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taught him and his government to reconsider. He said that decision led Jean
Chrétien to produce a green paper accepting the new reality.
It was wonderful to get to know the Trudeaus on the mountain. The
friendship carried on in Montreal. Lucky for me, when my firm’s association
with Heenan Blaikie ended, it was replaced with a new one that
included Lapointe Rosenstein as our Montreal partner. That gave me a continuing
opportunity to visit Montreal.
Over the years, I would see Pierre and/or the boys when I would visit Montreal,
and on a couple of occasions I would phone him for advice. One of the
most memorable visits was when, instead of lunch, he suggested I come to
the house for breakfast with him and the boys. He greeted me in his housecoat
at the front door (one could hear the doorbell if inside the house, but
not if duties took one out back to inspect the neighbour’s property, swim or
look for worms). First, I was offered my choice for breakfast, which he
would prepare. I opted for toast. Then I got to accompany the father to rouse
the boys from their beds. When I would visit Pierre at his office at Heenan
Blaikie, Roy Heenan, a colleague and close friend of Pierre’s, would often
After the sad loss of his dear friend Jean Potvin to cancer and the tragic
loss of Michel to an avalanche, I visited Pierre for the last time. Pierre never
seemed to recover from these losses. He was unwell when he and Roy met
with me and my new partner Ronnie Josephson and his grade 11 daughter.
I recall two occasions when I called Pierre for advice. On one occasion,
since Jeanie and I had not been in Paris since 1971, I wanted to know where
Pierre and the boys had stayed, as we also appreciated getting reasonably
priced accommodation. In 1971, the decision of where to stay had been
easy, by checking Europe on Five Dollars a Day. In 1988, we were going to
Europe for six weeks with Matthew and Sarah as part of my five-month sabbatical
(good times for law firms). Pierre recommended a hotel on the Left
Bank. It turned out to be good advice.
The other time I asked for his help was when it seemed that every politician
that I knew and knew of wanted to leave Ottawa. I got the romantic
notion that I would seek to serve my country and run for a seat in the House
of Commons. I had to decide which party to join and also find out if I could
practise law and be an MP at the same time. On the latter question, I invited
Tom Berger (who was legal counsel for the plaintiffs in Calder) to lunch to
pick his brain. Tom, at the start of his legal career, was elected to the House.
Tom told me that one could not be an MP and run a law practice at the same