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Sunday Newsletter 2001-39Su.
September 30, 2001.
[John] Another month over... and what a month on the world's stage! The atrocities in New York City, Washington DC and Pennsylvania will remain in this writer's memory for as long as I live. The repercussions for the American economy and way of life are now starting to spread all over the industrialized world. We are indeed on the cusp of a new era, one that has to make us all stronger and hopefully help to remind us not to take anything for granted, especially the freedoms many of us have.
Also this month the world's stage lost one of its virtuoso talents with the passing of Sir Isaac Stern just over a week ago. Almost single-handedly he saved New York's Carnegie Hall from being torn down. Now the life that brought the world such profound musical interpretations with the violin and fiddle has joined those of a multitude of other musical greats who have (like all of us will) passed on. At least Stern was not robbed of the opportunity to enjoy a full life he was 81.
Back here in Canada one of the many repercussions to which I alluded above is the sliding of our economy into a recession as a result of the terrorist attacks in the northeast corner of the world's economic superpower. This prediction comes from Bank of Canada governor David Dodge. He does point out, however, that there will be uncertainty over the next few months as markets begin to recover and sort themselves out. He adds that it is impossible to predict with any certainty what road our economy will take beyond the new year. "Right now, it is difficult to look too far ahead in terms of the economic implications for Canada," he said in commenting on the terrorist attacks. Summarizing he concluded, "Nevertheless, economic growth in the third quarter will likely be close to zero or slightly negative, and we will continue to feel the adverse effects into the fourth quarter."
There was also the apparent murders and suicide in Montreal that claimed seven lives. Six of the deaths were of people from the same family. Also, Newfoundland suffered through torrential rains and winds over 100 kilometres per hour as Tropical Storm Gabrielle caused airline flights to be cancelled once again, severed power to many areas, washed out roads, and made swimming pools of many basements as storm sewers simply could not handle the onslaught. Even St. John's recorded over 100 millimetres of rain one fateful morning, more than it usually receives for an entire month.
What does all this reveal other than the fact that most reported and remembered news is that of a tragic or bad nature? Well, it tells me that tomorrow is October, a new month to celebrate life much like in three months it will be a new year to do the same. Let's remain as positive and optimistic as possible, for it is from these emotions that our race usually benefits the most. Although we tend to dwell on the most unfortunate, calamitous, catastrophic events that move into our lives on an almost daily basis, we still wake up each morning, hopeful of sunny skies, fortune, friendship and love. This is what makes the mammal known as Homo sapiens sapiens so resilient. Let's stay positive through it all and maybe, just maybe, each day of our lives can be sunny even though clouds are in the sky and we leave our homes with umbrellas in hand.
CBC: Seven Die in Apparent Murder, Suicide in Montreal
\\ TABLE OF CONTENTS //
\ Question of the week
\ Biography James McGill
\ Quote of the week
\ Also born this week
\ It happened this week in history
\ Words of the week
\ Place names Longueuil, Quebec
\ Answer to this week's question
\ Links and resources
\ Legal and subscription information
\\ QUESTION OF THE WEEK //
It's a two-part question this week, so put on your thinking caps.
Manitoba was the first province to grant women the right to vote the year was 1916. Later that year Alberta and Saskatchewan also followed suit. My question to you is, "Which province or territory was the last to grant these rights to women?" Newfoundland and Nunavut are excluded from the question due to their late entry into Canada's Confederation. For bonus points, what was the year?
As usual you can find the answer near the bottom of the newsletter.
\\ BIOGRAPHY //
In our frequent column on place names I quite often provide you the origin of the name of a particular city, town, village or area of land. This week I focus on the gentleman who lent his name to one of our nation's greatest educational institutions Montreal's McGill University.
James McGill, born on October 6, 1744, in Glasgow, Scotland, arrived in Canada at the age of 22. A successful merchant who dealt in the fur trade of the 1770s and 1780s, McGill began to broaden his commercial enterprises in the 1790s. This diversification included much land speculation and made him a very wealthy man, so much so that by 1810 he had left behind the fur business altogether.
McGill was also very involved in the early years of the formation of Canada for, ever active in the political arena, McGill was a magistrate in Montreal and was a member of the Governor's Executive Council. He was also a parliamentarian in the newly-formed Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada. Additionally McGill was a military man, as he served in Montreal's militia. His elevation to the rank of brigadier-general in command of Montreal's militia was instrumental in the successful defence of the city, which aided in foiling the American attempts to annex Canada.
Unfortunately McGill fell ill and died quickly the very next year at the age of 69 on December 12, 1813, in Montreal. The wealthy, influential merchant also proved to be a philanthropist, leaving behind an endowment of land and £10 000 (which was worth a lot more back then than it is now) to create the university that now bears his name.
