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This Country

Lafleur lays bare his family 'nightmare'

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

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  1. keith c from United Kingdom writes: it's a good get, this interview, but i wish someone was fact checking mcgregor's stories. Rosemere is nowhere near Pointe Claire and I doubt he was ``known in quebec'' as `the flower', given that people mostly speak French there.
  2. Jonathan Joyce from The Elsewhere Canadien, United States writes: Thank you, Mr. MacGregor, for taking the time to bring this balanced, beautiful, and heart-breaking portrait to your readers' attention. It is impossible to truly experience the turmoil the Lafleur family's enduring; but, Guy being the utterly humane, realistic, and humble Guy he (was and) is, I am positive it will stay the course. Somehow, I believe his new biz will thrive; prolly because he's so determined, cautiously optimistic, and utterly alive. Là, but for la grâce . . .
    P.S. keith c.? When Mr. MacGregor puts quotations around "the flower," it is understood, in Canada, that Mr. Lafleur is known as LaFleur, get "it?"
  3. John Williams from TO, Canada writes: He is suing the police for millions, after he allegedly broke the law?
    People who break the law are going to dictate how the police do their jobs?

    There seems to be an awful lot of "entitlement" at work here. Someone who thinks they can "bend the rules".
    Justice is supposed to be blind.

    There are cases where a guy of his age is being arrested for something minor, and the police go to the door in person as they don't know if there are guns in the house, and have to knock the doors down, just to be safe, if no one answers.

    If you break the law, they can issue a warrant.
    Just because you are famous should not give you special treatment.
  4. BeeRich III from Toronto, Canada writes: Salut Guy! I can only imagine that you will read this. While you have endured an abnormal addition to the family, it is far from a nightmare. This type of stuff happens every day to a lot of people. You don't have to drive far to witness abnormalities amongst people. Cities today have multiple ways to observe issues amongst people.

    So let's all make sure we have our responsibilities in line, and that we try to maintain an educated perspective about the realities of such disorders, not only amongst our loved ones, but with others as well. It is for this reason that I think we toss out our pathetic components in our educational curriculum, and replace it with the scientific courses that educate reality, instead of useless fiction.
  5. keith c from london, United Kingdom writes: jonathan, the line was `he is known in quebec as `the flower'. I think the point you're trying to make is that if the article was written about you in the U.S. press, it would say `Jonathan Joyce, known as "Jonathan Joyce" in Canada.." er .. ok..
    Anyway yeah sad story for Lafleur, i can only imagine how tough it is to have a child that can't be helped. But it's as sad for the girl victim and her family. John Williams is right on and McGregor treats Lafleur with kid gloves a bit here. Lafleur was well known for irresponsible party-boy behaviour as a player. as a kid growing up in the west island, was a well known black joke in the early 80s that i wasn't a good idea for local parents to be on the 20 back to baie d'urfe in the wee hours as maybe a well-refreshed Guy would run you down with his porsche after a night at the disco. people can change, but a ``serious mistake'' as mcgregor puts it driving your son to go hook up with his abused girlfriend in a motel??? it's a bit creepier than that. Maybe the cops overreacted putting the warrant on him but in the 80s lafleur got away with murder as the local deity.
  6. Max Cooke from Toronto, Canada writes: A more balanced story may have included the viewpoint from the family of the girls that Mark Lafleur has victimized. I say girls because to my knowledge, there has been more than one incident in the past. Why would Guy Lafleur hire his son to work in the back of a kitchen at a Mike's restaurant that he owned knowing full well that there were many young female employees to be preyed upon? This latest example of poor judgment to drop his son off at a motel has been preceded by many others. Poor Guy Lafleur...if I was the father of one of the girls that Mark Lafleur has abused, I would be asking McGregor to paint a more unbiased and accurate picture.
  7. Ben Hong from NB, Canada writes: Guy Guy Guy....As a father who raised "normal" children, I cannot even begin to fathom the painful travails that Guy and Lise are being put through. The issue of the arrest warrant for Guy and the ensuing shameful tv displays are a blight on the reputation of a sports hero/icon. I believe that the police department involved should have its SOP re-evaluated.

