Party politics is dragged into the ring

Mitchel Raphael on party politics getting dragged into the ring

Photograph by Mitchel Raphael

Will Trudeau go blue?

Things are heating up between Liberal MP Justin Trudeau, 40, and Conservative Sen. Patrick Brazeau, 37. The two are set to go at it in the ring on March 31 in a charity boxing match for Fight for the Cure. Trudeau trained as a boxer years ago and is currently working out in the ring and watching Tae Bo videos. Brazeau holds a second-degree black belt in karate. The fight will be for real. “If I break my nose, then I break my nose,” says Trudeau. The Liberal MP’s wife, Sophie Grégoire, has also helped her husband prepare for the showdown by purchasing Trudeau a robe with his name on the back. But Trudeau is not sure he can wear it. Says the MP, “The robe is blue and I’m fighting from the Liberal red corner!”

Minister skirts issue on transgendered

Much drama last week over the issue of transgendered people needing to match the sex on their identification when travelling by air. Gay Liberal MP Scott Brison could not resist a few one-liners. “I thought airport security was already a drag.” On how Transport Minister Denis Lebel handled himself in question period, Brison quipped, “The minister skirted the issue.” More seriously, Calgary Conservative MP Lee Richardson said such security issues could be solved if people, for example, “just matched their iris identification” within an enhanced security system.

Conservative advice for Occupiers

Alumni from Nova Scotia’s Mount Saint Vincent University gathered on the Hill for a reception. The event was hosted by Nova Scotia Liberal Sen. Jane Cordy, NDP MP Megan Leslie, who represents Halifax, and Conservative Sen. Nancy Ruth, who established Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at the Mount in the ’80s when the government at the time offered to create four women’s studies chairs across the country as long as the university matched the funding. Nancy Ruth stepped up and donated the $500,000 needed. She has an honorary degree from the Mount and last fall joined Sheila Fraser when the former auditor general received her honorary degree. At the time the senator spoke to a class of students who were supposed to hear a lecture about women and politics, but the students were more interested in asking her questions about the Occupy movement. “What do you do when the police come and pick you up?” asked one person. She told the students to find out who was on their police services board and added this advice: “Never protest alone, always work with other networks.” At the Hill reception, Liberal MP Geoff Regan asked that the attendees be told he had to leave before the speeches because he was on House duty. This prompted NDP MP Peter Stoffer to quip: “I’m on House duty but I’m not going.”

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