The year certainly began harmlessly enough. Broom Hilda was into the thick of belly dancing, the Montreal Canadiens were on top of the league, the Bank of Canada had just moved the prime lending rate to the highest point in history-11.25 per cent-and a young man who looked like the eternal blind date was saying that "Canadians are fatigued of charismatic leadership.” By the time 1979 had ended, Joe Clark’s prediction had come true—he had become the youngest prime minister in Canada’s history and was threatening to become the youngest former prime minister.
The muddy, four-vehicle caravan crunches through the unpaved streets of McBride in eastern B.C. It is coming from the white-sided RCMP barracks just off Main Street. Former RCMP corporal AI Thiel and his family are clearing out the last of their belongings before moving into a log farmhouse on the edge of town.
Lady Antonia Fraser's publishers have just paid the award-winning British biographer a great compliment—the cover of her newly released biography of Charles II, Royal Charles, doesn’t bear her picture. And although that might seem an odd cause for rejoicing, Lady Antonia considers it something of a triumph.
After 10 years of violence, nearly 2,000 dead and the collapse of two systems of government, optimism is not a commodity easily found on the battered streets of Ulster. So the surprising thing about a new all-party conference to be held early in the new year is not that anyone is predicting success but that so few are willing to write it off completely.
There will be some national sharing of Canada's national petroleum wealth, or there wil be no Canadian\ nation. Without some means to share the rewards of selling low-cost oil and gas at high prices, non-Albertans are each going to wind up paying more than $300 per year in unearned tribute to the government of Alberta.
apart from Dolly Parton's continuing double exposure, 1979 was not exactly a year for warm flesh. For whatever reasons, the central players were either long dead (King Tutankhamun), sticky (oil), boring (gold) or a disappointing no-show (International Year of the Child).
At times the wheeling and dealing seemed more like an American political convention. As the delegations huddled in their suites at Caracas’ luxurious Hotel Tamanaco, Venezuelan Oil Minister Humberto Calderón and his aides were wearing out the corridor carpets in an all-out attempt to get OPEC’s act together.
it was a year in which movies reached astonishing new heights. Horror (Alien, Halloween, The Amityville Horror, Dracula, Dawn of the Dead, Phantasm, Nosferatu, Prophecy, When a Stranger Calls) was the hottest ticket going. The gang movies (The Warriors, The Wanderers, Walk Proud, Boulevard Nights) confirmed the fact that there’s nothing as fast—or as fickle—as a fad.
It was one of the longest death rattles in Canadian publishing history. Vancouver’s Talonbooks, foremost publisher of Canadian plays, reluctantly prepared its own obituary early this month, finally succumbing after a relentless, grinding battle against production and retail book costs, which have doubled in the past five years, and advertising expenses, which have spiralled up by 1,600 per cent since 1975.
Bravo for your article on Joan Baez, Baez Gives Voice to Cambodia’s Horrors (Nov. 26). Though she can, at times, be slightly harebrained in her methods, she is first and foremost a great humanitarian. It takes a great deal of courage to stand up for what you believe in, and to fight for the oppressed, and yes, there’s nothing wrong with a good big dose of idealism in a too often selfish and uncaring world.
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