Trivial Pursuit

Timothy Eaton

Tom Korski of the Hill Times beats the Executive Director of the Dominion Institute at its own daffy game of historical trivia.

Each Canada Day brings another frown from the Dominion Institute, the federally-funded agency that hectors the public for its inability to answer questions on historical facts. This year I decided to put the questions to them for a change.

“Who was Canada’s first Roman Catholic Prime Minister?” I asked Marc Chalifoux, the Institute’s 29-year old executive director, on the phone from Toronto. Chalifoux laughed. “Um, why are you asking me all these questions?” I sensed he was stalling for time. “I assume it is Wilfrid Laurier.” Wrong.

Second question: What did they call the Peace Tower in World War II? Chalifoux interrupted, “Can you put this in an email?” He’d stopped laughing at this point, and sounded peevish. I explained this was a telephone survey like the polls the Dominion Institute commissions. “I’d prefer you send me these questions by email,” he insisted.

Yes, we all test better when questions are submitted in writing, in advance. I marked “no response” on the Peace Tower question. It became apparent Chalifoux had grown weary of my exam.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! It’s about time someone turned the tables on these insufferably self-righteous, narrow-minded scolds.