Can Justin Trudeau be in two places at once? Sort of, thanks to Michael Kirkpatrick, an investment adviser and financial planner at RBC in Ottawa. Kirkpatrick is constantly being mistaken for the MP from Papineau. People ask for his autograph and to be photographed with him. Even Trudeau’s own aide, Louis-Alexandre Lanthier, has made the mistake several times. One time when he saw Kirkpatrick walking around Ottawa, he actually got angry, wondering why Trudeau wasn’t in Montreal where he was supposed to be. Both government House leader John Baird and Pierre Pettigrew, the Liberal who was once the MP for the riding Trudeau now represents, have been tripped up. Pettigrew had to be enlightened mid-conversation; Kirkpatrick said the chat was very interesting. Asked if the resemblance has helped him on the dating front, Kirkpatrick says: “Hopefully they are with me more because of me and not just because I am a Justin look-alike.” Is he a Liberal? Kirkpatrick says he tends to be “more Conservative,” but allowed that all the people who have mistaken him for Trudeau have had only positive things to say about the MP. Trudeau was relieved to hear Kirkpatrick is nice to people who’ve got the wrong guy; the MP says he met a John Baird look-alike who doesn’t in fact like Baird so is intentionally rude to people who think they’re talking to the House leader.
MPs, transsexuals and a bank CEO
The gay rights group Egale held their second annual gala at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York hotel. The honorary chair was Tory Sen. Nancy Ruth. Tory Sen. Linda Frum, who sits on Egale’s advisory board, was also in attendance with her husband, Howard Sokolowski. The keynote speech was delivered by Georgina Beyer, a former drag queen and male sex-trade worker who became the world’s first transsexual member of parliament in New Zealand. One of the other speakers was youth activist Jeremy Dyer, who was introduced as the person who famously refused to shake Stephen Harper’s hand. This created some discomfort for many Conservatives in the room, both gay and straight. Toward the end of the night, Dyer got up to claim one of the raffle prizes drawn by Liberal MPs Mario Silva and Rob Oliphant. It was a trip to Newfoundland—his home. “That’s what you get for not shaking the Prime Minister’s hand, you little bastard,” shouted comedian and MC Elvira Kurt. Dyer later told Capital Diary that in fact the person next to him won but thought it would be funny if Dyer went up instead. The night raised money for programs to battle homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools. Jack Layton and his MP wife Olivia Chow helped push people for donations. Thankfully the NDP leader didn’t mention bank user fees, because the gala honoured TD Bank CEO Ed Clark, who is straight, with a leadership award. Egale executive director Helen Kennedy said the bank’s diversity program is outstanding: TD goes so far as to pay for sex reassignment surgery for employees in provinces that do not cover it and helps transgendered employees transition in the workplace.
Tory party loses its ‘party’ man
The “party” in Conservative party took a hit with the departure of Jamie Ellerton, long-time aide to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. Ellerton, now the executive assistant for Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak, was part of the duo that steered the Conservatives’ social committee. With Ellerton’s departure, the social life of the Conservatives rests solely on the high shoulders of tall glam staffer Kenzie Potter, who says she hopes to organize another one of the Conservatives’ successful bashes at Ottawa’s Hard Rock Café. Before the social committee took on these kind of events, they were organized by former Edmonton MP Rahim Jaffer.
Photography Mitchel Raphael