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Revelations from Sheila

Andrew Coyne has some excerpts from Sheila Copps' new book in his column in the National Post today (subscriber only). It's fascinating to find out what went on all those cabinet meetings back in the nineties...

By 1995, I was already experiencing the kind of resentment around the Cabinet table that a strong woman always encounters from men who feel threatened. But even I was not prepared for the blast of testosterone that greeted me as I entered the room.

"Oh hello, Sheila," Paul said. "We're just working up a plan to abolish old age pensions, the CBC and medicare. Also unemployment insurance, higher education and the Canadian Armed Forces. It's all to do with appeasing the demands of international capital, in deference to the increasing powerlessness of national governments to effect change in an age of globalization. Are you in?"

At first I thought he was joking. I hesitated: They were asking me to betray every principle for which I, as a Liberal, stood. "Goddammit, Sheila," he spat. "I said are you in or not?"

"That's for me to know and you to find out," I replied, in a way that said everything.


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