Greetings from the Prime Minister

Mr. Stephen Ross
English 11 Honours students pose for their class photo for the Prime Minister

This September, grade 11 students in Ms. Sandra Gin’s two English classes wrote letters to the Prime Minister of Canada.  The assignment?  To recommend a book that they read over the summer and that they felt would be an enriching, relevant read for the leader of our nation.

The assignment was inspired by Canadian author Yann Martel (Life of Pi), who spent two years sending letters of book recommendations to Stephen Harper in what became a prolific, one-sided book club.  Intrigued by the prospect that our Prime Minister does not read, Martel penned 101 letters and sent 101 books to Harper.  Famously, he never received a response.

Ms. Gin’s students endeavoured the same task.  At the end of September, they sent a thick envelope of their letters to 80 Wellington Street, Ottawa.  Seven months later, they were thrilled albeit surprised to receive not only a personalized letter back, but also a signed copy of Harper’s own book, A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs & the Rise of Professional Hockey.  

A picture of Harper's non-fiction text "A Great Game."
A picture of Harper’s non-fiction text “A Great Game.”

Below is a link to the cover letter Ms. Gin sent to the Prime Minister, as well as a scanned copy of Stephen Harper’s response.  The letter arrived in a gold-foil embossed envelope on official Prime Minister of Canada stationery.  The grade 11s are still awaiting a response from Yann Martel, who also received copies of their letters to Harper.

Letter to Harper

Letter from Stephen Harper