Putting a Positive Spin on a Perfunctory Notification

Two types of letters are ignored by the powers that be: rants from obviously disturbed people you do not want to encourage, and correspondence in which the writer expresses views with which you do not want to be associated. These communications usually don't even warrant the perfunctory form letter, they are simply ignored.

The letter I sent our Prime Minister was not ignored, even if it took four months before the postman dropped a letter in my mailbox with "Office of the Prime Minister" as the return address.

Perfunctory replies are usually sent within a matter of days for they mean nothing and commit to nothing.

With my letter to the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau I had included a book which, along with my letter, was also acknowledged. It was accepted as a gift, therefore, perhaps I should not read that much into it. Then again, there was that four months delay in expediting an acknowledgement.

Could the delay have been because someone in the Prime Minister's Office took the time to read the book and decided that it did not warrant being dismissed out of hand?

Perhaps the sentiment expressed in my letter to the Prime Minister was shared among the powers that be and that is not a bad thing.


The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau

Office of the Prime Minister

80 Wellington Street Ottawa,

ON K1A 0A2

November 9, 2015

Dear Prime Minister,


In the hope of contributing to an informed vigorous discussion within the PMO of the book that inspires Islamic State and which represents the greatest threat to what Mark Lilla, professor of the humanities at Columbia University describes as "the fragile exception", please accept a complimentary copy of Jihad in the Koran.

Sincerely Yours

Author Pain, Pleasure and Prejudice, The Koran arranged by topic and explained in a way we can all understand, Boreal Books, 2012

cc: Katie Telford


February 26, 2016

Dear Mr. Payeur;

On behalf of the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, I would like to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence, with which you enclosed a gift for the Prime Minister.

Thank you for your kind gesture. You may be assured that your thoughtfulness was very much appreciated.

Once again, thank you for writing.

Yours Sincerely


J. P. Vachon


Executive Correspondence Services