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A golf story

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, Read more…

By Robert Lewis, ago
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Deer Town

As I rolled down the car window to take a picture, the deer looked up blankly, then resumed munching on the lawn of a neighbouring house. Welcome to St. Andrews, NB, where the deer run wild in the streets and backyards, chomping their way through hedges, gardens and flower beds. Read more…

By Robert Lewis, ago
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Fishing with The Chief

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 Read more…

By Robert Lewis, ago
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On matters of principle

The departure from cabinet came with a stark, unequivocal statement: “I resigned as a matter of principle. The point was finally reached when I considered that my honour and integrity required that I take that step.” So spoke Conservative defence minister Douglas Harkness in the House of Commons on Feb. Read more…

By Robert Lewis, ago
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Flag Day — Feb. 15, 1965

I always remember Feb.15. It is the day the maple leaf flag went up for the first time on the Peace Tower — and the day I started work on Parliament Hill in 1965. The Montreal Star office was a cramped alcove off a corridor adjacent to the main room of Read more…

By Robert Lewis, ago
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On losing a justice minister

The loss of Jody Wilson-Raybould from the Trudeau cabinet this week is no small matter, especially since she was a proud symbol of the government’s twin push to elevate women to high office and to pursue reconciliation with Canada’s First Nations. The PM virtually kicked her on the way out Read more…

By Robert Lewis, ago
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Ontario’s shame

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s decision to cancel the previous Liberal government’s plans to fund a francophone university for reasons of costs has eerie echoes in history. Tampering with historical francophone rights has inflamed passions from the earliest days of the nation. In 1895 John Willison, an otherwise enlightened editor of the Read more…

By Robert Lewis, ago
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Remembering 1918

Few people in the world were untouched by the Great War, 1914 to November 1918. Some 70 million people were directly involved as military and more than 15 million —combatants or civilians — were killed. Journalists and journalism were marked forever as well. John Willison (pictured) graduated from the Parliamentary Read more…

By Robert Lewis, ago
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Remembrance: The War Correspondents

Many of our great journalists made their mark during or after service in the Second World War, among them George Bain, Matthew Halton, Charles Lynch, Doug Fisher, Lubor Zink and W. A. Wilson. In an unpublished personal memoir in the National Archives, Norman DePoe , later the legendary CBC Ottawa Read more…

By Robert Lewis, ago