January 6, 1986

A national report card 1415

A national report card

What a difference a year makes to the mood of the nation. A year ago the inaugural Maclean ’s/Decima Poll of public opinion reported that Canadians were in a buoyant frame of mind. They had great expectations of a new Conservative government under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
A government on trial 1819

A government on trial

At about the halfway point of an unusual Canadian political year—at 10:45 a.m. on Friday, June 28, 1985, to be precise —Prime Minister Brian Mulroney sagged visibly during his final press conference before the summer break. He had been asked about an upcoming policy decision regarding free trade and, with an unexpected hint of bitterness, implied that it probably did not much matter what he did about anything.
Optimism and realism 2829

Optimism and realism

The country’s economic health is a topic of concern to every Canadian. Taking the economic pulse of the nation occurs daily in taxi cabs, beauty salons and bars. Canadians may not have cared before the 1982 recession about the value of the dollar and unemployment rates, but now many track the nuances of the recovery with the practiced eye of a statistician.
Opening the door 3435

Opening the door

Free trade is the latest star in the long-running revue called economic renewal. For years it languished as an aging bit player with a spotty history of major roles dating back almost as far as Confederation. But all that changed in 1985 when Prime Minister Brian Mulroney made pursuit of freer trade with the United States a major priority.
A personal response 4041

A personal response

Aid agencies had seen nothing like it for decades. Across the country during the past year Canadians found their own ways to raise money for starving Africans. Churches sponsored bake sales, children raided their piggy banks, artists contributed their paintings, and the superstars of Canada’s pop music scene donated their talents to making the fund-raising record Tears Are Not Enough.
Facing a fatal disease 4849

Facing a fatal disease

Marko Milic brings his own soap and towel to the health club. He wears slippers in the shower and he has stopped using the whirlpool. “A couple of years ago the whirlpool was full,” said Milic, a 35-year-old construction worker from Mississauga, Ont. “Now it’s empty.
In praise of monogamy 4445

In praise of monogamy

A woman in rural Nova Scotia reported having 110 different sex partners in the previous year, while a Toronto man tallied 75. Those claims were among the responses to The Maclean’s/Decima Poll—but they are clearly the exception. In fact, the poll suggests that most Canadians are monogamous and that monogamists have more fun—more overall sexual satisfaction—than people with multiple partners.
Down and desperate 5253

Down and desperate

Alexa Stapley was born into the working class and, at 44, has yet to escape it. She grew up in a lumber camp in Nova Scotia, where her father worked in the mill and her mother was a cook. She has been a cocktail waitress and a cashier, a nurse’s aide and a factory hand.
Guilt-edged achievers 5455

Guilt-edged achievers

For years they have been known collectively as “the baby boomers”—the postwar generation that swelled university enrolment and filled the streets with protest in the 1960s and 1970s. But recently, pundits and marketing strategists have focused on the achievers among that generation, and given them a new name, “yuppies”—an acronym for young upwardly mobile (or, alternatively, young urban) professionals.
The curious science of curiosity 8485

The curious science of curiosity

Not long ago, New Democrat MP Jim Fulton stood in his place, which is Parliament, and expressed a sort of outraged wonderment over the fact that the government was spending $6,000 on “research relating to the development of methods of testing and analysis of pencils.”
December 301985 January 131986