The Harper most likely to yell ‘Mine’
Stephen Harper’s son Ben is now six foot three and has become a skilled competitive volleyball player. The 16-year-old plays for the Ottawa Fusion Volleyball Club, where the online team profile lists his positions as middle and outside. Ben Harper used to play hockey (with NDP MP Paul Dewar’s son) but has given up the sport his father has written a book about to focus more on volleyball. He’ll be playing in the Canadian championships in Toronto, along with the children of two other famous Canadians, Rick Hansen and Colm Feore. Laureen Harper says so far two Canadian universities have expressed interest in her son joining their volleyball teams. Ben is only in Grade 10. The PM’s wife quipped that this is now the first year she had Maclean’s annual University Rankings issue on hand in light of the college attention.
The undercover life of a political wife
It is difficult to imagine Michelle Obama shopping undetected at Target. But a recent shopping trip by Laureen Harper illustrates the difference between the two nations and their first ladies. Mrs. Harper was recently in Wal-Mart buying large amounts of cat food. She often fosters kittens from the Ottawa Humane Society, so always keeps a hefty supply of special kitten food packed with additional nutrients. The Wal-Mart staff had no clue she was the Prime Minister’s wife; as often occurs with customers buying in bulk at the megastore, she was asked to show her receipt upon exiting. All was in order and she headed back to 24 Sussex with her cat food.
Harper and Madge’s boots together at last
Last week saw both the NDP and the Conservatives holding one-year anniversary parties: the NDP, marking the anniversary of becoming the official Opposition, and the Tories, of their majority win. The NDP party was held in Centre Block and included a huge cake where the ridings won by the party were marked in orange icing. When asked if Bruce Hyer’s riding was in there, NDP staff said the cake was based on the last election results. (So that’s a yes.) Hyer recently left the NDP to sit as an Independent after voting with the government to scrap the long-gun registry. The Conservatives marked their one-year majority anniversary at the Hard Rock Cafe in Ottawa. Conservative political signs were used to decorate the space. A Harper sign was even placed next to a case containing the stiletto boots and mask worn by Madonna in her Erotica music video.
The power of the Parliament Hill breakfast
Last Tuesday was the inaugural Rainbow Day on the Hill. LGBT high school students ages 17 and 18 from the Ottawa area were paired up with gay MPs. The event, organized by NDP MP Dany Morin, was inspired by a day where young women are paired with female MPs. Hannah Collins shadowed NDP deputy leader Libby Davies, joining her on the health committee and a meeting to discuss community policing. Miles Gariepy was paired with Liberal Scott Brison. He was surprised how many pictures the MP had of American politicians. “Why George Bush?” he asked. Ben Marmer was paired with NDP MP Craig Scott, who recently won Jack Layton’s riding. Marmer says he wasn’t expecting MPs to be so friendly. He joined Scott at a committee meeting where they discussed the legality of mask-wearing protesters. But what stuck with Marmer most was the breakfast meeting he attended, with its muffins and danishes: “It looked very pretty. For me, I usually have a bowl of cold cereal. The breakfast was really impressive.”
Why Brazeau is looking like Trudeau
Part of the boxing bet between Liberal MP Justin Trudeau and Sen. Patrick Brazeau was that the loser had to have his hair cut. Brazeau’s long hair is growing back and is currently a similar length and shag style as Trudeau’s. “I better go cut mine,” quipped Trudeau.