HOW THEY DO IT IN...

WE’RE SO SORRY

Fortunately, being reported dead didn’t ruin this Ian Scott’s day

CATHY GULLI October 30 2006
HOW THEY DO IT IN...

WE’RE SO SORRY

Fortunately, being reported dead didn’t ruin this Ian Scott’s day

CATHY GULLI October 30 2006

WE’RE SO SORRY

SOCIETY

Fortunately, being reported dead didn’t ruin this Ian Scott’s day

CATHY GULLI

The day Ian Scott reportedly died, there were no calls of condolence to his homes in New England and eastern England, no flowers, no funeral arrangements. It was Oct. ll, 2006, “the day of rain and fog,” recalls the retired World Bank economist less than a week after his photo mistakenly appeared in the National Post alongside the headline, “Ian Scott dead at 72.”

The Ian Scott who died, of course, was the former Ontario attorney general from 1985 to 1990, celebrated for introducing pay equity, restructuring the provincial justice system, and banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. After he retired, Scott came out about his own homosexuality. He suffered a stroke in 1994 and died in his sleep.

But last Wednesday, this other Ian Scott— whose picture (white, aging man, grey-haired, toothy-grinned) has remained in the Post library since he was written about in 2001 for his research on information management—awoke at 6:30 a.m. He perused the Washington Post and English news. “The only time I’ve ever read a Canadian newspaper was when I’ve been in Canada,” says Scott, 65, from Oxford, Md. So, not knowing he was supposed to be dead, Scott continued with his day. He worked on an article for an English boat magazine about a vessel he has restored, and then on a speech he’ll give to a private club on “magic kingdoms, which are special places around the world I’ve got a particular affection for,” he explains. “I’m afraid none of them are in Canada.” Then, he shopped with his wife, had dinner, watched a movie, perhaps Capote, he can’t recall, and went to sleep.

Come Thursday, when the Post ran a correction (presumably someone who knew the late attorney general complained), Scott was writing his latest column on American politics for the Eastern Daily Press in England. “I don’t think I’ve ever written about Canadian politics for the simple reason that I don’t know anything about them,” he muses.

Scott plans to vacation in Canada in 2008. National Post readers who missed the correction will certainly be surprised to see him. M