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Béliveau and Cardinal Léger

By William Tetley, Q.C.

Note: A French translation of this article was published in "Le Soleil" newspaper in Quebec City on February 10, 2006

The recent shift of Federal Government Ministers from Montreal to Quebec City and the need of Prime Minister Harper to name an unelected Minister for Montreal only underscores the historic rivalry between the two cities. For example, when in 1849 an English-speaking mob burned the Parliament building in Montreal, Parliament was moved alternately between Toronto and Quebec City to the delight of "les vrais Québécois" until 1857 when it was moved permanently to Bytown which became Ottawa. A more recent non-political example took place when Jean Béliveau played his first three professional years (1950-53) for the Quebec Aces. In January 1953 the Pope named Archbishop Paul-Emile Léger of Montreal as Cardinal (1953-1991) to the consternation of Quebec City residents. And in Montreal sporting circles it was suggested that Cardinal Léger should be traded for Béliveau. In the Fall of 1953 Béliveau, however, did join the Montreal Canadiens for a glorious 17 year career and eventually in 1965 the Pope named Archbishop Maurice Roy of Quebec City as Cardinal (1965-1985).

"Plus ça change"

William Tetley
Professor
McGill Law Faculty
Minister in the Bourassa Cabinet 1970-1976
Phone: (514) 398-6619
E-mail: william [dot] tetley [at] mcgill [dot] ca (William Tetley)
Website: http://www.mcgill.ca/maritimelaw/

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