Flashback: seeing red over Ontario's Greenbelt

Cute human-sized critters, another reason to love Mr. Dressup, and tobacco for teens are three of the topics in this week's Flashback newsletter.

Furry protesters greeted announcement of boundaries for protected area in 2005

CBC's Flashback newsletter looks inside the CBC archives with inspiration from recent news headlines and what's happening at CBC. Sign up here to get it delivered straight to your inbox. 

Seeing red over Ontario's Greenbelt

Ontario premier draws greenbelt boundaries in 2005

19 years ago
Duration 2:25
Farmers and developers alike are seeing red when the province unveils the boundaries for a swath of protected land on the south of the province. Aired Feb. 28, 2005 on Canada Now.

Flashback will never pass up the opportunity to feature a photo in which humans are costumed as cute rodents. (ICYMI, Gainer the Gopher was featured in a recent edition of the newsletter.) This time, the opportunity presented itself when Flashback saw people in furry getups greeting Ontario's Greenbelt in 2005.
The Liberal government under Dalton McGuinty, aiming to prevent urban sprawl, unveiled its greenbelt boundaries at an event in Kleinburg, Ont.
Reporter Christine Birak spoke to farmers who were angry they'd be unable to sell to developers and were protesting outside the event. "They're taking away our property rights. They're taking away our land," said Rick Stull.

A break-in at 24 Sussex

Male RCMP officer walks toward ivy-covered house
The RCMP said it would investigate the circumstances of the break-in -- including how it unfolded and it how it was able to occur. (The National/CBC Archives)

The official prime minister's residence at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa may be a "rat-infested death trap ," as a recent CBC News story described it, and last month The National made excellent use of archival CBC reports about the house.
In one of the more memorable events to occur there, a quick-thinking Aline Chrétien confronted an intruder who broke in one night in 1995.
"I could not believe what she was telling me," then-Prime Minister Jean Chrétien told reporters the next day. "She saw a person in front of her and she closed back the door, very rapidly, came back to the room and locked the other door."

An icon speaks

Smiling man in glasses
Ernie Coombs said he believed he naturally had a lot of personality traits in common with Mr. Dressup, though he also believed playing the character had a positive impact on his own personal identity. (Midday/CBC Archives)

If you're a Canadian between the ages of 30 and 80, you may have heard of TV icon Mr. Dressup. A documentary about the children's show creator is making its debut this week at the Toronto International Film Festival, reports CBC Arts.
There wasn't much difference between the character of Mr. Dressup and Ernie Coombs, the man who played him, as he explained a decade before he retired.
"When I started doing Mr. Dressup, I didn't see him as a character — an overt character where I had to put on a different voice, or a lot of makeup, or a funny beard, or something like that," Coombs told a CBC reporter in 1985. "He was basically me with a different name, doing things that I do like to do."

Dulse pulse

Man in suit jacket brandishing large handful of dulse
Reporter Bill Curtis brandishes a handful of dulse on Grand Manan Island in 1973. (CBC News/CBC Archives)

The year 2023 is "the worst dulse season most can remember" on Grand Manan Island in New Brunswick, CBC News reported this month. It wasn't as rich as usual 50 years ago either, as the CBC's Bill Curtis showed in a 1973 survey.

Before the coup

People flee from shooting on the streets of Santiago, Chile in 1973 (silent)

50 years ago
Duration 0:34
People are seen running as uniformed soldiers begin firing guns in silent footage captured by CBC. This film is dated Aug. 17, 1973.

Over the weekend, CBC Radio's Eyeopener in Calgary observed today's 50th anniversary of the 1973 coup in Chile. Less than a month before the event, the CBC captured silent footage of people in Santiago fleeing gunfire from men in uniform.

Smoking hot

Advertisement for cigarettes
A 1985 newspaper ad pushes Tempo cigarettes, but an agency executive says they're not for teens. (CBC Archives/The Journal)

The Canadian Cancer Society is alarmed about the rate of teen vaping, CBC News says. In 1985, the society was similarly concerned by Tempo cigarettes, telling CBC's The Journal that the brand was aimed at "the video generation."

Brain teasers

CBC host next to graphic of human brain on a computer monitor
The National's George McLean is seen introducing a report about artificial intelligence which aired on Sept. 22, 1984. (The National/CBC Archives)

There are new guidelines for federal government employees hoping to use artificial intelligence tools on the job, CBC News reported this week. AI was also a problem 39 years ago, when CBC's The National found that those studying "thinking computers" had to leave the country to keep up their research.

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