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The sketch: Stephen Harper is manager of world’s most intriguing pizza shop

Thomas Mulcair stands 26 times and Paul Calandra tells stories about his dad


 

Allowing the Prime Minister a brief reprieve from the incessant questions about Nigel Wright, Mike Duffy and the disastrous pact to make $90,000 disappear, Paul Calandra, Mr. Harper’s parliamentary secretary, stood and told stories about his father’s pizza delivery business.

“My father owned a pizza store,” Mr. Calandra reported. “He worked 16 to 18 hours a day. I can tell you what my father would not have done if he saw somebody stealing from his cash register. He would not have said—”

Across the aisle, a voice shouted that Mr. Calandra’s father wouldn’t have paid his employee’s legal fees. The New Democrats laughed, as they did often this afternoon.

“—’You are suspended, but make sure you come back every two weeks and collect a paycheque,’ ” Mr. Calandra continued. “I tell the House what he would have said. He would have said, ‘You are fired, leave,’ and he would have called the police.”

Granted, a full analogy requires imagining the world’s most intriguing pizza shop, one which we, the voting public, own. One where the assistant to the store manager initially told the employee that his taking of the money “complied with all the applicable rules” of the cash register and where the assistant to the store manager then agreed to provide the employee with money to restock the cash register. Only this was kept secret—at least from the store owner and the store manager, though at least a few other employees were told about it—and the employee alleges he was advised on a cover story to explain the repayment. The employee also says he was threatened with expulsion from the pizza shop if he did not agree to go along with the assistant to the manager’s plan. And then a subsidiary of the pizza shop, for which the store manager is CEO, agreed to cover the employee’s legal fees after, in the employee’s version, he insisted on a written agreement that the repayment would not amount to an admission of guilt. And then five months later the employee the store manager had appointed to be his representative in the kitchen announced that the employee should be fired. And then the employee stood up in the middle of the shop and started to tell everyone what had happened. And other employees, otherwise friendly to the store manager, started to suggest it would be rash to fire him. And then the individual that the store manager had appointed to be his representative in the kitchen started musing about maybe going easier on a couple of other employees who were also accused of taking money from the cash register. And we were silly enough to make this pizza store bicameral.

And so now we, the owners, are both enthralled and repulsed by the drama of our little pizza shop. And maybe we are starting to wonder if we should buy a McDonald’s or take a chance and invest in an Extreme Pita.

***

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair arrived this afternoon bearing news from distant lands.

“Mr. Speaker, I have just come back from Brandon and I met a lot of people there who are very disappointed in the Prime Minister. That includes a lot of people who voted Conservative in the last election who are very sorry that they did not get the clean, ethical government the Prime Minister promised them,” Mr. Mulcair reported. “All across Canada, including Brandon, people are all asking the same question: Why does the Prime Minister keep changing his story?”

Mr. Harper disagreed with Mr. Mulcair’s interpretation.

“Mr. Speaker, there has been no change of story,” he said.

The New Democrats laughed.

“On the contrary,” the Prime Minister continued, “the events are extremely well known.”

Not merely well known, no, the events here are extremely well known. They are not merely understood, they are seared into the mind.

“Senators collected expenditures that they should not have collected in our judgment, and of course a member of my staff facilitated an improper payment on that,” Mr. Harper recounted. “That member has been removed and those senators who have taken improper payment should be removed from the public payroll.”

If the Prime Minister’s story has changed, it has done so in two rather needless ways.

First, in his statement to the House in June that Mr. Wright’s “decisions … were not communicated to me or to members of my office,” an assessment that was undermined a month later when it was revealed that Mr. Wright had told the RCMP something different. Second, in Mr. Harper’s use of the word “dismissed” to describe how Mr. Wright had come to be separated from the Prime Minister’s Office, a verb that seems at odds with earlier claims that Mr. Wright had resigned. Though it would be interesting to know on what basis Mr. Harper offered the former declaration—and perhaps why he even bothered to offer it when he did—the latter is perhaps merely the silly use of of an inaccurate word and perhaps neither are necessarily ruinous for the Prime Minister’s cause. But they are at least unsteady steps when Mr. Harper is already walking on something other than solid ground*.

