Journalist and former press secretary for Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Michel Gratton (58), was found dead in his apartment in Ottawa on Thursday afternoon January 13. The creator of LeStudio1.com, Bernard Bujold, had worked with Michel in 1984-85 and he retains warm memories from that time.
"He was a sort of bohemian at heart but a great enthusiast for the French people. He and I did not really have a common links until he heard that I had been a journalist at L'Evangeline in Moncton. He then became friendly with me. Unfortunately, we never became close friends because our characters were too far apart. Michel enjoyed the pleasures of life including alcohol. He considered that his residence was virtually the bar at the Press Club where he loved to share with other journalists on Parliament Hill.
He was a natural charmer, but he was humble and he never used his credential as press secretary to seduce. One day, I heard him answer a girl, who was asking him about his work in the PMO, that he was a janitor at the Langevin building.
Michel had a passion for journalism and I think that his greatest pride was his work at the newspaper Le Droit. He was curious and had the claim to be aware of all secrets. Once, some journalists of the Press Gallery had published a scoop without him knowing it and dealing with Brian Mulroney. The latter complained to his press secretary reminding him that he should know everything and that his work was mainly to inform the Prime Minister before the public was.
If I wanted to summarize who Michel Gratton was, I would say that he was a sort of John Wayne. Efficient and precise in its actions despite its messy look like, liking alcohol and women, sense of humor and often moody but always generous and willing to help the man or woman in need.
Dear Michael, I am glad to have known you! "
See story - La Presse ;
See reactions of his friends - La Presse ;
See story The Gazette ;
See story Radio-Canada ;
See story 1984 in Ottawa - LeStudio1.com