As the Liberals stood to support the Conservatives in passing the budget, Winnipeg NDP MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis continuously shouted “shame, shame, shame.” One Conservative MP, who felt the big spending budget was something the NDP should be supporting, yelled out, “Judy, Ed Broadbent would be rolling in his grave.” A fellow Conservative had to quickly tell the MP that, in fact, Broadbent was still very much alive. The MP absorbed that news and then yelled, “Judy, Allan Blakeney would be rolling in his grave!” only to be told that the former premier of Saskatchewan (1971-1982) was also still alive. “Well, who’s dead over there?” the frustrated Conservative said in a huff. He was informed that Tommy Douglas was a safe bet.
He’s not that Fred Phelps
To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Senate Speaker Noël Kinsella hosted a reception in honour of the Dominion Institute’s “Passages to Canada,” a program featuring speakers who talk about the Canadian immigration experience. At the reception, one of the speakers, RCMP Sgt. Baltej Singh Dhillon, talked about being the first RCMP officer to be able to wear his Sikh turban and keep his beard. The sergeant recalled an emotional moment when his fellow RCMP officers asked if they could try on his turban. He proceeded to wrap it around each of their heads in turn. Also attending the reception was Fred Phelps, an aide to Ontario NDP MP Malcolm Allen. The staffer has the same name as the notorious pastor behind the website www.godhatesfags.com (the pastor also launched www.godhatescanada.com over this country’s acceptance of same-sex marriage). Staffer Phelps says his name is a cross to bear and that he has considered changing it but he is named after his late grandfather and it would be too upsetting to his grandmother.
Why is Justin hiding at home?
Coca-Cola’s “Sogo Carry the Flame,” a campaign to encourage Canadians to sign up to carry the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch, hit Ottawa last week. (One Liberal insider noted the Torch looks like a giant marijuana joint.) Making an appearance at the Ottawa stop was Justin Trudeau, his wife, Sophie Grégoire, and their 1½-year-old son Xavier Trudeau. One of the carry-the-flame tour organizers, Cameron Sinclair, had asked Trudeau to pop by. The 25-year-old was in Trudeau’s high school drama and French classes when the MP was a teacher in B.C. As part of the Olympic Torch promotion, a ball hockey area had been set up. Xavier grabbed a hockey stick and started playing. Asked if her son likes hockey, Grégoire said, “It looks like he does now.” It was the first time Xavier had picked up a hockey stick. Grégoire says she hopes that if Xavier does take up a winter sport it’s something like snowboarding so she doesn’t have to get up for 5 a.m. hockey practices. Right now, though, Xavier’s favourite game is hide-and-seek, and it’s Grégoire and daddy Trudeau who have to do the hiding.
Conservative candy crisis
Labour Minister Rona Ambrose’s seatmate in the House is Bev Oda, minister of international co-operation, which means Ambrose has access to the licorice Oda keeps in her Commons desk. But recently Ambrose has been finding it a tough chew; it may be time for a fresh pack. Oda admits the licorice, which is three weeks old, may be a little stale. But not so old that if “you bang it on the desk it shatters,” she jokes.
Laureen Harper beats Margaret Trudeau
At the Ottawa Humane Society’s FurBall, the dog bowl Laureen Harper painted raised the most money at the silent auction: $450. It beat out all the other celebrity bowls, including one by Margaret Trudeau.