    I enjoyed the article and Mr. McGregor is one of the better writers to be found in Canadian newspapers.
  8. A. W. from Canada writes: John Williams in cases like this the othorities can issue a summons to appear. If Mr. lafleur or his attorney do not respond to the summons then
    a warrant is issued. Mr. lafleur is known to the community and is not a flight risk. So the crown and police did act with a little to much zeal.

    Keith C why bring up the past and that Mr. Lafleur got away with "murder"??? Choose your words carefully.. I wonder if Wayne Rooney
    get any special treatment from authorities in Manchester.
    So eat some bangers and mash and bugger off!!

    Good luck Guy and Lise..My family shall have a good thought for yours.
  9. Alberta Marlowe from Canada writes: Why do Mr. Lafleur or Mr. MacGregor never mention the victim's nightmare, or her family's nightmare? Driving your son to meet his under-aged girlfriend? Mr. Lafleur is not the victim here. He should stop acting like he is, and Mr. MacGregor should stop aiding and abetting him.
  10. Hector Proud Member of the N.D.P. from Toronto, Canada writes: So would you all be easy on Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka? I mean, if Paul Bernardo is serving the time he is for what he did, why should not this swine? Because he's the son of a hockey icon? And Patriarchy lives on... women are disposable, boys will be boys.
  11. Alberta Marlowe from Canada writes: Exactly, Hector. If M. Lafleur had driven his son to rob a bank, would he be given immunity as a "hockey icon"? The real victim, the girl, in this article is disposable, easily dismissed by Lafleur and MacGregor.

    And Mr. Hong, you speak as a "man who raised normal children".........if you spoke as a man whose family was devastated by a child's being sexually abused, you would speak differently.
  12. A. W. from Canada writes: Hold on one moment. I know the where abouts of my minor age daughter.
    Check the time line. This girl was at a motel at 12:30am..Where are her parents? If there is a history of abuse unto this girl her parents have a greater responsibility to manage her whereabouts. Both sets of parents have failed. Yes Guy and his son deserve whatever the court rules.
  13. steve allan from Welland, Ontario, Canada writes: Excellent interview.

    Bonne chance Guy, tu peut, oui tu peut!

    By the way, Guy was still playing oldtimers hockey a few years ago and he was just as beautiful to watch as the 'old' days. What poetry on ice!
  14. John Williams from TO, Canada writes: Celebrities think they deserve "special treatment".

    They don't.

    Police are far from perfect, but they are busy, and they have to do what they do. They issues warrants all the time. If they called him up on his cell phone, they would be accused of favoritism!
    Should the cops get an autograph too?
    Treat him the same as anyone else.

    Guess what, humans are humans. Even people who can play hockey.

