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Mitchel Raphael on Helena, Rahim, and their new baby, Zavier

Rahim Jaffer has a new job


 

Mitchel Raphael on Helena, Rahim, and their new baby, ZavierRahim Jaffer has a new job

2010 was a tumultuous year for Independent MP Helena Guergis and her husband, former MP Rahim Jaffer. Drug charges against Jaffer were dropped, but allegations of unregistered lobbying consumed the couple’s life. The year ended on a happy note, though, with the birth of their first child, Zavier Rahim Nizarali Guergis Jaffer, on Dec. 15, an important date in the Jaffer family. Both Rahim and his grandfather, Abdul Sultan Jaffer, were born on that day. On the downside, Jaffer quips that he will no longer be able to have his birthday parties at hip clubs like the Mercury Lounge in Ottawa, and that now the parties will be at places like Chuck E. Cheese’s. Jaffer says losing his seat in the last election was a mixed blessing. If he hadn’t suddenly been able to be flexible with his time, he feels he and his wife would not have been able to have a baby. “I get to be Mr. Mom,” jokes Jaffer, who so far has been the one doing more of the diaper duty. After getting sprayed more than once, he says the couple has invested in what Jaffer calls “dunce-cap-shaped cloth cones,” which are placed over the baby while he is being changed.

Half the baby’s room is painted a slightly dark shade of sky blue and the other half is cream-coloured. (Not exactly the blue and white Conservative party branding, but in the same family.) The colours were picked by Guergis. Decals of turtles, tigers and frogs adorn the walls. One of the best gifts they have received, says Jaffer, is a set of Dr. Brown’s baby bottles that slow down the flow of milk and help eliminate gas. Guergis’s mother gave Jaffer The Joy of Fatherhood: The First Twelve Months by Dr. Marcus Jacob Goldman, and it’s been his bible.

Guergis will be back in the House when it resumes Jan. 31. She is breastfeeding the baby and pumping milk so Jaffer can feed Zavier when she is away. They are also using some formula. Before the baby was born, the two attended a three-hour breastfeeding course at the Ottawa General Hospital and a CPR-for-children course offered by the Red Cross. The night before Zavier was born, several Conservative MP friends were over at the Guergis-Jaffer house for a baby shower. About an hour after the last guest left, Guergis’s water broke.

Once the baby is old enough, Jaffer says he will bring him to Parliament Hill for feedings. As an Independent, Guergis does not have House duty, but she tries to be present for question period and all votes. The couple says there has been an outpouring of support from loyal friends and even from strangers who read about their turmoil in the press last year and sent baby gifts. Many of the neighbours got to know Jaffer and Guergis when the media was camped outside their Ottawa home last year. One neighbour knitted the baby a sweater that is so cool Jaffer was hoping he could get an adult version.

Jaffer plans to spend most of his time with the baby to allow Guergis to focus on getting re-elected whenever the next election comes. He notes that running as an Independent is a lot more work. And it doesn’t look like the Prime Minister will be welcoming Guergis back into the Conservative party any time soon. While the couple received a congratulatory flower arrangement from Michael Ignatieff and Zsuzsanna Zsohar, Jaffer quips they are still waiting for something from Stephen Harper.

Gail Shea seals the deal

Gail Shea, minister of fisheries and oceans, recently returned from a 48-hour trip to China where she sealed a deal to open the Chinese border to seal products. While seal fur was already allowed to be imported into China, the deal opens the market to edible seal products like meat and oil. Chinese officials treated Shea to a 12-course dinner, which Shea appreciated “because you get to try all the things,” including fish soup with corn. When it comes to her own seal products, Shea owns a seal brooch and sealskin gloves.


 
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Mitchel Raphael on Helena, Rahim, and their new baby, Zavier

  1. Welcome to the world, Zavier, and congratulations to mom & dad, but at what point, Mitchel, do you reach the TMI threshold? Because if the threshold was not hit with the baby news above, I am left wondering if you have one.

