MPs do their part and chow down on lobster

Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea hosted a packed reception at the Westin Ottawa for PEI Seafood Processors Association, in an effort to bring awareness to current low-price challenges facing the lobster industry.

Shea and Alberta Tory MP Ted Menzies.

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Defence minister Peter MacKay.

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Montreal Liberal MP Justin Trudeau.

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Newfoundland & Labrador NDP MP Jack Harris.

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Newfoundland & Labrador Liberal MP Siobhan Coady.

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Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

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Quebec Liberal MP Bernard Patry.

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Liberal MPs Frank Valeriote and Marlene Jennings.

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Louis-Alexandre Lanthier, Justin Trudeau’s aide.

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The men of Summa Strategies: (left to right) Robin MacLachlan, Greg MacEachern and Josh McJannett.

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Summa Strategies Tim Powers shows off his shiner.

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Max Rubin, aide to Montreal Liberal MP Irwin Cotler.

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Brian Clow, an Iggy aide.

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Adam Goldenberg, a taller Iggy aide.

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Bloc MP Roger Gaudet.

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Alberta Tory MP Ted Menzies.

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Peter MacKay.

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MacKay and Gail Shea.

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The crowd.

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The food.

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MPs do their part and chow down on lobster

  1. I used to think these photo essays were a bit courtier-like (not that there's anything wrong with that), but it just dawned on me that, cumulatively, they are in fact a brutal and unrelenting assault on the culture of decadence and entitlement that seems to have taken over Parliament Hill.

  2. I used to think these photo essays were a bit courtier-like (not that there's anything wrong with that), but it just dawned on me that, cumulatively, they are in fact a brutal and unrelenting assault on the culture of narcissism and entitlement that seems to have taken over Parliament Hill.

    • Good point Jack. When I started reading these, I immediately recalled the suggestion of a few weeks ago discussed on these boards that we ought to cancel QP because to allow MPs to get back to 'real work'. Righhhhhht.

      Have you ever noticed that some faces turn up regularly in these photo essays? Peter McKay, Ted Menzies, Justin Trudeau….

      • Unstinting in their devotion to the canapé — er, I mean, to Canada's embattled lobster fishery.

        • if one had more time, it would be great to revisit the photo essays create a list of who appeared at the event du cause du jour and than try to find a singe word spoken b the participants about the issue at hand anywhere.

          • I think I've just got myself a thesis subject.

          • Chantale, if you are serious about the project, i think it has some promise though it needs some tweaks. do you have an email i can send you a couple ideas at?

    • I adore Mitch's photo essays — I like seeing who shows up to be seen, what they're eating, and who looks normal and likeable, and who looks like the arsehole I figure they are — time after time, Flaherty looks like what I think he is…

      And the food in this one looks marvellous. Oh, I'll be back in the Maritimes later this week and ready to do my part to help out the ailing lobster market.

      • I agree, they're great — they always tell a story. But don't you find yourself a bit unnerved by the unrelenting decadence?

        Meanwhile the king o'er fish and fowl will drool,
        Supping alone (though empty tables spread
        About are wide, antique, unblemishèd),
        His appetite his patrimony's doom,
        His parasites endangered; yet to whom,
        Does luxury so miserly not stink?
        Down what a gullet can a whole boar sink?
        The beast was born for friendly cheer and drink!
        And yet you'll pay when to the bath you puff
        With bloated belly, into which you'd stuff
        That unchewed peacock meat; then in the buff
        Alack! it's death, without a testament:
        The happy news around the room is sent,
        The funeral starts with cheers of ill-intent.

        • "decadence" — really? A hotel ballroom?

          Really?

  3. Here's a challenge: find an event that Justin Trudeau ISN'T attending, and photograph that.

    • There was Lisa Raitt's girls night.

    • As I said above, I don't think Trudeau's at these events much more than any other high-profile MP. I think his picture just gets posted more often because he's the son of a famous Prime Minister, and he's pretty.

      • Or the photographer has a man crush.

        • And he missed the military appreciation function. Probably not enough room for him
          and Don Cherry in the same space. But he would have loved the kiddies.

  4. Pass the virtual lobster. It's the only way I'll have the chance to enjoy some.

  5. Or, well-known MPs whose pictures are deemed worthy of posting online. I wouldn't necessarily equate people's pictures showing up here all the time with said people being the small group who are always at these events.

    I'm sure they're ALL pretty much always at these events, we just see Trudeau's pic posted all the time (as one example) because he's pretty, and people know who he is.

