Politics and the Pen plus the Cabinet Ministers hairdresser

The Writers’ Trust of Canada handed out their annual $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize honouring political writing excellence to James Orbinski for An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action in the Twenty-first Century at the annual Politics and the Pen gala dinner in the Fairmont Château Laurier ballroom. Politics and the Pen is one of Ottawa’s A-list events and brings out top politicians, including Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt and Transport Minister John Baird.



A full press! Adam Chambers, aide to Jim Flaherty, with Lynn Meahan (left), press secretary to Labour Minister Rona Ambrose, and Jasmine MacDonnell, press secretary to Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt.


Laureen Harper with former Conservative MP Monte Solberg and designer Justina McCaffrey.


Mrs. Harper and Brent Butt of Corner Gas.


Mrs. Harper with Maclean’s columnist Paul Wells.


Michael Ignatieff and Liberal Senator Joyce Fairbairn.


Finance Minister Jim Flaherty (left) and political strategist Jaime Watt of Navigator Limited.


Winnipeg Conservative MP Steven Fletcher with Linda McIntosh, the author of his biography What Do You Do If You Don’t Die?


Shaughnessy Cohen Prize winner James Orbinski.


Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Croation Ambassador Vesela Mrđen Korać.


Alberta and Quebec unite! Tory MPs Ted Menzies (left) and Maxime Bernier.


Menzies with Newfoundland Liberal MP Scott Simms.


Menzies and Harvey Slack of The Canadiana Fund.


Toronto Liberal MP Gerard Kennedy.


Labour Minister Rona Ambrose.


(Left to right) Paul Sparkes, Executive Vice-President, Corporate Affairs CTVglobemedia, Liberal Whip Rodger Cuzner, Greg MacEachern of Summa Strategies and Global National’s Kevin Newman.


Transport Minister John Baird and his hairdresser Stefania Capovilla.


Immigration Minister Jason Kenney also goes to Capovilla for the perfect cut.


Conservative House leader Jay Hill and his wife Leah Murray.


Heritage Minister James Moore and Susan Smith of Bluesky Strategies. 


Vancouver Liberal MP Hedy Fry.



 NDP leader Jack Layton and his wife Toronto NDP MP Olivia Chow.


Brampton, Ont., Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla.


Tory Senate leader Marjory LeBreton.


Toronto Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay.


Jill Fairbrother, Igantieff’s Director of Communications.


Iggy staffer Mark Sakamoto.


Deirdra McCracken, the glam Director of Communications to Heritage Minister James Moore, looking very Jennifer Aniston.



Meahan with TVO’s Steve Paikin of The Agenda.


Paikin and Paul Wells.


David Wilkins, the recent former U.S. ambassador to Canada.



James Kusie from the PMO and Stephanie Schramm Kusie from Tory MP Peter Kent’s office.



Writer Patricia Pearson.


Zach Churchill, National Director of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations.


The meal included grilled jumbo sea scallop napped with morel mushroom vinaigrette.


And roasted shallot and tomato glazed Manitoba bison fillet.


The dessert.


Politics and the Pen plus the Cabinet Ministers hairdresser

  1. One Quebec MP made me think of Rusty Staub.

  2. Monte is not an MP anymore…

    • FORMER, adj.: Previous, as in “former Conservative MP Monte Solberg”

  3. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney also goes to Capovilla for the perfect cut.
    Perfect cut, indeed…
    (Blinks, rapid head-shake)
    (Face reddens a bit)
    Oh, you meant his hair!

    • I thought he looked like Randy from the Trailer Park Boys in a tux. But he always looks like Randy to me

  4. What in the world is a hairdresser doing at a reception to the Chateau Laurier? Talk about going from slums/working class to living the good life?

    • Ouch. Someone’s perm must have fallen out just before the h.s. prom.

      • Alas I did not attend high school in the 1980’s, I’m not that old.
        But honestly, I hope this hairdresser isn’t on the government’s payroll.

          • Ha, well that is a hard style to pull off. Personally I like John Baird’s haircut. Much better than other politicians showcased in these pictures.

    • I got the impression that John Baird had asked his hairdresser on a date, although perhaps she was just being coy when she told Mitchel she was a hairdresser.

      • But why would John Baird ask her out?

        • Perhaps he was entranced by her beauty.

          • I don’t think he would be.

          • She has a lovely name, too. “Stefania Capovilla”.

          • I rest my case, not pointing out the obvious fact.

          • hahaha, well done.

          • She looks like a golddigger.

    • Working class = slums?

    • The gay guys always bring the prettiest girls to parties.

  5. What I want to know is who is dating who in these pictures? Where’s Laureen’s special friend?

    • Apparently, Jason Kenney was “dating” the fifth and eighth rows from the bottom in the last photo.

      • My turn to say Ouch.

        • Kenney looks like he’s one of those dark five o’clock shadow types. I bet he could grow one heck of a beard.

        • Don’t blame me. The hairdresser said so in between the cut and blow dry.

  6. It looks like Steve Paikin and Paul Wells were talking about something interesting.

    • “How much did you say she charges for a wash and a cut?”

    • “Ever seen that Seinfeld episode where Kramer takes George to the Pinstripe Ball ?”

      “Yeah. What an entrance!”

    • I think that’s a do-over shot because we were talking about something interesting and were caught a bit off-guard when Mitchel took his first pic. He moves fast, does Mitchel.

      • I thought maybe you were chiding Paikin for calling you a cynic a few months ago. :)

  7. Mrs. Harper smiles so much maybe she can lend a smile to her husband.

  8. I love the Chateau Laurier.

  9. when did galas become acceptable again???

  10. Geez – Rona Ambrose wears a lot of makeup. What is David Wilkins doing here? His tenure is over – go home.

  11. Wells and Brent Butt should feature in separated at birth special. And why do some people have medals, and not others.

    • Medals are given to politicians and writers to identify them.

      • Thanks Mitchel.

      • We used to get silver medals for the authors and gold for the politicians, but now everyone gets silver medals. It’s like a meeting of the Canadian Olympic team, except dumpier.

      • Why are some politicians not wearing medals then? Are they just too cool for school, or are they trying to blend in and pretend not to be politicians?

  12. Allow me to reiterate jwl’s question. What’s with the medals, and what do the signify?

    Some Cabinet ministers have them, some don’t. Some Liberals have them, and some don’t. Some of the media types have them, and some don’t.

    What gives?

  13. You know who I’d like to be? I’d like to be the writer that gets this award by telling the same tale — from within. I wonder how many smiles on the faces if the award-winner, the book, casts that room of characters in the context of their true actions.

    I wonder if a book that describes how the Ontario Government steals court ordered child maintenance payments to pay for social credit payments (welfare) for adults. How to describe a government that says: ‘your child gets this amount, so YOU get nothing’. How? Would it be a good read? Let me write “The Greed Read” from my perspective and earn the centre stage at that party one day.

  14. Paul Wells looks like he is trying to hold back laughter in his picture with Mrs. Harper.

  15. I sincerely hope that none of my students’ CASA fees went towards Mr. Churchill attending this event.

    Blake Frederick
    AMS President

    • I sincerely hope that none of my AMS fees went towards Mr. Frederick making that asinine comment.

    • I can’t believe he has the nerve to go to an event and talk to politicians

      • Don’t worry, the CFS were there too, but for some reason when you take photos of them they are invisible, sort of like vampires

  16. Oh my goodness! Justina McCaffrey’s Byward Market shop always has such beautiful dresses in the window.

  17. Who is James Kusie?????

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