    Now Paris Hilton going to jail, that was a travesty of justice...she had to eat prison food, just for breaking the law.
  15. Jonathan Joyce from The Elsewhere Canadien, United States writes: Point taken, keith c. But, Canada is officially bilingual and this is an English-language newspaper, n'est-ce pas? So, the English speakers in Quebec would call Guy "The Flower," if I understand why Mr. MacGregor noted it at all. And, he IS a flower, in the way he flowed during his glory days, on the ice, effortlessly, a ballet in com/motion. If you a-Goglin' go, though, you'll discover that L'le Bizard (where R. M. notes the family resides) isn't far from Rosemre at all, maybe five-ten kilometres, max. As for those who would make the heinously gross comparison with Lafleur fils to those child-killer monsters, get a life, preferably your own. If Guy was taking his son to a rendezvous with the young woman involved, I would think this relationship was a two-way street, dysfunctional, perhaps (since, she was already waiting for her lover); but, even @ 14, sex is sex and not to be denied. The troubles his younger son created for himself prior to this embranglement were not that big of a deal, not in the grand scam of things. For those who are crying preferential treatment concerning the warrant, why were so many high-profile ex-co-teammates willing to put their own reps on the line? I don't think he's over-the-top in responding with a defamation suit. Preferential treatment isn't the issue here; it's whether the warrant needed issuing at all (on the grounds, say, Guy was gonna gun 'em down or posed a flight risk). Someone on the force was grandstanding, IMO, attempting to garner some "look at me (or we)" publicity where it was absolutely not necessary. Preferential treatment? How about some "deferential" treatment? If anyone deserves it, it's a guy who abso-deffo amply gave QB glorious pride of hockey place in our country. I doubt Slime Minister Harpoo would have had this happen this way with him, too. (And, yes, Mr. MacGregor's among the best scribes in the country; in fact, he's most assuredly one of the greatest sportswriters of all time.)
  16. Jonathan Joyce from The Elsewhere Canadien, United States writes: Alberta Marlowe from Canada writes: >Exactly, Hector. If M. Lafleur had driven his son to rob a bank, would he be given immunity as a "hockey icon"? The real victim, the girl, in this article is disposable, easily dismissed by Lafleur and MacGregor.<< G-r-r-r . . . "if," If, IF . . . Logical fallacy, Ms. Marlowe, more commonly known as "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc." IMMUNITY? OMGasp. How unfair to The Flower, how unfair to his (mentally challenged avec TS) son, how unfair to anyone lacking the ability to deploy "reason" when it's obviously not in season in your neck of the world. The girl is not "the real victim" in this article, not by a long thought (unless you possess psycho-kinetic ESP powers that place you in that motel room where the girl was waiting for M. Lafleur and saw the gun pointed at her head or you have 411 not privy to the rest of us). She was a willing and wanting participant. And, the younger Lafleur has not been convicted so, really, there are no victims (unless we're talking agenda-driven ones such as those who jump said gun). If you read the article again, it's obvious the accused's father has great respect and concern for women (as his comments concerning the health of his wife demonstrate. He's willing to disown his own to protect her, IOW, a great sacrifice he would be forced to make through no fault of his own). AND, if you knew the work of Mr. MacGregor with any familiarity at all, especially when he writes pieces involving women in sports, you'd know he's anything but cavalierly dismissive of the gender. Perhaps you're simply projecting your own misogyny onto a hockey player and a sportswriter? Lard knows, I'm not familiar with you nor your line of work (thank Him); but, get a gripe, SVP/TNX. Your argurant simply doesn't hold water, let alone ice the take you seem to wanna make when it comes to common sense. Looks like you really do need to give your keyboard a break, preferably over your head.
  17. Bob McDonald from Canada writes: This story is not about celebrity or about the girl and her family or even the ill advised lawsuit against the police - its about raising a child with a serious personality disorder. That is becoming more common for unknown reasons so its interesting to many of us. LaFleur made a mistake but he sounds like a caring father. My own son suffered from Aspergers, a milder personality disorder but just because he couldn't interpret the feelings of his classmates by their facial expression and tone of voice he got into all kinds of trouble. One thing for us all to remember is that when these kids become adults, a lot of the problems slowly fade away. I hope that happens for Mark LaFleur too.
  18. Dave M from Canada writes: Nobody's minimizing the harm Mark LaFleur has caused. This is a heartbreaking story about the problems of raising a son like Mark and I feel story for the LaFleur family. Yes, parents make poor judgments about their kids, it's part of being a parent. but it sounds like they know what they did wrong. Yes the lawsuit is ill-advised, but LaFleur was treated more harshly because he is a celebrity. Police in Quebec are well known for their showboating to the media. I know parents who are tearing themselves apart over their inability to get their kids to behave respectfully to others and it's really sad to see. Guy LaFleur has always been a hero to me and his honesty in this story makes me more proud of him than ever.
  19. M Poland from Calgary, Canada writes: I think that this is a story about a normal family struggling with abnormal problems. M LaFleur demonstrated poor judgement [who among us has never done that?], but he has to face the consequences. Perhaps it is a cultural thing [normally allowing him to discreetly report to the police station] but it is one law for everyone, IMHO. Hopefully his boy will be better, if only for taking responsibility for his actions.
  20. Leon Russell from Gatineau, Qc, Canada writes: "The Flower?"

    They may be mixing him up with one of the "My Little Pony"s figurines.

