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Paul Martin has to be listening now

Finally, the only opinion that matters:

''As leaders of Canadian enterprise, we are concerned about the future of our country,'' says the document, Canada First, prepared by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, and obtained by the National Post. ''As a political entity, Canada is a nation adrift.''

Six CEOs signed the document: Gwyn Morgan of energy giant EnCana; Dominic D'Alessandro of Manulife Financial; Gordon Nixon of Royal Bank of Canada; Paul Desmarais Jr. of Power Corp. of Canada; Rick George of Suncor Energy; and Jacques Lamarre of SNC-Lavalin. [emphasis added]

Given the tight bonds between the Liberal Party and Power Corp, and the closer personal bonds between the Desmarais family and Jean Chretien and Paul Martin, this document is remarkable for two reasons.

First, it must come as a slap to Paul Martin. Power Corp put Paul Martin on the path to personal wealth and political glory. To publicly chastise him like this sends a message to all Canadians who recognize this relationship that even Paul Martin's friends see what we all see -- a government in name only, spending its time reacting instead of leading. It clings to power instead of earning it.

But what I'm shocked at is the public venue. Certainly Power Corp can get in touch with Paul Martin directly and in private. Certainly they could make him aware of their concerns.

Perhaps that level of access is not so certain. Or perhaps private discussions in the past were not showing results, and this document represents the Desmarais clan making it clear that they're serious.

In my most cynical moments, I sometimes think that the opinions of the senior members of the Desmarais family are the only opinions that matter in this country. If so, maybe this is good news.

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Angry in the Great White North by Steve Janke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License. Based on a work at
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