Raymond Heard
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Raymond Heard is a Canadian journalist, editor, media executive and political strategist. He is president of Toronto-based Heard-Cosgrove Communications, whose clients include some of Canada's largest companies.

A white South African by birth, Heard, whose parents, George and Vida Heard, were prominent liberal journalists, was a political reporter for the Rand Daily Mail from 1955 until 1960.

In 1960,he graduated with a BA Hon. in political science at the University of the Watersrand (Johannesburg) and then spent a year at Harvard University on a Frank Knox Fellowship, where his teachers included Henry Kissinger and J.K.Galbraith.

While there, he wrote an article on the political situation in his homeland for the Harvard Crimson in which he described apartheid as "a combination of hatred, fear, and ignorance" and predicted its ultimate downfall.

An opponent of the apartheid regime, he left South Africa in 1962 and immigrated to Canada where he found a job with the Montreal Star. He served as the Star's White House correspondent, and a correspondent for the London Observer, the South African Morning Group, and O Estado de Sao Paulo, from 1963 until 1973, when he became editor of the London Observer's foreign news service.

In 1976, he returned to the Montreal Star as managing editor, with responsibility for all content, and remained with the newspaper until it closed in 1979 after a crippling 11-month printers' strike.

Heard then moved to the Global Television Network where he served as vice president, news and current affairs, until 1987 when he accepted a position as communications director for Liberal leader John Turner.

In the 1988 free trade election, Heard was in charge of Turner's TV debate team.

During the 2008 federal election, as a Liberal he endorsed his friend Conservative Peter Kent's winning candidacy for Parliament.

From 1990 until 2000, Heard was the senior adviser, media and speech-writing, to two chairmen and CEOs of Royal Bank of Canada, Allan Taylor and John Cleghorn. As the adviser to Cleghorn during the abortive effort to merge Royal Bank and Bank of Montreal in 1998, Heard played the role of devil's advocate, warning that the merger would be denied by the Liberal government unless the banks did more to explain why the merger would benefit customers.

In 2000, he launched Heard-Cosgrove Communications.

Since 2000, Heard has been President of Heard-Cosgrove Communications, whose clients include Onex Corp., Indigo Books and Music, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, LingoMedia, Mainstreet Equity, Western Financial Group, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, the Mosaic Institute and Sonomax Technologies. From 2005 until 2009, he hosted a public affairs program on digital i-channel and appears on CTV and CBC current affairs programs as a guest and is a contributor to the National Post.

Heard was responsible for making Nelson Mandela, whom he had covered as a young reporter in South Africa, an Honourary Canadian, in 2001, the fist living person to get this honour.

In 1965, the Royal Humane Society honoured Heard, an avid surfer since boyhood, for saving the life of a woman bather at Land's End, Cornwall.

In early 2010, a consortium made up of Heard, Senator Jerry Grafstein, Beryl Wajsman and Diane Francis announced a bid to purchase the National Post, Ottawa Citizen and Montreal Gazette from the floundering CanWest media conglomerate.

Heard is married to the Canadian journalist, Gillian Cosgrove and they have a daughter, Jennifer, a 2010 political science honours graduate from Guelph University.

He has two children, Josephine Robson of London, and Antony Heard of Ottawa, from his first marriage to Susan Lewis (now Lady Susan Steyn).

Heard's younger brother, Anthony Heard, remained in South Africa and served as editor in chief of the liberal Cape Times for many years until he was dismissed after breaking the apartheid laws in 1986 by publishing his interview with Oliver Tambo, the exiled leader of the African National Congress (ANC).

When Nelson Mandela became president of the new South Afriuca, Anthony Heard became an adviser in The Presidency, serving until 2010.

Heard's father George was a popular radical journalist in the 1930s, who exposed pro-Nazis in the government. He served in the SA Navy, and disappeared in full uniform in Cape Town after VE Day in 1945. It was later discovered that Heard, who was number two on the death list of the Nazi Afrikaner Broederbond underground, had been kidnapped and murdered to prevent him from launching a post-war newspaper that would advocate a new, non-racial country.

