Today's news: Ted Menzies is a gentleman -

Today’s news: Ted Menzies is a gentleman

The newly retired parliamentarian leaves big shoes to fill


Adrian Wyld/CP

“Ted Menzies is a gentleman of the type that one rarely encounters in politics.” —NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, after respected MP Menzies announced his retirement

Parliamentarians don’t spend much time talking about how much they like each other. Peter Stoffer, the affable MP from the east coast, is a rare and constant exception. He’s always had a lock on the Most Collegial award doled out at Maclean’s annual Parliamentarian of the Year Awards (seriously: he’s won again and again and again and again, every time since 2006). Once, as we passed each other in the hallway outside of his Centre Block office, Stoffer pointed at me: “You, I like,” he said. “You’re a good man.” We’d never met before.

Turns out, though, Stoffer’s not the only gentleman in the House of Commons. Yesterday, Alberta MP Ted Menzies announced his resignation, effective immediately. Accolades spilled out of Ottawa. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was effusive in praise. “Ted has been a strong voice and advocate for Alberta, and a valued member within our caucus,” he said. Not surprising, perhaps, given Harper’s kinship with colleagues from his home province.

But the other side of the aisle said nice things, too. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair called Menzies “a gentleman of the type that one rarely encounters in politics.” Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner, who himself has a reputation for conviviality, called Menzies “one of the finest gentlemen I’ve known” in Parliament. NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen, never afraid to fire a shot across the Conservative bow, “always liked Ted.” Former prime minister Joe Clark, an Albertan who is long retired from active politics, thanked Menzies for “outstanding service” to Canada.

Truly, the broader public doesn’t often find out who in Ottawa is respected and respectful until, well, they retire. But at least we now know that Menzies, who’s on to other things, leaves big shoes for the next parliamentarian from Macleod.


What’s above the fold

The Globe and Mail Rob Ford is negotiating a private viewing of the infamous “crack tape.”
National Post Scientists say late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat may have been poisoned.
Toronto Star Ford often met his friend, Alexander Lisi, while city council was in session.
Ottawa Citizen Bank of England Governor Mark Carney met Elizabeth II.
CBC News Mike Duffy is giving hundreds of emails to RCMP investigators.
CTV News Experts say adults should speak openly with their kids about the Ford affair.
National Newswatch See above: CBC News

What you might have missed

THE NATIONAL Oil prices. Canadian oil shipped out of Alberta’s oilsands is, once again, trading at a heavy discount compared to the West Texas Intermediate price south of the border. Analysts had suggested the Canadian price wouldn’t drop as much as last winter, but refinery fires and increased production have pushed the discount to nearly $42.
THE GLOBAL China. Apparent homemade bombs exploded in Taiyuan, a northern city, killing one and injuring eight. The bombs went off outside the provincial headquarters of the Communist Party. Authorities had no word on who was behind the attack, though AP reports it was “reminiscent of the kind of revenge attacks occasionally launched by disgruntled citizens in China.”
THE QUIRKY Break-in. A pair of burglars were arrested by police in Windsor, Ont., after they failed to hide very effectively after breaking into homes on Partington Avenue. One of the burglars sported a bandage on his head, the aftermath of a baseball bat beating at one of the homes. The other signed a stolen cheque in his own name. Police tracked them down.

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Today’s news: Ted Menzies is a gentleman

  1. What you might have missed

    Oh, I think there’s a bigger one you might have missed.


    • You are going to get FV very hot and bothered with that hashtag. Now cut that out.

    • I had no idea what you were talking about. Then I found out.



      • I had no idea what you were talking about.

        That, my friend, is why I do what I do.

        • Thank you for reporting what Nick likes to ignore.

          • I’m not sure what I’m being accused of. I keep losing track. Today, I’m a pro-Justin hack, right?

          • Maybe you could work out a schedule….one day pro-Con, next pro-Lib, next pro-Dip….pro-Green will have to be a wild card I guess.

          • No, EVERYDAY!

          • Not just Nick! Around here they all have selective outrage!

  2. Maybe we should file #askjustin under “What we hope like hell you’ll miss” eh Nick?

    • Really, john, only if you’re silly enough to care about such a thing. I understand why it’s a foolish event, but it is hardly newsworthy — and likely wasn’t even on Twitter when NTV wrote his column for this am. And for the record: I also think that firefighter calendars and stripteasey fundraisers are silly and sexist — but if they bring in cash, then they succeed at what they are trying to do.

      • But the joke is on you!

        Your logic is false.

        If you believe that Nigel Wright was wrong in having made the payment, because according to you he should not have made that payment, then Duffy was wrong all along for having accepted a wrong payment!

        You, and so many others, want it both ways and that is not possible.

        And: NO; charging $250 for sharing a coctail with Justin, does not speak for the middle class but most certainly speaks for the rich.

