Bain, George

George Bain, journalist, author, educator (b at Toronto 29 Jan 1920). Bain was educated in Toronto and served as a pilot in Bomber Command during WWII. In the mid-1950s, he began the Ottawa column in the Toronto Globe and Mail. Bain's serious but witty concern with federal politics led to the acceptance by many editors of a daily Ottawa column as something crucial to the political consciousness of Canadians.

He was London correspondent 1957-60 and Washington correspondent 1960-69, when he returned to Ottawa. In 1964, he gradually introduced into the Ottawa column his Letters from Lilac (a fictional Saskatchewan town). Pearson's chuckle, Diefenbaker's wagging forefinger, Trudeau's shrug and Canada's political issues were widely disseminated through the fictional Lilac Advance and its correspondent Clem Watkins.

Bain moved to the Toronto Star 1973-81 and was subsequently appointed director of journalism at King's College, Halifax. He retired in 1985. He has authored several books and has been awarded the Stephen Leacock Medal. He returned to the Globe and Mail until May 1987. He continues to write as a freelancer.