  2. Welcome to the world, Zavier, and congratulations to mom & dad, but at what point, Mitchel, do you reach the TMI threshold? Because if the threshold was not hit with the baby news above, I am left wondering if you have one.

    • I could have done without knowing Rahim gets sprayed (I knew that without being told, it happens to every parent of a boy) but I enjoyed hearing about the sweater and the fatherhood book and such. And that Helena still has Conservative friends.

      • Indeed, I never thought I would hear a Pee-Pee Teepee reference in Macleans.

        However, I hope–for Helena, Rahim, and the baby's sake–that 2011 is a better year for them. I can't wish ill against anyone, and I hope they find their happy ending.

  3. I could have done without knowing Rahim gets sprayed (I knew that without being told, it happens to every parent of a boy) but I enjoyed hearing about the sweater and the fatherhood book and such. And that Helena still has Conservative friends.

  4. Zavier Jaffer is a cutie alright. I wish him well.

    Hint to mom and dad….raising a child is expensive….a tell-all book would make big bucks.

  5. Zavier Jaffer is a cutie alright. I wish him well.

    Hint to mom and dad….raising a child is expensive….a tell-all book would make big bucks.

  6. What an amazing turnaround on the Chinese trade file. Just seems like yesterday the Cons were lecturing the rest of us on the evils of doing business with the Chinese.

  7. What an amazing turnaround on the Chinese trade file. Just seems like yesterday the Cons were lecturing the rest of us on the evils of doing business with the Chinese.

    • Actually they were lecturing the Chinese on the evils of their ways with one hand and begging them for trade deals with the other. Harper's well thought out, selfless plan was to point out the real inequitable evils of their society, while seeking mutually beneficial deals to line the pockets of the Chinese class who perpetuate these evils.

  8. Actually they were lecturing the Chinese on the evils of their ways with one hand and begging them for trade deals with the other. Harper's well thought out, selfless plan was to point out the real inequitable evils of their society, while seeking mutually beneficial deals to line the pockets of the Chinese class who perpetuate these evils.

  9. Do you really think anyone cares about the Jaffer baby and Helena? I guess its another way to keep reminding Canadians about the Jaffer/Guergis drama. The fact is they are like a lot of young couples who have babies. No better, no worse. What they paint the babies room is not worthy of reporting. However, news is so scarce in Canada so we have to waste time writing this tripe.

  10. Do you really think anyone cares about the Jaffer baby and Helena? I guess its another way to keep reminding Canadians about the Jaffer/Guergis drama. The fact is they are like a lot of young couples who have babies. No better, no worse. What they paint the babies room is not worthy of reporting. However, news is so scarce in Canada so we have to waste time writing this tripe.

    • Wow! That's bitter.

      • No bitterness here. It is reality. None of us really care about Rahim Jaffer and Helena Guergis. Not even the media. However, the media does not want to miss an opportunity to remind us how Harper supposedly mistreated her. By the way were you one of the ones who said she was acting like a hysterical school girl in PEI and went on the blogs asking why Harper had not forced her to resign or fired her. Harper does just that in due course and then we hear the headlines crying poor Helena. It is the height of hypocrisy.

        • Mitchel Raphael's
          reports bear a lighter touch in looking at the goings on on the Hill, as opposed to the heavy political trench warfare. If this was an Aaron Wherry blog, your objection would be duly noted.
          I took this to be another in a line of "interest on the hill" stories, like Martha Hall Findlay's Christmas baking and Jim Prentice's goodbye bash.
          I do not have a great deal of sympathy for Ms Geurgis and feel she brought things upon herself. But I do think the PMO owes her some kind of meeting/explanation since the RCMP investigation, which was the publicly stated reason for her dismissal not only from her position, but also from caucus, turned up nada.

