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September 27, 1985 - Image 25

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-09-27

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Windsor's Herb Gray
has had a prominent career
in Canadian politics, and
could be close to the top.

Herb Gray in his
Windsor office.

tt ;




Across the Detroit. River, Ouel-
lette Avenue splits Windsor in two,
much like Detroit's Woodward Ave-
nue. The western half of that split
has been represented in the Cana-
dian federal parliament for the last
23 years by Herbert Gray, the first
Jew to serve in a Canadian federal
Oscar S. Straus became the first
American Jewish cabinet officer in
1906 when President Theodore
Roosevelt appointed, him secretary of
commerce and labor, and Rufus
Daniel Isaacs Reading became
England's solicitor general and
attorney-general in 1910.
in France, Isaac Moise (later
Adolphe) Crimieux _served 'as minis-
ter of justice back in 1848, and the
following year Achille Feuld became
minister of finance.
But it wasn't until October 1969
that Canadian Prime, Minister
Pierre Elliott Trudeau named a Jew,
Herb Gray, to a Canadian federal
cabinet. Herb Gray served as minis-
ter7without portfolio until November
1970 when he was appointed minis-
ter of national revenue.
Now,. the changing fortunes of
Canadian politics have put that

country's Liberal Party — and Gray-
- on the opposition side of the or-
nate House of Commons chambers in
Ottawa's Parliament Building. But
opposition is not exile, and Gray ap-
pears to be thriving in his new and
highly visible role as Opposition
Leader of the House of Commons (a
post roughly equivalent to minority
leader of the U.S. House of Repre-,
At one time, Gray entertained
hopes of being annointed Liberal
Party leader following the retire-
ment of Trudeau. Had he led the
party to victory, Gray would have
become Canada's first Jewish Prime
Minister. Instead, he threw his, sup-
port to John Turner, Trudeau's suc-:
ceasor,'who in turn was badly de-
feated at the polls in September
1984 by current Prime Minister
Brian Mulroney and the Progressive.
Conservative Party.
Gray, like most members of par-
liament, regularly commutes from
the at of power at Ottawa to his
local "riding" (district). On a recent
afternoon, Gray relaxed in his
Windsor office and talked about a
wide range of subjects. First' on his'-
mind were the recent trials and con-

victions of two peddlers of anti-
Jewish hatred: Ernst Zundel in To-
ronto, and former teacher James
Keegstra in Alberta.
Zundel and Keegstra are at the
foref,ront of the revisionists, those
who deny the existents of the
Holocaust. Although the daily re-
ports of their trials were front-page
news across Canada, most newspap-
ers on the south side of the border,
including the Jewish press, have
given comparatively little coverage
to the precedent-making events.
Public opinion ,is Canada is split
over the .wisdom of •placing
hatemongers like Zundel and
Keegstra on trial and thus providing
them with a forum for their views
far beyond' that which they could .
have accomplished on their own.
Day after • day in the Zundel trial,
Holocaust revisionists from around
the world denied the deaths, of six
million Jews at the hands of the
Nazis. Their every word was dis-
seminated by the media to audiences
they could never have hoped to re-
ach. Two weeks ago,, one of
Windsor's leading book stores re-
ported receiving an order for a re-

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