Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs, 1998


291 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-8926-7
DDC 320.9'71'064




Edited by David Mutimer
Reviewed by Graeme S. Mount

Graeme S. Mount is a professor of history at Laurentian University. He
is the author of Canada’s Enemies: Spies and Spying in the Peaceable
Kingdom, Chile and the Nazis, and The Diplomacy of War: The Case of


Highly competent scholars review the significant federal and provincial
developments of 1998 in this fine, readable volume. The inquiry into
RCMP behaviour during Vancouver’s APEC (Asia–Pacific Economic
Cooperation) conference of 1997 dominated much of the news. British
Columbia concluded the Nisga’a treaty with its First Nations people,
while New Brunswick challenged those who cut trees on Crown land.
Because of the tainted-blood scandal, the Canadian Red Cross
relinquished control of blood to Canadian Blood Services and
Hémo-Québec. Finance Minister Paul Martin disallowed proposed bank
mergers, and CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) director Ward
Elcock said that Canada had become a terrorist haven. Conrad Black
launched the National Post. U.S.–Canada talks on salmon quotas failed.
Eastern Canada suffered a severe ice storm. The Supreme Court of Canada
imposed conditions that Quebec would have to meet in the event of
another referendum. Quebec held a provincial election in which Premier
Lucien Bouchard’s Parti Québécois defeated the Liberals led by Jean

Elsewhere, Ontario’s Harris government continued reducing the level
of government services. To cut the size of welfare payments and
prosecute fraud, it hired consultants who charged $575 an hour and
claimed expenses of $1.4 million without providing receipts. Alberta
Premier Ralph Klein opposed the Kyoto Accord, which he claimed would
devastate his province’s economy. Alberta voters chose two
senators-in-waiting, but Prime Minister Jean Chrétien defiantly
appointed former PC MP Douglas Roche to fill that province’s vacancy.
Newfoundland replaced church-run schools with a public school system.
Swissair Flight 111 crashed near Peggys Cove, N.S., and Nova Scotians
elected a minority Liberal government.

Much of the economic news was bad. On Cape Breton Island, 450 miners
lost their jobs. Eaton’s closed its stores. The Toronto Stock Exchange
fell by 3.2 percent, making 1998 its worst year since 1992. Yet Martin
presented the federal government’s first balanced budget in 28 years.

Internationally, the federal government imposed sanctions against India
and Pakistan after both detonated nuclear bombs. Canada won a seat on
the U.N. Security Council and promoted the International Criminal Court.
A 40th country (Burkina Faso in West Africa) ratified the
Canadian-sponsored treaty banning land mines, thereby implementing it in


“Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs, 1998,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed September 28, 2022,