Les Relations des Jésuites contiennent 6 tomes et défont le mythe du bon Sauvage de Jean-Jacques Rousseau, et aussi des légendes indiennes pour réclamer des territoires, ainsi que la fameuse «spiritualité amérindienne».

mardi, janvier 29, 2008


by Professor Robert O'Driscoll
In the Halloween edition of The Toronto Star (1993) Judy Steed published a rather brilliant analysis of the back-room cabal who - once more - won control of the Government of the Canadian people.

She was the Conservatives' shining star, he was the wily coyote who'd weathered too many storms. Then Jean Chrétien hit the campaign trail selling the Team, the Platform, the Policies. And [Prime Minister] Kim Campbell became a footnote in history.

Ms. Steed turns her attention then to Chrétien's campaign manager, John Rae, and interestingly to his father, Saul Rae.

A man sits quietly in the lobby of the Royal York Hotel. Amid garish decor and gaggles of tourists, John Rae blends into the woodwork, a fair-haired fellow wearing a tweed jacket and a bland expression.

Not many people outside tightly knit circles in Ottawa and Montréal recognize Rae, 48, an executive vice-president of Power Corp., right-hand man to Paul Desmarais, protege of Jean Chrétien, older brother of Bob, and supreme commander of the Liberal election campaign.

Asked why he selected Rae to run the show, Chrétien said simply: 'He's very smart and I trust him.'

Rae's father, Saul, was a child vaudeville star who sang and danced with 'The Little Raes of Sunshine.'

'Bobby inherited the talent,'John says with a shy grin. He chose to work behind the scenes, a stage manager with the ability to terrify the troops if they didn't perform to his standards.

He has a special connection to his leading man.

John Rae was a 21-year-old political science student at Queen's University when he first encountered Chrétien in Geneva. It was 1966. Saul was Canada's ambassador to the United Nations. Chrétien, travelling on official government business' spotted young John as a bright kid. A year later, Rae became Chrétien's assistant in Indian and Northern Affairs, and stayed with the minister for four years before moving on to Power Corp. He was introduced to Desmarais, the patriarch of Power Corp. by Chretien.

'Mr. Chretien is a man of great qualities,' Rae says.

'He's always been underestimated.'

Very subtly and skilfully, Ms. Steed then turns her analysis to another principal, Paul Martin, now Federal Minister of Finance.
The Confederation Dinner, a major Liberal fundraiser in Toronto, was packed with party movers and shakers, but Rae stayed away; he leaves the limelight to others.

Paul Martin was there, fresh from a day on the hustings in southwestern Ontario, spreading his message: the role of government is to help build a modern, innovation-driven entrepreneurial culture.

It is to Chrétien's credit that Martin has been up front throughout, not having to worry about knives in the back like Joe Clark did
after losing the Conservative leadership to Brian Mulroney.

A wealthy, Montréal-based business executive, Martin, like Rae, rose through the ranks at Power Corp., mentored by Desmarais, from whom he eventually bought Canada Steamship Lines. First elected in 1988, Martin lost the leadership to Chrétien after Turner departed, but was drawn into the heart of the party by Chrétien's principal secretary. Martin was responsible for shaping the Aylmer Conference. A pivotal event in contemporary Liberal history, it was held two years ago in Aylmer, Que., across the river from the nation's capital.

In his Straight From the Heart (1985), the present Prime Minister of Canada outlines his deep connection with the Chairman of Power Corporation:

My dad ... lived to be ninety-three.... He would ... have been pleased when my daughter, France, became a lawyer and married André Desmarais, the son of Paul Desmarais, Chairman of Power Corporation. It owns Consolidated-Bathurst, the paper company for which my father had worked all his life. He used to
say, 'I never thought I'd see the day when a French Canadian would own that mill.'

Thus we have three of the most powerful positions in the Canadian Government - the Minister for Finance, the Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister's right-hand man - inextricably linked with one corporation and one man: its long-time Chairman, Paul Desmarais. So is the present Premier of Québec, Daniel Johnson: he also came up through the ranks of Power Corp.
The story, however, does not stop there, as we realize when we look at the recent manoeuvrings of the Conservative who was until a few months ago Prime Minister of Canada. Witness the recent Southam release (November 1993):

Brian Mulroney has discovered life after politics. And it's already proving richly rewarding.

