National Newswatch

Today in Canada’s Political History: Mulroney Says NO to Reagan’s Star Wars Defence System

Sep 7 2021 — Arthur Milnes — With the Cold War heating up, then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney delivered a “polite no” on this date in 1985 when Canada was invited by the U.S. Administration of President Ronald Reagan to join the controversial continental missile defence program famously known a “Star Wars.” “Plans by the American administration to counter the Soviet nuclear threat […]

Today in Canada’s Political History: Father of Confederation Sir George-Étienne Cartier’s Birthday

Sep 6 2021 — Arthur Milnes — It was on this date in 1814 that French Canada’s future hero of Confederation, the great Sir George-Étienne Cartier, was born in Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu in what was then Lower Canada.  He went on to become Sir John A. Macdonald’s key French-Canadian ally in the run-up to Confederation.  Unlike so many others of their generation, Macdonald and […]

Today in Canada’s Political History: Charlottetown Conference Begins the March Towards Confederation

Sep 2 2021 — Arthur Milnes — September 2 is a crucial date – and one definitely worth celebrating – on Canada’s political history calendar. It was on this date, in 1864, that the Charlottetown Conference got underway.  The stage had been set when the Maritime delegates had invited representatives from Canada East and Canada West to present their case for a […]

Today in Canada’s Political History: Sir Wilfrid Laurier Welcomes Alberta into Confederation

Sep 1 2021 — Arthur Milnes — The great Sir Wilfrid Laurier was in Edmonton on this date in 1905 to personally welcome Alberta into Confederation (note: Saskatchewan joined the same day). On those days, as on many others during Laurier’s 15-year premiership (1896-1911), the 20th century did indeed seem to belong to Canada. More than 10,000 Albertans gathered that day to […]

Today in Canada’s Political History: PM Mulroney Presides as Quebec City Hosts World’s Second Francophonie Summit

Aug 31 2021 — Arthur Milnes — On August 31, 1987, the eyes of the French-speaking world were on Quebec City as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, on behalf of Canada, hosted the Francophonie Summit. It was only the second time the summit had been held.  It was another example of Prime Minister Mulroney’s deft and more inclusive approach to federalism, with Quebec […]

Today in Canada’s Political History: B.C.’s Rosemary Brown becomes the first Black Woman Elected to a Provincial Legislature

Aug 30 2021 — Arthur Milnes — On this date in 1972 British Columbia’s Rosemary Brown, an immigrant to Canada, broke one of the toughest barriers in Canada, becoming the first Black woman in Canadian history to be elected to a provincial legislature. She served as an MLA until 1986 and later finished a strong second, behind Ed Broadbent, when she sought […]

Today in Canada’s Political History: Hugh Segal Appointed to Senate by PM Paul Martin

Aug 29 2021 — Arthur Milnes — On this date in 2005, Prime Minister Paul Martin reached across the partisan divided and appointed life-long Tory Hugh Segal, who lives here in Kingston, to the Red Chamber. A past chief-of-staff to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and a former senior advisor to legendary Ontario Premier William Davis, Segal’s appointment was celebrated by Canadians of […]

Today in Canada’s Political History: Former Manitoba Premier Gary Doer Appointed Ambassador to the U.S.

Aug 27 2021 — Arthur Milnes — Prime Minister Stephen Harper reached across the partisan divide on this date in 2009, appointing the past NDP Premier of Manitoba, Gary Doer, to the crucial post of Canadian Ambassador to the United States. Doer had served as his province’s Premier for a decade before heading to Washington on Canada’s behalf.  In doing so he […]