Paul Calandra unreservedly apologizes to this turkey

The MP makes a stand—and then a very wet apology—at the Harpers’ Thanksgiving dinner at 24 Sussex
Grandmother presenting turkey to her family at the dinner table


It’s been a tough time for Conservative MP Paul Calandra, the PM’s parliamentary secretary, who tearfully apologized recently for answering queries about Canada’s military deployment to Iraq with nonsensical responses about the NDP position on Israel. Luckily for Calandra, the respite of the Thanksgiving holiday awaits…

Laureen Harper: We are so fortunate to be here together at 24 Sussex, family and friends, sharing this wonderful holiday. Before we say grace—Stephen, would you please give the Thanksgiving toast?

Paul Calandra rises from his chair.

Calandra: There is a great deal of confusion in this house with respect to the position of the Prime Minister’s wife as it pertains to holidays. I wonder if Mrs. Harper could confirm for us that she once privately lamented the excessive commercialization of the Christmas season. She also referred to a sweater gifted to her by the Prime Minister as simply “nice.” Buoyant holiday retail sales represent a critical component of a strong domestic economy. And the sweater was, at minimum, “pretty.” Does the Prime Minister’s wife regret saying such shameful things?

Calandra sits down, satisfied with himself.

Laureen: Excuse me, Paul, but I was asking my husband to give a toast, and to give it about Thanksgiving—which, in case you’ve forgotten, is the holiday we’re actually celebrating today.

Calandra rises.

Calandra: What does the Prime Minister’s wife not understand? Easter means chocolate eggs and smiles on the face of young children. Additionally, the Easter ham is in every way a superior flagship dish to the Thanksgiving turkey. I know I speak for the Prime Minister when I say those of us on this side of the table will continue to stand up for ham. We will continue to ask: Why can’t we have ham at this Thanksgiving dinner? Can the Prime Minister’s wife explain the basis for her pro-turkey, anti-children agenda?

Some hon. guests: Oh! Oh!

Calandra sits down, satisfied with himself.

Laureen: I don’t get it; are you eager to give the toast yourself, Paul? We’re here to celebrate Thanksgiving together. If you can stop referring to other annual traditions, then get up on your feet and deliver the toast.

Calandra rises.

Calandra: One time for Halloween, I dressed up as a pirate.

Calandra sits down, satisfied with himself.

Laureen (exasperated): Andrew, is there nothing you can do about this?

Speaker Andrew Scheer, his mouth full of mashed potatoes, shrugs.

Laureen: The food is getting cold, Stephen: Can you please just give the toast?

Harper casts a quick glance at the closet door. Instantly, Pierre Poilievre bursts forth from within.

Poilievre: The Prime Minister has been very clear about this from the beginning: The turkey is a useful bird and a fairly easy subject for a child’s craft using construction paper and the outline of one’s own hand. But ham is ham—and the Prime Minister specifically asked to have ham. I really don’t know what more can be expected of the Prime Minister. He has been very clear in his clarity.

Laureen (glancing at the door): How long have you been in there?

Calandra rises.

Calandra: I would like to apologize for my earlier remarks. [He begins to choke up.] I allowed my passion for other holidays and my deep disdain for flightless birds to get in the way of an appropriate Thanksgiving salutation. In particular, I would like to unconditionally, unreservedly apologize to the turkey. [Tears flow from his eyes.] I did not mean to impugn the integrity of this noble, succulent creature. I take full responsibility and I apologize to you, turkey! [He is weeping now—a sobbing, shaking mess of a man.] And I promise everyone here today—and I especially promise this dead, beautiful turkey—that I will do better. I will be better, turkey!

Calandra sits down, satisfied with himself. Also: pretty wet.

Laureen [sighs]: You know what? Let’s just eat. Stephen, can you please pass the gravy?

Calandra rises.

Calandra: There is a great deal of confusion with respect to the position of the Prime Minister’s wife as it pertains to sauces . . .

Scott Feschuk’s new book, The Future and Why We Should Avoid It, comes out in October and is available for pre-order here and here.