“Mr. Speaker,” Mr. Mulcair asked with his third opportunity, “yesterday Senator Duffy said that there were at least two cheques involved in his deal with the Prime Minister’s office. How many cheques were there?”

Mr. Harper would not answer the question asked, but he would furrow his brow and attempt to explain.

“Mr. Speaker, Mr. Duffy makes reference to the fact that the party reimbursed him for some legal expenses,” the Prime Minister said.

“Ohhh!” cried the New Democrats.

“That is a regular practice. The party regularly reimburses—”

“Ohhh!” cried the New Democrats again.

“Mr. Speaker,” the Prime Minister continued, “the party regularly reimburses members of its caucus for valid legal expenses, as do other parties.”

Mr. Mulcair wondered who was aware of the second cheque and, after that failed to receive a direct reply, the NDP leader used his fifth opportunity for mockery.

“Mr. Speaker, on May 28, the Prime Minister said that there was ‘…no legal agreement’ in the Duffy affair,” Mr. Mulcair recalled. “How many lawyers does it take to negotiate no legal agreement?”

Mr. Mulcair sat and laughed. The New Democrats stood and cheered.

“Once again, Mr. Speaker, I have no idea what the member is referring to,” Mr. Harper pleaded.

“Ohhh!” sighed the New Democrats.

“What I do know, Mr. Speaker, the facts in this case,” Mr. Harper continued. And now he chopped and swiped his right hand this way and that and jabbed his index finger at the air. “Mr. Duffy took $90,000 of expense money he did not actually incur. He was told to pay it back,” Mr. Harper recounted. “He committed to paying it back. He in fact said publicly he had paid it back. That turned out to be a story told by Mr. Duffy and Mr. Wright. As a consequence, Mr. Wright no longer works on the public payroll and Mr. Duffy should not be on the public payroll either.”

The Conservatives stood and cheered.

***

Behold this mess. We know not what it amounts to.

It is surely entertaining, but what is it exactly? It is not quite a matter of public policy. It might eventually prove to be a matter for the courts. It might somehow be construed as some test or question of character or some statement on someone or someones or some thing, but of who and how? Is this something unique to a particular party or individual or even the practice of professional politics or is this just the sort of thing that happens when power and ambition and entitlement are involved, only here it is the public’s business?

It is $90,000 and, seemingly, some attempt to make that $90,000 matters less than however much it did in the first place. And now it is regular twists and revelations and all manners of business that we were surely not meant to know. It is Mike Duffy, standing in the ornate chamber of our Senate, breaking his greatest story to the nation, his disembodied voice broadcast across the networks, teasing out the details with the aplomb of an infomercial pitchman, as others have suggested, or an eccentric uncle telling a wondrous bedtime story. It is Thomas Mulcair, standing tall and staring down the Prime Minister, cross-examining his witness with question after question after question—simple questions driven by a slowly unfolding drama. It is Justin Trudeau in the corner, outdone by Mr. Mulcair on this file, but still holding that promise of something somehow better, or at least an extended lead in the polls. It is Stephen Harper, challenged as never before, perhaps struggling as never before. A man who beat Michael Ignatieff, Stephane Dion and Jack Layton, out-maneuvered the press gallery and outclassed his most wild-eyed critics, now struggling to beat Mike Duffy, one of his own appointees, a celebrity who travelled the country singing the government’s praises, assailing its opponents and raising money for the Conservative cause. A Prime Minister having to answer not for any official policy or action or inaction of his government, but for some tawdry agreement with a political appointee. A politician who has survived or sidestepped so many questions about what he and his government have done, threatened by a deal to make $90,000 disappear. And a Prime Minister’s Office facing precisely the sort of scrutiny it is not supposed to attract.

It is a spectacle, with tales of grubbiness and secrecy and underhandedness, private emails and cheques and phone calls. All of it laid out on the public table. With the possibility of more to come tomorrow, or in the next episode. Here now, we are seeing how one of our pizzas came to be made. And it is actually rather mesmerizing.

It might yet prove a passing fancy, of course. How will this matter in two years? Will it be a footnote? Will it prove to be a drag on whatever good news the government attempts to herald from here on? Will it be salt in the wound of any other misstep the government makes? Is this a government burning away its capital and credibility? Is this the beginning of the end of the Harper government? Or just the most entertaining drama on TV? Or both?

