V i v i a n  S o n g
Freelance writer
Freelance writer
Unlikely Quebec Republic

Published in The Toronto Sun and Sun Media papers, November, 2008.

Phoenix – Hockey talk in Canada is rarely lost in translation, former Montreal Canadien Claude Lemieux said.

Oftentimes, he’ll talk sports with his friends back in Canada and they’ll both be on the same page, the current Phoenix resident and real estate developer said. But when it comes to politics, Lemieux is a bit of a “maverick” – if you will – compared to the Quebec sensibility. He’s a hard and fast Republican.

“They’ll say, ‘how can we agree on everything else with hockey, but disagree on everything with politics?” Lemieux said. “I say I’ve always liked to be different from everyone else.”

After playing for the Phoenix Coyotes, he decided to live in Arizona for the sun, the warmth and the good traffic. The 43-year-old has been working to make a comeback in hockey and expects to learn of his chances this month.

While he can’t vote, Lemieux said he identifies strongly with the conservative party.

“I’ve always favoured the Republican Party,” he said.

“My wife and I agree. We have the same beliefs in politics.”

The “Americanization” is complete, it seems, once Canadians become Republicans.

Investment banker and founder of the Canadian Arizona Business Council Glenn Williamson also considers himself Americanized and extols the American way.

“The entrepreneurial path to success is substantially larger here than it is in Canada. My story of success couldn’t have happened in Canada,” said the Montreal native. “The system allows you to succeed.”

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