2003 in Canada,
other events of 2004,
2005 in Canada and the
list of 'years in Canada'.
- January 1: Montreal Dorval Airport is renamed, after some controversy, Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.
- January 5: Canadian dollar value climbs above $0.78 US, for the first time since July 1993.
- January 5: In the World Junior Hockey Championship, Team Canada is defeated by Team USA 4-3 in the Final at Helsinki, Finland.
- January 7: The NHL suspends the Toronto Maple Leafs' Mats Sundin after he throws his stick into the stands after it breaks. No one was hurt and he was suspended only one game.
- January 7: Randy Ferbey wins Canada Cup opener.
- January 12: Stephen Harper enters leadership race for the new Conservative Party of Canada.
- January 13: President George W. Bush allows Canada to bid for contracts in Iraq.
- January 16: Race begins in Nunavut general election, 2004.
- January 19: Government of Canada challenges Department of Justice of Canada against repayment of same-sex benefit dating back to 1985.
- January 19: The Quebec Provincial Police announce a new police force to fight organized crime.
- January 22: Montreal's Sainte Justine Children's Hospital warns of a former surgeon who may have infected 2,600 patients with HIV, by letter.
- January 27: A Canadian soldier, Corporal Jamie Murphy, is killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan. Three other soldiers are also injured.
- January 29: NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer requests Canadian soldiers to keep a presence in Afghanistan after the scheduled return of troops in August.
- January 30: The Supreme Court of Canada upholds a law allowing parents to spank their child within "reasonable limits".
- February 2: The Speech from the Throne is read by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson in the Senate chamber.
- February 2: Wiarton Willie the groundhog predicts six more week of cold weather on Groundhog Day.
- February 6: Canadian SPCA finds 100 dead cows and 100 more being improperly cared for, on an Alberta farm.
- February 6: The CBC announces it will use a broadcast delay during Don Cherry's Coaches Corner on Hockey Night in Canada, after he makes anti-French and European comments, a possible violation of the Official Languages Act of Canada.
- February 10: Auditor General of Canada Sheila Fraser releases a study on the federal government's advertising and sponsorship in Quebec which notes millions of dollars were mishandled. (See: 2004 Canadian sponsorship scandal).
- February 12: The World Health Organization endorses a Health Canada plan to deal with a potential influenza pandemic.
- February 12: A Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan woman, now 18, who became a quadriplegic after being hit by a vehicle at age 4, is awarded $12 million in a lawsuit against the driver, the city and the former police chief. It is the largest lawsuit awarded in Saskatchewan history.
- February 13: Jane Stewart, former Human Resources Development Canada Minister, announces her retirement from politics, to work for the United Nations International Labour Organization
- February 16: Conservative Party of Canada Member of Parliament Elsie Wayne announces her retirement from politics.
- February 16: The Canadian Recording Industry Association ask a judge to order many Canadian ISPs to hand over names of 29 suspected illegal fileswappers.
- February 16: Polling day, Nunavut general election, 2004 Of the 19 members of the consensus government, 1 is acclaimed and 18 elections are held. Eight members of the previous government are re-elected, five are defeated, and five who did not run again are replaced. MLAs will choose the premier from among themselves on March 5; incumbent Paul Okalik is challenged by Tagak Curley.
- February 17: John Bryden, Liberal Party of Canada Member of Parliament for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot County in the Canadian House of Commons, resigns from the party due to the Prime Minister of Canada's sponsorship scandal.
- February 17: Canada donates $800,000 to the World Food Program and $350,000 to the International Red Cross, to help with the current food and medical needs in Haiti, following the recent coup there.
- February 18: Auditor General of New Brunswick Daryl Wilson reports Premier of New Brunswick Bernard Lord lied about the province having a budget surplus of $1,000,000. Lord accuses the Auditor General of "accounting semantics".
- February 19: Jeremy Hinzman, a US soldier from the US 82nd Airborne Division in North Carolina, seeks refugee status in Canada as a conscientious objector to serving in Iraq. He currently lives in Toronto with his wife and child.
- February 19: Starting in Buffalo, New York and ending in Niagara Falls, Ontario, a cross border police pursuit results in dead Canadian woman.
- February 20: 2004 CN Rail workers strike (Canada).
- February 20: The Saskatchewan Minister of Justice, Frank Quennell, announces Alberta Justice Edward P. McCallum will head an inquiry into David Milgaard's wrongful conviction.
- February 20: South Korea, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong ban poultry and birds imports from Canada, after the virus H7 (virus) is found. It is not linked to H5N1 (virus), which was blamed for killing 22 people in Asia (See also: avian influenza).