          • You have no idea what went on behind the scenes do you? She was told why the PM had decided to remove her from cabinet and caucus. The PM may not have done it but why would he get himself involved. She was told. That she have been enough. However, running around crying in interviews and saying how mistreated she was did not allow any flexibility on the part of the PM or the party.
            There may not have been enough evidence for the RCMP to charge but do you honestly believe that is the sole criteria of why somebody should not serve in the cabinet or in the party? Come on.
            By the way Harper never accused her of anything despite the demands of the Liberals.

          • Behind the scenes? No. I am not an insider. You?
            The kicker was removing her from caucus. The implication is she is undeserving of a place in the Conservative party.
            That's pretty serious? No?
            Perhaps she'll take Emily's advice and write a tell all book.
            But no matter the conjecture, Mr Harper is done with her.

    • Small, real small.

      • small-minded and condescending – not synonyms.

      • I must protest…. I am not particularly small although I do tend toward condensation: especially the well distilled types.

        To flesh out my comment, one of the reasons that Helena will continue to get press when she wants it, is that she continues to work as an MP and continues to assert that she will run in the next election. Her story is one of the flawed fighter facing an overwhelming opponent, (like Rocky IV maybe?) getting badly beaten but always getting up off the canvas. The fact that a credible case can be made that her all powerful opponent does not exactly follow Marquess of Queensberry rules makes it all the more compelling (If being a member of the Conservative caucus was legally equivalent to a job, then no-one can doubt that Guergis would win an unlawful dismissal case…. and the general public doesn't really care about the nuances).

        None of the above should be taken as an assertion that public deeply cares about Guergis (although almost everyone likes babies). It also does not mean that the public will not overlook Harper's flaws and re-elect him. (after all he only needs 25% of the population)

        That said, it is now well established that Harper has an ugly side to his public persona and increasingly that this is limiting his ability to capitalize on persisting Liberal weakness. It is a story-line that is commented on endlessly in all the papers. The Guergis saga will continue to be relevant as long as both she and Harper are in politics because it is a neat, self-contained piece that highlights Harper's Mr. Hyde.

        ps I also doubt you would have commented if the last paragraph contrasting Ignatieff and Harper was missing. You were unfortunately baited into defending our noble PM. Since he is indefensible on the issue, you were faced with attacking a young mom and her new born baby… tragic.

        • I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the entire Maclean's community regarding my inappropriate reference to cactus-like elements of the PM's "personality".

          I would also like to (with substantially more sincerity) apologize to the prolific and sincere hollinm. My remarks were not actually intended as a slight towards him, but they were poorly and recklessly expressed. I disagree with virtually everything you write, but almost always enjoy reading it.

    • You can feel the hate.

      • No hate. Life is too short for that. However a lot of frustration with the mainstreet media in Canada who have lost all perspective of what is meaningful news. In fact it is obvious that they want to keep perpetuating the Jaffer/Guergis story line so they can repeat how Harper mistreated her so badly.
        Hyprocritical opposition parties and media who tore her apart demanding she resign or be fired. It happens then all we see is poor Helena. It is beyond hyprocrisy.

        • Whatever, dude. It's a blog entry. And Harper did treat her poorly. I know it makes you mad when anybody says that because you looooooove PMSH so much, but it's a pretty obvious fact that I personally was not paying much mind to, occupied as I was with chuckling to myself about ma and pa's matching sweaters. YOU drew more attention to it. YOU made it the bigger deal. Happy now?

        • I trust you've made the same objections to every one of Mr. Raphael's "society page" entries? Or did you find a note about Martha Hall Findlay's special rolling pin for Christmas cookies to be "meaningful news"?

        • From Cabinet, hollinm. I still think she should have been turfed from there.

          Which is not to say she should have been turfed from the party, based on no evidence of wrongdoing. Not because of Helena (you are right–I really don't care about her) but because of her constituents. Who apparently have someone prepared to forge signatures as their wannabe candidate now.

