Late in 1973 Prime Minister Trudeau created a short-lived furor by appointing Bora Laskin, a junior member of the Supreme Court of Canada, as its Chief Justice. The furor derived from three things: precedent said the job should have gone to Mr. Justice Ronald Martland of Alberta, next in line by seniority; Laskin was reputed to be a liberal, perhaps even a radical (a myth based, for the most part erroneously, on his years as a labor arbiter, his five years on the Ontario Court of Appeal, and three years on the Supreme Court); Laskin was perceived to be a man who would lean toward the federal government (he is a staunch federalist) in any and all federal-provincial disputes.
It is fascinating to watch the process of the self-fulfilling prophecy. In one issue of Maclean’s (January 10), Judith Timson begins a story on Justice Thomas Berger by describing a taxi-grabbing incident at Ottawa airport. The judge is recognized by a taxi occupant and after some conversation is warned, “Canadians always turn on their folk heroes.”
Marty Liebman is an unrepentant, honest-to-God gnome, one of those traditionally shadowy figures who operate in the mysterious world of international finance, making and losing fortunes by dealing in other people’s money. Right now.
In the middle of the severe cold wave that gripped the eastern and midwestern United States last month, Energy Minister Alastair Gillespie was listening to the radio one Friday night and picked up reports of more U.S. school closings and more factory shutdowns because of a shortage of energy.
It was the eve of what many Hindu holy men were proclaiming as their most auspicious religious day in 144 years. As the evening darkened and 10 million of their devout followers began crowding onto the banks of Hinduism’s sacred River Ganges in northeast India for a ritual bathing session held only once every 12 years, the prophecy of the holy men appeared to come true with startling suddenness and in a form that few, if any, in teeming India had anticipated.
Late last month, in what was probably his last appearance as a professional hockey player, Bobby Orr was able to play only two shifts against the inept Vancouver Canucks. Power plays, of course. During the second, the puck skipped past him at the Vancouver blueline.
To be accused of being the head of a revolutionary organization is a serious charge in itself. But for Jean-Pierre Goyer to say in a letter to his cabinet colleagues that one of the aims of the organization I allegedly led was to organize and infiltrate the civil service is downright slanderous.
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