THE ADVOCATE 139
VOL. 77 PART 1 JANUARY 2019
By Gordon Turriff, Q.C.*
SIR JACK VISITS B.C.
Once, in the big reading room of the first law building at UBC (building No.
1, as I will call it), I asked John Turner, Q.C., what he thought was Canada’s
national dream. This was a year or so after the publication of the first part
of Pierre Berton’s two-volume, not quite jingoistic, history of the construction
of the CPR rail line across Canada in the second half of the 19th century.
The first part of Berton’s book was entitled (did you guess?) The
National Dream.1 When I put my question to Turner, he was Canada’s Minister
of Justice and Attorney General. Someone had invited him to speak at
the law school.
Because it would have been so unlikely, I want to be persuaded the
inviter was Carey Linde, but it wouldn’t have been Carey, given his political
sensibilities, and, anyway, his law school days were already behind him, his
place in history having been secured as the person who drove Jerry Rubin
to the U.S. border after Rubin fomented the occupation of UBC’s faculty club
in the fall of 1968.
I also want to believe the invitation came from Bill Wilson because, if it
did, we’d experience one of life’s interesting coincidences. It’s possible Wilson
extended the invitation as one of the lesser functionaries of the law
school student government. It would have to have been in that minor capacity
because my memory tells me he wasn’t president of the Law Students’
Association until the school year following Turner’s visit. At the time of the
visit, importantly for coincidence-chasers, Wilson’s daughter, the Honourable
Jody Wilson-Raybould, our current Minister of Justice and the
Attorney General of Canada, would have been no more than two years old.
* Gordon Turriff, Q.C., is a life bencher with a thing for baseball and a brain for costs. He is well-travelled and well-read.
He is also a decent story-teller!