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Melanie Joly on Leonard Cohen's importance to Canada: 'He was our poet'

The Canadian Heritage Minister talks about what Cohen meant to Canada and, more specifically, Montreal.
Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82. (CBC Still Photo Collection)

When Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly heard the news of Leonard Cohen's death yesterday, she was sad but also, as she tells host Tom Power this morning, "inspired more than ever by Leonard Cohen's work."

"I'm proud to be Canadian and proud that he was our poet," she continues. "He was one of our musical geniuses. He was in the line of great Canadian musical talents such as Glenn Gould, but just in a different sector of music and from a different era." 

Joly grew up in Montreal, where Cohen is also from, and to her and everyone in that city, Cohen is a hugely celebrated figure there. "Anybody that is interested in music knows Leonard Cohen," she says. "It's like knowing the Beatles."

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