MP’s girlfriend gets pinned
When he was elected on May 2, NDP MP Pierre-Luc Dusseault became the youngest MP in Canadian history. At the time he was just under 20. The Quebec MP’s plans for the summer include buying more suits. Before the election he owned only one. He bought a second suit for the campaign and after he won, he invested in four more. Dusseault is a fan of the Quebec department store Simons, and so will probably head there for his shopping. Dusseault has been in a relationship for 3½ years with Joanie Boulet, a second-year law student; they’ve been living together for two years. She wears his MP spouse pin, which gives her special access on Parliament Hill; because she’s so young, security guards sometimes do a double take.
XXL for Ambrose
Rona Ambrose, minister of public works and government services and minister for status of women, was recently in Afghanistan, where she held a town hall for female soldiers on the base in Kandahar. The event was packed—more Canadian troops than usual were on the base because they are all coming back to wrap up the mission. When Ambrose played hockey against some of the troops, she was given a jersey with her name on the back. It was so big, she says, it went down to her shins: “They only have one size and it’s always for guys.”
Bob Rae not the messiah
Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae has embarked on a cross-country leader’s tour in an effort to help rebuild the Liberal party. One of the few surviving Liberal MPs says the party is over its messiah complex, and that it’s now obvious no one person will swoop in and save the Grits and take them to the promised land of government. Another Liberal noted that when election day was approaching on May 2 it was Michael Ignatieff’s supporters who lost steam when the results started looking bad, while those who supported Rae rolled up their sleeves and fought the best battle they could to minimize the losses.
But what about our parties?
The social lives of many in the Conservative party took a nosedive when Speaker Andrew Scheer hired Tory glam staffer Kenzie Potter as his chief of staff. The Speaker’s office is non-partisan, which means Potter can longer be head of the Conservatives’ social committee, where she previously organized events like their Halloween party and the Tories’ five-year anniversary bash at Ottawa’s Hard Rock Café. One of Potter’s previous jobs included working for Jay Hill when he was government whip and House leader; that’s where she mastered procedure. Potter’s big challenge will be the annual Speaker’s BBQ for MPs and the media held at the Farm at Kingsmere, his official residence. Under the previous speaker, Peter Milliken, the centrepiece was always a huge leg of beef. Asked why he never switched the food up, Milliken said he would have been happy to try different things but he left the food choices to his staff. There seems to have been a communication problem; his staff countered that that was the menu Milliken always liked, so they never dared change it.
Now they can’t go home to change
As NDP Leader Jack Layton and his MP wife, Olivia Chow, settle into Stornoway, the residence of the leader of the official Opposition, they are realizing there’s a disadvantage to the move—the extra travel time to get to the Hill and their offices can be a pain. They were previously living in a place on Sparks Street that Chow said was literally less than a minute from her office. Being so close meant that when special events happened in Ottawa they could go home after votes and change. When the new session of Parliament starts they may have to, as some MPs are spotted doing, vote in a tux or gown.