Reality: He spent a year at Trent and then he flunked out of a three year Political Science BA (not an honours program) in Edmonton.
Toronto Star: "There's a sense among some ministers, off-the-record, Kennedy is "not quite the intellectual he thinks he is."
Kennedy went to Trent University on a hockey scholarship, leaving after his first year when the program ended. He studied economics and political science at the University of Alberta, dropping out in his final year, without getting a degree."
Myth: Gerard Kennedy started a food bank in Edmonton.
Reality: No, Gerard Kennedy worked at a food bank as Executive Director starting in 1983, a year or more after flunking out of university and over two years after the creation of the Edmonton Gleaners Association in January, 1981. He didn't START Canada's first food bank, he WORKED at Canada's first food bank (although they refer to themselves as Edmonton's first food bank)
Toronto Star: "They admire his life choices, which they see as sacrifices. They argue he will apply the same intensity to any job, including Liberal leader and prime minister. At times, it seems they've got him on a pedestal, as much a moral as political leader. (These are heady but potentially dangerous heights and Kennedy knows it. The moral high ground can be slippery and it's a long way down. He keeps trying to reshape the mythology. He was, at 22, a volunteer at the Edmonton Food Bank. He didn't start it. Nor does he walk on water.)"
Myth: Gerard Kennedy is bilingual and can argue with his wife in both official languages.
Reality: All is relative when it comes to language skills, but it is safe to say he would loose any argument in French, with his wife or any other francophone. I call his French horrible, LeDroit calls it "approximate", the Toronto Star's Chantal Hébert says his French "crumbles under pressure", Gerard Kennedy's Quebec campaign chief Bernard Patry recently called it "better than Stephen Harper's five years ago"...
Myth: Gerard Kennedy's left leaning policies will be popular in Quebec.
Reality: Gerard Kennedy has put forward very few policies or opinions, but those he has put forward (national education standards) are a provincial jurisdiction. Quebeckers don't like anglophone non-Quebeckers telling Quebeckers how to run their own affairs (provincial jurisdictions).
Myth: Gerard Kennedy is a great public speaker.
Reality: "Without being on the inside, it's hard to fathom the passion Kennedy inspires. Calgary Grit called him "a charismatic speaker," but that hasn't been apparent on the leadership trail, at least not in the debates." (Toronto Star)
Other things you should know about Gerard Kennedy:
From the Toronto Star:
"Staffers work tirelessly because he never takes a break. He micro-manages. Seven provincial cabinet ministers are backing Kennedy for the leadership, but Toronto Star columnist Ian Urquhart recently asked why 25 others aren't. He found a man described as a "loner" and prickly as a "cactus."
"Don MacPherson, political columnist for the Montreal Gazette, in a telephone interview. "He is not known here and he is not going to win the leadership without Quebec. His French is not up to standard and I think the (Sept. 10) debate in Quebec City showed that ... Maybe next time."
"Across Canada, there is a network of supporters, many of them young, who can only be described as cult-like in their devotion to Gerard Kennedy. It's like a movement. It's his edge. To be sure, other Liberal leadership hopefuls have their share of dedicated and hard-working people who believe in their candidate. But Kennedy's people be-lieve! "
Don't let the Gerard Kennedy cult fool you.
Just Say No to Gerard Kennedy ;
Last PM without degree was Robert Borden (1911-1920)