There was a time at the end of the ’60s when the words Hall-Dennis were virtually synonymous in Canada with the revolution taking place in the nation’s classrooms. The vast social upheaval of that decade wrought enormous changes in almost every facet of life, but developments in one particular field—education—produced more than their share of controversy.
For its 25th anniversary celebrations this year, Simpsons-Sears Ltd. tried to assemble staff recollections about its beginnings. Among those interviewed was Chairman Jack Barrow, in 1952 a buyer for the Simpsons, Ltd. mail-order division which formed the basis of Simpsons-Sears.
We have all learned to live with a good many shifts in cultural attitudes, many of them of a sexual nature, in the past two decades. The love that once dared not speak its name, for instance, now shouts it from the rooftops. Item: The recently formed Gaystars XI, the first homosexual soccer team, the players’ hair dyed blue, has registered with the Sussex Football Federation and challenged Coventry City to a match, if only to prove that homosexuals can play as well as heterosexuals.
It was a dazzling display of political pragmatism (some might call it cynicism) that demonstrated why the Liberals have been in power in Ottawa for 60 of the last 82 years. With its right hand, the government reached out and grabbed the Conservatives’ platform, and with its left it stole a few planks from the NDP as well (see box).
So, the public’s lost interest in national unity. Perhaps one reason is that, lacking an outright civil war on the books, we see Canada as the tiny perfect country that will carry on forever. The dirt-under-the-fingernails reality strains with power plays and previous separatism ventures.
Summer sayings of Chairman Foth: The country is split on Bobby Orr—50 per cent hoping he makes it, the other 50 per cent wishing he hadn’t tried. Stay away from people you have never seen laugh. They’re not only tedious, they’re dangerous. It is hard to imagine what frightens the Canadian voter the most, the prospect of Sinclair Stevens as finance minister or another young Liberal lawyer doing on-the-job training in the same post.
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