Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs, 1996


279 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-3715-1
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, and Chile and the Nazis, and the coauthor of Invisible and
Inaudible in Washington: American Policies To


Every year, the Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs
provides the best summary of Canadian political developments, and the
volumes covering 1995 and 1996 run true to form. 1995 was a year of high
emotions: Mike Harris became the Premier of Ontario and launched his
“Common Sense Revolution”; Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau staged
his referendum on Quebec sovereignty and came perilously close to
victory; Fisheries Minister Brian Tobin masterminded the “Turbot
War” against Spain; Defence Minister David Collenette disbanded the
Airborne Regiment after the horrors of Somalia; Justice Minister Allan
Rock steered the gun control legislation through Parliament; Serbs
seized Canadian peacekeepers and distributed a photograph of Captain
Patrick Rechner handcuffed to a lightning rod near a Serbian ammunition
depot; armed Aboriginals, in an effort to protect their sacred burial
grounds, staged confrontations at Ipperwash, Ontario, and Gustafsen
Lake, B.C.; RCMP officers failed to prevent a misfit from entering 24
Sussex Drive and disturbing the Chrétiens; former Prime Minister Brian
Mulroney launched his $50 million lawsuit to protect his good name in
the Airbus scandal; Ottawa challenged attempts by Ralph Klein’s
government in Alberta to change the rules of medicare; Halifax hosted
the G-7 Economic Summit. Intelligent commentary on these and other
issues fills the annual’s pages.

In 1996, David Mutimer replaced David Leyton-Brown as the CARPPA’s
editor, but the same high-quality production, the same format, and most
of the same writers remained. Also in 1996, the proverbial chickens of
1995 came home to roost. Ontario politics were as polarized as they had
ever been. In February, 54,000 civil servants went on strike to protest
the Harris government’s plans to eliminate 13,000 jobs. Four
university students who protested financial cutbacks to education faced
charges of “intimidating the legislature,” with a possible sentence
of 14 years. Tens of thousands staged labor disruptions to protest
various Harris policies. Lucien Bouchard became Quebec Premier, and
Stéphane Dion and Pierre Pettigrew joined the federal cabinet in an
attempt to strengthen Quebec’s commitment to Canada. The Bouchard
government revived the language police, required Quebec civil servants
to receive special permission before delivering a speech in English, and
threatened criminal charges against federalist organizers and
scrutineers from the 1995 referendum. Brian Tobin became Premier of


“Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs, 1996,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024,