or
• 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
1995 Quebec referendum
Acceptez-vous que le Québec devienne
souverain, après avoir offert formellement
au Canada un nouveau partenariat
économique et politique, dans le cadre du
projet de loi sur l'avenir du Québec et de
l'entente signée le 12 juin 1995?
Do you agree that Quebec should become
sovereign after having made a formal offer
to Canada for a new economic and political
partnership within the scope of the bill
respecting the future of Quebec and of the
agreement signed on June 12, 1995?
Yes or no Votes Percentage
Yes 2,302,648 49.3%
No 2,368,360 50.7%
Valid votes 4,671,008 98.18%
Invalid or blank votes 86,501 1.82%
Total votes 4,757,509 100.00%
Voter turnout 93.52%
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”
• Trudeau first used the term in the 1968, at the height of "Trudeaumania“
• A vision applied to all Trudeau's policies, from multiculturalism to the creation of
the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
• 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.
• 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.