          • You do not know the history of Helena in caucus and in cabinet and I will say no more. However, the PM waited and waited and waited. She did not get thrown from cabinet over the airport incident. She got turfed because of the other allegations and the shenangins of her husband. This had the potential of damaging the party and the government. However,it exposed the hypocrisy of the opposition parties and the media. The PM signs nomination papers as all party leaders do. It is his decision and his alone. The leader decides who represents the party in an election. That's how the game is played whether you and I agree with it or not. However, to have sympathy for Guergis is absolutely hypocritical for you and all the other partisans on this board.

          • So you are an insider are you hollinm? That was easy, we didn't even need to get out the water board.

          • You are very right that I don't know Helena's behaviour in caucus. I also don't know the allegations, but as they were later considered unfounded, I guess that doesn't matter. I agree with you that her continued presence in cabinet had the potential of damaging the party and the government–why I think she should have been turfed. But turfed from the party is over-reaching, to me. Of course, I say that without knowing Helena's behaviour in caucus, LOL. I have concerns with parachuted candidates although I guess I can see where I would agree with specific instances, and this might be one of them–however, that would be if the EDA didn't support her, and from what I've heard, they do. Also if nobody came forward from the area who was enough of a 'star' to beat whoever is running for other parties. What I'm trying to say here is let her name stand as a candidate while either coaxing someone from the area to run against her, or if that fails, parachute someone in for competition. But at least give the EDA the choice of her rather than just arbitrarily removing that option. Yes, I know its Harper's choice (or any other leader) and yes I know that my opinion is worth nothing to him.

          • Perhaps you should look at your own party. Ignatieff is busy poaching provincial Liberal cabinet and ex cabinet ministers. So lets not get too judgemental my friend. In fact has the party announced any candidates who have had a nomination fight in their own riding.

          • Ted Hsu – Kingston and the Islands
            Scott Bradley – Ottawa Centre

            To name just two off the top of my head.

          • "Ignatieff is busy poaching provincial Liberal cabinet and ex cabinet ministers." Did you get that from his absolute denial of doing any such thing? Mind you, I wouldn't blame provincial Liberals for jumping to the Feds, the way McGuinty has behaved the last year or two. It's like he thinks he's Harris or something!

            But anyway, my opinion means only a little more in my own party than it does to Harper. And other than my own and limited knowledge of my immediate neighbourhood, I don't know what's going on in various ridings.

  11. Wow! That's bitter.

  12. Small, real small.

  13. You can feel the hate.

  14. small-minded and condescending – not synonyms.

  15. No hate. Life is too short for that. However a lot of frustration with the mainstreet media in Canada who have lost all perspective of what is meaningful news. In fact it is obvious that they want to keep perpetuating the Jaffer/Guergis story line so they can repeat how Harper mistreated her so badly.
    Hyprocritical opposition parties and media who tore her apart demanding she resign or be fired. It happens then all we see is poor Helena. It is beyond hyprocrisy.

  16. No bitterness here. It is reality. None of us really care about Rahim Jaffer and Helena Guergis. Not even the media. However, the media does not want to miss an opportunity to remind us how Harper supposedly mistreated her. By the way were you one of the ones who said she was acting like a hysterical school girl in PEI and went on the blogs asking why Harper had not forced her to resign or fired her. Harper does just that in due course and then we hear the headlines crying poor Helena. It is the height of hypocrisy.

  17. I must protest…. I am not particularly small although I do tend toward condensation: especially the well distilled types.

    To flesh out my comment, one of the reasons that Helena will continue to get press when she wants it, is that she continues to work as an MP and continues to assert that she will run in the next election. Her story is one of the flawed fighter facing an overwhelming opponent, (like Rocky IV maybe?) getting badly beaten but always getting up off the canvas. The fact that a credible case can be made that her all powerful opponent does not exactly follow Marquess of Queensberry rules makes it all the more compelling (If being a member of the Conservative caucus was legally equivalent to a job, then no-one can doubt that Guergis would win an unlawful dismissal case…. and the general public doesn't really care about the nuances).

