It was quite a unique and special encounter for me with Stéphan Bureau, whose mastery of interviewing is phenomenal. He has done so many interviews with many great people in the world, but this time he will tell us about his youth.
His father Robert, an idealist who wanted to change the world, taught him self-criticism, while his mother Christine, 81 years old and still independent, pushed him to discover a passion, introducing him to theatre, music, literature and comics sensitized .
You are from Montreal but have also lived in France.
I was born in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce area before moving to Hull a few weeks later where my father was doing his masters degree.
They then lived in Lyon, France for three years.
This time my father got his doctorate. I don’t have many specific memories because I was 3 when I arrived and 6 when I returned to Quebec.
You have often traveled in Europe.
We wanted to discover several European countries. However, I have the impression that they were years of happiness.
In 1968 you went to the barricades with your parents in Paris.
I was very young when students took to the streets to protest and then the workers joined the students. My father collected pieces of tear gas canisters that we brought home.
Her parents were teachers.
My late father, Robert, was a professor at the University of Montreal while my mother taught elementary and CEGEP. Also, my mother Christine is a pioneer in early childhood courses at CEGEP.
You’ve moved 75 times.
My sisters Arianne and Marie-France and I have moved many times. Also, if I sum up the number of times I’ve stayed in different apartments, I think I’ve made at least 75 moves in my life so far.
The school was not a favorite place.
To be honest, I didn’t like going to school. I was a pretty troubling student that in elementary school I was expelled not only from my class but also from the Sainte-Croix school board. I found myself in a school for children with behavioral problems.
This episode changed your life.
Absolutely, because you have to remember that I was in elementary school at the time and didn’t want to be treated like an outcast, someone who was socially excluded and despised by a group.
You regret not having played a team sport.
I didn’t like school, so I organized activities at school. I loved horseback riding. I have played several individual sports, but I regret not having been part of a sports team. I believe that a team sport is very formative in a person’s life.
You suffered a serious taekwondo injury.
I liked doing taekwondo. I was 15 when I severely tore the ligaments in my thighs. Fortunately, despite this childhood injury, I can now run and walk in the mountains, activities that I enjoy immensely.
At the age of 14 you became a young entrepreneur.
When I was younger, in elementary school, I was a street vendor before deciding to leave home at 14 to manage my communications and event box at the Montreal Book Fair and Quebec City. My duties included organizing meetings with the authors.
Business reality has hit you hard: personal bankruptcy.
I was almost 16 years old and hadn’t graduated from high school; However, I have learned from this personal bankruptcy to always keep financial stability in mind.
You’ve become your father’s “roommate” again.
I moved home with my father. We have experienced so many beautiful moments sharing our different ideologies of life. What I remember most from our conversations: defending my beliefs.
How did you repay your creditors?
My grandfather hired me to work on his land and I worked in a pharmacy for three years. These jobs allowed me to pay them back and complete my high school diploma and CEGEP in an accelerated manner.
Between the ages of 18 and 30 you did not have a driver’s license.
No, I didn’t drive a car. I was a correspondent in Washington for many years without having a car for my travels.
Pierre Nadeau and Normand Lester have influenced your career.
When I first met them individually, they didn’t laugh at me. On the contrary, although I was only 16 years old, my childhood hero Pierre Nadeau and Normand Lester believed in me and respected my ambitions to become an international news correspondent.
I’d like to talk about your career, but that’s not the purpose of our meeting.
However, I would like to acknowledge the support of Radio-Canada, who opened their doors to me at the age of 13 to become one of the program’s columnists tele jeans, aimed at young people. A few years later the leaders set up a post especially for me covering the Pope’s 1984 visit to Montreal.
You were bullied by your idols Ted Koppel and Peter Jennings.
My dad and I listened to Ted Koppel, the host of night line on ABC, which launched in March 1980, while Canadian-born Peter Jennings served as sole hostABC World News tonight from 1983 until his death from lung cancer in 2005. They were the only people who bullied me. However, I have met many personalities.