June 1984- Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau steps down and John Turner becomes Prime Minister. Subsequent elections in September are won by the Progressive Conservatives under Brian Mulroney. Mulroney realigns foreign policy towards Europe and the US.

1984 - External affairs minister Joe Clark is the first foreign affairs minister to land in previously isolated Ethiopia to lead the Western response to the 1984-1985 famine.

March 1985- "The Shamrock Summit" is held in Quebec City, bringing together Prime Minister Brain Mulroney and President Ronald Reagan. Seen as key turning point in the warming of USA/ Canada relations following the Trudeau years. The two leaders commit their countries to pursuing trade liberalization and issue a Canada-US Declaration on Goods and Services. The summit is often remembered for the memorable TV image of the Prime Minister and President singing a duet of  "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling".

1985 - Brian Mulroney's "Competitiveness and Security" priorities
1. Unity
2. Sovereignty and Independence
3. Justice and Democracy
4. Peace and Security
5. Economic Prosperity
6. Integrity of the Natural Environment

June 1985 - 329 people, including 280 Canadians, are killed when a bomb detonates on an Air India jet traveling between Montreal and London.

August 1985- Responding directly to the voyage of the US icebreaker Polar Sea, which traversed the Northwest Passage without Canadian permission, Canada announced its decision to exercise full sovereignty in and over the waters of the Arctic Archipelago.

September 1985 - Canada warns that it is prepared to cut all economic and diplomatic ties with South Africa as a consequence of the apartheid policy.

February 17-19, 1986- First Francophone Summit held in Versailles, France. Québec and New Brunswick receive the status of "participating governments", thus making three Canadian representatives in attendance.

May 2 - October 13, 1986 - World Exposition on Transportation and Communication (Expo '86) is held in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Expo '86included participation from fifty-four countries.

May 27 - June 1, 1986
- UN General Assembly convenes a special session: Canada announces it is ready to invoke total sanctions against South Africa, including cessation of diplomatic relations, due to the latter's policy of apartheid.

1986 - Partnership Africa Canada (
PAC) was created with the support of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and Canadian and African non-governmental organizations. It's purpose is to help build sustainable human development in Africa by funding projects and ideas.

1986 - The World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), producer of the final report
Our Common Future, convenes a special meeting in Ottawa. The idea of a "world conservation bank" is forwarded. Canadians Maurice Strong and Jim MacNeil serve as commissioners.

1986 - Canada adopts strong stand against the U.S. intervention in Nicaragua under Reagan, and accepted refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala.

September 2-4, 1987 - Canada hosts the IIe Sommet de la Francophonie in Quebec with forty-one governments in attendance (including Quebec and New Brunswick). Announces debt forgiveness  ($325 million of debt owed by seven African nations), plus a $17 million aid package to African members.

September 16, 1987 - The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is adopted at the Headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal. It is designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of a number of substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion The Protocol came into force on January 1, 1989.

January 2, 1988 - Canada - U.S Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) signed by both governments. The agreement removes several trade restrictions in stages over a ten year period, and results in a great increase in cross-border trade. This Agreement is later superceded by the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994.

January 11, 1988 - Canada and the USA come to an agreement on "Arctic Cooperation". In part, the agreement stipulates that voyages of American icebreakers into the Canadian Arctic be 'undertaken with the consent of the Government of Canada".

February 13-28, 1988 - Calgary, Alberta hosts the Winter Olympic Games, with a record (at that time) fifty-seven countries participating. Canada fails to win a gold medal.

September 22, 1988 - The Mulroney government formally apologizes to the families of the 22,000 Japanese Canadians who had been stripped of their property and interned during the Second World War. The government also provides monetary compensation to surviving internees and their families.

October, 1988 - Canada is elected to a 2-year term at the UN Security Council.

November 6-7, 1989
- Canada becomes a founding member of APEC, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, a forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region.

December 1989 - Canada "regrets" but does not "condemn" USA-led invasion of Panama.

December 1989 - the United Nations asks Canada to join a verification mission in Angola (UNAVEM). Canada declines, but subsequently joins the mission in May 1991.