- February 20: Canada is part of multi-national delegation with the United States, France and Caribbean nations sent to Haiti, to help end the current conflict.
- February 21: An joint investigation into the February 19 cross border police chase is made by Niagara Falls, New York Police, Niagara Falls, Ontario Police and Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, to determine if proper procedure was followed.
- February 23: Microcell Solutions Inc. sues TELUS Communications, Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless and Société Tele-Mobile, in a Quebec superior court, for violating its trademark Fido dog image.
- February 23: Toronto nurse Andrea Williams files a $600 million lawsuit against the governments of Canada and Ontario due to her contracting SARS, during the 2003 outbreak.
- February 24: Prime Minister Paul Martin suspends 3 Crown corporation heads in steps dealing with the sponsorship scandal. Those suspended are Michel Vennat, president of the Business Development Bank of Canada, Via Rail president Marc LeFrançois and Canada Post president André Ouellet.
- February 25: Vancouver International Airport (YVR) announces $1.4 million expansion.
- February 26: Canadian Armed Forces send nine members of elite counter-terrorism unit JTF2 to Haiti to aid in evacuating Canadian nationals.
- February 28: Canadian businessman James Sabzali, living in Philadelphia since 1996, fined and sentenced to a year probation for violating the United States trade embargo against Cuba.
- February 28: RCMP Corporal Jim Galloway shot dead during a standoff.
- March 3: United Nations International Narcotics Control Board criticizes Canada for having a provincially run safe house for drug users in Vancouver, British Columbia.
- March 3: RCMP investigate threatening letters sent to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island government and media buildings.
- March 3: Former Jean Chrétien aide Jean Carle linked to 2004 Canadian sponsorship scandal.
- March 5: Paul Okalik re-elected as Premier of Nunavut in Nunavut general election, 2004.
- March 5: Canadian Forces plans to send 450 troops, including three infantry platoons and six helicopters from 430 Squadron in Valcartier, Quebec, and members of India Company of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment, based at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick, to Haiti for a 90 day mission.
- March 5: Prime Minister Paul Martin fires the President of Via Rail Marc LeFrançois.
- March 5: Abdurahman Khadr, who admitted recently to having Al qaeda and Osama bin Laden links, alleges to working for the CIA as an informant.
- March 6: Sheila Copps loses nomination to Tony Valeri to represent the riding of Hamilton East-Stoney Creek in the 2004 Canadian election.
- March 7-8: UN Secretary General Kofi Annan visits Canada to meet with Prime Minister Martin, Governor General of Canada Adrienne Clarkson and Louise Arbour, who was recently named UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Topic of discussion with the PM will be the Haiti crisis.
- March 8: Vancouver Police investigate a National Hockey League incident involving Vancouver Canucks Todd Bertuzzi and Colorado Avalanche rookie Steve Moore. Moore was hit by Bertuzzi resulting in Moore's receiving a neck injury and concussion. Moore is out of the lineup indefinitely.
- March 9: Sheila Copps files an appeal of the Liberal nomination loss and a complaint to the RCMP.
- March 9: Belinda Stronach wins Conservative Party of Canada nomination for riding of Newmarket-Aurora, defeating Lois Brown 512-412 in total votes.
- March 9: Second form of avian flu found on British Columbia farm.
- March 9: Ottawa police chief Vince Bevan admits involvement in investigating Maher Arar before he was deported to Syria.
- March 9: Protests across the country against Citizenship and Immigration Canada for arrest of Algerian refugee Mohamed Cherfi by Quebec City police for failing to report an address change. He had been hiding in a church, which is normally considered a refugee safe house
- March 9: 2004 Canadian sponsorship scandal investigation finds $2.3 million missing which was to be used to fund the Bluenose 2.
- March 12: Canadian Forces begin deployment to Haiti to support peacekeeping force.
- March 12: CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick Colonel Barry McLeod named Chief of Staff of United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). He will arrive there in July.
- March 12: 2004 Canadian sponsorship scandal investigation results in firing of Michel Vennat, the Business Development Bank of Canada's President.
- March 15: Treasury Board of Canada President Reg Alcock announces a "merit-based" system to appoint new CEO's for Crown corporations.
- March 15: Quebec government warns 1,144 people who attended an acupuncture clinic (owned by Suzanne Sicotte) in Montreal to take blood tests for HIV and hepatitis.
- March 15: Brad Wall appointed leader of the Saskatchewan Party.
