Canadian prime minister phones Patty Wetterling
by Stuart Goldschen
If Jacob Wetterling is in Canada, there’s a good chance he’s safe and sound. The Canadians wouldn’t allow it otherwise.
That’s what Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney suggested to Patty Wetterling recently in a personal telephone conversation connecting them in Ottowa and St. Joseph.
The prime minister phoned Patty on Feb. 24 after hearing of Jacob on Canadian television. He called the Friends of Jacob office in St. Joseph and left a message for Patty to call him back.
“I called and a person said the prime minister was unavailable at the time,” Patty said. “When I said I was Patty Wetterling, the person said, ‘Oh, yes, I’ll get him right away.’ Obviously he must have left a clearance.”
Patty said Mulroney was warm and genuine, and had nothing to gain politically from the call. She said he told her although he didn’t watch television very much, even he had seen Jacob’s story several times on the screen.
“I just thought it might be comforting for you to know,” Patty paraphrased Mulroney, “that if Jacob is in Canada and has any access to television or radio, there’s no way he couldn’t have seen or heard it. We’ve had such widespread coverage, and everybody up here is aware of Jacob’s story. We’re all looking really hard.”
Patty said Mulroney told her he hoped it would be reassuring for her to hear that. He wanted to let her know, she said, that everyone there cared about Jacob and was doing everything possible to find him.
“Brian said they have a very excellent child find program in Canada and would do anything they could to help,” Patty said. “He was really nice.”
She said radio stations in Canada break into their regular programming sporadically throughout the day to remind listeners of Jacob’s disappearance. Some stations are offering cab fare should Jacob be able to flee his abductor, she said.
Patty said Jacob’s story recently received attention in Canada largely because of the efforts of Monte Blaustein, a Minnetonka engineer and a volunteer in the Friends of Jacob office.
Blaustein, 32, a native of Montreal, went to Canada on Feb. 5 and 6 to follow a lead on Jacob at the request of Jerry Wetterling. Blaustein said he talked to Marcele LaMarche, president of the Missing Children’s Network in Montreal, who was instrumental in getting Canadian media to publicize Jacob’s story.
While the lead on Jacob did not prove helpful, Blaustein said, the publicity generated by LaMarche’s assistance helped spread Jacob’s story throughout Canada.
The Canadian people are now looking for Jacob. And their prime minister has demonstrated his support.