Canada. At least 9 people were killed in the remote town
of Kangiqsualujjuac (in Quebec) by a snow avalanche that
crushed the school in the city where residents gathered for
New Year's celebrations on January 1. New Year's fireworks
probably triggered the avalanche.
On February 4, a three-year agreement was signed between
the federal government and provincial governments (except
Quebec) on how healthcare and social welfare should be
funded. The agreement allows the federal government to
establish and fund social programs without the consent of
the provinces. Healthcare received an additional grant of
11.5 billion Canadian dollars for the next five years in the
new budget presented by Finance Minister Paul Martin in
February. The increase means that the federal health care
budget has been restored to the same level as before 1995,
when the Liberal government cut health care grants to the
provinces to reduce the federal budget deficit. The Canadian
economy has improved and is now quite strong. Unemployment
fell to 7.8% in January 1999, the lowest since June 1990.
Countryaah official website, the Progressive Conservative Party, PCP, had a number of
successes in various provincial elections during the year.
PCP won the elections in Ontario June 3, in New Brunswick
June 7, and in Nova Scotia July 27. The electoral victory in
Ontario, the most populous of Canada's provinces, was a huge
success for the PCP, working hard to try to build a new
strong political base after its disastrous election defeat
in the federal election in 1993. The party received 45.1% of
the electorate's votes, giving 59 seats in Ontario's
parliament, the Liberal Party gained 39.8% and 35 seats and
the New Democratic Party 12.6% and 9 seats in parliament.
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien appointed Adrienne
Clarkson new governor after Romeo LeBlanc, who resigned in
October 1999. Clarkson hails from a Chinese ethnic minority
in Hong Kong and came to Canada as a refugee. 1942. She
previously worked as a journalist and is the first immigrant
to be appointed Governor General of Canada.
At the June parliamentary elections, the Liberals lost
their absolute majority in parliament, and therefore formed
the first minority government in Canada in 25 years. As a
result of the financial scandal, the party lost 30 seats,
thereby losing its 11-year monopoly in power. The party got
135 of Parliament's 308 seats; the Conservatives 99; the
separatist Bloc Quebecois 54 and the leftist New Democratic
Party got 19.
The biggest victor of the election was unconditional Bloc
Quebecois, who had just 33 of the 75 seats in Montreal
before the election. The election gave them a 21-seat
increase - largely at the Liberals' expense - and it opened
up a new referendum on the province's independence. "The
only Quebecs to trust are Bloc Quebecois," declared the
bloc's chairman, Gilles Duceppe, in front of hundreds of
cheering supporters in Montreal.
In September, Paul Martin extended General Governor
Adrienne Clarkson's term by one year. Otherwise, it would
run out on October 7, 2004.
The corruption scandal that broke out in 2004 led to Paul
Martin's fall in November when he lost a vote of confidence
in parliament. In January 2006, the post of prime minister
was taken over by conservative Stephen Harper after 12 years
of Liberal rule.
Following extensive investigations involving more than
400 police officers, Toronto police arrested 22 people in
June 2006, accused of planning bomb attacks in Canada.
Seventeen of those arrested were subsequently put on trial.
Authorities stated to have confiscated 3 tons of ammonium
nitrate. A fertilizer that can also be used in the
manufacture of bombs. This was 3 times the amount used in
1995 at the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people.
In May, Parliament voted to extend Canada's military
presence in Afghanistan until 2009. Together with British,
Australian and Danish forces, they constitute NATO's
occupation force in southern Canada. Other NATO countries
were unwilling to deploy troops to war-torn southern
Afghanistan, and in early 2008 this led to an internal
crisis in NATO. By this time Canada had already lost over
100 soldiers, demanding more troops from other NATO
countries. it was not until April 2008 that France agreed to
send 2,000 soldiers to assist the occupying forces in the
southern part of the country.
In February 2008, it was revealed that in May 2005, two
Conservative party officials had offered Independent MP
Chuck Cadman $ 1 million. US $ to vote to bring down the
Liberal government. Prime Minister Harper admitted that he
knew the matter and had warned the two officials but had
done nothing to stop the attempt at political voting.
Although such acts are punishable by Canadian law, the
Canadian police decided in April to refrain from raising
charges - "for lack of evidence".
The provincial elections in Quebec in March 2007 made
significant progress to the party Democratique du Quebec
(ADQ), which advocates for the province's autonomy within
Canada. ADQ became the second largest party after the
Liberals, banishing Bloc Quebecois to third place.