Thus McGill University was founded in 1821 and officially opened eight years later in 1829. It was not until the appointment of another famous Canadian in 1852, geologist John William Dawson, that the school really began to develop on a worldwide scale thanks to Principal Dawson's driving genius. Today McGill University is an English-language university located in the centre of one the largest French-speaking cities in the world. McGill's modern facilities and innovative faculty attract an array of international students, teachers and researchers. McGill has almost 30 000 students and 5000 academic staff affiliated with its 73 research institutes.
Buy "James McGill of Montreal" from Chapters.Indigo.ca
\\ QUOTE OF THE WEEK //
"Like Wolfe and Nelson and Brock, he died in the flush of victory." Author and historian Stanley Brice Frost with a comment in his biography on McGill on his dying on the heels of victory.
\\ ALSO BORN THIS WEEK //
Len Cariou, actor (stage, screen and television), director and singer, born in St-Boniface, Manitoba, September 30, 1939.
Margaret Norrie McCain, lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick (1994-1997) and philanthropist, born in northern Quebec on October 1, 1934. She donated her entire lieutenant-governor's salary to the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation which she formed which fights family violence and provides support for spousal and child abuse.
James "Jim" Allen Pattison, entrepreneur, self-made multi-millionaire and Member of the Order of Canada, born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, October 1, 1928.
Alfred "Ben" Wicks, cartoonist, born in London, England, October 1, 1926.
David "Dave" Barrett, social worker and premier of British Columbia (1972-1975), born in Vancouver, British Columbia, October 2, 1930.
George Robert Reed, CFL superstar player (setting 44 records during his career) and sports executive, born in Mississippi, United States of America, October 2, 1939. Reed is a CFL Hall of Fame member (1979) and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 1978.
Sir James Pliny Whitney, lawyer and premier of Ontario (1905-1914), born in Williamsburg Township, Canada West, October 2, 1843.
Glenn "Mr. Goalie" Henry Hall, NHL Hall of Fame goal tender (1975) and now full-time farmer, born in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, October 3, 1931.
Alexander Young Jackson, painter and writer, born in Montreal, Quebec, October 3, 1882. Leading member of Canada's prestigious Group of Seven painters. He died at the age of 91 on April 5, 1974.
Joseph Gilbert Yvan "Jean" Ratelle, NHL Hockey Hall of Fame centre, born in Lac Ste. Jean, Quebec, October 3, 1940.
Peter John "Pierre" Veniot, journalist and premier of New Brunswick (1923-1925), born in Richibucto, New Brunswick, October 4, 1863.
Jacob "Jake" Gill Gaudaur Jr., all-around athlete, CFL Hall of Fame member, executive and eventual commissioner (1968-1984), Officer of the Order of Canada, born in Orillia, Ontario, October 5, 1920.
Mario "The Magnificent" Lemieux, NHL Hockey Hall of Fame member and executive who made a successful comeback during the 2000-2001 campaign after retiring in 1997, born in Montreal, Quebec, October 5, 1965.
Patrick Roy, NHL all-star goal tender, born in Quebec City, Quebec, October 5, 1965.
Sir Isaac Brock, military commander and administrator of Upper Canada (1811-1812), born in St. Peter Port, Guernsey, on October 6, 1769. Brock was killed by a sharpshooter during the War of 1812 at the Battle of Queenston Heights on October 13, 1812. Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, is named after him.
Reginald Aubrey Fessenden, radio inventor, born in Milton-Est, Canada East, October 6, 1866. (You can read an article on Fessenden written by FactsCanada.ca reader Cathy Bates in issue 2000-13Su.)
\\ IT HAPPENED THIS WEEK IN HISTORY //
October 1, 1986 A speech from the throne on this date announced the Canadian Government's intention to create the Canadian Space Agency. The act was passed by the House of Commons on December 15, 1989.
October 1, 1990 Robert Keith Rae was sworn in as premier of Ontario, a position he held until 1995.
October 2, 1958 The Centre for Research on French Canadian Culture, or Le Centre de recherche en civilization canadienne-francaise (known as the CRCCF for short), was founded at the University of Ottawa by four professors of literature.
October 3, 1987 Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and American President Ronald Reagan agreed to seek a comprehensive free trade agreement after 16 months of negotiations.
October 5, 1970 The October Crisis began with the kidnapping of James Cross, the British trade commissioner in Montreal, by members of the Front de Liberation du Quebec (FLQ). (You can read more about the October Crisis in FactsCanada.ca issues 2000-06Fr and 2000-08Fr.)
October 5, 1984 Marc Garneau became the first Canadian to venture into space, travelling on the American space shuttle "Challenger". He returned to Earth on October 13th.
October 6, 1967 Canada's single-day record of rainfall fell near the Municipality of Ucluelet on British Columbia's Vancouver Island. During a 24 hour period, 489 millimetres of rain deluged the area.