January 1990
- Canada signs the Charter of the
OASand becomes a full member of the Organization of American States, but does not ratify the American Convention on Human Rights.

September 29-30, 1990 - Canada co-sponsors the United Nations World Summit for Children, held at UN headquarters.

October 17-20, 1990  - The province of Manitoba hosts the World Environmental Energy and Economic Conference (WEEC), furthering sustainable development principles and agendas. Over 3000 international delegates attend.

August 1990 - February 1991 - Persian Gulf War. Following the Iraq invasion of Kuwait August 2, 1990, Canada condemns the invasion, imposes sanctions on Iraq and freezes Iraqi assets in Canada. Canada joins a coalition of thirty-four countries to remove Iraq from Kuwait. In all, more than 4,500 Canadian Forces personnel are deployed at various times. Canada undertakes both naval and air operations, the latter at times in a direct combat role. Canada suffers no casualties in the conflict.

March 1991 - The Canada-US Agreement on Air Quality is signed in an attempt to harmonize approaches and policies related to acid rain.  The Agreement committed both countries to reduce their sulphur dioxide emission levels in half by the year 2000. 

June 1991 - The Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy is launched to bring Arctic nations together in their efforts to protect the northern ecosystem.  The Strategy demonstrates the importance of collective action and responsibility for environmental protection and sustainability. 
1991 - Canada applauds the commencement of constitutional talks for an egalitarian South Africa.
1992 - Following the collapse of the USSR, Canada establishes diplomatic relations with several former Soviet republics, including Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

April 7, 1992 - Canada recognizes the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and announces that it will contribute troops to subsequent UN peacekeeping operations. Canada opens an embassy in Sarajevo in April 1996.

June 3-14, 1992 - Canada plays influential role at
Rio Earth Summit, with Canadian Marcel Strong as the Summit's Secretary-General. Canada initiates the creation of The Earth Council and the drafting of the global Earth Charter.

December 4, 1992 - Canada ratifies the
Convention on Biological Diversity, the objective of which is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. It is often seen as the key document regarding sustainable development.

December 11, 1992 - Canada reviews its peacekeeping commitments in Cyprus which results in the withdrawal of 575 blue-helmets from the country. The Mulroney Government announces that Canada will completely withdraw from the peacekeeping mission in Cyprus by June 1993.

December 15, 1992 - An advance party of Canadian Airborne peacekeepers arrives at Baledogle, Somalia, as part of the UNOSOM mission.

December 17, 1992 - The signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) by Canada, the United States, and Mexico, signals the beginning of a new phase in hemispheric trade relations. NAFTA ultimately takes effect in 1994.

1993 - The Department of External Affairs and International Trade is renamed the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (

1993 - Canada participates in the multilateral process of the Middle East Peace Talks, chairing the Refugee Working Group and participating in the other working groups, including those on water resources and the environment.

January 1993 - After playing a leading role in the negotiations, Canada signs the international
Chemical Weapons Convention, an arms control agreement which outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. It ratified the Convention on September 26, 1993.

June 1993 - After nine years in office, Brian Mulroney steps down and is replaced by Kim Campbell, the first woman Prime Minister in Canadian history. Subsequent elections in November defeat the Progressive Conservative Party, and Jean Chretien of the Liberals becomes Prime Minister.

September 1993 - Remaining Canadian sanctions on South Africa are lifted.
1992 - 1993 - Somalia Affair. In 1992, Canada undertakes Operation Deliverance in Somalia, part of the American-initiated Operation Restore Hope supported by the United Nations. Its goal was to deliver humanitarian aid and restore order to the African nation of Somalia which was suffering from a severe famine, general anarchy, and domination by warlords following the collapse of the government. In 1993, Canadian soldiers were implicated in 1993 beating death of a Somali teenager. The crime, documented by photos, shocked the Canadian public and brought to light internal problems in the Canadian Airborne Regiment that went beyond the two soldiers directly involved.

The affair led to the disbanding of Canada's elite Canadian Airborne Regiment, greatly damaged the morale of the Canadian Forces, and damaged both the domestic and international reputation of Canadian soldiers.

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