Why Paul Dewar needs to stay out of Ottawa

Mitchel Raphael on why Paul Dewar needs to stay out of Ottawa

Photograph by Mitchel Raphael

Hockey team riding on MP’s schedule

More and more people are throwing their names into the NDP leadership race. Candidates who are also MPs, such as Peggy Nash and Paul Dewar, have to give up their critic areas. Unlike when the Liberals had a big leadership race in 2006, NDP leadership candidates who are MPs will still be able to ask questions in question period if it is related to their riding. They will also keep the House seats they were assigned. The Liberals made their leadership candidates sit next to the Bloc to minimize the amount of face time they would get on TV. Dewar, whose riding is Ottawa Centre, has been travelling a lot more, and one of the Hill security guards has joked that when the MP is out of town, the Ottawa Senators hockey team wins its games.

Is that jacket sealskin?

MPs are sporting their poppies for Remembrance Day. NDP MP John Rafferty put his poppy right through what looked liked a suede suit jacket. He later confessed to Capital Diary that it was in fact microfibre. Rafferty joked, “But when seal protesters are out, I tell them it’s sealskin.” Tory Sen. Nancy Ruth sported a white poppy for peace, a symbol worn by former New Democrat leader Alexa McDonough in the past.

Where were you before WikiLeaks?

After Oliver’s Twist: The Life and Times of an Unapologetic Newshound, CTV television icon Craig Oliver says he won’t write another book. He started this one over 15 years ago, but says it ate up most of his free time in the last year. Former political journalist Don Newman, a retired broadcaster who was with the CBC for 33 years, first told Capital Diary he has no plans to write a book. Then he added, “Well, I’ll see how well Craig’s does financially.” Newman is the advisory board chairman of Canada 2020, which bills itself as a “non-partisan, progressive centre created to provide policy options and ideas for Canadian decision makers and leaders.” The organization recently hosted a conference at the Fairmont Château Laurier entitled, “The Canada-U.S. Partnership: Enhancing the Innovation Ecosystem.” Guests included Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson. Awards were given to youth innovators; one winner, Milan Vrekic, came up with, a way to manage large confidential electronic documents and allow the owner of a document to monitor who has access to it, who opened it and when. “I wish you were around before WikiLeaks,” quipped Jacobson.

Elizabeth May’s teddy bear

As Green Leader Elizabeth May recovers from her second hip surgery, her doctors have told her to avoid using bags that sling over one shoulder, so May has taken to using a backpack: a teddy bear one that her daughter, Victoria Kate, now in university, used when she was eight.

Mo-jority government

Many MPs have started growing a moustache for Movember, the prostate awareness campaign that launched this month. Liberal MP Scott Simms plans to grow a handlebar moustache to look like Harry Shearer in This is Spinal Tap or, he says, “any male from the year 1974.” When interim Liberal leader Bob Rae entered a caucus meeting sporting a fake white moustache, Simms quipped, “You look like the the guy from Monopoly.” Several MPs, such as the NDP’s Peter Stoffer and Conservative Larry Miller, shaved off their moustaches to start afresh. Miller said he didn’t tell his wife he was doing it and the next time he would see her would be when he got home to his riding at 1 a.m. “She’s going to think there is a stranger in the bed when I kiss her on the cheek,” he joked. The Liberal Movember team is going by the name Libros and the NDP are De-Mo-crats. Liberal MP Justin Trudeau suggested the Tories be “Strong, Stable Mo-jority Government.”

Looking for more?

Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.