Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category


October 12, 2016


McKenty Live with host Neil McKenty

On today’s program, Neil is discussing municipal politics, especially in and around Montreal. With the live callers.

First aired on February 28th 1989 on CFCF 12

Jean P.


October 11, 2016


The Senior Times

Pit Stop by Neil McKenty

On the Shrivers, the Special Olympics and floor hockey.

I was enjoying a winter holiday in Palm Spins, California, when it was announced that Sargent Shriver gad died.  I met Shriver, married to President John Kennedy’s sister Eunice, in the early 70’s.  I’ll come back to that in a moment.

Mr. Shriver was the founding director of the Peace Corps, the signature success of Kennedy’s New Frontier.  He directed Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, founded Head Start, created the Jobs Corp and Legal Services for the Poor.

He served as President of the Special Olympics, which was founded by his wife.

Writing in the New York Times, Bob Herbert said that ”Mr. Shriver affected more people in a positive way than any American since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”

When I met Mr. Shriver in 1971, he struck me as an enormously enthusiastic and energetic man.  I met him to discuss an award the Kennedys were making to Jean Vanier, the son of the former governor-general.  Mr. Vanier was being honoured by the Kennedys for his work with the mentally challenged.

My boss at the time, the Toronto philanthropist and sportsman Harry ”Red” Foster, thought it would be appropriate if Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau wrote a short statement to be delivered at the awards ceremony in Washington.

I called Mr. Trudeau’s office and he agreed to send a short statement to honour Vanier.  There was, however, one condition: The statement would be in both English and French and must be read that way.

I explained Mr. Trudeau’s condition to Mr. Shriver and he readily agreed to find someone who would be able to handle the French.

At the event, however, somebody dropped the ball.  To my exasperation, the statement did not get read in French.

I expressed my anger to Mr. Shriver.  He was upset as I was and apologized profusely.

As this was playing out, we were negotiating with Mr. Shirver’s wife, Eunice, for Canada to play a larger role in the Special Olympics.  We had a Canadian Special Olympics at Exhibition Park in Toronto and we had been invited to join the Kennedys for the first international Special Olympics in Chicago.

One of the most successful elements of our own Olympics was floor hockey.  We had convinced the National Hockey League to get behind this project and we were eager that Mrs. Shriver accept floor hockey into the American Special Olympics.

To that end, I had several meetings with Mrs. Shriver in Washington.

What a though lady she turned out to be-though in the sense she knew what she wanted and used any means to get there.  Smart, too.

I was not the only person who thought if Mrs. Shriver had been born later she might well have become the first female president of the United States.

She questioned me carefully about the suitability of floor hockey for the Special Olympics program.

I am writing this wile still in Palm Springs.  While here, I’ve talked to a number of Americans about the Obama presidency.

Most people seem all for it or all against it.  There is no middle ground.  As one of the naysayers put it: ”My husband had a job under George Bush and he lost his job under Obama.”

My own view is unchanged.  If the unemployment rate comes down one full point or more, Obama will win a second term fairly easily.  I mean, who is likely to beat him?  Michelle Bachmann, the poor person’s Sarah Palin?

Published in February 2011.

Jean P.


September 29, 2016

Exchange on CJAD with your host Neil McKenty.

The Lines Are Blazing!!

Today’s subject: Has women’s liberty made men angry?  With the live callers.



September 27, 2016




Catharine writes:

One third of Neil’s listeners were francophones. During that first referendum he kept everyone talking on his CJAD open-line show. He also interviewed Premier René Lévesque on the show more than once, with the last time being only a couple of week before Lévesque’s death.

A well-known Montreal lawyer later told me that without Neil’s efforts to keep people listening to each other there could have been violence on the streets of Montreal.

My question is: is there anyone out there in the United States in the midst of this divisive election keeping people listening to each other? The most divisive in US history. Is CNN doing that with its’ panels of commentators from both sides? My impression is they are trying hard – what do you think?


September 22, 2016

Exchange on CJAD with host Neil McKenty


Today’s show is on Quebec politics in the 50’s and in more modern time with guess Gérald Pelletier and of course the live callers.

Visit the Bookshop: click here.

Jean P.