***

The Prime Minister’s explanation for the second cheque seemingly left something of an incongruity—why pay legal expenses which, at least in Mr. Duffy’s telling, were related to a matter that was, as Mr. Harper concedes, inappropriate?

Mr. Harper otherwise insisted on his version of events. This was a matter between Mr. Wright and Mr. Duffy. Mr. Duffy had done a bad thing. Mr. Wright had done a bad thing. People who do bad things should be held responsible and accountable. Yesterday, Mr. Harper’s parliamentary secretary had suggested that the three senators facing suspension might apologize. Today, Mr. Harper said the time for apologies was over. Whatever the government leader in the Senate was willing to do for Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau, Mr. Harper said the time for settlements had passed. Mr. Harper made his resolute hand gestures and persisted in focusing on the few widely agreed-upon—or at least the least disputed—facts. He insisted that he had been deceived. At one point, he seemed to confirm that Mr. Duffy had been threatened somehow (“Mr. Duffy was being threatened with sanctions because he collected expenses he should not have collected”).

But Mr. Mulcair just kept coming up—the NDP leader taking each and every of his party’s allotted spots to stand some 26 times in the space of 45 minutes. And eventually the NDP leader seemed to narrow in on the matter of the second cheque.

“Why did the Prime Minister, if it is also inappropriate, ask the Conservative lawyers to pay his expenses?” Mr. Mulcair asked. “Why the contradiction?”

“Once again, Mr. Speaker,” Mr. Harper explained, “political parties do provide legal assistance to their members from time to time.”

“Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister therefore sees nothing wrong with using the money of the Conservative Party to reimburse the legal expenses of someone he says has broken the law. That is the ethics of the Prime Minister,” Mr. Mulcair thus pronounced. “Duly noted.”

Or were the legal expenses and the agreement with Nigel Wright not related? What precisely did the Conservative party pay for? Is the second cheque a red herring?

A moment later, Mr. Mulcair decided to forgo entirely a question. “It is true that Mike Duffy has almost zero credibility,” he declared, “but his story is still more believable than that of the Prime Minister and that is quite a feat.”

Mr. Harper was unimpressed. “Mr. Speaker, this is extraordinary,” the Prime Minister ventured. “The leader of the NDP thinks he can believe Mr. Duffy, who said on national television that he took out a loan against his assets to repay money he had taken inappropriately from the taxpayers…”

“It was in the script!” cried a voice from the opposition side, seemingly in reference to Mr. Duffy’s allegation that the bit about the bank loan was a suggestion of someone in Mr. Harper’s office.

“… and now turns around and says, ‘By the way, I never should have repaid any of it. I was entitled to it all the time. It is not my fault that I made up these lies on national television.” That is Mr. Duffy’s responsibility and why he should be sanctioned.”

Speaking of extraordinary, that the Prime Minister should have to answer for accusations made by a senator who says he was previously only doing and saying what the Prime Minister’s Office told him to do and say and that the Prime Minister should counter that that doing and saying demonstrates the senator’s unreliability—that too is a rather extraordinary moment.

It’s all rather extraordinary, this pizza shop of ours.

***

“Mr. Speaker, just to conclude that story, we also had a driver, Eugene,” Mr. Calandra explained with his second opportunity. “He was a Philippine immigrant and he used to deliver pizzas. Part of the agreement was that he would provide receipts for gas. Could Eugene have provided extra receipts? He could have, but he did not. He was honourable. That is the standard that we should expect from our senators. If we can expect it from a guy who delivers pizza, we certainly should be able to expect it from senators.”

And so we know what we must do. We must find Eugene. And we must make him a senator. Or perhaps put him in charge of the PMO.

 

 

*A few hours later, on second thought, the wording of this paragraph has changed. It originally read, “Though it would be interesting to know on what basis Mr. Harper offered the former declaration—and perhaps why he even bothered to offer it when he did—neither is quite ruinous for the Prime Minister’s cause. But they are unsteady steps when Mr. Harper is already walking on something other than solid ground.” 

I’ve also adjusted the pizza store analogy slightly to change who was responsible for announcing that the employee should be fired.


 

The sketch: Stephen Harper is manager of world’s most intriguing pizza shop

  1. The other day I said we had a Mickey Mouse govt. I was wrong. I apologize.

    Turns out it’s only a local pizza shop. And it sounds like it has rats in the kitchen.

