Canada. The economy continued its upward curve. According to the 1997 estimates, the deficit would only be 1% of GDP, but Finance Minister Paul Martin dared to be even more optimistic when he presented his new budget in February. He then expected to have a balanced budget at the end of the year. But already in May, ie. At the beginning of the new financial year, it was clear that there was a certain surplus in the economy. The hard savings that were started in 1993 to stop the growing deficit, which was then 6%, have had a good effect. Another explanation for the deficit turning into a small surplus is unexpectedly large tax revenue to the Treasury thanks to the improved economy.
According to Countryaah, the capital of Canada is Ottawa. The Supreme Court (HD), in a principally very important case, ruled that the province of Quebec cannot unilaterally decide to leave Canada. First, Quebec is required to negotiate with the other provinces and the government, and then approval by the government and at least seven provincial governments is required before an exit can be made. However, HD stated that the government and the provinces must show good will in the negotiations on a strong majority of voters in Quebec vote yes to independence.
Quebec separatists have gained more and more ground in recent years and were extremely close to winning the second and most recent referendum held in 1995. A third referendum is expected to result in a yes to independence, but through HD’s ruling it is no longer given that Quebec can leave Canada. On November 30, provincial elections took place in Quebec, and the election results also forced the separatists to postpone a new referendum. It is true that the ruling party Party Québécois won the election with 75 of Parliament’s 125 seats. But the federal-friendly Liberal opposition party won percentage more votes – 43.7% against the government’s 42.7% – and Quebec’s Prime Minister Lucien Bouchard therefore decided to postpone the referendum in the hope that public opinion will turn again.
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien still has to mobilize new forces to keep the country together. All ten provinces have long criticized the government for interfering too much in their internal affairs. The provinces want financial independence in health care, education and social welfare and require negotiations with the government.
On September 2, a serious plane crash occurred in Canada when a Swissair plane on its way from New York to Geneva crashed into the sea off Halifax in Nova Scotia. All 229 people on board were killed.
In March 2001, the government passed new laws against child pornography. Not only is it now illegal to produce and publish “objectionable” images of children, but it is also illegal to grant access to such images on the Internet. Violators of this legislation, wherever in the world they may come from, may be brought before Canadian courts. However, Internet service providers in Canada pointed out that it will be very difficult to control all the material posted on the web.
In July, Canada became the first country in the world to legalize the therapeutic use of marijuana. At the same time, the government initiated a production of the drug for medical purposes. However, commercial production of the drug and sale for non-medical purposes remains illegal.
After secret negotiations between the government of Quebec and the leaders of the Native American people, a $ 2.2 billion settlement agreement was reached. Canadian dollars, against cree consenting to the conduct of environmental studies that could pinpoint the best place for the construction of a hydroelectric plant. The majority of the 12,000-member cree people have for decades fought against plans to build a hydroelectric plant, and to them the secret deal was a sign of betrayal by their leaders, and their belief that the land is sacred and not to be destroyed.
Following the attack on New York on September 11, 2001, Canada joined the United States’ “War on Terror” and in April 2002, four Canadian soldiers died in Afghanistan after being bombed by US bombers. In September 2002, in a TV interview, Chrétien stated that the Western world had to learn that “the power must not be exercised so far as to humiliate others” and that “the Western world was rich at the expense of the poor world”. These statements, along with Canada’s clear rejection of the United States’ plans to attack Iraq, led to sharp attacks by Canada’s conservative opposition, demanding that Canada apologize to the United States.
At the November 2003 congress, the Liberals replaced their chairman. The new chairman became Paul Martin, and in December he was formally inaugurated as the country’s prime minister, when after ten years in office, Chrétien resigned. The same autumn, a new Conservative Party was formed by merging two existing Conservative parties. The aim was to create a greater threat to the Liberals when parliamentary elections are held in the spring of 2004, but the new party has so far been characterized by strong internal rivalry.
Also in 2003, the Liberal elections won in Quebec, ending 9 years of government with the separatist party in power. Jean Charest replaced Bernard Landry at the Prime Minister’s post. The Liberals got 75 of Parliament’s 125 seats.
In February 2004, Martin became involved in a financial scandal that seriously harmed the Liberals. Martin had to publicly answer charges from the Canadian National Audit Office, which had revealed that the Liberal government had spent several million dollars. Can. $ For own support programs and political propaganda. The Prime Minister stated that he was unaware that the money in his time as Finance Minister under Chretien had been used for these purposes. However, he assumed political responsibility for the scandal and declared it would have a number of consequences. The government ordered a federal investigation into the events conducted. Judge John Gomery was appointed chairman of the commission of inquiry and he declared that the Liberal Party would only be granted the status of assistant to the commission. In this way, the government was not given the opportunity to question witnesses during the commission’s work. The Liberal Party previously had a different status in order to defend its reputation and credibility, which was hurt by the scandal.
Despite opposition from the opposition, environmental and animal protection activists in April 2004, the government allowed 300,000 seals to be captured and killed. The government argued that it was ecologically sound and economically justified. The activists criticized that their work to prevent the killings was blocked. Twenty-five years earlier, environmental activists had managed to stop the hunting and killing of baby seals off Canada’s northeast coast. Acc. new hunting rules are now being shot at the seals and not, as before, killed with clubs – to make the killings more «humane».