    None of the above should be taken as an assertion that public deeply cares about Guergis (although almost everyone likes babies). It also does not mean that the public will not overlook Harper's flaws and re-elect him. (after all he only needs 25% of the population)

    That said, it is now well established that Harper has an ugly side to his public persona and increasingly that this is limiting his ability to capitalize on persisting Liberal weakness. It is a story-line that is commented on endlessly in all the papers. The Guergis saga will continue to be relevant as long as both she and Harper are in politics because it is a neat, self-contained piece that highlights Harper's Mr. Hyde.

    ps I also doubt you would have commented if the last paragraph contrasting Ignatieff and Harper was missing. You were unfortunately baited into defending our noble PM. Since he is indefensible on the issue, you were faced with attacking a young mom and her new born baby… tragic.

  18. Whatever, dude. It's a blog entry. And Harper did treat her poorly. I know it makes you mad when anybody says that because you looooooove PMSH so much, but it's a pretty obvious fact that I personally was not paying much mind to, occupied as I was with chuckling to myself about ma and pa's matching sweaters. YOU drew more attention to it. YOU made it the bigger deal. Happy now?

  19. I trust you've made the same objections to every one of Mr. Raphael's "society page" entries? Or did you find a note about Martha Hall Findlay's special rolling pin for Christmas cookies to be "meaningful news"?

  20. Jaffer better get use to being a stay at home mom. His venture into the busniss world was not a success. What he and his clown buddy were trying to do was so transparent it was laughable.If he could have collected any of those 10%'s, he sure would have needed a Belize account.Why is not surprising that it was Paradise who was holding the door open?

  21. Jaffer better get use to being a stay at home mom. His venture into the busniss world was not a success. What he and his clown buddy were trying to do was so transparent it was laughable.If he could have collected any of those 10%'s, he sure would have needed a Belize account.Why is not surprising that it was Paradise who was holding the door open?

  22. Mitchel Raphael's
    reports bear a lighter touch in looking at the goings on on the Hill, as opposed to the heavy political trench warfare. If this was an Aaron Wherry blog, your objection would be duly noted.
    I took this to be another in a line of "interest on the hill" stories, like Martha Hall Findlay's Christmas baking and Jim Prentice's goodbye bash.
    I do not have a great deal of sympathy for Ms Geurgis and feel she brought things upon herself. But I do think the PMO owes her some kind of meeting/explanation since the RCMP investigation, which was the publicly stated reason for her dismissal not only from her position, but also from caucus, turned up nada.

  23. From Cabinet, hollinm. I still think she should have been turfed from there.

    Which is not to say she should have been turfed from the party, based on no evidence of wrongdoing. Not because of Helena (you are right–I really don't care about her) but because of her constituents. Who apparently have someone prepared to forge signatures as their wannabe candidate now.

  24. You do not know the history of Helena in caucus and in cabinet and I will say no more. However, the PM waited and waited and waited. She did not get thrown from cabinet over the airport incident. She got turfed because of the other allegations and the shenangins of her husband. This had the potential of damaging the party and the government. However,it exposed the hypocrisy of the opposition parties and the media. The PM signs nomination papers as all party leaders do. It is his decision and his alone. The leader decides who represents the party in an election. That's how the game is played whether you and I agree with it or not. However, to have sympathy for Guergis is absolutely hypocritical for you and all the other partisans on this board.

  25. So you are an insider are you hollinm? That was easy, we didn't even need to get out the water board.

  26. You have no idea what went on behind the scenes do you? She was told why the PM had decided to remove her from cabinet and caucus. The PM may not have done it but why would he get himself involved. She was told. That she have been enough. However, running around crying in interviews and saying how mistreated she was did not allow any flexibility on the part of the PM or the party.
    There may not have been enough evidence for the RCMP to charge but do you honestly believe that is the sole criteria of why somebody should not serve in the cabinet or in the party? Come on.
    By the way Harper never accused her of anything despite the demands of the Liberals.