        • Cons don’t have fundraisers that charge $250? They got millions in the bank by having bake sales?

      • Silly enough to care about sexism? Really?

        Is Scaachi Koul silly?
        Is Lisa Kirbie silly?
        Is Tracey Kent silly?
        Is Kathryn Marshall silly?

        You know who those people are, and who they represent?

        Trudeau’s key demographic. Left leaning women, who don’t like the CPC but are disgusted by the overt sexism.

        How do you think Trudeau fares electorally if he suffers any significant damage to that demographic?

        • Lisa Kirbie has her ta ta’s on Warren’s website – I’m not taking any feminist pointers from her. I think it’s sexist to think that women can’t afford a $250 donation.

          • Really — those are hers? Thank you for pointing that out.

          • Yes – in her role as band groupie.

        • Frankly, anyone who is taking this seriously at the same time as the mayor of our nation’s biggest city is breaking down on camera, and the prime minister is acting like a Roman emperor, down-thumbing senators to disappear — is silly.

          But keep talking about Justin Trudeau; that makes me happy. And no matter how many posts you and your cohort make, it won’t change the channel on the PMO scandal either, trust me.

        • You’re a feminist now, john?

  3. ‘Yasser Arafat may have been poisoned’…..I would have thought that was kind of important, but there’s been very little about it so far.

    • I would be ever so interested in an authoritative book on Arafat and his personal behaviour. There were so many wild rumours about what a naughty boy Arafat was, hard to know what was true.

      • It doesn’t matter what his life was like….killing him is an act of war.

        • Arafat committed his own acts of war, killing Arafat could be considered ending a war.

          • No it couldn’t.

            The war is still going on….and with less reasonable people in charge than he was.

    • Justin wants to put a price on carbon. Why does Nick not ask if Justin Trudeau still speaks to Dion?

      • You into the Valium again areya?

    • Because people don’t generally care about how some old terrorist dies, they just care that he’s dead.

      • One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

        • Typical Liberal. Can’t get yourself to condemn a known and admitted terrorist.

          • LOL vacation Rick…you need one. Before the next Harp disaster… or you’ll be making wubba wubba noises.

  4. David Hume – It is, therefore, a just political maxim that every man must be supposed a knave, though at the same time it appears somewhat strange that a maxim should be true in politics which is false in fact. But to satisfy us on this head we may consider that men are generally more honest in their private than in their public capacity, and will go greater lengths to serve a party than when their own private interest is alone concerned. Honor is a great check upon mankind; but where a considerable body of men act together, this check is in a great measure removed, since a man is sure to be approved of by his own party for what promotes the common interest, and he soon learns to despise the clamors of adversaries.

  5. What Nick might have missed or something went completely over his head:

    If the opposition parties and the media insists that Harper did the wrong thing by agreeing to suspend Duffy, then think again:

    If the media insists that Wright was wrong in having issued the cheque, then Duffy must have been automatically wrong for having accepted such a payment.

    If the issuing of that payment was wrong, then to have accepted that payment must have also been wrong.

    There is no other possibility.

    • Does the PM have the ability suspend a senator? I don’t think so.

      But nobody is accusing Harper of being wrong for that. They’re trying to hold him accountable for what happened in his office, on his watch.

      In Harper’s own words (talking about Paul Martin): “Either he knew and is lying or he didn’t know and is incompetent.”

      • The Liberals spent a week saying that it was wrong to suspend the senators. Trudeau even went so far as to instruct his senators to abstain from voting on it.

        As for the Harper quote, there’s quite a difference between the sponsorship scandal, where the Liberals setup an entire government program to siphon taxpayer money to fund the party, and a staffer writing a single personal check. But I suspect you know that.

        • Ok, nobody HERE is accusing Harper of being wrong for supporting the suspension of the senators.

          And of course the sponsorship scandal was drastically different than this. But the accusation of the PM (“Something bad happened in your office on your watch”) is the same. And the PM’s defense (“I was out of the loop”) is the same.

          And Harper’s quote applies in exactly the same way.

          • No it doesn’t. Because the Sponsorship Scandal was a government run program, whereas here all we have is Nigel Wright cutting a personal check. Do you think the PM inspects the personal finances of his staff? Of course not. There’s a massive gaping difference between the two.

          • Ok, again, you’re comparing the crime. The question is whether the PM knew it was taking place.

            Harper told us that only Nigel Wright knew that an improper payment was made to a senator in trouble. It has since come out that several of his staff, as well as the party’s chief fundraiser and the party lawyer were involved.

            Either Harper knew about this and he’s lying, or he didn’t know about it and is responsible for a culture that deliberately kept him in the dark. Nixon called it “plausible deniability.”

    • If Duffy had not lived in PEI for decades, and everyone knew he owned his house in Ottawa, it was equally wrong for Harper to appoint him, and equally wrong for Duffy to accept it. There is no other possibility.