The MP and the traffic ticket
Canada’s first policewoman MP, Winnipeg Tory Shelly Glover, was elected chairwoman of the newly formed Conservative Law Enforcement Officers Caucus. The group includes Saskatchewan MP Rob Clarke, who worked for the RCMP, Rick Norlock, who had a career with the Ontario Provincial Police, and Dave MacKenzie, a former police chief. Among the challenges for MPs who are former police officers are ongoing court cases, says Glover, who has to periodically go back to Manitoba to testify. While Glover’s beat included the drug trade, she also recently showed up to testify about a traffic ticket she had issued that someone was trying to fight.
Palestinian leader’s son is a popular guy
When Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was in Ottawa he met with party leaders. Present at his visit with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff was Montreal Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, who is one of Israel’s biggest supporters. Cotler first met Abbas in Damascus in 1977 and many times afterwards during countless Middle East trips. Cotler says Abbas “sees both sides of the issue and is clearly committed to peace.” The Palestinian leader’s son, Yasser Abbas, is Palestinian-Canadian and lives in the West Bank. (He got his Canadian citizenship while he was living in Montreal during the late ’80s and early ’90s.) He was the first person to call Cotler and congratulate him after he won the last election. The last leader Abbas met with was Stephen Harper. Alberta Tory MP Ted Menzies was asked to sit in on the meeting because he is also a friend of Yasser Abbas. The two met in Washington years ago and remain email chums. This was the first time Menzies had met Yasser’s father, though. After Mahmoud Abbas left the PM’s office, he went through the Hall of Honour. Right before exiting through the Centre Block’s front doors, a few members of his entourage used the new hand sanitizer dispensers recently set up.
The young Flaherty
A charity rugby game on the lawn of Parliament Hill pitted the Ottawa Irish Rugby Club against Forces Rugby, a special one-time team that included more than 20 military personnel. During the game, Defence Minister Peter MacKay broke his arm after being tackled by Al Charron. The event’s organizer, Tim Powers of the government relations firm Summa Strategies, a Conservative commentator and member of the Ottawa Irish, noted “[Charron] is Canada’s most experienced player. The minister of defence hit rugby’s wall of defence.” Charron is six foot five and weighs 285 lb. MacKay’s arm was put into a sling, but he still came to the after-party and stayed for several hours. He had surgery the next day. Powers said the players sent him a get-well basket: “I know there was some hard liquor to help numb the pain, and other non-perishable items.” One of the other notable rugby players was Galen Flaherty, son of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.” Notes Powers: “He has his father’s grit and toughness. He also has speed. We are not sure where the speed came from.” Young Flaherty is captain of the Bigside rugby team at Trinity College School in Ontario and was recently awarded the MVP trophy for rugby. The charity match raised over $25,000 for the Military Families Fund.
They’ll always remember Ottawa
The second annual Embrace-an-Orphanage gala at the Canadian Museum of Civilization raised over $100,000 for the Children’s Bridge Foundation. It was co-chaired by Conservative House leader Jay Hill and former Liberal deputy PM Sheila Copps. The gala was the last big event for Afghan Ambassador Omar Samad and his wife, Khorshied Samad, before heading off to a new posting in Paris. Khorshied says Ottawa will always be a special place for the couple because it’s where their two sons were born.