- March 16: Equifax confirms security breach resulting in the illegal access to files containing credit information of 1,400 Canadians.
- March 17: House of Commons committee summons 11 federal bureaucrats in investigation of the sponsorship scandal for a private hearing, later to become a public hearing.
- March 17: Canadian Food Inspection Agency creates a programme for routine testing of poultry for avian influenza (bird flu), after British Columbia had to destroy 57,000 chickens.
- March 17: Fisheries Minister Geoff Regan announces increased patrols outside the 320 kilometres limit off Canada's east coast.
- March 17: A stamp is created in honour of former Governor General of Canada Ray Hnatyshyn.
- March 17: 170 Canadian Forces soldiers sent to Haiti to provide security (See Operation Halo).
- March 18: Kickbacks discovered in free flag giveaway discovered from 1996 promise by Sheila Copps to giveaway 1 million free flags.
- March 20: In the 2004 Conservative Party of Canada leadership race, Stephen Harper wins on the first ballot to become leader of the party and the official opposition.
- March 22: Federal government announces an aid package worth almost $1 billion to farmers hurt by mad cow disease.
- March 22: Conservative Party of Canada leader Stephen Harper appointed Peter MacKay as Deputy Leader.
- March 22: Supreme Court of Canada jurist Frank Iacobucci announces his retirement effective June.
- March 22: Canada condemns Israel's assassination of Hamas founder Shaikh Ahmed Yassin.
- March 22: Canada introduces a bill to protect public service worker whistleblowers.
- March 23: The 2004 Canadian budget is announced.
- March 23: The government of Canada will sell its stake in Petro Canada within next twelve months.
- March 24: RCMP release documents detailing investigation of newspaper reporter Juliet O'Neill telling how they searched for details of her knowledge of the Maher Arar case. A January 2004 raid of her house was also documented.
- March 24: Canadian Food Inspection Agency orders slaughter of 275,000 chickens and turkeys in British Columbia to fight avian flu outbreak.
- March 24: Myriam Bédard testifies to a committee investigating the sponsorship scandal that she heard Jacques Villeneuve was paid millions of dollars to wear a Canadian flag on his racing suit; Villeneuve calls this allegation "ludicrous".
- March 25: Supreme Court of Canada rules 9-0 in not holding Catholic Church of Canada responsible for sexual abuse of altar boys by a Newfoundland priest Kevin Bennett.
- March 26: Supreme Court of Canada upholds legitimacy of pre-nuptial agreements saying it can't be considered unfair at the time of signing.
- March 26: Minister of Foreign Affairs Bill Graham speaks at a memorial conference at the United Nations for the 1994 Rwanda massacre, reminding people to not forget the genocide.
- March 26: Canada makes One-Tonne Challenge.
- March 29: The Progressive Canadian Party registers with Elections Canada to elect members into the Canadian House of Commons in the 2004 Canadian federal election.
- March 29: RCMP raid an Ottawa area home, arrest Momin Khawaja on terrorism charges.
- March 29: Peel Regional Municipality, Ontario police officer arrested for possessing $2.5 million worth of cocaine.
- March 30: Auditor General of Canada Sheila Fraser criticizes flaws in national security.
- March 30: Ottawa area man Momin Khawaja arrested on March 29 is charged with acts of terrorism under the Canada Anti-Terrorism Act.
- March 31: Colin Thatcher is denied early parole.
- March 31: 170 people, including 29 Canadians, arrested in drug bust across Canada and the United States.
- March 31: Discovery finds that million flag promise in 1996 by Sheila Copps was organized by GroupAction.
- March 31: Federal Court of Canada rejects Canadian Recording Industry Association request to obtain names of music fileswappers, making the sharing legal.
- March 31: Saskatchewan government releases 2004 budget, raising the PST from 6% to 7%.
- April 1: RCMP confirms arrest of Mohammad Momin Khawaja is related to arrests in United Kingdom.
- April 1: Canada is exempted from list of countries on United States Department of Homeland Security for fingerprinting and photographing visitors to the US.
- April 1: Federal riding redistribution comes into effect: number of seats rises from 301 to 308.
- April 1: Same-sex marriage in Canada: the first legal same-sex marriage in Quebec is celebrated; Michael Hendricks and René Leboeuf wed in Montreal.
- April 6: Canada orders slaughter of 19 million British Columbia poultry due to avian influenza.
- April 6: 2004 Canadian sponsorship scandal - Jean Pelletier, former PMO chief of staff, alleges there was "no direction" in the federal sponsorship programme.
