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Air India Flight 182 Bombing
The bombing of an Air India flight from Toronto to Bombay on 23 June 1985 — killing all 329 people on board — remains Canada’s deadliest terrorist attack. A separate bomb blast the same day at Tokyo’s Narita Airport killed two baggage handlers. After a 15-year investigation into the largest mass murder in the country's history, two British Columbia Sikh separatists were charged with murder and conspiracy in both attacks. They were acquitted in 2005. A third accused, Inderjit Singh Reyat, was convicted of manslaughter for his role in building the two bombs.
Canada’s Cold War Purge of LGBTQ from Public Service
Between the 1950s and the 1990s, the Canadian government responded to national security concerns generated by Cold War tensions with the Soviet Union by spying on, exposing and removing suspected LGBTQ individuals from the federal public service and the Canadian Armed Forces. They were cast as social and political subversives and seen as targets for blackmail by communist regimes seeking classified information. These characterizations were justified by arguments that people who engaged in same-sex relations suffered from a “character weakness” and had something to hide because their sexuality was considered a taboo and, under certain circumstances, was illegal. As a result, the RCMP investigated large numbers of people. Many of them were fired, demoted or forced to resign — even if they had no access to security information. These measures were kept out of public view to prevent scandal and to keep counter-espionage operations under wraps. In 2017, the federal government issued an official apology for its discriminatory actions and policies, along with a $145-million compensation package.
The Patriation Reference, formally known as Re: Resolution to Amend the Constitution, was a reference case of the Supreme Court of Canada. On 28 September 1981, the court decided that it was legal for the federal government to patriateand amend Canada’s Constitution without the consent of the provincial governments. But it also found that to do so in areas that affect provincial powers would be a breach of constitutional convention. The court’s decision concluded that such conventions are of great significance. In the words of the court, “Constitutional convention plus constitutional law equal the total constitution of the country.”
Parrott's Killer Convicted
This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on April 26, 1999. Partner content is not updated.The porch at Peter and Lesley Parrott's farm northwest of Toronto overlooks rolling hills, a lawn of scattered daffodils and a heart-shaped flower bed adorned by a weeping crab-apple tree. The tree was planted on Sept. 28, 1995 - what would have been their daughter Alison's 21st birthday.
Jordan’s Principle is a child-first principle that ensures First Nations children can access the same public services as other children in Canada. Jordan’s Principle is named for Jordan River Anderson, a young Cree boy who died at the age of five after waiting for home-based care that was approved when he was two but never arrived because of a financial dispute between the federal and provincial governments. Jordan’s Principle was put in place to ensure a tragedy like this never happens again.
Hurricane Carter Saga
This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on December 6, 1999. Partner content is not updated.He was down for the count. Rubin (Hurricane) Carter had been in prison for 13 years, serving a life sentence for a triple murder he did not commit - a brutal slaying at a bar in Paterson, N.J., in 1966.
Joudrie Not Guilty
This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on May 20, 1996. Partner content is not updated.It was nearly 48 hours since the jury had begun its deliberations - and that followed more than two weeks of complex, emotion-packed testimony. And so when it finally came, the denouement of Dorothy Joudrie's attempted murder trial in Calgary late last week seemed all the more sudden.
Lamaze Drug Case
This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on October 2, 2000. Partner content is not updated.Eric Lamaze walks into his Toronto lawyer's boardroom looking suntanned and refreshed. Amidst the onslaught of probing questions on his drug use and expulsion from the Canadian Olympic equestrian team, the 32-year-old rider speaks calmly - even as he rocks nervously in a chair.
Olson's Faint Hope
This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on August 18, 1997. Partner content is not updated.If there is a benchmark for evil, in the minds of many Canadians it is Clifford Robert Olson. During the last 40 of his 57 years, Olson has been outside the walls of a prison for barely 48 months. But in that short time, he caused incalculable pain, suffering and injury.
Father Admits to Drowning Kids
This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on March 29, 1999. Partner content is not updated.As soon as she heard the news, Katharina (Tina) Marlatt felt sick, and suspicious. It was the day of the drowning deaths of her former boyfriend Thomas Dewald's two children, Christopher, 12, and Jennifer, 10. They died on Aug.
This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on May 10, 1999. Partner content is not updated.As a spring snowstorm lashed against her face, 11-year-old Megan Drouin stood outside W. R. Myers High School in Taber, Alta., last Thursday and recalled the horrors of the previous 24 hours. On April 28, shortly after the lunch-hour break, a 14-year-old gunman had entered W. R.
Teen Describes Murders
This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on December 25, 1995. Partner content is not updated.Following their brutal murders in suburban Montreal last April, Frank Toope, a 75-year-old retired Anglican minister, and his wife, Jocelyn, 70, were uniformly praised by friends and former parishioners as a warm, caring and generous couple.
Teen Killing in Toronto
This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on November 29, 1999. Partner content is not updated.At the foot of Dmitri Baranovski's bed are some weights, a soccer ball, tennis rackets and - what his stepfather picked up at a garage sale to help him adjust to Canadian life - a football and two hockey sticks.
The Calder case (1973) — named for politician and Nisga’a chief Frank Calder,
who brought the case before the courts — reviewed the existence of Aboriginal title (i.e., ownership) claimed over lands historically occupied by the Nisga’a peoples of northwestern
British Columbia. While the case was lost, the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling nevertheless
recognized for the first time that Aboriginal title has a place in Canadian law. The Calder case (also known as Calder et al. v. Attorney General of British Columbia) is considered the foundation for the Nisga’a Treaty in 2000 — the first modern
land claim in British Columbia that gave the Nisga’a people self-government.
Cod Moratorium of 1992
On 2 July 1992, the federal government banned cod fishing along Canada’s east coast. This moratorium ended nearly five centuries of cod fishing in Newfoundland and Labrador. Cod had played a central role in the province’s economy and culture.
The aim of the policy was to help restore cod stocks that had been depleted due to overfishing. Today, the cod population remains too low to support a full-scale fishery. For this reason, the ban is still largely in place.
Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.
R. v. Sparrow (1990) was the first Supreme Court of Canada case to test section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. Initially convicted of fishing illegally, Musqueam man Ronald Edward Sparrow was cleared by the Supreme Court and his ancestral right to fishing was upheld.
Van der Peet Case
In the R. v. Van der Peet case (1996), the Supreme Court of Canada defined and restricted what constitutes Indigenous rights, as previously defined by the R. v. Sparrow case (1990). Criticized for narrowing the scope of Indigenous rights, the Van der Peet test — a set of criteria established by the court to prove Indigenous rights — stipulates that the Indigenous custom, practice or tradition in question must be integral to the distinctive culture of the Aboriginal group claiming the right and originate from before contact with the Europeans.