In the years after W.W.II, Canada experienced a huge wave of European immigration, with a further influx of Asians, Arabs, Indians, Italians, Hispanics and Caribbeans arriving in the 1960s. The post-war era was a period of economic expansion and prosperity. In 1967 Canada celebrated its 100th anniversary with Expo, the World's Fair in Montreal, as one of the highlights.
The social upheavals of the 1960s brought to the surface the festering resentments that French-speaking Quebec had with English-speaking Canada. In 1976 the Parti Quebecois (PQ), advocating separatism, won the provincial election in Quebec, though sentiments on the issue have since waxed and waned. In the 1980 sovereignty referendum, the separatists were defeated by 60% of the vote. In October 1995, the vote was extremely close, with Canada coming within a few thousand votes of breaking up.
The problem is structural. The anglophone provinces of Canada want a strong central government as a protective bulwark against an excessive American influence on their distinct culture while the Francophone Quebec province needs a strong provincial government to guarantee the survival and development of their own equally distinctive culture. An asymmetric federation in which the anglophone provinces could delegate more powers in culturally sensitive areas to the federal government if they wish to than Quebec feels it can afford to, could satisfy the legitimate aspirations of both parties but, so far, this solution has been rejected by the other provinces who do not accept that Quebec would have more autonomy than they do.
Other issues of concern in the early years of the new millennium include high taxes, preserving generous social programs and keeping our foreign policy independent from that of our powerful southern neighbour.
Most if not all the photos I have taken in Canada are of my family and friends
and are of little interest for this website. I did however find a few that have some
descriptive value. Here they are in chronological order.
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In 1974, Soquip considered taking a small participation in Panarctic Oils Ltd, exploring for oil and gas in the Canadian arctic. This led me to visit a number of arctic sites, from Point Barrow in Alaska to Inuvik and Tuktoyuktuk in the Mackenzie delta on the Canadian coast of Beaufort Sea to Rae Point on Melville Island and to a very prolific gas well on King Christian Island at a latitude of 77.45.9 degrees north. This photo was taken in Resolute Bay on Cornwallis island during a fuelling stop on a flight to Panarctic's Rae Point base camp.
At that time, (1974), the magnetic north pole was located in Bathurst Island almost two degrees south of King Christian Island. I could therefore wager a beer that I had travelled north of the North Pole and win (magnetic north pole that is).
(The magnetic north pole has drifted north since to a latitude of about 82 degrees in 2002.)
In 1976 I attended a meeting of federal and provincial Ministers of Energy in St-John's Newfoundland as advisor to minister Cournoyer of Quebec.
This photo shows the well sheltered port of St-John's as seen from the nearby Signal Hill.
"Cabot's Tower" was built here in 1897 to commemorate the 400 anniversary of Giovanni Caboto's landing in Bonavista.
Four years later, in December 1901, Guglielmo Marconi received the first trans Atlantic wireless signal fully justifying the hill's name. The emitting station at Poldhu in Cornwall used an elaborate circular antenna to send the signal that was received here by a simple antenna held aloft by a kite.
In '85 the biennial meeting of the Canadian Association of Public Utility Tribunals was held in Whitehorse the capital of Yukon. It gave me the opportunity to visit some of the historic sites of the famous 1896 Klondike gold rush that caused thousands to trek 900 km from Skagway on a Pacific inlet, up the terrible Chilkoot trail and up the Yukon river to the goldfields of Dawson in the north.
This comfortable sternwheeler called the Klondike was not available to the first prospectors, it was built only in 1829 when the best claims had been staked out and gold mining had grown out of its wild, dangerous early years.
One afternoon, our host, the Yukon Energy Board, brought us on a short boat trip down the Yukon river to admire the wild northern nature. This is Schwatka lake, created by a hydroelectric project that provides power for the region. You can see the dam's control gates on the right in this photo.
There is no denying the beauty of the wild Canadian north.
Another outing took us to the town of Carcross where the last spike of the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway was driven in 1900, 75 km south of Whitehorse and 100 km from Skagway.
Here is the Duchess, one of the narrow gauge locomotives that hauled people and supplies from Skagway to Whitehorse.
Small steam boats like the Tutshi could navigate the Yukon to Dawson before it was dammed to build a hydro plant near Whitehorse.
Here is another view of the Tutshi
And here I am before Carcross desert and Mount Lorne with my colleagues JJ and Marc from the Quebec board.
One last view of the Yukon before going back to Montreal.
The yearly meeting of the Canadian Gas Association, which has been in Quebec City in 1986, was held in Jasper Alberta in 1987, giving me the opportunity to return to this mountain resort town.
I had enjoyed great bush parties with the staff of Jasper Park Lodge more than 30 years earlier. This time, I stayed at the Lodge but it was for serious meetings.
In the distance, across Beauvert Lake next to the Lodge, you can glimpse the white peak of Mount Edith Cavell that I climbed up its easier western slope in 1955.
And here is a view of Pyramid Mountain that I also climbed in 1955.
And one of beautiful Maligne Lake.
This mountain sheep ewe and her kid encountered along the Arthabaska river were used to seeing tourists stare at them and did not mind as long as we did not get too close.
I was delighted to have seen the mountains again as it brought back great memories of my younger, more adventurous years!