November 12, 2005


Hockey coach relieved of 'greatest fear' (Clifford Krauss, NOVEMBER 11, 2005, The New York Times)

As the head coach of the last Montreal Canadiens team to win the Stanley Cup, the holy grail of ice hockey, Jacques Demers has long been the toast of the town and a popular radio and television hockey commentator. Just last year the Conservative Party of Canada pleaded with him to run for Parliament.

He politely declined, but for reasons that he kept to himself until a few days ago: Demers is illiterate.

"Imagine a politician who can't read or write!" he laughed over dinner the other night.

Demers has lived a life of pain, but he is laughing now. A new biography, "Jacques Demers: En Toutes Lettres," which translates, roughly, as "all spelled out," and which highlights the abuse he endured from his violent and alcoholic father and the humiliation surrounding his illiteracy, has become an instant best seller.

His life story - a janitor's son who drops out of school in the eighth grade to work at a grocery store, drive a Coca-Cola truck and then work his way up in the grueling world of professional hockey to coach the legendary Canadiens, nicknamed Les Glorieux, or The Glory - has made him an inspirational figure on the television talk show circuit and among Canadian literacy groups, which hope his example will inspire other illiterate adults to seek help.

How would it disqualify him from Canadian politics?

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 12, 2005 10:11 AM

Don't they have services for people who can't speak English up there? I also don't see reading and writing to be an impediment for this job.

Posted by: RC at November 12, 2005 10:18 AM

He'd be disqualified because he wouldn't be able to read the secret communiques that instructed him where to funnel the illegal monies stolen from the taxpayers to the corrupt advertising firms that would then kickback some dollars to the Liberal Party campaign slush funds, eh?

Posted by: obc at November 12, 2005 11:49 AM

abc, surely he could get aides to do that?

Posted by: erp at November 12, 2005 4:21 PM

But could he trust those aides? They might then funnel the cash to themselves, eh?

Posted by: obc at November 12, 2005 9:14 PM

ya think?

Posted by: erp at November 13, 2005 7:06 AM