    • It also looks like Mulcair has become the media darling lately for his in your grill attack on harper with his clear cut questions. Dahhhhh, with the media feeding him questions to ask Harper everyday and he does have more question time than the libs, anyone could do the same job, but does that make him(Mulcair, he is still an angry man, and his anger is just in remission)a better leader. That rage and anger can also come to the surface at any time. I say no, and im not a harper supporter.

      • I’ve read that he does a very good cross-examination….gets Harp’s attention, and real answers out of him….and gawd knows we need that right now.

        I don’t know about the anger….I’ve never seen it, much less any rage….but maybe it would scare the crap out of Harper. He is always hiding from something…..al Qaeda, the Ottawa press gallery….

        • It may get his attention, but Tom isn’t going to get anymore than what Harper has already answered. these are all questions the media have been trying to ask for months with no results. so tom is just doing the work for the media. and bother way, it wasn’t the dippers who broke this story, it was the media. while tom is cross examining, his nephew or niece party in NL. is doing a melt down. it is not parliamentary procedure to cross examine in the HOC. its nothing but pure theatre and populist. its just another way of slowly ripping apart our democratic system. I want tough questions asked, but you never get answers anyway, and I want them asked in a parliamentary way, not cross examining. I feel very uncomfortable about it. harper got to face the courts in the future anyway, do you think he is going to come clean ? not on a bet ! Harper is not even going to come clean at the convention, if he does, it will end up in a courtroom. Harper is not protected outside the HOC. you think the RCMP are not listening and watching everything that’s going on.

          • Well the convention will look very good on TV…..but I’m sure the back rooms will be buzzing with angry people and a new leader being talked about. Harper has led them into a corner.

            I doubt Harp will ever see a courtroom….at least not for his own misdeeds.

          • Their are 2 possible ways of getting answers to this sorry state of affairs, and one them will eventually get some answers, its not going to happen in the HOC. its either going to happen by the law(RCMP) or by the senate, and the senate doors are locked to the dippers. That’s why the dippers always rag the senate. The dippers know they cant run a federal government, not provincial, without having members in the senate. Whether you like or dislike, or even think the senate needs to be abolished, its not going anywhere. It will be there in 2015 and long after. The dippers are not going to go into the next election and expect to it win by trying to divide this country, by opening the constitution. That would be political suicide. this is pure and simple populist and theatre, and nothing more for the dippers. And Harper may never ever see the inside courtroom, but his words may end up being used in a courtroom, and that can be more damaging than the truth from him. im willing to bet, that between this day and the 2015 election, Tom Mulcair will end up blowing his stack at some point. I don’t see any rage from the other opposition leader(Trudeau). Justin is Calm, Cool and Collective and the grooming of Justin Trudeau is starting to evolve, and as long as he stays on course, he will be a force to reckon with in 2015.

          • Hey – you’re trolling for the Libs the way the Cons do – knock it off. You don’t want to do anything the way they do.

          • Who are you trolling for ? Angry Tom. Im not trolling for anyone. I am just giving the facts, ” Just The Facts ” Jack. Not a lot seem to agree with me on my points, but the truth always hurts.

      • I know exactly what you are saying root. I expect any day that Harper is just going to up and explain everything, all the details, produce paperwork demonstrating his honesty and accountability. That will certain shut up the angry man and empty suit!

        • And then you can tell everybody about the Easter Bunny existing.

      • Better to know the anger of Mulcair than live with the deceit of Harper.

  2. Well said, Mr. Wherry.

  3. Callandra said the legal fees were to pay for council during Duffy’s audit. $13k is a lot to pay for one ‘cover my butt’ document, eh.
    So the big story changes are
    -originally PM Harper thought no one in the PMO was aware of the secret deal, and a month later Nigel told police (not Harper) 4 others knew (didn’t one of those named by Wright deny he was in the loop?)…
    -Wright’s resignation ‘was accepted’ changed to ‘dismissed’, which PM explained today. it’s the same thing folks.
    Wow, pretty petty stuff.

    • Well, Watergate was only ‘a third rate burglary.’

