In 2002, Roy Romanow's Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada report recommended a $15-billion cash infusion by 2006 for a sweeping expansion of medicare that would stop the growth of private medicine. Recommendations also included a drug plan for catastrophic costs; home care for the terminally ill, mentally ill and those just released from hospital; money for diagnostic equipment such as MRI machines; introducing a Canadian Health Covenant, and creating a health council of Canada to watch over medicare.


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In 1520, the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean after passing through the South American strait that now bears his name.


In 1628, writer John Bunyan, famous for his Christian allegory “Pilgrim's Progress,” was born in Elstow, England. His father was a tinker and Bunyan learned his trade, but also got involved in the English Civil War. His adventures were reflected in “Pilgrim's Progress,” one of the bestselling books of all time.


In 1698, Gov. Louis Frontenac of New France died at Quebec. Frontenac was largely responsible for opening the region, despite orders from his superiors.


In 1797, the North West Company, a major force in the fur trade, began building the Sault Ste. Marie Canal. It was destroyed by American troops in 1814 when they attacked the company's nearby trading post during the War of 1812-1814.

In 1895, the first U.S. car race -- from Chicago to Waukegan, Ill. -- was won by J. Frank Duryea, who maintained a speed of 12 km/h.

In 1914, the New York Stock Exchange re-opened after its longest shutdown ever. The exchange had closed July 31st with the outbreak of the First World War.

In 1919, Lady Astor became the first woman elected to the British House of Commons.

In 1943, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin met in Tehran to plot Second World War strategy.

In 1956, Canada granted $1 million and free passage to victims of the revolution in Hungary.

In 1960, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania proclaimed its independence.

In 1965, the Canadian satellite “Alouette II” was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

In 1972, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame officially opened in Hamilton.

In 1979, Billy Smith of the New York Islanders became the first NHL goalie to score a goal. Smith's pioneering efforts weren't enough as the Islanders lost to the Colorado Rockies 4-3.

In 1979, an Air New Zealand jetliner crashed into the side of a volcano in Antarctica. The plane, carrying 257 people, was on a scenic flight from Auckland to the Antarctic coast and back. All 257 people, including three Canadians, were killed.

In 1983, the Federal Court of Appeals ruled Ottawa could allow testing of U.S. cruise missiles in Canada without violating the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In 1984, the Saskatchewan Legislature expelled convicted murderer Colin Thatcher and declared his seat vacant. Thatcher was convicted Nov. 6 in the death of his ex-wife and sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for 25 years. He was granted full parole on Nov. 30, 2006.

In 1987, a South African Airways Boeing jumbo jet carrying 159 people caught fire and crashed, approaching the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, killing all on board.

In 1988, Pablo Picasso's painting “Acrobat and Young Harlequin” was auctioned for a record US$45.8-million, the most paid for a work of art created in the 20th century.

In 1990, Margaret Thatcher resigned as prime minister of Britain, handing over her seal of office during an audience with the Queen. Thatcher, first elected in 1979, was Britain's longest-serving prime minister of the 20th century. She earned the nickname “Iron Lady” for her steely resolve on matters like the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982. Her decision to send a naval task force to the islands boosted her popularity and helped her win a second electoral victory.

In 1994, Norway voted against joining the European Union.

In 1994, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, serving 16 life terms for killing 17 young men and boys, was killed by a fellow inmate at a Wisconsin prison.

In 1999, Hsing-Hsing, a male panda, Chinese leader Mao Zedong's gift to former U.S. president Richard Nixon in 1972, died at age 28.

In 1999, New Brunswick-based McCain Foods, one of the world's largest buyers of potatoes, banned all genetically altered spuds from its production line.

In 2000, the Dutch parliament approved a bill by a vote of 104-40 vote to allow euthanasia and physician assisted suicide, making it the first country to formally legalize the practice.

In 2001, Enron Corp. collapsed after would-be rescuer Dynegy Inc. backed out of an $8.4 billion deal to take it over.

In 2003, James Driskell was released on bail in Winnipeg pending a review of his first-degree murder conviction. DNA tests put into question his 1991 conviction for killing his friend, Perry Dean Harder. In March of 2005, federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler quashed the murder conviction and ordered a new trial but Manitoba Justice officials quickly opted not to re-try the case and filed a stay of proceedings -- a move that Driskell's lawyer said effectively exonerated his client.

In 2006, Auditor General Sheila Fraser said former CFL star Ron Stewart made more than $325,000 in questionable claims and improperly cashed out vacation entitlements when he was ombudsman for federal prison inmates.

In 2008, “Durham County” earned three Gemini awards, including best actor for Justin Louis, best actress for Helene Joy and best direction for Holly Dale. CBC's “The Englishman's Boy” was named best dramatic miniseries, while its star Nicholas Campbell took the best actor title. Those wins were in addition to four Geminis it picked up at a ceremony the previous month.

In 2009, Gilles Carle, a trailblazing filmmaker who chronicled Quebec's changing identity in more than 30 art house films including Maria Chapdelaine, La Mort d'un bucheron, (Death of a Lumberjack), Le Vrai Nature de Bernadette, Les Plouffes - (the movie version of Roger Lemelin's popular TV series), and Pudding Chomeur, died in Granby, Que., at age 80. His films, which won more than 29 Gemini Awards, were often infused with sexuality and dealt with several themes, especially the disappearance of innocence and Quebec's rural way of life and Montreal's multicultural character.

In 2010, neutron bomb inventor Samuel T. Cohen, who designed the tactical nuclear weapon intended to kill people but do minimal damage to structures, died from complications of stomach cancer. He was 89.

In 2010, WikiLeaks released more than 250,000 classified U.S. State Department documents revealing a hidden world of backstage international diplomacy, divulging candid comments from world leaders and detailing occasional U.S. pressure tactics aimed at hot spots in Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea.

In 2010, Leslie Nielsen, a Canadian-born actor who went from drama to inspired bumbling as a hapless doctor in “Airplane!” and the accident-prone detective Frank Drebin in the “The Naked Gun” comedies, died at a hospital near his home in Ft. Lauderdale where he was being treated for pneumonia. He was 84.

In 2010, European Union nations agreed to give C$89.4 billion in bailout loans to Ireland to help it weather the cost of its massive banking crisis.