- April 7: Fadi Ihsan Fadel, a Canadian humanitarian working in Iraq, taken hostage among group of other nationals.
- April 7: Former Member of Canadian Parliament Jack Ramsay's son Spencer found dead in their family home.
- April 8: Nine Hell's Angels members from Montreal are convicted of drug trafficking and gangsterism.
- April 8: Department of Justice considering extraditing alleged mafia leader Vito Rizzuto to the United States. He is accused of three murders in 1981.
- April 14: Prime Minister Paul Martin announces extension to deployment of current soldiers in Afghanistan until summer 2005.
- April 15: Member of Parliament Svend Robinson confesses to stealing a ring from an auction firm. Takes medical leave.
- April 16: The auction firm from where Svend Robinson stole the ring says it won't pursue charges against him.
- April 16: Canadian hostage in Iraq, Fadi Ihsan Fadel, freed.
- April 16: Canadian Member of Parliament John Cannis (Scarborough Centre Liberal Party) calls for deportation of Abdurahman Khadr.
- April 17: Dalai Lama visits Canada for 19-day tour.
- April 17: Canadian peacekeeper in Prnjavor, Bosnia-Herzegovina, injured in road accident, one civilian also injured. Cause under investigation. (See: Operation Palladium)
- April 19: Canadians Edge and Chris Benoit win World Tag Team Championships on RAW (WWE).
- April 20: Rifat Mohammed Rifat, a Canadian citizen, taken hostage in Iraq.
- April 27: Air Canada flight 109, a Halifax to Vancouver 767, is escorted by two CF-18s after a suspicious threat is received by NORAD.
- April 27: Deputy Prime Minister of Canada Anne McLellan introduces new $690 million national security and foreign security initiative.
- April 29: Prime Minister Martin speaks at a US conference reaffirming position not to join coalition in Iraq, but says Canada wants to aid in rebuilding Iraq.
- April 29: A NAFTA panel rules in favour of Canada in the US - Canada softwood lumber dispute against the United States.
- June 3: US - Canada softwood lumber dispute: United States Commerce Department will cut its tax on softwood lumber exports, effective 2005.
- June 3: Peel, Ontario Police charge another 13 officials at HRDC in fraud, bribery and receiving secret commissions investigation.
- June 10: Elections Canada's Chief Electoral Officer announces changes to allow televised results of upcoming election without delay after closing of local polling stations.
- June 13: Michael Schumacher wins the 2004 Canadian Grand Prix held in Montreal, Quebec.
- June 17: Michael Briere pleads guilty to the murder of Holly Jones, admits to viewing child pornography immediately before the murder.
- June 18: The Conservative Party of Canada issues, retracts, reissues, and reretracts a news release entitled "Paul Martin Supports Child Pornography?"
- June 28: The Liberal Party of Canada wins a minority government of 135 seats in the 2004 federal election (155 seats were needed for a majority). The Conservative Party of Canada wins 99 seats, New Democratic Party 19, Bloc Québécois 54, and one seat is won by an independent candidate.
- June 29: Lethbridge, Alberta city councillor Dar Heatherington is convicted of public mischief after a police investigation concludes that she falsely alleged being stalked by a constituent. She previously faced similar charges after a 2003 investigation in Great Falls, Montana concluded that she filed a false report of having been abducted and raped.
- July 2: Nine-year-old Djamshid Djan Popal arrives in Toronto. Early diagnoses suggest Popal suffers from patent ductus arteriosus, a condition he can't get treatment for in his native Afghanistan, but will be able to in Canada thanks to fundraising efforts by the Muslim Association of Hamilton and volunteering doctors.
- July 6: Five-year-old Tamra Keepness, of Regina, is declared missing; massive police search ensues.
- July 11: Hail and torrential rain causes flooding in Edmonton; damage to the West Edmonton Mall is estimated in the millions.
- July 13: The CRTC does not renew the broadcasting license of the Quebec City FM radio station CHOI, citing obscene and offensive content; it is the first time a Canadian station has been forced off the air as a result of crude material.
- July 14: Same-sex marriage in Yukon: Yukon territory becomes the fourth province or territory to legalize same-sex marriage.
- July 14: Foreign affairs minister Bill Graham orders the withdrawal of Canada's ambassador to Iran after Canada is denied attendance at the trial of Mohammed Reza Aghdam Ahmadi, alleged murderer of Canadian-Iranian citizen Zahra Kazemi.
- July 15: Peterborough is hit with 235 mm of rain, backlogging the city's sewer system and flooding streets.
