As always as we end a year I look back and at a few Coffeetalks from 2017 that I’d like to repeat. Here’s one from May about Canada’s 150th birthday: Many people might remember our 100th birthday in 1967. The most successful World’s Fair up to that point opened in Montreal. The Toronto Maple Leafs won their 13th, and last so far, Stanley Cup. Ross Thatcher won his second straight majority as Premier of Saskatchewan.
Universal Medicare, which had debuted in this province 20 years earlier, was being implemented across the country, as was the Canada Pension Plan. Both Prime Minister Lester Pearson and Opposition Leader John Diefenbaker announced they were stepping down. They were to be succeeded by Pierre Trudeau and Robert Stanfield. 1967’s top news story was French President Charles DeGaulle’s “Vive le Quebec Libre” (Long Live the Free Quebec) speech in Montreal. I had thought of DeGaulle as a great French war leader and a friend of Canada but when he came out with that, I was one teenager who thought he should take a shut-up pill and go home. ’67 was also a watershed year in pop music as the Beatles, with the release of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, steered Rock & Roll in a new direction. With the benefit of hindsight, I don’t think 2017 was quite the momentous year in Canada as was 1967.