Duncan could be part of a Tory cabinet

Claude McIntosh - Mac's Musings
Duncan could be part of a Tory cabinet

The federal riding that includes Cornwall hasn’t been represented by a cabinet minister since Ed Lumley served in the Trudeau-Turner Liberal governments from 1980-84.

If the political stars align for Pierre Poilievre and the Conservatives, that could change.

It isn’t easy to pull off a majority government in the Canadian multi-party system, but polling suggests the Poilievre-led Tories have a shot at securing the reins of power in the next federal election.

If this happens, Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MP Eric Duncan (yes, he’ll be re-elected) will be on Poilievre’s short list for a cabinet post.

He’s young (age 35), articulate and has an impressive political career that started when he was a teen-age councillor in North Dundas.

Duncan knocked down a huge barrier when he became the first openly gay Conservative MP.


Former Alexandria-Cornwall Diocese Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher will be on the hot seat at the Children’s Treatment Centre roast in June.

He is current archbishop of Gatineau, a post he has held since leaving the Alexandria-Cornwall Diocese in 2011.

He replaced the autocratic Eugene Larocque as Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall Diocese in 2002. To say Durocher, who grew up in Timmins, was a breath of fresh air would be a huge understatement. Larocque was as old school as old school can be.

Somebody high up in the chain of command recognized that damage control was needed and made the right call on Durocher as Larocque’s replacement.

It would not be a stretch to say that Durocher became the most popular bishop in the history of the diocese.

Larocque’s handling of sexual abuse claims against priests that led to the inquiry was disastrous. When he testified at the inquiry he seemed more concerned about missing his brother’s birthday party than alleged victims.

When he departed, I wrote a column critical of his leadership. Three people chewed me out, one a Protestant clergyman, the other CWL members.

That didn’t surprise me. What surprised me was the number of prominent Catholics who agreed with my view, one a former director of education of the Catholic school board who battled with Larocque on who was going to run the school board.

The bishop lost the battle but stopped talking to the director.

Durocher, a former president of the Canadian Conference of Bishops, in 2015 told the Catholic News that the Church should open the door for the ordination of female deacons and that women should be given “decision-making” positions.

That in the Roman Catholic Church is ultra-progressive thinking that gives the old guard that still holds sway an acute case of indigestion.

AROUND’N’BOUT A friend who lives in the Excited States of America, and who has never been to Canada, (typical American who knows zippo about Canada) asked what our three major political parties stood for. In a nutshell, I said, Conservatives would rather make money, the NDP would rather spend money and the Liberals would rather call another conference to talk about money. … John “Moose” Wensink wasn’t the most penalized Cornwall Royals player. It was Dave Allison who warmed the sin bin for 889 minutes in 189 games. Wensink, who became one of Don Cherry’s favourite Big Bad Bruins, piled up 562 penalty minutes over 169 games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He was the quintessential attitude adjuster that every team-mate wants to be with on the ice.

LOOKING BACK AT 1959 – King George Hotel, a downtown landmark that was purchased from the Cline Estate in 1929, was sold to a group of Cornwall and Montreal businessmen – Isadore Seman, Nathan Dermer, Auckie Sanft and Oscar Respite. … The 10th annual Hillbilly Hoedown featuring Smiling Jack and the Sons of the Plains, was held at the Water Street Arena. … A motion to provide garbage contractor Labelle & Clement an extra $10 a day to help cover expanded coverage of the city after amalgamation was dened by city council. The two-year contract worth $450 a day, had another 12 months to run. The company said it was barely covering its costs. Meanwhile, west end residents (Riverdale) complained that the open trucks used by the contractor created an odour problem. The contractor was willing to invest in covered packers if given a five-year contract, which city council rejected. … It was noted that the city was spending $11,000 a year to clean municipal buildings. The cleaning bill covered a full-time city hall janitor, a part-time janitor and cleaning lady. … Kinsmen Music Festival winners included David Martel, Marilyn Young, Lawrence Phillips, Winston Revie, Janet MacPhee and Frances Shaw.John Alexander MacDonnell, a St. Paul’s Home resident and retired Track Road farmer, celebrated his 103rd birthday. He was the city’s oldest resident. (Lillian Ross who died in 1993 at age 113 is believed to be Cornwall’s longest living resident. At the time she was said to be Canada’s longest-living citizen). … Cornwall winter recreation program most valuable player winners were Ronnie Branchaud, Michael Gratton, John Heward and Marcel Gagne. … Cornwall football player Gerry Hughes was given a try-out with the Rough Riders. He was the Quebec Rugby Football Union (QRFU) most valuable player. … Cornwall Firefighters annual fireman’s ball was held at the Royal Hotel. …The Ontario government introduced the demerit points system. … A Standard-Freeholder story noted that the game of marbles was as popular as ever with city youngsters. … A $2.2 million rent-geared-to-income housing development was planned for east Cornwall. It would provide 125 units.

TRIVIA Ed Lumley became Cornwall’s youngest mayor when he defeated incumbent Nick Kaneb in the Dec. 6, 1971 municipal election. Who was the third person on the ballot 1) Doug Webster, 2) Francis Guindon, 3) Roy Brunet, 4) Aurele Clement, 5) Gerald Parisien.

TRIVIA ANSWER In the 1960 municipal election, voters elected Nick Kaneb as mayor and approved the showing of Sunday movies at city theatres.

QUOTED “The Maple Leafs will never draft any Russians, I wouldn’t have them if they offered to play for nothing.” – Toronto Maple Leafs owner Harold Ballard (1976).

WORD OF THE DAY Balderdash (n) – A rapidly receding hairline.

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