360 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 79 PART 3 MAY 2021
time. I accepted this but ploughed on, much to the disbelief of my law partners
and the quiet dismay of my wife (not the best financial time for the
firm). An MP’s salary would not have carried my debt load; I might have
had to declare bankruptcy shortly after being elected.
My next bright idea was to talk to the leaders of each party. The one I
could not get to see was Jean Chrétien. I called Pierre, and he said he would
contact Jean, but it probably wouldn’t be in my interest. The Liberal Party
was distancing itself from Pierre at that time to make political points. I
knew what he was talking about because the tactic had become obvious. I
told my problem to Ian Waddell, an NDP MP. I was his guest for lunch in the
members’ dining room at the House of Commons. Ian said, “Follow me” and
tracked down Chrétien in a corridor and introduced me for my chat.
As it turned out, I did seek the Liberal Party nomination in West Vancouver
but salvaged the family’s well-being by not being successful.
I did not attend Pierre’s funeral. It was complicated. On the one hand, I
am not religious and do not want a funeral for myself. On the other hand, I
didn’t know what to do. Of course, I do not begrudge other people for their
funerals, and I could have gone, so why didn’t I? The odd person would ask
me, “Did you go?” I was never pressed for an answer. I considered the relationship
special. Our friendship was outside his political and academic connections.
I did not want to be presumptuous and expect a special reception.
Nor did I want to bother Justin or Sacha. Also, I did not want to show up as
any old member of the public. And I did not want to contact and join my old
colleagues at Heenan Blaikie. I honoured him, I respected him and I was
sad at his passing. In the end, that was the extent of my mourning.