FactsCanada.ca map of Ucluelet, British Columbia
\\ WORDS OF THE WEEK //
Since I'm actually not working on this newsletter five days (or worse) after it is due, I thought I'd include some definitions this week.
cusp (noun) 1.a pointed end; point. 2. a blunt or pointed protuberance on the crown of a tooth. 3. (Astrology) the time when two signs are adjacent.
recession (noun) 1. a going or moving backward in time or space; a receding. 2. a procession exiting from a formal gathering, church service, etc. 3. a backward slope. 4. a withdrawal. 5. a period of temporary business decline, shorter and less extreme than a depression.
[Editorial note: If I remember correctly from my macro economics course with Brian Coulter at the University College of the Fraser Valley, the more specific economic definition of a recession is two consecutive periods of economic contraction (or something like that). Believe it or not, this is not something you watch from the sidelines. To prevent a recession, all you and I and every other consumer (which is all of us) in this country need to do is spend money as we normally would, and not harbour it because of fear about the future. Of course, that doesn't mean you should not save money for things like retirement and other future needs. However, if you were planning to buy a new car (for example) and there are no other immediate reasons for you to stop spending money (like a layoff from a job), then you should go ahead and buy that car, not wait for the economic bogeyman to magically return to his cave. The only way to drive him back into his cave is for all of us to contribute to economic growth.]
virtuoso (noun, virtuosos, virtuosi [plural]) 1. a person highly skilled in the methods of an art, especially in playing a musical instrument. 2. a person who has a cultivated appreciation of artistic excellence. 3. a student or collector of objects of art, curios, antiquities, etc. (adjective) showing the artistic qualities and skills of a virtuoso. virtuosa (noun, feminine), virtuose (feminine plural).
\\ PLACE NAMES //
Longueuil is the largest city in the Regional County of Champlain in Quebec's Monteregie region. It is located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River across from Montreal. Longueuil has a population of around 130 000 and is a residential suburb of Montreal, although there is also much industry located there including Pratt & Whitney, an aviation engineering company and Longueuil's largest employer.
Its name comes from a merchant in the area who, in 1657, became the seigneur (a New France [early Canada] term for a man who owned a large estate or parcel of land). This merchant, Charles Le Moyne de Longueuil et de Chateauguay, was given an area of land situated along the St. Lawrence River and he named it Longueuil in honour of his mother's birthplace near Dieppe, France. In 1845 it became a parish municipality but this was abolished two years later. In 1848 it was recreated as a village. In 1961 Longueuil annexed the area known as Montreal South (Sud) and grew further eight years later with the merger of the City of Jacques-Cartier in 1969.
FactsCanada.ca map of Longueuil, Quebec
\\ ANSWER TO THIS WEEK'S QUESTION //
Above I posed the two-part question: "Manitoba was the first province to grant women the right to vote the year was 1916. Later that year Alberta and Saskatchewan also followed suit. My question to you is, 'Which province or territory was the last to grant these rights to women?' Newfoundland and Nunavut are excluded from the question due to their late entry into Canada's Confederation. For bonus points, what was the year?"
Answer: Quebec in 1940.
Here's an interesting point. According to the "Gage Canadian Dictionary: 2000 Edition" the Canadian Confederation includes only the ten provinces. So, although I specifically excluded Nunavut as a possible answer to the question, technically speaking it (and the Northwest and Yukon territories) is not a part of Confederation as defined by Gage.
Grolier Interactive on Women's Suffrage
\\ PREVIEW //
John will be taken by surprise when this newsletter actually gets delivered on time. Usually he sends me (Craig) the preview for the following week sometime on the previous Sunday, so I haven't received it from him yet. That said, this Friday is the first Friday of the month, so now a Friday Feature is due just as we get caught up!
[Craig] Having made an editorial comment in the "Words of the Week" section, I'll close this newsletter with a short comment on Ucluelet (mentioned above in the "It Happened This Week in History" section). Ucluelet is a small town a short drive south of Tofino, as you will be able to see from the map linked to above. Between them is Long Beach, part of the Pacific Rim National Park. If you have never visited this area, you are missing a treat. Although the weather can be a little trying at times (it's situated on the west coast of Vancouver Island, on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, and tends to be a little wet and suffers from bouts of fog), when it lifts you are treated to one of the most beautiful places on Earth. It is a place that is soothing to the soul. Although it has been a few years since I visited, I miss going there. Whether you fly in or drive (I have done both) both the journey and the destination are worth it. I've made the trip a couple of times when I just needed a break from stress it was very relaxing. Go, before I keep spewing superlatives.
== LINKS AND RESOURCES ==
FactsCanada.ca -- http://www.factscanada.ca
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