Entries by Raymond Heard

How Nelson Mandela Touched Canada (And Vice Versa)

(3) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 3:34 PM

Entertaining 50,000 tweens is a challenge even for a Justin Bieber. It was no sweat for 80-year-old Nelson Mandela in Toronto's SkyDome on Sept. 25, 1998, when he launched the Nelson Mandela's Children's Fund Canada. After entering the stadium on a golf cart, wearing a very Canadian Hudson's Bay jacket,...

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Did England Poach Canada's Next Prime Minister?

(10) Comments | Posted November 28, 2012 | 7:44 AM

Mark Carney, the Bank of Canada governor who's been appointed to head the Bank of England, may go down in history as the best prime minister Canada never had. He joins three other Canadians who, in my time, have helped to recreate hallowed but troubled institutions in mother Britain.

Until...

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McGuinty: The Only Man Who Can Stop Trudeau?

(24) Comments | Posted October 15, 2012 | 10:15 PM

The resignation of Dalton McGuinty as Premier of Ontario, effective on the day his successor is chosen, presents those of us who believe in private enterprise with a very dismal prospect. The way things are going, it seems that Andrea Horwath of the tax-and-spend crypto-socialist New Democratic Party,...

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My Memories of the Cuban Missile Crisis, 50 Years Later

(18) Comments | Posted October 8, 2012 | 9:31 PM

A nuclear Armageddon was very much on our minds at Harvard in the early 1960s. At the time, I was attending the university as a Frank Knox Fellow. It was a time to think the unthinkable, in lecture halls and even at the movies. The young Henry Kissinger, one of...

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The Only Hope for the Liberals May be an NDP Merger

(8) Comments | Posted July 27, 2012 | 12:55 PM

During the summer doldrums, political commentators seem to be competing with each other to assess the pros and cons of a Liberal leadership bid by 40-year-old Justin Trudeau, a relative novice whose form eclipses his substance in public affairs, but who shows signs of intellectual growth.

Meanwhile,...

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Ok, So it's Winnipeg -- But Finally Our Human Rights Champions Will Get Their Due

(3) Comments | Posted February 26, 2012 | 12:04 AM

At the very crossroads of Canada, at the historic Forks site in Winnipeg, on a hallowed river plain where leaders of the First Nations convened to make peace, a museum is being built to celebrate human rights. Its huge steel and glass exterior reflects the blue Prairie sky, the snow...

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Not Just Hippies Occupying Wall Street

(12) Comments | Posted October 19, 2011 | 3:54 PM

At least two more things need to be said about the mainly peaceful global Occupy Wall Street citizens uprising that broke out in the Twitterverse and the Huffington Post long before the mainstream media woke up to an important new political reality. Firstly, it is supported by titans of commerce...

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"Who Gassed You Today, Dad?" One Man's Memory of Street Protests

(2) Comments | Posted October 4, 2011 | 4:49 PM

Suddenly, with plenty of focus on Twitter and YouTube, but shamefully little advance notice from the mainstream media, there has been a sea change of sorts in the political landscape of the United States.

The arrest of 700 young, smart and wired Americans protesting "corporate greed"...

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In the Beginning, the Idea, the Word, Then Babble

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2011 | 1:03 PM

Most of us believe that, in the beginning, there was the Word.

The provocative proceedings at ornate Koerner Hall on the Royal College of Music campus in Yorkville suggest otherwise -- that, in the beginning, was the Idea. Surely, one must suppose, God, in her infinite wisdom, had the...

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Hold Page One for the Suits in Foggy Bottom!

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2011 | 12:48 PM

Quite the most astute disclosures and commentaries about the Machiavellian machinations of the Liberal Party during the dismal reign of Michael Ignatieff were written not by pundits like Jeffrey Simpson, John Ivison and their ilk in Ottawa.

They were written by American diplomats, whose cables back to Foggy Bottom...

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Liberals Can Return, Like Lazarus (and Nixon)

(0) Comments | Posted June 1, 2011 | 10:01 AM

The response of most survivors to the implosion of the natural governing party has been to paraphrase what Will Rogers said about the Democrats:

I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Liberal!

After all, to mix metaphors again, God, in...

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