    (And they used to call Bobby Hull "The Hull", in Ontario, I'm sure.)
  21. F Johnson from Canada writes: This ia a very sad story but unfortunately many of us either have similar family situations or have freinds in this situation. Guy I hope it all works out for you. I enjoyed your hockey days and I'm sure you did also.
  22. M.G. Stevens from Canada writes: Worthwhile article. Good to gain a bit of understanding about the conditions behind the headlines. Hey, anyone who had the guts to be a spokesperson for ED in commercials also has the guts to be up front about this, a sad but understandable challenge to face for any parent. Looks like they did all they could for him through the years, and it's too bad it came to this - for ALL concerned.

    That the police could not have the discretion to keep his personal reputation out of the headlines is worthy of a lawsuit if anything is - whatever the circumstances, the lack of discretion - a judgment against him somehow - was a purposeful decision to add injurious insult to injury. Makes a sad story even darker when a conflicted parent trying to help (ok, misguided though it seems to have been) is publicly shamed for his mistake.

    I can't help but end with a comment about the disturbingly HARSH caliber of response I see, not particularly for this story (oh, they are up there..) but in the comments sections of various media sites. It was one thing, back in the day, to get the story from BIG media, perhaps a bit of professional analysis, but opening up this public forum has exposed something UGLY in the online readership. I can't tell if it is a reasonable representation of society or if these comments sections are unduly populated by... Well, if I continued there I would have been playing 'pot and kettle' so I'll leave it at that. But I wouldn't mind seeing a story about that some day...
  23. My 2 Cents from Canada writes: Good article, however, Guy lost all my sympathy as soon as he mentioned that he was suing the police for having put out a warrant for his lawful arrest.
  24. Jonathan Joyce from The Elsewhere Canadien, United States writes: Ackshurrly, Mr. Leon Russell, not only do "they" call Guy "The Flower," they also call Bobby Hull "The Golden Jet." Don't believe moi? Have a peek-see here:

    And, BTW, back in the good ol' golden days of THE Original Sixers, before "they" called Gordie Howe "Mr. Hockey," they called him "Blinky" (but, don't say that too loud 'cause it still irks "The Ol' Blinkster" to the nines).

    F. Johnson, I'm with you (and all who see the crux of the tragedy); each of the individuals involved in this imbroglio deserves our compassion, not our contempt. I, too, hope it all works out for the best for all concerned on both sides of this sad-but-too-true tale of the torn and worn.

    Undeniably, JoJo
  25. Dr. Strangelove from Edmonton, Canada writes: Oh, Boo Hoo!!! The only reason this is a "story" is that Gee Lafleur is "famous". If the kid did the crime, make him do the time. Get on with life.

  26. Life Insurance Bribe from Canada writes: John Williams, you apparently know very little about the criminal justice system & policing. It is much more effort for a police officer to acquire & issue a warrant, than it is to make a phone call or two to Mr. Lafleur &/or his lawyer.

    Issuing a warrant, knowing full-well that it will become wide-spread public knowledge & the negative consequences of such an issuance to a public figure, can indeed be abusive. Hence, the lawsuit.

    In this case, & with this police officer(s), Mr. Lafleur's celebrity meant he received more punitive treatment than the average person - precisely the opposite of what you claim.
  27. Sean O'Reilly from Canada writes: This joke of a law suit he filed should be thrown out.

    Damaged your reputation? You did that by breaking the law and telling lies for your son.

    You did that all on your own, including you honour.

    You'll excuse me if I don't shed a tear for your plight, something every family experiences.
  28. Jonathan Joyce from The Elsewhere Canadien, United States writes:
    Do I? Don't I?

    Will I? Won't I?

    Nah, I've been sitting on my fingers and scratching my head rather than stooping to conquer so far . . .

    [Let me think about this a little longer, Lord.]

    Dr. Strangelove? Sean O'Reilly?

    Maybe, I'll be back; maybe, I won't . . . Maybe, when I can muster up some understanding, sympathy, and credulity for your off-the-map and over-the-moon SELFISH-IS-AS-SELFISH-DOES tune. Don't hold your breath, though; you obviously need to hold onto that final brain cell still functioning; but, I'll try, promise.

