Mitchel Raphael on who Don Newman will miss

And Rona Ambrose’s man-hating dog

Somebody at Stornoway is out of sortsSomebody at Stornoway is out of sorts

Michael Ignatieff held a media garden party at Stornoway, his first since becoming Liberal leader. The Etobicoke Youth Jazz Orchestra from his Toronto riding provided the music. The party was supposed to go from 6 to 8 p.m., but when it started getting chilly, Ignatieff’s wife, Zsuzsanna Zsohar, invited the remaining guests into the house, where media folks stayed chatting with Iggy in the living room until 10:30. Zsohar’s and Iggy’s feisty feline Mimi was jumping all over the place.Zsuzsanna Zsohar (She even jumps in Ignatieff’s cereal when he has breakfast.) The couple had got their second cat, Eric, the day before the bash so Mimi was in a bit of a huff. Stornoway’s chef, Josh Drache, calls Mimi “an evil cat.” Zsohar served biscotti in the living room, and, despite her jumping, even Mimi got a nibble.

Who knew our Senators were that fit?Who knew our Senators were that fit?

Vancouver Conservative MP John Weston had several politicians, sports coaches, and Laureen Harper gather in front of the Peace Tower as part of his initiative to get MPs to invest at least “20 minutes 10 seconds” twice weekly in fitness activities. The amount of time is connected to the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. When Conservative Senator Nancy Greene Raine told the crowd that 80 per cent of senators already had some sort of fitness regime, a few gasps were heard. Labour Minister Rona Ambrose brought her dog Luna to the event. When Peter Stoffer tried to pet the pooch, Ambrose warned the NDP MP that Luna hates men. But Luna liked Stoffer for some reason. AIDS protestAs the group did a walking lap around the Hill, they passed AIDS activists dressed in black-and-white-striped prison uniforms protesting the criminalization of HIV transmission, saying it is the only potentially fatal pathogen being treated this way. The AIDS activists were supported by NDP MPs Libby Davies and Bill Siksay as well as Liberal MP Hedy Fry. Before the AIDS protest had wrapped up, another group of demonstrators arrived with effigies of Stephen Harper and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe as the two leaders were meeting on the Hill for trade talks. The Uribe protesters’ music was so loud it drowned out the AIDS activists.

Luckily Don Newman ignored his CBC bossesLuckily Don Newman ignored his CBC bosses

CBC Newsworld Politics host Don Newman will soon retire. He arrived on the Hill as a Globe and Mail reporter during Pierre Trudeau’s first government. He was the first print reporter to have a tape recorder. “I was laughed at and ridiculed both by broadcasters and by colleagues in the print press.” He has no plans to be a politician, although he notes his former fellow broadcaster Mike Duffy, who is now a senator, always had an interest in the upper chamber. Notes Newman, “I am very happy for him that he finally got where he wanted to go.” Newman hasn’t voted in a federal or provincial election since 1972 because he covers them. “I do vote municipally. I kinda know who is running for council. I vote for the school board although I have no idea who they are.” When CBC got the Newsworld channel, Newman was told by his bosses not to waste his time on it. They later admitted they were wrong. “I knew Newsworld was going to be a big success because Brian Mulroney would phone me personally on the commercial breaks.” Will he miss wearing makeup every day? “No,” says Newman. “But I’ve had a wonderful person [Joan Hodgins] who has done my makeup since 1993. I will miss her company every day.”

What's Martha Hall Findlay wearing?What’s Martha Hall Findlay wearing?

Toronto Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay was spotted wearing a sealskin ribbon she got from the government of Nunavut. Her Liberal colleague Anthony Rota, who has the fur industry promotion organization Fur Harvesters Auction in his northern Ontario riding, says he plans to get similar ribbons for all the Liberal MPs.