358 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 79 PART 3 MAY 2021
stairs, and that is when I first met Justin Trudeau. He was about 13 years
old then, a little older than my son, Matthew. Justin was swinging, Tarzanstyle,
on a rope into the pool. We left Justin and went into the backyard.
Sacha and Michel were playing in the drizzle falling in the backyard, turning
over rocks and collecting worms.
Pierre told them to put those back when they were finished. One of them
said indignantly, “Put the worms back?” Pierre replied, “No, the rocks!”
Pierre gave me a tour of the concrete-style house. He showed me the writeup
in Architectural Digest. He pointed out the furniture also designed by
Cormier. Most of it had been sold off by a previous owner. Pierre was trying
to buy back the scattered pieces. Pierre explained that women, including
Margaret and his sister, did not like the structure. He was obviously
delighted with the house himself. Pierre and the boys lived alone in the
house. A couple came in each day to prepare the evening meal.
Conscious of my dripping running gear, and not wanting to overstay my
welcome, I said farewell and completed my run. Our friendship then
evolved in two ways. Whenever I was in Montreal thereafter, I visited
Pierre. And after his death, I visited Sacha on one occasion, and Jeanie and
I on another occasion with Justin. The other pleasure was the friendships
that developed between our families on ski trips to Whistler.
I don’t remember how the first joint family ski trip came about. Also, events
at Whistler blend together.
Pierre was the same age as my mother. Jeanie and I were not much older
than Margaret (Pierre and Margaret had divorced before we got to know
them). Their children were of a similar age to ours. Matthew, Sarah, Justin,
Sacha and Michel easily became comfortable with each other, having good
times on the mountain and in the village.
At what may have been the first blended-clan dinner (at Sushi Village),
Pierre, having assumed Sarah was older than her age of ten, was dismayed
that she did not know Shakespeare. When he discovered that she was
Michel’s age, he was quick to apologize to her. Sarah has no difficulty being
accepted by the boys. She was beautiful, unpretentious and kept up with
them on the ski slopes.
I cherished the non-political aspects of the friendship. We very seldom
brought up any political topics, but on the odd ski lift, he informed me of a
few things. The U.S. president that he related to the most was Gerald Ford.
He also told me that he didn’t think that the Indians had preserved their
Aboriginal rights, but the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1973 Calder decision