The Mail

The Mail

‘The Trudeau legend’

October 23 2000
The Mail

The Mail

‘The Trudeau legend’

October 23 2000

The Mail

‘The Trudeau legend’

All who had the good fortune to hear or see Justin Trudeau's eulogy for his father, former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, will remember that moment as a turning point in Canadian history (“After the tears,” Cover, Oct. 16). Has Canada now acquired its own royal family—the Canadian version of the Kennedys? There is much to be said in favour of it. Justin and Sacha are descendants of Frenchand English-speaking families, and obviously Justin has his fathers flair for the theatrical. Some said he reminded them of his father. It is more than that—he is his father. The Trudeau legend has opened another chapter. Many Canadians will watch the career of this wonderful young man with intense interest.

Jim Speight, Langdale, B.C.

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I think its only fitting that our federal Liberal government, without any consultation whatsoever with interested parties, has unilaterally and arbitrarily suggested that the tallest mountain in Canada, Mount Logan, be renamed for Pierre Elliott Trudeau (“Getting the axe,” Overture, Oct. 16). After all, he succeeded in bringing down Canadas standard of living, and making Canadians one of the most heavily taxed among developed nations. He did all that by raising Canadas deficit from zero to $38 billion. I guess you could call it “Trudeau’s Mountain of Debt.” Jerry Steinberg, Vancouver

Having the highest peak in Canada named after Pierre Trudeau, well, it will be like having a perpetual Trudeau finger forever in our western faces to remind us as to just who got the last word. I am sure that this is exactly what he would not want. He believed in the history of this country and would not want it altered on his behalf.

Robin Bodnaruk, Ladysmith, B.C.

Thank you for your tribute to Pierre Trudeau (“Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 19192000,” Cover, Oct. 9), who made us a nation of poets by challenging us to articulate our aspirations as individuals and the great collective that is Canada. This year, we have said farewell to AÍ Purdy, poet of the land, and Pierre Trudeau, for whom the land was poetry. Their journeys are ours. Perhaps the presence of Cuban President Fidel Castro at Trudeau’s funeral is a symbol of our national maturity.

Linda Rogers, Past President, The League of Canadian Poets, Victoria

There are so many ways I have benefited from and been influenced by Trudeau’s vision, starting in elementary school, where I attended half-day

‘Defining moment’

As my wife, Elsie, and I watched the funeral homage to a man who undoubtedly was the most outstanding leader Canada has yet had, we indeed felt that we were viewing the unfolding of the universe. But it was Justin Trudeau’s eulogy that will be forever recognized as the defining moment in that service of celebration for his departed father (“ ‘It’s all up to us,’ ” Cover, Oct. 16). I am as far removed from being a member of the Liberal party as one could possibly be; however, I must admit that I’ve applauded some of Trudeau’s initiatives, including the Company of Young Canadians. But I do hope that Justin (and his brother, Sacha, and his sister, Sarah) will not be hijacked into becoming part of Canada’s political circus. I wish that the Trudeau sons and daughter find their own roads to greatness so that we will remember them for themselves.

Floyd Williston, Winnipeg

French-immersion classes. This was the foundation for my becoming bilingual. In turn, being bilingual has opened many exciting doors for me, both professionally and academically, not to mention opening my mind. I was lucky enough to meet my hero more than once. At a Canada World Youth anniversary party (another wonderful program started under the Trudeau government), I watched him dance up a storm. That was only nine years ago. I will never forget all that I have learned because of him and I will always work to realize the potential of the Canada he believed we could become.

Christelle Carter, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan

Too many times I have had to read that Pierre Trudeau was a great prime minister. But he couldn’t muster up enough love for Canada to serve during the Second World War. When Quebec becomes a sovereign nation, and British Columbia and Alberta (and if we are lucky, Saskatchewan as well) become their own entity, then, and only then, will the Liberal butt-munching media

The Mail

have to admit just how great Trudeau really was. No single person did more to divide what was at one time the worlds most beautiful country.

Michael Hegan, Regina

For a brief time, we were only Canadians—not tied to England’s constitutional politics and not committed to a North American culture. Trudeau gave us that moment in time. It was too brief.

Peggy Sakaluk, North Bay, Ont.

Allan Fotheringham says, in reference to the passing of Pierre Trudeau: “They don’t make giants anymore” (“The last of the giants,” Oct. 9). “They” never did. Our country, its needs and our times gave us Trudeau. This intersection of the individual, the times and the challenge has, in the postwar world, given us John E Kennedy, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. We mourn the passing of a legend who dominated his era, and await the gift of the next one from the solid foundation of the Canadian democracy on which we all laid a few stones with Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

Bob Delaney, Mississauga, Ont.

Big winners

I agree that François Dominic Laramee’s $64,000 win on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Canadian Edition was impressive, but contrary to the statement in “National wealth” (Entertainment Notes, Sept. 25), his win wasn’t the largest amount ever won by a Canadian on a quiz show, or even on a quiz show in Canada (an error host Pamela Wallin made on the program as well). In 1978,1 appeared on a program by AlexTrebek called the $128,000 Question, which was, in fact, taped in Canada, and I won the top prize. Much to my surprise, this accomplishment resulted in my being included in The Guinness Book of World Records, although the record has long

since been supplanted. Amd I’m not even the winner of the largest amount won by a Canadian. That honour belongs to Bob Blake, also of Vancouver, who won more than $80,000 as a fivetime champion on Jeopardy!, then won an additional $100,000 on the Tournament of Champions.

Barbara-Anne Eddy, Vancouver

To have or have not

I want to congratulate you on a great article, “Kids? Not me, thanks” (Over to You, Oct. 9). At the age of 18,1 made that decision, and now, at 63, I find that my decision was a very good one for me. I was ahead of my time. Even today, there are so few articles like this: it is refreshing and forward thinking. I hope Sara Jewell continues to enjoy her life with her partner and dog.

Elizabeth Murray, Victoria

I respect Sara Jewell’s choice, because unless one is totally committed to the joy and sorrow, ins and outs, and ups and downs of parenthood, having a child wouldn’t only be frustrating, it would be wrong. Having a child because it is expected is the worst decision one could ever make. To have a child and not love her passionately and unconditionally leaves an irreparable hole in the heart of another human being that no amount of therapy can fix. My husband and I decided to enter the world of parenthood, and what I have discovered along the way is that, while I love walking our dog, there is nothing like the road I walk with my kids. Teresa Klassen, Kelowna, B.C.

On behalf of all parents who attempt to contribute to the future of mankind in a positive way, I’d like to thank Sara Jewell and her husband for recognizing their shameless lack of responsibility and selflessness. The last thing this world needs is to reproduce such selfish and shortsighted heirs.

Mike and Gail Thompson, Courtice, Ont.

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