All in the family
Mike Layton, son of NDP Leader Jack Layton, is running for Toronto city council in next week’s municipal election. Father and son recently teamed up at the campaign office to serve pumpkin pie to the volunteers who were helping with knocking on doors in the riding. Mike Layton’s sister Sarah Layton baked the pies the night before. Mike Layton is running in the ward that was represented by Joe Pantalone, who stepped down as a councillor so he could be a candidate for mayor (Pantalone has received endorsements from the NDP leader and his wife, Toronto MP Olivia Chow). Mike Layton’s campaign signs are blue and white. The blue was supposed to be sky-blue, but due to a printing error the colour ended being darker and looking, well, like Conservative party blue.
Green Leader Elizabeth May is busy knocking on doors in the B.C. riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands. She moved there over a year ago after internal Green party polling showed that that was one of the seats she had a chance at winning. “We give out organic sunflower seeds at the door,” notes May. The sunflower is the international logo of Green parties. She has been handing out the packages for so long that she says people now show her the huge sunflowers they have grown since the last time she visited them. “That’s how I know I’ve been there in the riding for a while,” says May.
Why Hill staffers were McDisappointed
Much McBuzz on the Hill when word got out that McDonald’s was hosting a reception at the Fairmont Château Laurier. Staffers were salivating over thoughts of Big Macs, but as the first wave of aides hit the hotel, messages were sent back that in fact no Big Macs were being served. There were, however, salads and pieces of beef from McDonald’s meat supplier, not to mention McDonald’s caramel dip with apple slices. MPs on hand included Toronto Liberal Rob Oliphant. McDonald’s Canadian headquarters is in his riding, as is the home of McDonald’s Canada president John Betts.
A button? No thank you.
The Vanier Institute of the Family recently had a table set up in the foyer of the House of Commons where they encouraged MPs to wear huge buttons in question period to celebrate National Family Week. While a few did wear them during QP, the wearing of visible buttons is not encouraged in the House. More and more groups are gaining access to the foyer. For the most part they tend to be disease awareness organizations or easily identifiable groups like the Girl Guides. Many MPs feel uncomfortable with the whole issue of buttons being distributed in the foyer (even disease awareness buttons) because of the television cameras that are always present. One Liberal MP, unfamiliar with the Vanier Institute, was worried about taking one of the group’s buttons in case it was “a conservative family values group.” It isn’t. The group was in fact sponsored by NDP MP and assistant deputy speaker Denise Savoie.
The Bloc builder
Bloc MP Meili Faille has been building a cottage, literally. She studied engineering at the University of Ottawa and for the past several months she and her husband have been working away on their place. She called in a cement truck to lay down the foundation and built the frame. Once the foundation was dry, her son, who has been working as a “gopher” on the project, discovered it made a great skateboard surface. The exterior is now done, which is a good thing with winter approaching. Faille, who has always owned tools, told Capital Diary she has also made several Muskoka chairs.