- July 16: Iran announces it will allow some diplomatic observers at the trial of Zahra Kazemi's alleged murderer; Canada suspends the withdrawal of its ambassador to Iran.
- July 18: Trial of Zahra Kazemi's alleged killer abruptly ends; Canadian ambassador to Iran is recalled.
- July 19: Two-time Olympic medallist Nicolas Gill is chosen by the Canadian Olympic Committee to be Canada's flag-bearer at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
- July 19: Step-father of missing Regina girl Tamra Keepness is charged with assault causing bodily harm; the alleged altercation occurred at 3 a.m. the morning of July 6, four hours after Tamra was last seen by the family.
- July 20: Prime minister Paul Martin announces his new cabinet, which includes new faces such as ice hockey great Ken Dryden, former BC premier Ujjal Dosanjh, and former Progressive Conservative and the openly gay Scott Brison.
- July 22: An arrest is made in the Cecilia Zhang murder case, 9 months after she was abducted.
- July 24: An Iranian court acquits the accused killer of Iranian-Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi of charges of "semi-intentional murder".
- July 30: Two audits claim that suspended Canada Post president Andre Ouellet overlooked contract-tendering and hiring protocols and ran a massive expense budget; he is given a week to explain his actions.
- October 1: Governor General Adrienne Clarkson's term extended one year.
- October 1: Manitoba, New Brunswick and Alberta introduce new anti-smoking laws.
- October 2: Poet/musician Meryn Cadell comes out as transgendered on CBC Radio One.
- October 4: Canada's first minority government since 1979 opens.
- October 4: Amnesty International releases a report slamming Canada's lack of protection of aboriginal women.
- October 4: Canada opens an investigation against United Nations Relief and Works Agency for possible relations with Hamas terrorists.
- October 5: Speech from the Throne
- October 5: A fire aboard HMCS Chicoutimi, located off the coast of Ireland, leaves 57 sailors adrift.
- October 6: Same-sex marriage in Canada: The Supreme Court of Canada begins three days of hearings to determine the legalization of same-sex marriage in the Constitution.
- October 13: HMCS Chicoutimi Lieutenant Chris Saunders' funeral is held at a Halifax, Nova Scotia church.
- October 14: A Boeing 747 MK Airlines cargo plane crashes after takeoff at Halifax International Airport.
- October 17: The ten finalists in the CBC's The Greatest Canadian series are announced. They are Sir Frederick Banting, Alexander Graham Bell, Tommy Douglas, Terry Fox, Wayne Gretzky, Sir John A. Macdonald, Lester B. Pearson, David Suzuki, Pierre Trudeau and, in a surprise which many Canadian media commentators have heavily mocked, Don Cherry.
- October 19: A lawyer in Toronto successfully challenges a traffic ticket on the basis that the city had not posted bilingual traffic signs in accordance with Ontario's French Language Services Act of 1986. The city is expected to appeal the decision.
- October 20: British Columbia lowers its provincial sales tax from 7.5% to 7%.
- October 20: The Loonie closes at $.8029, its first time above $.80 since 1993.
- October 25: Alberta premier Ralph Klein obtains a dissolution of the legislature; an election is called for November 22.
- October 28: Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler sends Steven Truscott's case to the Ontario Court of Appeal - 45 years after the sentence to hang.
- October 28: Supreme Court of Canada rules Newfoundland and Labrador was justified in deferring pay equity to women during a financial crisis.
Arts and literature
- January 7 - Doug Creighton, founder of the Toronto Sun
- January 7 - Doug Morton, member of the Regina Five (painter)
- January 15 - Alex Barris, actor and writer
- February 9 - Claude Ryan, former Quebec Parti libéral du Québec leader
- February 9 - Janusz Zurakowski, first man to fly the Avro Arrow
- February 21 - Guido Molinari, artist
- February 29 - Toni Onley, painter
- March 5 - Tooker Gomberg, environmentalist and former politician commits suicide by jumping from a Halifax-Dartmouth bridge
- March 18 - Harrison McCain, co-founder of McCain Foods Limited
- March 19 - Mitchell Sharp, politician
- March 20 or March 21 - Pierre Sévigny, war hero and former cabinet minister, involved in Munsinger Affair scandal
- March 24 - Ontario Liberal MPP Dominic Agostino
- May 9 - Eric Kierans, economist and politician
- July 11 - Frances Hyland, stage actress
- July 12 - Betty Oliphant, co-founder of National Ballet School
- September 4 - Moe Norman, professional golfer
- October 27 - Al Clouston, humourist