I Found My Thrill on Parliament Hill: An Entertaining Look at the Storied Life of Trudeau Era Cabinet Minister, Bud Cullen
The Honourable Jack Sydney George "just-call-me-Bud" Cullen defied all odds when he was elected Sarnia's Member of Parliament during the head-spinning days of Trudeaumania. Candid and outspoken, Cullen was never one to shy away from controversy. Just as he spoke openly about the difficult issues surrounding his ministerial responsibilities, he never hid the fact that he and his chief of staff had fallen in love. This memoir, written after Cullen's death by his chief of staff who became his partner and wife of thirty years, is unusually poignant and revealing.
Nicole Chenier-Cullen's discussions of the critical issues that the minister tackled, such as new immigration legislation, dealing with Quebec's first separatist government, and the tragedy of the Vietnamese refugees, uncover a behind-the-scenes perspective never before known. Her humorous, straightforward account of life in a minister's office is most refreshing. Her honest, thoughtful discourse on how the couple survived what could have been a scandalous relationship adds a revealing dimension to the story, as does her portrayal of Cullen's transition from politician to Federal Court judge.
Finally, the author's heart-wrenching account of her husband's final years, and how the family coped with the ravages of Lewy Body, an Alzheimer's related disease, packs a real emotional punch.