Who paid $10,000 for Elizabeth May’s cane?

Mitchel Raphael on who paid $10,000 for Elizabeth May's cane
Photographs by Mitchel Raphael

The case of the two Louises

Green Leader Elizabeth May’s cane is now worth $10,000. The price tag was set at the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto at the annual gala put on by Egale, Canada’s gay advocacy group. During the fundraising portion of the night, comedian Elvira Kurt spontaneously shouted, “Let’s auction Elizabeth May’s cane,” which seemed to come as a surprise to May. She appeared hesitant, and slightly worried about how she would get around, but then she said she would do it—for $10,000. Within minutes, Toronto-Dominion Bank president Ed Clark announced he would purchase the cane. In the end, he let May keep it. Now, next to her car, it is the most valuable thing May owns.

That same night the 2011 Egale Canada Leadership Award went to former Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour. Egale noted that part of the reason she was selected was that she was one of the first United Nations high commissioners for human rights to speak openly about LGBT rights. Arbour was unable to attend and asked recently retired Supreme Court justice Louise Charron to accept the award on her behalf. Arbour joked that Charron should just pretend to be her. In her speech, Charron observed that this was not so far-fetched because throughout their careers she and Arbour have been mistaken for each other. She noted both are Franco-Canadians with the same first name and they both entered the justice system around the same time when women on the bench were still rare.

At the event, politicians mixed with business people, activists and burlesque dancers. The reception before the dinner featured a brass dancing pole. The gala was co-chaired by Tory Sen. Nancy Ruth. Other Conservatives in attendance were Sen. Salma Ataullahjan, Sen. Linda Frum and Toronto MP Bernard Trottier, the man who beat former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff in Etobicoke-Lakeshore. Interim leader Bob Rae was the only federal Liberal in attendance. When he was onstage with Elizabeth May and interim NDP leader Nycole Turmel, he put his arm around May and joked, “This is the first merger. Every threesome starts with a twosome.”

Thanksgiving turkey tips from an MP

Last month Liberal MP Mark Eyking took 24 turkeys to the local abattoir. The Cape Breton farmer says he can kill chickens himself but when it comes to turkeys he can’t do it because the birds have more personality and are more dynamic than chickens. Plus the turkeys are around longer. Eyking says turkeys take about three months to raise, while chickens only six to eight weeks. He freezes most of the turkeys and then cooks them for his family throughout the year. His turkeys are organic. For Thanksgiving, Eyking revealed to Capital Diary how he keeps his birds moist: “Wrap them in old-fashioned bacon.” Another tip: he says the pan gets a base of pulpy orange juice and soy sauce to get the gravy going.

Childproofing Kingsmere

Andrew Scheer recently held his first MP/media BBQ as Speaker at his official residence, the Farm at Kingsmere. He will officially move into the residence this month once the final renovations are done. Scheer, who at 32 is Canada’s youngest Speaker, has asked for one major change to the residence: he wants the upstairs kidproofed, including putting some relics in storage, since he and his wife have a baby and three other children.

New scent for Old Spice minister

Last week the Bay launched the Vetiver of Haiti fragrance, developed by Barb Stegemann, CEO of the 7 Virtues Beauty Inc., which will help rebuild Haiti’s economy. On hand were Laureen Harper, Rona Ambrose, minister for status of women, and Peter MacKay, minister of defence, all of whom purchased the gender-neutral fragrance. Asked what scent he usually wore, MacKay confessed, “Old Spice.”