A DECADE OF PROSPERITY has transformed the neighbourhood around the Palais des Congrès de Montréal almost beyond recognition. Development has replaced crumbling old warehouses with glistening corporate offices. The dowdy old Pub St. James, where matrons in brown aprons used to serve up indigestible hamburgers and iceberg-lettuce salads, has become one of the most elegant and hardrocking martini bars in Canada.
ON OCT. 15, on the rooftop patio of a Toronto tavern, Stéphane Dion shook the hands of his supporters and took one question from a kibbitzing journalist. “What would you say if I said you were too hot in the debate today at Thomson Hall?” the reporter asked.
THE FIRST RULE of political organization is, always find a venue too small for your crowd. That way, all the news accounts will say the room was packed to bursting. So what the hell was Stéphane Dion doing, launching his campaign for the Liberal leadership in front of a few dozen misfits, inside a Montreal convention centre the size of three aircraft carriers?
IN HINDSIGHT, it almost seems that Michael Ignatieff’s move from London to Cambridge, Mass., in 2000 was a stepping stone on his way back to Canada after decades abroad. Harvard was closer to home, and as he shed a certain aloofness and became a popular teacher, he also began visiting Canada regularly.
Q: Congratulations on your victory. A: Thank you so much. Q: Let’s start with a question about rights. The Conservative government has been critical of China on issues of human rights and industrial espionage. How would your Liberal government treat these issues?
WHEN IT WAS OVER-when the pursuit of half a lifetime and the challenges of 13 years in power ended on the same cold January night in Montreal—Paul Martin found some of the grace that had eluded him for so long. “I will not take our party into another election as leader,” he said matter-of-factly to the crowd at his riding headquarters, an Italian banquet hall in LaSalle-Émard.
Most political conventions resemble unclaimed baggage on airport carousels, in that the same issues keep coming around, again and again. Last week's Liberal talkathon at Montreal's Palais des Congrès was no exception. Given the chance to modernize and reform itself-to hook into the global world of progress and opportunity by backing Michael Ignatieff-Canada's Liberal party settled on Stéphane Dion, the Joe Clark of the 21st century.By PETER C. NEWMAN
Considering that it seems to be every prominent Canadian’s preferred second nationality, from the Governor General and the new leader of the Opposition down, France is a faraway country of which we know little. One had assumed the French themselves were a wee bit more on top of things.By MARK STEYN
NAME THIS MOVIE. Set in the 1940s, in a city riddled with spies, Nazis and corrupt officials, it’s a black-and-white intrigue about a jaded American who encounters an old flame—a married European he met on the eve of the Second World War. The plot kicks in with the murder of a greasy racketeer selling exit visas on the black market.By BRIAN D.JOHNSON
I COMMEND Maclean’s for its Parliamentarian of the Year award (“Canada’s best MP,” Cover, Dec. 4). As a clandestine political junkie, I sit back in awe at the dedication and sacrifice of MPs of all party stripes. Consider the working conditions.
The story you want is part of the Maclean’s Archives. To access it, log in here or sign up for your free 30-day trial.
Experience anything and everything Maclean's has ever published — over 3,500 issues and 150,000 articles, images and advertisements — since 1905. Browse on your own, or explore our curated collections and timely recommendations.WATCH THIS VIDEO for highlights of everything the Maclean's Archives has to offer.