About the book:
Keith Spicer, well-known defender of national unity from the 1960s to the 1990s, has had an extraordinary career. He was Canada’s first commissioner of official languages, CRTC chairman, and chairman of the Citizens’ Forum on Canada's Future – the 1990-91 odyssey during which 700,000 Canadians were consulted on our country’s shape, values, and priorities. He also figured prominently as French and English TV host, syndicated columnist, and editor of the Ottawa Citizen.
As Pierre Trudeau’s languages commissioner, he played a central role in implementing the 1969 Official Languages Act, and in rallying Canadians to pursue language equality. As broadcast regulator, he stood up for Canadian programming, consumers’ rights, artists, multiculturalism, and non-violent children’s TV. On telecom, he backed competition, innovation, and lower rates, helping steer regulation towards the then-embryonic Internet.
How did a working-class boy from a unilingual, English-Canadian Toronto family end up becoming a celebrated champion of French from Quebec to Paris – where he is now a member of the elite Haut Conseil de la Francophonie, which advises French president Jacques Chirac on the promotion of French?
Spirited, frank, and self-mocking, packed with insider tales and vivid anecdotes, this book, in telling Keith Spicer’s story, also helps tell how Canada grew up, and kept itself together, in the last half of the twentieth century, and includes timely, provocative ideas for the twenty-first.