01.29.2018 04:00 PM

From my penpal Royal Galipeau

Royal and corresponded with each other: I’ll bet you didn’t know that.  He favoured the old-fashioned writing of notes.  I loved getting them, and am sad that – following his sad passing a few days ago – I won’t be getting any more from him.

Here’s the last one he sent.

Hello again, Warren. 

For years,  people have been telling me to write about what I’ve witnessed since I began my political involvement in 1962.

That year, the federal election was held June 18. Albert Lavigne had won the Liberal nomination in Stormont by four votes over Phil Gignac. The meeting was held in Finch, the physical centre of fhe County. But Lavigme died of a heart attack June 5. So, the election was “differed” until July 16.

Lionel Chevrier came to Cornwall to pay his respects to the widow. From there, he went to the funeral parlor for a private viewing. From there, he called Gignac to encourage him to seek the nomination again. Then, with his wife, he went to Lamoureux’ house for supper.

On June 25, also in Finch, on a hot summer evening, Lamoureux won the nomination by landslide. After the judicial recount, Lamoureux won the election over the Tory incumbent Grant Campbell by 70 votes.

In any event, I haven’t written. Very few books from has been politicians hold any interest, even to their families.

I remember Jimmy Gardiner’s “None of it came easy.” It is pretty self serving. I liked him, and was 18 when I read it. But you didn’t even know it existed. Lloyd Francis, a former Speaker of the House, couldn’t find a publisher. He had money, and self-published. You didn’t read that one either. JNT wrote a book. So did Brian Mulroney. I read neither. People wrote books about them. I didn’t read them.

Didn’t read the book by Paul Martin. I checked if he gave me credit for his dad’s “Right Honourable” designation. He didn’t.

Andrée Champagne wrote an autobiography. She sold me a copy. In it, she lies about me. Garth Turner also lies about me in his book. Dalton Camp does not lie about me in his account of the 1979 federal election.

Be that as it may, I didn’t have time to write when I was a Conservative MP for a Liberal fiefdom. Didn’t have time for foreign jaunts, or for building friendships on the Hill.

Given a choice between St. Petersburg, Russia, and a bean supper in a church basement in Orléans, I went to the bean supper. This actually happened. Also turned down St. Martinique in March (Champagne wrote about it), Beijing, Istanbul, London, Seoul, and many other destinations.

Since Nov. 2015, I have focussed on my many and varied treatments. Yesterday, they replaced the number 4 tracheotomy for a larger number 6. It stretches the slit in my throat and despite the discomfort makes breathing easier. On the other hand, it impedes even the limited ability to talk that I had.

With the weekly blood tests and other monitoring, I get blood and platelets transfusions, as needed. The result is that I have regained some of my energy.

You have been so kind to me in your recent communications that I have decided to write to you about things that may be of interest, but that you didn’t witness because you are 13 1/2 years younger than me.  So far, some 8,500 words. But I can’t retrieve what I’ve already sent you. Can you send back to me the recent emails that I’ve sent to you? I will weave some of that information in my new – long-winded text.

Thanks again.

Have a great weekend. 


P.S.: I will not advise how wrong you are about Andrew Scheer’s election as 24th Prime Minister of Canada. I like him.



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    JP Gallant says:

    I’m sorry he has passed. you’re lucky to have these exchanges to look back on

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    Marc says:

    These exchanges speak of a respect and civility among political foes that is not often seen by those of us who live outside the political bubble.

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