Where Were Mounties When Jean Needed Them

Claude MacIntosh
Where Were Mounties When Jean Needed Them
Mac's Musings

Jean Chretien, 38th prime minister of Canada, sitting last week in his Ottawa condo watching on television a news reporter hauled away by the cops after a Mountie ordered him arrested for assault, must have wondered where the Red Coats were when he needed them.

David Menzies, the abrasive, pain-in-the-butt talking head for Rebel News, was in hot pursuit of deputy PM Chrystia Freeland, aiming his microphone at her and shouting questions, all, of course, ignored by the hot-footed minister.

A member of her protection unit, a Mountie, came to her rescue and placed Menzies under arrest for assaulting not Freeland, but him. He claimed Menzies brushed into him. Menzies insisted the Mountie bumped into him.

York Regional Police standing by were given the unenviable task of taking Menzie to the cop shop where sanity took hold. The charge was quickly dismissed and he was released.

The deep thinkers in Mountie HQ are investigating.

Back to Chretien. You might recall the time when he had to take matters into his own hand(s), literally, to protect himself from a protester while the Mountie security unit were slow to react.

Then there was the time when a man, later determined to have mental health issues, slipped over the fence at 24 Sussex and got into the PM’s residence in the wee hours. He was subdued by Aline and Jean Chretien, all unknown to the Mounties on guard duty. One report said the Mountie in the guard house thought a squirrel had tripped the alarm.

To that we say, nuts!


Fire protection, or the lack of it, became a hot issue in Charlottenburgh Township after Ernie’s Hotel, just north of Williamstown, was destroyed by an early-morning fire in January 1963.

Some, including the owner of the three-storey, 10-room hotel, said it took the local volunteer fire brigade, with help from Lancaster and Martintown, 90 minutes before hoses were turned on. Another said 60 minutes. The fire chief said it was no more than 20 minutes after the call for help was received.

It was pointed out that the township spent a total of $10,000 a year to support volunteer brigades in Williamstown, Martintown and Glen Walter.

In the end, after several of the volunteer firefighters threatened to quit in the wake of criticism, a committee, headed up by Cornwall Fire Chief Lucien Carriere, was set up to investigate and make recommendations.

THIS MONTH 1963 – Cornwall’s population increased by 452 from the previous year to 44,500. There were 23,072 eligible voters. Of the six wards, Ward One (east part of city) had the most residents, 9,475. … The Lloyd-George Hotel, built in the late 1800s, was sold to Toronto businessman Joseph Huchyk. It had been owned by Cornwall business partners Lloyd Gallinger and George Bringloe (thus Lloyd-George). They purchased it in 1945 and changed the name from the Windsor. Gallinger said the Northway Hotel, owned by the two partners, was being sold. … The first made-in-Canada colour television set came off the assembly line at the Prescott RCA Victor plant. The company said it was responding to a growing demand for colour TV sets in Canada. … The United Counties Children’s Aid Society planned to build a new office on McConnell Avenue across from Hotel Dieu Hospital. … Cornwall Minor Hockey League All-Stars won the first edition of the CMHA International Bantam Tournament with a 6-1 win over Rosemount Bombers. Clarence Dumont and John Poirier each score two goals. Kevin Barry and Chuck Chin (as he was called in the day) had the other Cornwall goals. Barry led all tournament scorers with 16 points on seven goals and nine assists in four games. … Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School Raiders became the first EOSSA basketball team to score more than 100 points in a game when they downed South Grenville 104-18 in Prescott. Coach Rolly Fobert used his starters for two quarters. South Grenville didn’t get on the board until midway in the second quarter. John Morgan led the Raiders with 25 points. Bob Rothwell had 23. … Jean Payette of St. Francis led the Holy Name Juvenile Hockey League with 31 points. Eric Cooper of St. Francis and Larry Gabri of Nativity shared second place with 28 points. … Cassius Clay won his 13th professional heavyweight fight knocking out a punching bag and former pro footballer called Charley Powell in the third round, as he predicted. The 21-year-old Olympic gold medalist vowed to take on and defeat champion Sonny Liston before the end of the year. Clay, the self-proclaimed Louisville Lip, had agreed with the promoter to give a commentary between rounds of the Powell fight but the gimmick was squashed by the boxing commission. … With flu running rampant in the city, Cornwall General and Hotel Dieu closed their doors to visitors.

TRIVIA Lancaster resident/adventurer Ray Munro set this world record in 1969: 1) Became the oldest person to climb Mount Washington, 2) Reached a height of 25,500 feet in a hot air balloon called “Pride of Cornwall”, 3) Became the oldest person to swim across Lake Ontario from Youngstown, Ohio to Toronto, 4) Cycled backward 37 miles in five hours and nine minutes, 5) Performed 15 somersaults while skydiving.

TRIVIA ANSWER The car featured in the television series Dukes of Hazzard, driven by Bo and Luke Hazzard, was called the General Lee.

QUOTED “It’s easier to fool someone than to convince them they’ve been fooled.” – Mark Twain

ONE FINAL THING Thoughts are with Doug Carpenter, former Cornwall Royals and NHL coach who is dealing with a health issue. The former Jacques Richard Memorial Trophy winner took a group of under-rated players to an upset win in the 1980 Memorial Cup (overtime win over much favored Peterborough Petes coached by Mike Keenan) with a superb job of coaching.

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