    Sorry? Right now? PEBCAK! I'm laughing all the way to the brink of the rink concerning your dregma, your absolutely dullicious dregma. In the MEAN time (which seems to grow MEANER by the moment), I hope you both have a very nice life (and, an even nicer death).

    Condolences. It must be very lonely on your planet :( . . .
  29. Vickky Angstrom from Canada writes: A parent's job is to love their child unconditionally -- to help them manage their behaviour and feelings -- and to see and hope for the best in them. Guy LaFleur has done that, despite the anger, frustration and heartache. I wouldn't wish this journey on my worst enemy.

    Dad wanted his son to have a little happiness. He made a mistake. A big mistake, but a mistake. Who hasn't made mistakes? Sadly, his public humiliation is just another step in this part of his life, sadly, his disgrace will not help his son, nor help the young woman heal.

    Some things are bigger than us...
  30. Anthony Ocana from Vancouver, Canada writes: As mentioned by others, being famous has its ups and downs. I feel for Mark and Guy as I do for the young woman. It's good for people to get an inside picture of mental illness and its consequences. My comment relates to what Mr. Lafleur said about Ritalin: 1) if the medication causes sedation, it means the Ritalin level has tanked. The dose is too low. 2) Similarly, the insomnia is the result of the medication having worn off too early. 3) therefore in both cases these are examples that the dose is too low and/or the medication has worn off too early. A proper dose of a long acting stimulant will solve both problems. Secondly, just because Ritalin is a drug, doesn't mean it's bad. Synthetic insulin is a drug and you don't see the parents of diabetics fretting about medicating their children. Ritalin is a couple molecules different than adrenaline, the natural stimulant that is realeased when something important is happening in our environment. Lastly, when I see violent, and unpredictable outbursts, I think of Bipolar, not ADHD. Has anyone considered the might have both? Anyway, I'm going for my early morning bike ride up Grouse mountain. But I'm lucky. Exercise isn't the answer for everyone. Some people need more, much more. That's the nature of mental illness... And most families have at least one person who has mental health challenges of this calibre, so maybe we should judge less and support more. Director, North Shore ADHD Clinic
  31. Runaway 08 from Wet Vancouver, Canada writes: Nobody seems to have considered that M. LaFleur might have had the young girl's welfare in mind when he went to chaperone his son and perhaps take the girl home....
  32. gabriel oak from Canada writes: All the family issues thoughtfully considered here from many angles. One remaining thought: What's the point of having celebrity if it doesn't put you above the law, garner you some entitlement? I mean, really, isn't that what celebrity is all about?
  33. elizabeth clarke from Charlottetown, Canada writes: I have to agree with Bob MacD, Vickky, Dave M. this a story about this family's stuggle with mental illness. One that is making the wife sick and to the point of being unable to cope with the struggle to keep up with their son's sickness. It is not about their wealth, fame, or the victim. People forget that in their eagerness to place blame and they are aware of that aspect of this part of their son's life.

    It is a daily and time-consuming effort on all their parts to try and maintain a normal life when mental illness is involved.
  34. ed ncda from Canada writes: The main theme here is the pain and tragedy that mental illness invariably causes in one way or another to all those who are in any way touched by it. In reading some of the previous comments I suspect that the problem of mental illness is much more widespread than is generally recognized.

    For the least informed among us: Rosemere is about 10 minutes driving distance from Pointe Claire. (In fairness, that must seem a long way for a person who likely never ventures past the nearest pub.) And for the men who have never met a vindictive "Ms. Rambo" cop who just itches for the chance to "even things up a bit": your turn will surely come.
    For all who lack empathy (look it up, it's in the dictionary) I think it's fair to say that M. Lafleur has received more cheap shots in these comments than he received in his entire professional career.
    Enfin, M. Lafleur, je vous envie votre mariage de 35 ans et je souhaite bonne chance tous.
  35. Canada Needs National Soccer League Senior and Junior from Canada writes: This is good stuff,to help his son and stick with him etc...

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