Laureen’s letter to China and the tree-planting MP

Mitchel Raphael on Laureen’s letter to China and the tree-planting MP

Photograph by Mitchel Raphael

‘As Canadian as the maple leaf’

Sen. Mike Duffy is championing Anne of Green Gables in China. He has been working with Duncan McIntosh, president of the firm Anne in China Inc. as well as artistic director of the Montgomery Theatre in P.E.I., which promotes the works of Lucy Maud Montgomery. McIntosh says the 30,000 copies already translated into Mandarin have almost all been sold, so he is pushing to get more printed. Aside from bringing the popular story to China, the hope is to get Chinese tourists to come to P.E.I. in the same way Japanese visitors flock to the island because of Anne mania. The introduction to the book includes a message from Laureen Harper, which was arranged by Duffy. Mrs. Harper writes: “The story you are about to read is as Canadian as the maple leaf on our national flag, yet it has been enjoyed by tens of millions of readers all over the world. I think the reason Anne of Green Gables has won the hearts of readers from so many countries is because the story and the characters transcend linguistic and cultural differences . . . I hope you find yourself wanting to explore more of Anne’s world, and I invite you to come to Canada and visit beautiful Prince Edward Island.”

Political fashion leader

NDP leadership hopeful Niki Ashton was in an Ottawa Harry Rosen store recently getting her husband a Christmas gift. “Why aren’t you out campaigning?” said the salesman. He confessed that his party is No. 3 in the House. The Liberal supporter wished Ashton luck and congratulated her on making a smart fashion choice for her husband. On the fashion front, Ashton says she intends to avoid pantsuits for her leadership campaign, and if she does wear one, she will work hard to balance it with a fabulous shirt. After the first debate, a friend told her that the patent leather collar she had on was sure to “get you the gay vote.” At 29, Ashton is the youngest person running to lead the NDP. She will be 33 when the next election comes around in four years. Ashton notes that Manitoba’s Ed Schreyer was in his 30s when he became premier and 43 when he was selected to be governor general by Pierre Trudeau in 1978. Schreyer recently threw his support behind NDP leadership candidate and Quebec MP Thomas Mulcair.

Tree planting with Scott Brison

Nova Scotia Liberal MP Scott Brison still has his Christmas tree from four years ago. Since 2008, the MP has bought live trees he saves and plants in the spring. The past trees consist of an Austrian pine, a Sitka spruce and a blue spruce. This year Brison has a Serbian spruce. The trees have a special place in his front yard in Cheverie, N.S. Tree planting is not just a Christmastime pursuit for Brison; in recent years he has planted 85 apple trees and 600 white spruce at his rural property.

Brotherly love and jokes

Newfoundland Liberal MP Scott Andrews recently got this Christmas joke texted to him from his brother: “Why are politicians like Christmas lights? They all hang around together. Some don’t work. Others aren’t so bright.”

Tory picks CBC over CPAC

Ontario Tory MP Chris Alexander was recently double booked in the House foyer to appear on both French CPAC and on Evan Solomon’s Power & Politics on CBC. In the end he chose CBC to talk about border security.

Moustaches till Manuary?

Movember moustaches have come and gone, but several Liberal MPs are still sporting facial hair. Justin Trudeau has convinced others like Scott Simms to keep them for an event at the Liberal convention in mid-January that Trudeau has dubbed “Manuary.”

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