Justin Trudeau takes New York: Ottawa Power Rankings

Who’s up? The Prime Minister (and his backbench). Who’s down? A leadership contender for the Tories—and an NDP hopeful, too


 

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After the Prime Minister hits up Broadway. Michael Chong is “spotted” in Guatemala. Kevin O’Leary misses a flight. Niki Ashton backs away from Beyonce. See who’s up and who’s down in and around Parliament Hill’s corridors of power. And check out the rest of our weekly power rankings.

WHO’S UP:

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JUSTIN TRUDEAU

The Prime Minister seemed to be at the centre of the international stage this week. He rolled up to a Broadway theatre to watch Come From Away in the same motorcade as Ivanka Trump, then conducted an exclusive interview with NBC’s Tom Brokaw. The week ended with Matthew Perry claiming on Jimmy Kimmel that he and a friend had beaten up Trudeau when they were kids. But he said he’d done it because the future PM was much better at sports, which is the childhood-trauma version of telling a job interviewer your worst fault is perfectionism.

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MICHAEL CHONG

If his leadership bid doesn’t work out, the Tory hopeful could apparently try his hand at a career as a stock photo model. A travelling Canadian spotted Chong’s smiling, larger-than-life mug on a poster in Guatemala advertising hygienic bathroom facilities. There’s been no explanation yet of how 2-D Chong ended up there, but the man himself was quick on the quips, tweeting in reply, “Just part of the Chong campaign’s international outreach in Latin America.”

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LIBERAL BACKBENCHERS

First, Liberal backbenchers helped pass retired senator James Cowan’s bill prohibiting genetic discrimination. Now, they’re being courted by the opposition to prevent the government from tweaking House of Commons rules on issues like shorter speaking slots or having the Prime Minister answer questions only once a week, as in the U.K. Mark Strahl argues that rank-and-file government members should take a hard look because everyone ends up back on the opposition benches at some point. “To their credit, I’ll say this about the Liberal backbench: they have shown themselves to be willing to stand and be counted,” he said.

WHO’S DOWN:

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KEVIN O’LEARY

The Conservative leadership contender missed a campaign event in Winnipeg, sending his love by way of a video because, he explained with deep regret, his flight had been cancelled due to bad weather in Toronto. Except no flights from Toronto to Winnipeg had been kiboshed. O’Leary’s media agent was forced to acknowledge that the reality TV mogul missed the flight because he was running late. And that, to paraphrase J. Walter Weatherman, is why you never lie about things that are easily Googleable.

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NIKI ASHTON

It was—in line with a long, storied tradition of politicians making like middle-school principals at a dance—a tad cringe-y when the NDP leadership hopeful posted a self-made Beyonce meme with a “to the left” theme. What it probably wasn’t, in any meaningful and productive sense of the term, was “appropriating” another culture. But when a Vancouver offshoot of Black Lives Matter called her out for exactly that supposed sin, Ashton deleted the tweet and issued a full-throated apology.

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NIGEL WRIGHT

The ethics commissioner, Mary Dawson, is still examining Stephen Harper’s one-time chief of staff for the personal cheque for $90,000 he cut Senator Mike Duffy. Duffy was acquitted on 31 charges, but once the RCMP concluded their investigation, Dawson resumed the inquiry she’d put on hold. Wright has maintained he did nothing wrong and only covered Duffy’s questionable living expenses so taxpayers wouldn’t have to.


 

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