September 19, 2016



Exchange on CJAD with host Neil McKenty.



The subject of the show today is, Lemons and Laurels.





Jean P.


January 12, 2016



Lets continue last week’s writing conversation.


Building Community


Much to my surprise, I received a letter back from Neil within a week.  He just assumed that my husband and I had the necessary strength of spirit that it takes, and would manage through this rather frightening time.   His words gave us hope, and his assurance that the Montreal Children’s Hospital was a wonderful health care facility gave us confidence.  We began our journey through the process of repairing Erin’s lip.

As time went on, I would update Neil on Erin’s progress.  I sent him pictures of my beautiful girl.  Life has a way of getting in the way, and years slipped by.  Then I was looking at wedding pictures of Erin and her husband, and remembered Neil, and that it had been a while since I had had any contact with him.  I sat down, put pen to paper, and filled Neil in on what had transpired, and how we loved our new son-in-law.  Neil always replied to my letters and appreciated the pictures and updates.  I felt that he was my friend.

Neil touched my life as I am sure he did with many of his friends and listeners.  His letters showed compassion and understanding and encouraged me when I needed encouragement.  Watching your child disappear into an operating room, spending hours in the waiting room, can leave one feeling helpless.  Having support is vital.  I was blessed in that I had a strong connection with my husband and family.  But having support from someone outside that circle is important too.  The whole process was foreign to us.  Today, when I look at my lovely daughter (artist, wife, and mother), I know how lucky I am.  That Neil took such an interest in an anonymous caller added to our coping skills.

In 1982 Frank Gallagher nominated Neil as a ”Great Montrealer.”  ”He is the host of one of the city’s leading talk shows.  His ability to handle all types of subjects, and give his audience the time to express their opinions, is always handled in the most gracious manner.  His tolerance with the senior citizens, who are often very nervous when on the radio, is very heartwarming.  Whenever he speaks with children, he never talks down to them and always treats them as equals.  May callers keep his lines blazing.  May he never run out of fuel.”

A Christmas to Remember

One morning just before Christmas 1983, Neil was having breakfast when he heard that, as a result of corporate funding cuts, Ville Marie Social Services would be unable to provide food baskets for about 4,000 families.  Neil immediately decided to do something about it.  But he was aware of the risk.  What if he raised the issue on ”Exchange” and no one called in?  Among his first callers were his neighbours, Gail and Gerald Fellerath, who had both served in the Peace Corps.  They phoned in to say they would open a drop-off food depot at their store called Folklore on Sherbrooke St. in Westmount.  Then the superintendent of an apartment building in the east end said he would do the same.  A woman from Rosemere said she would drive people down to that depot.  (A third of Neil’s listeners at the time were francophone).  The appeal snowballed.

Stoph Hallward, a grade school student, volunteered to go door-to-door with a friend to collect canned food.  He recalls that Neil’s efforts set off a chain reaction throughout the city.

”Neil McKenty stood out among my parents’ friends when I was growing up,”  Hallward wrote.  ”It was exciting to know someone I could hear on the radio, but when I think back on it, he never sounded any different hosting his own show than he did challenging my family in friendly banter around the dinner table.  His being so so himself was probably what gave me the confidence to call him on his show, once.  My friend Roddy and I, who went door-to-door in our neighbourhood collecting canned food.  It was an easy sell and everyone gave generously.  Neil and Catharine drove down to Ville Marie headquarters where they were met by a social worker, tears streaming down her face.  ”I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said.  That Christmas, thanks to Neil, four thousand families were fed.”

Jean P.








December 16, 2015


Hosted by Neil McKenty on CJAD.

This episode focused on child day care.

* Adjust your volume.



Jean P.


December 9, 2015

Brand New Edition


Neil McKenty Live! The lines are still blazing.

A brand new edition is now available get it here:click here


A special thanks to Light Messages Publishing in Durham, North Carolina.

Here’s a link to their website: Light Messages



Jean P.


December 2, 2015



Here is one of the many episode of Exchange, Neil’s radio talk show on CJAD.  A two hour show that he hosted from 1977 to 1985 to go pursue other interests.

This one was on dirty politics or hovering around that.


* Adjust your volume



Jean P.