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Chrétien with (from left) Tony Wilson-Smith, me, Rolston, Allan Gregg and Heather Peterson

Before he won the Liberal leadership in 1990, Jean Chrétien was my guest in a foursome at the Peter Gzowski Invitational, an annual golf tournament to raise money for Frontier College’s literacy programs. Our honorary caddy was the great Canadian cellist Shauna Rolston. As they headed down the first fairway, Chrétien compared notes with a fellow musician: “So, I hear you play the cello? I play the French horn myself ” — a youthful legacy from boarding school in Joliette. For the rest of the round the two of them jabbered away, clearly engaged in each other’s company. Ms. Rolston finally approached me near the end of the round and inquired about her friendly companion, “Who is this guy?” Informed that he was the leader of the official opposition in the House of Commons, she was gobsmacked. “No shit!?” she stammered in disbelief. (Excerpt from Power, Prime Ministers and the Press: The Battle for Truth on Parliament Hill, Dundurn, 2018.)


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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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