    • perhaps LKO, but there are also name recognizable MPs that i rarely see in the photos that are relatively photogenic save (predominantly) events i can actually connect to the issues they tend to concern themselves with. For example, Bob Rae.

      • True. I just think that the fact that we see the same people over and over again isn't, in and of itself, an indication that said people are particularly unique in the frequency of their attendance at these events. You're ALWAYS gonna get a pic of Justin. He's just too darned cute.

        I'm also somewhat less chagrined about this all then some seem to be, perhaps because I'm just not shocked that politicians spend a fair amount of time eating at events like this. I don't really think many MPs are going to be swayed into supporting some radical pro-Lobster agenda because of an event like this, and I don't begrudge them eating some lobster provided by the lobster lobby. If they weren't at this event they'd be at home with their families most likely, and if they feel it's worthwhile to go to an event like this I don't much mind. Frankly, I think to some extent events like this can even be useful, in that they give our politicians a chance to speak and socialize in a non-partisan, friendly, lobster greased environment.

        Also, some of the events, like Navy appreciation day, or other dinners and cocktail parties celebrating our armed forces (or artists, or scientists, or educators or…) I'd actually LIKE to see my MP at, and would encourage him to attend.

  6. Do they send the leftovers to the local food bank?

    Oh…wait….leftovers?

  7. And were it not for Macleans' photo essay, I'd have had absolutely no awareness of the low-price challenges facing the lobster industry.

    Now I do, and you know what.. I still don't care, because the answer is pretty simple: stop pulling up so many lobsters. Boosts your price and good for the environment at the same time. And all those guys who decided to be lobster fishermen for 6 months of the year and EI recipient for the other 6? Perhaps they'll join their more productive brethren who ply a skill for those other six months and so have something else to rely on now.

    • Thank you for the exercise in stereotype. Most lobster fishers I know ( and I know quite a few ) also hold down full time jobs
      even through the season. Others have license and quota for other species that they work during those seasons.
      If there is playing of the EI system it's most often in the processing and off-shore fishery. Processors wanted to hold on to
      their skilled workers in a seasonal industry and were quite happy to game the system to achieve that end.

      And, jeez, a lobster feed does not apply that dinky little stuff pictured. It calls for at least two whole lobsters, a dish of
      melted butter, and a lot of thumping and twisting and slurping. Get real.

      • And those ones that hold down the outside jobs are among the brethren I was speaking of. I'm certainly aware that many folks in the industry don't just rely on the pogey for the off time, but I don't think you can deny that there are many who do as a normal way of life. These are the ones who I think the industry should consider self policing against, as they're the ones who are damaging the reputation of the industry while at the same time being part of the problem of lowering prices by increasing supplies beyond sustainable levels.

        • No. Prices have been down for two years. And a lot of fishers have not bothered tossing traps.

          Last year a number of lobster fishers started selling off the backs of trucks parked in Halifax malls.
          Charged $5-6 a pound fresh. And did well enough to at least cover costs.
          This year the PC government ( before they were recently tossed out ) implemented a license
          requirement for such sales.
          The supermarkets in the malls didn't like their $10-14 a pound being undercut and the big buyers didn't like
          the fishers having another option.

          • That's absolutely outrageous. Was that license requirement a factor in the recent election? Between solidarity with the poor lobster guys and consumer rage, you'd think so.

          • It was a peripheral issue. And it will likely be changed.

          • It was a peripheral issue and will probably be changed. In most parts of NS people just go to
            the local wharf in season and buy them off the boats anyway. So it was a news item in Halifax
            where the news is made.

            Oh, and there were no issues in the recent election other than get the Harper-lite PC's out and get the Red Tory NDP in.

          • Only in Atlantic Canada would you ever see NDP candidates who are just as Tory as the Conservative candidates.

          • Well, no. The NSNDP are not Conservative. They call themselves "conservative progressives".
            The NSPC party has been owned and operated by Harper acolytes and was just simply a bad
            government. People wanted them gone and so they are. For now.

            And insofar as anyone cares about any of this, the NB Liberal government is probably the most
            conservative in the country. And so it goes.

  8. I bet he was there, they just hid him until the photographer left.

  9. Well said, LKO. I really have no rationale — I endorse yours, in fact; it's just the spectacle of everyone looking perky and pleased and belly-full week in week out is nauseating after a while.

  10. Well said, LKO. I really have no rationale — I endorse yours, in fact; it's just that the spectacle of everyone looking perky and pleased and belly-full week in week out is nauseating after a while.

    • you shouldn't read this column really. Reminds me of the one's who go to Kady's and say "this is inside baseball'… ummm, what were you expecting?

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