The former prime minister is in China this week as a lawyer and lobbyist for Montréal-based Power Corporation of Canada, while it begins assembling plans to invest in Chinese energy projects and explore other business opportunities.

The release, 'Mulroney lobbying in China', goes on to say that Power Corp. has joined forces with 'North America's two largest public utilities - Ontario Hydro and Hydro Québec to help China develop its energy potential':
Their joint venture, Asia Power Corp. Inc., will be owned equally by the three Canadian corporate giants involved, and will operate from Hong Kong.

Power Corp.'s legal interests throughout the Asia Pacific region are expected to be overseen by a Hong Kong branch office of Ogilvy Renault, the Montréal law firm at which Mulroney is a senior partner.

This links both the Conservative and Liberal Party to Paul Desmerais, and indeed Mel Hurtig writes: 'since Brian Mulroney became Prime Minister, Big Business has had effective control of the political and economic agenda, and hence the social and cultural agenda as well. Paul Desmarais provided much of the money for Pierre Trudeau's campaign, Brian Mulroney's campaign, and Jean Chrétien's campaign'(The Betrayal of Canada, p. 188). 'Desmarais collects politicians,' Robert Fife writes in the Toronto Sun (11 December 1993), 'Iike he accumulates companies. He was close friends with Pierre Trudeau and recently hired Mulroney as Power Corp. lawyer and took the former PM with him on a recent trip to China.'

The link with the NDP is also there, through John Rae, brother to Bob, premier of Ontario, who a couple of years ago appointed Maurice Strong Chairman of Ontario Hydro. Strong, who took on as his first task the chopping of 4,500 jobs at Ontario Hydro, is now joining Power Corporation to invest millions in energy in China. Witness a recent article (November 1993) by Rick Hallechuk of The Toronto Star:

Ontario Hydro, Hydro-Québec and Power Corp. have formed a joint venture with $100 million to invest in power plants in China and elsewhere in Asia.

'This is one of the most rapidly expanding markets in the world,' Ontario Hydro chairman Maurice Strong said in a conference telephone call from Beijing yesterday. 'China needs a lot of electric power.'

The name that the consolidated venture will operate under is ASIA POWER GROUP /GROUPE ENERGIE ASIE INC. and they will invest - get this! - 'into small coal-fired plants being built in the south of China' [italics mine]. The Asia Power Group/Groupe Énergie Asie Inc., we are told, are also looking at 'larger power projects in northern China, as well as in Malaysia, the Philippines and India': 'The Asian economies are expected to spend at least $1 trillion (US) on power plants, airports, roads, phone systems, ports and other forms of infrastructure over the next decade. Spending on power generation alone is expected to reach $400 billion US (Toronto Star, 22 November 1993).

Profits are linked to the cost of labour, and with Mexico now providing the cheap labour of North America, Canadian industrialists are looking further afield for even cheaper labour. There is, as Peter Goodspeed from the Asian Bureau of the Toronto Star (24 November 1993) writes,'a seamy side to China's economic miracle.' The wages are appallingly low and the safety standards lax:

For $45 a month, they worked up to 12 hours a day, six and sometimes seven days a week.... Thousands of the Hong Kong-owned factories employing nearly 3 million workers in southern China are flouting work and safety standards.

Chinese officials, easily bribed and eager to encourage foreign investment, were willing to turn a blind eye to the most flagrant labor abuses. China doesn't usually discuss its industrial safety record in public, but last year the government-owned China Daily newspaper claimed 15,000 people died nationwide in industrial accidents in 1991.

India? The Philippines? Malaysia? China? Who would have suspected that these mild-mannered Canadians would have so much ambition and such a capacity to disguise it? It is clearly recognized though that whatever the extent of their ambition they do not carry the sophistication and civilization of the men they appear to be at home.

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