Writer/economist Pierre Fortin – three times a National Magazine Award winner for his regular columns in L’actualité – was named one of this year’s Great Montrealers by the Metropolitan Montreal Board of Trade earlier this week.
Dr. Fortin is an emeritus professor in economics at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) whose work in the economics of US-Canada free trade, the labour market, subsidized child care, population growth and minimum wage have earned him a fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada and a Governor General’s Gold Medal, among other accolades. He was once the chief economic advisor to former Quebec premier René Lévesque.
His highly regarded columns in L’actualité have been nominated for 7 National Magazine Awards; he won Gold in 2003 and 2008, and Silver in 2007.
According to its press release, the Academy of Great Montrealers now consists of 118 members named since 1978. Each year the Board of Trade honours individuals “who have distinguished themselves through outstanding contributions to the community in their respective spheres of activity, whether that be economic, social, cultural, or scientific.”
“The outward pain and the inward pain. If you learn the inward pain inside you, you’ll grow as a human. Fine poetry gives us a look at the inward world.”
That’s esteemed Canadian poet and two-time National Magazine Award winner Patrick Lane, speaking to a class at the University of Toronto last week, on why we read poetry.
Mr. Lane, who won an NMA Silver in 1986 for his poetry in Canadian Forum and a Gold award in 1988 for his poetry in Border Crossings, recently published a new collection of poetry, aptly titled The Collected Poems of Patrick Lane (Harbour Publishing).
According to the article in the Toronto Observer, he also offered the students a few witty reflections on the legacy of Steve Jobs (“The person who invented the [birth control] pill… changed the course of history more than him”) and how he once delivered a baby in a logging camp (“Next thing I knew I was holding a slippery football shape in my arms”).