  27. Indeed, I never thought I would hear a Pee-Pee Teepee reference in Macleans.

    However, I hope–for Helena, Rahim, and the baby's sake–that 2011 is a better year for them. I can't wish ill against anyone, and I hope they find their happy ending.

  28. Behind the scenes? No. I am not an insider. You?
    The kicker was removing her from caucus. The implication is she is undeserving of a place in the Conservative party.
    That's pretty serious? No?
    Perhaps she'll take Emily's advice and write a tell all book.
    But no matter the conjecture, Mr Harper is done with her.

  29. You are very right that I don't know Helena's behaviour in caucus. I also don't know the allegations, but as they were later considered unfounded, I guess that doesn't matter. I agree with you that her continued presence in cabinet had the potential of damaging the party and the government–why I think she should have been turfed. But turfed from the party is over-reaching, to me. Of course, I say that without knowing Helena's behaviour in caucus, LOL. I have concerns with parachuted candidates although I guess I can see where I would agree with specific instances, and this might be one of them–however, that would be if the EDA didn't support her, and from what I've heard, they do. Also if nobody came forward from the area who was enough of a 'star' to beat whoever is running for other parties. What I'm trying to say here is let her name stand as a candidate while either coaxing someone from the area to run against her, or if that fails, parachute someone in for competition. But at least give the EDA the choice of her rather than just arbitrarily removing that option. Yes, I know its Harper's choice (or any other leader) and yes I know that my opinion is worth nothing to him.

  30. Perhaps you should look at your own party. Ignatieff is busy poaching provincial Liberal cabinet and ex cabinet ministers. So lets not get too judgemental my friend. In fact has the party announced any candidates who have had a nomination fight in their own riding.

  31. Ted Hsu – Kingston and the Islands
    Scott Bradley – Ottawa Centre

    To name just two off the top of my head.

  32. "Ignatieff is busy poaching provincial Liberal cabinet and ex cabinet ministers." Did you get that from his absolute denial of doing any such thing? Mind you, I wouldn't blame provincial Liberals for jumping to the Feds, the way McGuinty has behaved the last year or two. It's like he thinks he's Harris or something!

    But anyway, my opinion means only a little more in my own party than it does to Harper. And other than my own and limited knowledge of my immediate neighbourhood, I don't know what's going on in various ridings.

  33. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the entire Maclean's community regarding my inappropriate reference to cactus-like elements of the PM's "personality".

    I would also like to (with substantially more sincerity) apologize to the prolific and sincere hollinm. My remarks were not actually intended as a slight towards him, but they were poorly and recklessly expressed. I disagree with virtually everything you write, but almost always enjoy reading it.

  34. The dunce cap shaped devices are also known as "PEE PEE TEE PEES" – wonderful invention.

  35. The dunce cap shaped devices are also known as "PEE PEE TEE PEES" – wonderful invention.

  36. "the couple received a congratulatory flower arrangement from Michael Ignatieff and Zsuzsanna Zsohar" Maybe it was an apology for being so condecending during QP – both his wife and Layton's go by their maiden names.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDK4io1XE9U&fe

  37. "the couple received a congratulatory flower arrangement from Michael Ignatieff and Zsuzsanna Zsohar" Maybe it was an apology for being so condecending during QP – both his wife and Layton's go by their maiden names.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDK4io1XE9U&fe

  38. I am one of the voters in Edmonton/Strathcona that, in the last election, kicked Jafer out of the Parliament.

    As such, I recommend MacLeans to grow up and give up on this obsession over irrelevant celebrities.

    Linda Duncan (our new MLP) is doing a fantastic job. She deserves mucjavascript: postComment(0);h more attention than the loser.

  39. I am one of the voters in Edmonton/Strathcona that, in the last election, kicked Jafer out of the Parliament.

    As such, I recommend MacLeans to grow up and give up on this obsession over irrelevant celebrities.

    Linda Duncan (our new MLP) is doing a fantastic job. She deserves mucjavascript: postComment(0);h more attention than the loser.

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