      • In the big picture, Watergate *was* just a third-rate burglary (which was completely unnecessary because McGovern tanked the 1972 election anyhow). But because of the political circus that followed it, Nixon was unable to implement universal healthcare (he offered Democrats a deal, but Ted Kennedy figured the Democrats would win the next Presidential election and be in a better position to reform healthcare), unable to respond to the Vietnamese invasion of South Vietnam and unable to stop the rise of Pol Pot in Cambodia.

        When millions of Americans lack health insurance (and have for 40 years), millions of Vietnamese live under an oppressive government and hundreds of thousands of Cambodians are dead you’d think we would learn prioritize our outrage. This truly is a minor story (there are far better reasons to dislike Harper, just as there were reasons beyond Adscam to oppose Martin in ’06) in the grand scheme of things, but I guess people tend to be pennywise and pound foolish.

        • Had JFK lived….had FDR lived…had Lincoln lived….

          Bev Oda and a glass of OJ outweighed POWs tortured, and contempt of Parliament…..

          Hey…..it’s the kind of political system we have

        • Well, at least now we know exactly what type of person would poo-poo these more recent shenanigans.

  4. But Calandra’s father was a barber and then he got into Real Estate. When did he own a pizza joint? Are they lying about everything now? Unless there is another Canadian MP named Calandra. Sigh.
    http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Paul-Calandra/1519142583
    Check the cached CPAC information below. It isn’t available anymore. I might try to look up the interview it refers to.

    • According to the link you provided, his Father was a “barber who had his own salon”
      Wow. The Father cuts hair and the son tells bald faced lies?

      • I found the interview:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joz5gaL-pYM
        He says that his father was a Barber on the Danforth, then owned his own salon, then became a Real Estate Agent. He also owned a 100acre farm outside Stouffville, ON which they worked 10 acres of every summer and sold vegetables from a roadside stand. At the 5 minute mark, she asks what his father did. Calandra’s father died when he was 13, so he might be talking about a step-father? There is no mention of his mother re-marrying, but this isn’t exactly a hard-hitting interview. OR as his father was a landlord, his father may have been the landlord of a pizza place.

        He also says his father was a committed Liberal. Calandra has been working for Conservative campaigns since he was 9! And look out Steve, he’s wanted to be Prime Minister since then too.

        I watched all 28 minutes (his wife sounds very supportive) and there is nothing about pizza anywhere.

        • Does that make it Mystic Pizza?

    • I guess “an employee who stole hair from the floor” just didn’t have the same ring as “an employee who stole from the till”. Although someone should let Calandra know that barber shops do indeed contain cash registers.

      • But he needed an employee that handed in expenses – hence the pizza deliver guy turning in gas receipts. I wonder how much time the PMO spent thinking up this scenario?

    • Ah, no way… Does this mean Eugene, the delivery guy from the Philippines, does not exist? He sounds like a real good guy…

      • Who knows . . . but he sounds like a character out of a certain genre of film . . . delivery man, repair man, etc. shows up at the house of a lady, perhaps she’s married, her husband’s away . . .

        • With this God fearing group – never!

          • True dat… Some of these guys exude piety. I mean, take the recently retired Bible lovin’ Vic Toews, you know, the one that was banging his baby sitter… oh, nevermind!

          • It is a truism throughout Canadian history: conservatives likes wimmin. And they likes ’em blonde ‘n busty.

        • background music: boom chicka wow wow …

          • Ah, we need Vic Toews mustache back . . . heck, he can even have a starring role . . .

          • I do not want to see that movie. In fact, I’m a little ticked at you for putting a visual into my mind — pluck out my mind’s eye!

  5. I wonder if the pizza oven was hooked up by Del Mastro Electric?

    • Well since so many things are being cooked here……

    • I hope you were not intending to make sport of Calandra due to the ethnicity he shares with Del Mastro.

      • Nope. Didn’t even think of it.
        Just riffing

        • Because if you were, we could go straight to mafia references.

    • Actually a Pizza Hut franchise. Nigel Wright President of Pizza Hut. It was his fault.

  6. Mr. Wherry, you’re a funny guy.
    I was just considering calling out for a pizza.
    Lost my appetite.

  7. Aaron you always make me smile. Love the break down, pun intended.

    • I got firsties.

  8. “Speaking of extraordinary, that the Prime Minister should have to answer
    for accusations made by a senator who says he was previously only doing
    and saying what the Prime Minister’s Office told him to do and say and
    that the Prime Minister should counter that that doing and saying
    demonstrates the senator’s unreliability—that too is a rather
    extraordinary moment”

    That! Sir! was b e u ti ful…i got tears in my eyes.[ and i’m hungry]… Eugene is the man!
    I live 12 hours north of Edmonton…i’ll take an EXL popeye with extra feta and black olives….and tell Eugene to step on it eh.

    But hold on, what’s this i read in the comments below, there’s no Eugene, no pizza!

    Wherry what have you done you wretched scribe!

    • What Wherry does not make clear in his article, of course, is the fact that the promise of the number two cheque came before the promise of the number one cheque.

      See, Duffy and members of the media are playing a very clever game here. Duffy pretends that the $13,000 payment for legal fees came as a promise AFTER
      the Nigel Wright cheque of $90,000.

      But the opposite is of course the case: The CPC Party Fund (not
      government money!) decided to cover Duffy`s legal bill for when he
      needed legal council during the auditing process in action, the audit
      which found the false expense claims of Mr.Duffy. The promise to pay for
      such legal advice is indeed not out of the ordinary. All parties use
      their Party Funds for helping out members of the party caucus!

      But the bill of that legal advice was paid after the verdict of the
      audit was known, so indeed the CPC Party Fund could have decided to
      renege on their initial promise to Duffy to cover his legal fees during
      the auditing process, or the CPC could keep their initial promise to pay
      for Duffy`s legal fees in regards to the audit, and the CPC kept that
      promise. Good for them! If legal fees were to be covered by the party as
      promised BEFORE the outcome of the audit was known, then Duffy was
      given a great favour by the party! The CPC party had then not acted in a
      criminal way, but had acted by keeping its promise to Duffy in regards
      to paying for his legal fees during the auditing process!

      So the CPC had promised to pay those legal fees BEFORE the outcome of
      that audit were known! Once the audit outcome was known, Harper then
      ordered Duffy to pay back the false expense claims! Harper did not ask
      for Duffy to pay back the costs for legal council, but Harper demanded
      that Duffy be held responsible for the outcome of that audit.

      There is no scandal at all about that number two cheque of $13,000!
      In fact, it is Duffy and men like Ivison who would like to leave the
      impression that the $13,000 cheque came after Wright`s cheque, but that
      is not true.

      Scandals are kept alive by not telling the turn of events correctly!
      Tom Mulcair loves it when the media does not pay attention. Tom Mulcair
      loves it when Duffy tries to create a false time-line.

      But Canadians should be wary of both the opposition parties claims and be very wary of the opinion writers!

      • My goodness, Francien, the lengths you will go to! Here is the sum total in fewer words: (this analogy was heard yesterday morning on CFRB) the Titanic designer just said to the captain ‘We’re sinking.’

        • And you have not one counter argument to offer! How smart you must be!

      • Francien Verhoeven, I watched the entire Question Period, including the Callandra pizza story (I wouldn’t have believed it had I not seen and heard it myself), as well as every question period before in which this matter was raised, and not once has anybody told the story you are asking us to believe here.

        • Ok, then don`t believe me. But the outcome of the investigation will prove me right!

  9. That’s simply incredible…Harper not to outdone by the biggest snake oil saleman in the senate is actually trying to be the only true victim in this sorry saga. I wonder what Nigel is making of all of this sitting at home? time to amend that RCMP statement perhaps?

  10. Is every CPC MP of Italian background somehow professionally associated with Italian food? Isn’t that a bit stereotypical?

    • It was in the script.

    • I guess you’ll have to ask Mr. Calandra. It was his analogy.

    • Hilariously, Italian barbers are also a stereotype.

  11. Flying on the Royal Canadian Air Force cc-150 Polaris, the Prime Minister’s airplane, Stephen Harper looked at Mike Duffy and said, “You know, I could throw a $1,000 bill out the window right now, and make somebody very happy.”

    Mike Duffy shrugged his shoulders and replied, “I could throw $100 bills out the window and make 10 people very happy.”

    Pamela Wallin, who was sitting back, sipping Champagne and dining on caviar, then added, “I could throw $100 bills out the window and make 100 people very happy.”

    Hearing their exchange, the pilot rolled his eyes and said to the co-pilot, “Such big-shots back there. I could throw all three of them out the window and make 35 million people very happy.”

    • Good one!!!

    • That joke is soooo old! Nothing original. That joke has existed for decades. You only now insert other names to make the joke stick to your beliefs. Nothing original!

      • And he even got it wrong. The 3rd person actually says: “I could throw $10 bills out the window and make 100 people very happy.” Everybody knows this one. It’s often trotted out at political rallies. I remember when it featured Lester Pearson, Réal Caouette and Tommy Douglas…

  12. Mr Wherry – I love your writing,. I hope you have a book in the works. This piece is delightful.

  13. Is this the pizza store that delivers to the High School Cafeteria?

  14. How long can Nigel Wright put up with this?
    Every cell of his human integrity, decency, character is being questioned and corrupted.
    As I understand it, until he became associated with Harper, he was well respected, and much admired in business and party circles. As we used to say, a real christian gentleman.

  15. If our government were a pizza shop it would be shut down by the board of health.

    • Yeah but didn’t they cut down on the number of inspectors? (Yeah, yeah, I know, its a municipal responsibility . . . )

  16. The real truth when it comes out must be extremely damaging to the PM. Why else would he willingly take these hits to his political reputation?
    Show us the $90K cheque!

  17. I find it incredibly hypocritical of the NDP to be questioning the party paying for members’ legal fees. This is the same NDP that had no problem giving a loan to NDP MP Pat Martin to pay off his defamation suit. And that loan was subsequently paid off by bribes Pat Martin accepted from certain unions. Yet somehow the NDP are totally fine with an MP taking bribes to pay legal fees, but apparently against political parties paying for legal fees, unless of course it’s simply a loan until the MP can find someone to offer a bribe.

    • Thanks for bringing us back to the real point of this article, Rick.

      • He is bringing you back to the real point of this article: the point of this article is to ignore what goes on in all parties! That is the point of the article!

        • Are you two sharing a brain?

  18. Trudeau really hates this whole thing. His competence as an Opposition leader pales in comparison to Mulcair who appears to know the facts are less important than creating the proper inferences in the minds of observers. It may be a fatal blow for Trudeau, a saving performance for Mulcair. But Harper, who by now has chased down asl the ‘who knew what and when’ facts is on the firmest ground. He knows what the others’ don’t. He knows how thin the ice Duffy treads and can take satisfaction in the fact Duffy refuses to make the same allegations without the protection of Parliamentary privilege.

    It’s certainly obvious to anyone outside the Ottawa orbit that Senate heads must roll. Perhaps Trudeau fears Harb’s doings and fate will tar him and so wants to say as little as possible. But that’s being kind. It appears to be incompetence. David Lewis, Joe Clark, John Turner, Ed Broadbent, Preston Manning and Michael Ignatieff all did much better than Trudeau in opposition robes. Without Senators to apologize for, Mulcair has both Harper and Trudeau where he wants them, but mostly Trudeau. Harper will survive, I believe, but Trudeau may be toast, he with his QP notes in hand, shakily reading every word, belying his past as a drama teacher.

  19. The “Harper Special” pizza Cons are cooking up is touted as being topped with double anchovies but it turns out instead those fish are red herrings!

  20. As stephen walks into the room … shall we all be require now … to jump up and salute him … Sieg Harper .. Sieg Harper … Sieg Harper …

  21. The Bay Street “Wonder Boy” Nigel Wright DOES NOT
    GIVE AWAY HIS OWN MONEY! Not a single
    dime came out of Wright’s pocket!

    It would be a simple matter of Nigel Wright INVOICING the “Conservative
    Fund of Canada” account (the Conservative Party’s –> taxpayer-subsidized
    war chest <—-) multiple times for some phoney "Financial Consultant
    Fees" to accrue back the $90K. CPC
    treates that Fund's coffer as their private "Honey Pot."

    Are there any conversations between Conservative Senator
    Irving Gerstein (Harper’s bagman) and the PMO about Nigel getting paid back
    from the “Conservative Fund of Canada” — the federal party’s war chest Gerstein
    once chaired.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/social/MyTake/mike-duffy-nigel-wright-unanswered-questions_n_3314315_254934263.html

    ….

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