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I’m indebted to Brian Dempson of St. John’s  for sending me this picture with his comments on my book. He is the son of one-time Toronto Telegram reporter Peter Dempson (far right) who, with Press Gallery colleagues Mark Harrison of the Toronto Star (far left) and Clark Davey of the Globe and Mail, joined John Diefenbaker on an impromptu fishing trip to Lac La Ronge in Saskatchewan  after the Conservative leader won the 1957 election. They were simpler times; at least relations between politicians and press were less complicated. On the fishing trip, Diefenbaker steered the reporters in their speculation about the makeup of his new cabinet. During the long days and nights on the campaign train, Davey told me in an interview, “Mrs. Diefenbaker, recognizing that we weren’t maintaining as close contact with our families as we should, would phone our wives and talk to them and tell them we were OK. It was a different era.”  Power, Prime Ministers and the Press (Dundurn), 119-120.

Robert Lewis

Twelve years in the Parliamentary Press Gallery, former Editor-in-Chief at Maclean's, author "Power, Prime Ministers and the Press" (2018, Dundurn; available as audiobook).


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