Keith Spicer, Canada’s Offbeat Envoy Of Reconciliation, Dies At 89


He good-humoredly reminded English audio system that his personal affection for French had flowered within the tenth grade, when he started corresponding with a French woman as a pen pal. He was so besotted by {a photograph} she despatched him, he stated, that he grew to become a confirmed Francophile.

“Bilingualism and biculturalism work best through biology,” he later declared, including unabashedly, “The best place to learn French is in bed.”

In 1990, after the collapse of a constitutional compromise that might have additional empowered Canada’s provinces and declared Quebec a “distinct society,” Prime Minister Brian Mulroney enlisted Mr. Spicer to tackle one other difficult process: to steer the Residents Discussion board on Canada’s Future, through which he would sound out his fellow residents’ gripes concerning the authorities and the character of the nation, a federation of provinces and territories, all a part of the British Commonwealth, that hadn’t adopted a nationwide flag till 1965 or a nationwide anthem till 1980.

Mr. Spicer was kind of an official gadfly. On the town corridor conferences, polls, videoconferences and different interactive surveys, his Residents Discussion board was stated to have interacted with as many as 700,000 Canadians.

“I thought I was singing ‘This Land Is My Land,’” Mr. Spicer recalled of the ridicule that the duty pressure initially generated, however the “media and public heard the theme from ‘Looney Tunes.’”(Unfazed by the mockery, Mr. Spicer stated, “If I wanted a job that had no stress, I’d be selling bananas in Martinique.”)


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