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Lapierre saw politics as the most effective form of public service, and that was great

By Leslie Swartman      

Politics allowed him to talk to people, get their ideas, turn it into public policy and put it in place quickly. His view of public service was simple—government by talking to people and acting for people.

OTTAWA—“Salut salut!” Those words from the other end of the telephone line always brightened my day. Invariably, Jean Lapierre would have a story to share with me. I could sense the mischievous glint in his eyes as we spoke. I first met Jean years ago when he co-chaired Paul Martin’s federal Liberal leadership campaign in 1990. Along with his fellow co-chair Iona Campagnolo, he would lead devoted young Liberal convention delegates in off-key renditions of the campaign song, Paul

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