Maxime Bernier (not exactly as shown)
Poor, poor Max. It’s bad enough that his comeback special yesterday had all the class of an off-the-strip Vegas wedding –– all he needed was a velvet cape and some dry ice and… holy crap, that guy looks like Liberace! — but it came on the heels of Le Devoir‘s excellent Hélène Buzzetti-penned piece about how Max’s ‘Jos Louis’ charm initiative in Afghanistan was even more of a dud than originally thought.
He might be from the Beauce, but Max is a city boy at heart –perfect hair, nice cuticles, well-pressed shirts, all that. It’s hardly the stuff of Rick Hillier, to be sure, so someone decided that the then-foreign affairs minister he should man up in front of the Quebec soldiers. The solution? Operation Jos Louis. That’s right: by handing out Jos Louis, Quebec’s favourite blue-collar cakes, it was thought Max would suddenly grow chest hair in the eyes of Quebec’s fighting men. Much unintentional hilarity ensued.
Buzzetti’s story notes that procuring said cakes caused a serious kerfuffle within military ranks, as personnel scrambled to get 2185 Jos Louis cakes onto Bernier’s plane at the last minute. The cost? $972, plus $79.20 mileage for one enterprising Warrant Officer Marc Desgagné, who stormed the likes of Food Basics, Sobeys, No Frills and Wal-Mart in the mucky trenches of Trenton to procure the cakes. In retrospect, Max probably wishes Mr. Desgagné hadn’t shown such courage in battle.