Press-Republican

Columns

November 2, 2012

Marois must deal with Levesque legacy

My assignment had been simple, seemingly.

It was the end of October 1987. I was the reporter, editor and photographer for a weekly newspaper in Montreal. Pierre Trudeau and Rene Levesque, both one-time journalists, were slated to attend a benefit event for PEN, the support group for imprisoned writers.

This would be the first time the legendary political rivals found themselves in the same room together since their respective retirements: Trudeau, in 1984, as prime minister of Canada for about 15 years; Levesque, in 1985, after leading the first separatist government in Quebec.

What I remember is a mad scramble around downtown Montreal to find batteries for my camera flash, in vain it turns out, since neither Trudeau nor Levesque had any inclination to be photographed together gripping and grinning.

As I soon learned, that missed photo opportunity was truly regrettable because it was Rene Levesque’s last public appearance. He died two days later, of a heart attack at age 65. (Trudeau died 13 years later.)

The 25th anniversary of Levesque’s passing has not gone unnoticed. Indeed, last weekend’s edition of Quebec’s largest newspaper — owned by the Peladeau family, long-time supporters of Quebec nationalism — produced a 24-page supplement lauding Levesque.

A poll commissioned to commemorate the anniversary found that 64 percent of Quebecers think he was the premier who most influenced the province in the past 50 years. There is certainly no shortage of physical reminders of him. Major city boulevards, parks, a power dam, a river, a riding, a jogging path and even a university in Guineau bear his name.

It might be just coincidence, but the secessionist party Levesque helped create chose this week to announce its agenda for ruling the province. Almost exactly two months ago, Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois won a fragile minority government and became the first woman premier of Quebec.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • ken_wibecan.jpg Another day in the life

    Each morning I rise from bed, slowly, as is my habit, and sit quietly on the bed contemplating the day that looms before me, writes columnist Ken Wibecan.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR small talk mug 081714 Corner store is no more

    Columnist Gordie Little offers a reminder of the little grocery stores of days gone by.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR skin deep mug 081714 High-end products worth the splurge

    Regardless of the price, writes columnist Felicia Krieg, she would buy the core group of her makeup products over and over again.

    August 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • paul_grasso.jpg Tax code needs overhaul

    Corporations may be criticized for exploiting loopholes, but it is the complex tax system that is at fault, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Ideas about soil health changing

    New techniques like no-til and cover crops can make soil healthier than conventional tillage, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Economy may have changed forever

    The Great Recession has reordered the workforce in a way that makes it unlikely it will ever be the same, according to columnist Colin Read.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg The dark side of fun funerals

    Something strange happened in American culture in the past decade or two: People started planning fun funerals, writes religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR fit bits mug Developing power key to success

    While strength is important, the ability to generate power is required for many basic activities in life, writes columnist Ted Santaniello.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR you had to ask mug 081014 Time to reel in youth sports parents

    Do not scream at a child that he's a loser, at least not in a language he understands, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Treating corporations like people

    Problems arise in many areas when businesses take on the attributes of individuals as mandated by the court, according to columnist Colin Read.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice
Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk
Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time