George Springate, as a McGill student-athlete in 1967 and a citizenship judge (R) in 2011. Springate, who-among many other things-was a politician as well as a citizenship judge and football player, died Wednesday. (

George Springate, a man of many lives, is dead at 81

George Springate, a Montreal original and a master of reinvention his whole life, has died at 81.

Springate began edging his way into Montrealers’ collective consciousness in the early 1960s doing English public relations for the Montreal Police on the city’s local private English TV channel, CFCF.

“Remember,” George used to tell us.

“If you drink, don’t drive……or you’ll have us for a chaser.”

And so it began.

Springate first came into prominence as a television spokesman for the Montreal Police in the early 1960s. (National Assembly/YouTube)

Before he was done, Springate would graduate law school, play football and win a Grey Cup with the Montreal Alouettes, take a gutsy stand for English rights as a member of the provincial legislature and finish his professional career as a citizenship judge.

And oh yeah, he also worked as a CBC sportscaster, a football coach, a law professor at McGill University and at John Abbott College, where he founded the police technology program.

Those are the things we know about.

Given who he was, he very likely provided more than his share of help to anyone who might need it, minus any public credit.

I knew George professionally both as a cub police reporter at the Montreal Gazette and as a colleague at the Montreal Daily News.

Springate is seen being in the lead up to the 1970 Grey Cup. (CBC Archives)

The thing about George was–he never forgot the best of his working class roots.

Status never impressed him

He was not the kind to pull rank.

George, who became a Member of the Order of Canada in 1989, finished up living in the West Island suburb of Pierrefonds, where there’s a street named after him.

Springate, far right, greets a new Canadian during a citizenship ceremony in August 2018.(Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada)

So, perhaps, the last word should go–not to a high-ranking politician–but to Pierrefonds-Roxboro Mayor Jim Beis.

“It was never about him,” Beis told Global News.

Indeed, it wasn’t.

Springate didn’t showboat.

He’s going to be missed by a whole lot of people in a whole lot of different places.

With files from CBC, Montreal Gazette, CTV, Global,

Categories: Politics, Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *