Why Stephen Harper might be a little envious of Jean Chrétien

Tease the day: Wakeboarding sure looks like more fun than a parliamentary grilling


 

Graham Hughes/CP

The contrast was stark.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper took a grilling from NDP Leader Tom Mulcair in the House of Commons. Harper remained calm, but he was on his feet much more than usual, and he was forced on the defensive. Now that the Senate’s internal economy committee has referred the Duffy-Wright affair to the RCMP, the prime minister can’t expect a much better day. When he meets his caucus later on today, he can’t expect to be all smiles.

And then there’s the case of 79-year-old Jean Chrétien, the former prime minister who makes headlines at the snap of a finger. Chrétien, whose political afterlife looks like a barrel of fun, apparently tried his hand at wakeboarding off the coast of North Carolina. Huffington Post Canada remarked that the old PM “proves he’s cooler than you” in a video that demonstrates his water-borne chops. There’s a man who knows how to kick back.

Certainly, Harper doesn’t admire much about Chrétien. But this morning, he can be forgiven for feeling a little envious.


What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with the Senate’s referral of the Duffy-Wright affair to the RCMP, as well as Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s first appearance in the House of Commons since the scandal broke. The National Post fronts former prime minister Jean Chrétien wakeboarding in North Carolina. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with the Senate’s referral of the Duffy-Wright affair to the RCMP. The Ottawa Citizen leads with Treasury Board President Tony Clement’s introduction of new performance management practices in the federal public service. iPolitics fronts desperate Conservative attempts to deflect criticism to the opposition. CBC.ca leads with severe flooding of Toronto’s Don Valley Parkway, which is under a foot of water. National Newswatch showcases an Ottawa Citizen story about Senator Mike Duffy’s whereabouts during a committee meeting that discussed his controversial expense claims—turns out, he was at home in suburban Kanata.


Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Military. The Canadian Armed Forces ombudsman says personnel who are forced to relocate are waiting too long—several years, in some cases—to be compensated for the cost of moving. 2. Electoral laws. Marc Mayrand, Canada’s chief electoral officer, says the feds haven’t asked for his input as it prepares electoral reform legislation—even though he’s made recommendations.
3. Robocalls. Both the Ontario PC Party and Alberta’s Wildrose Party were fined by the CRTC—$90,000 and $85,000, respectively—for making automated calls to voters that didn’t identify the caller. 4. Bilingualism. The proportion of Canadians who speak both official languages has dropped for the first time in 40 years, to 17.5 per cent, even though it’s on the rise, sitting at 42 per cent, in Quebec.


 
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Why Stephen Harper might be a little envious of Jean Chrétien

    • “A dynesty with the Fords”, is how he described it.

  1. Dirt loves Swiffer Steve.

  2. Not only is Stevie boy envious of ol Jean .. he has studied and sat at his masters feet – Harper has as much as said that it is Jean he learned from if there are two PM’s who if you sit back and look at how they got things done – share a great deal. Chretien was the ultimate attack dog for Pierre and i can remember chairing a committee and when ol Jean walked in the room no one would look at him directly in the eye. The man was the meanest and most focused SOB I have ever met and when you shook hands with him he had a grip like a bricklayer and he like Stevie boy look you straight in the eye and if you are negotiating with either of them you better have your ducks in a row – Harper even shakes hands like Jean you get the same feeling of intimidation from both of them.

    • Harper doesn’t look people in the eye. He’s one of those down and to the side types, like Lady Di.

      • Don’t kid yourself. Harper comes at you like a truck.

  3. Harper is cut from the same cloth as Mulroney. A smooth, cool, unruffled shell around a jealous, controlling and manipulative centre. When Mulroney left Kim Campbell holding the bag, citizens spoke with their votes. It’s going to happen again.

    He has done democracy a great favour however – voter turnout in the next election is bound to be higher.