When politicians don’t want to shine
NDP Leader Jack Layton has switched his brand of TV makeup from MAC to Cover FX. The effects have been so good that his assistant, who until recently did Layton’s makeup for him, has switched to the line herself. Better coverage and less shine were the main selling points. The plus side for the NDP is the fact that Cover FX is a Canadian company and one of the few camouflage makeup lines approved by PETA. Cover FX was developed first at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital to help burn victims and those with severe skin disorders. Now celebrities such as Angelina Jolie have adopted the line (she’s said to use it to cover her tattoos). Stephen Harper, according to a PMO staffer, uses MAC foundation; former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff also used MAC. Current Liberal interim Leader Bob Rae’s makeup tips remain a state secret.
A summer of guns and Grisham
In the summer, Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner juggles several books. Right now she’s on John Ralston Saul’s Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin; she also intends to read John Grisham’s latest. Part of her summer is being taken up responding to letters of support for her private member’s bill to scrap the long-gun registry, which was defeated while the Conservatives had a minority. Before the summer break, Hoeppner was made parliamentary secretary to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, which many saw as a nod to her performance on the long-gun registry issue. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird called her “Hurricane Candice” because of the storm she whipped up when she went to town hall meetings. Hoeppner is still getting pressure from groups who want to see even less gun regulation. However, she anticipates that the government bill to scrap the long-gun registry will be pretty close, if not identical to, her private member’s bill, which had the support of some NDP MPs. This time around, she says, it will be interesting to see which NDPers still vote in favour of scrapping the registry. NDP MPs Malcolm Allen and Glenn Thibeault, who had been in favour of scrapping the registry and then changed their minds during the last session of Parliament and the final vote that killed Hoeppner’s bill, said their votes to keep it had minimal effects on them in the last election.
Digital critic’s love affair with vinyl
For his summer reading, NDP MP Charlie Angus is working on Road of Bones: The Siege of Kohima 1944—The Epic Story of the Last Great Stand of Empire by Fergal Keane, and A New History of Jazz by Alyn Shipton. He has also written Public Safety Minister Vic Toews about the Conservatives’ omnibus crime bill, specifically about the inclusion of what he refers to as the “snooping law.” Angus says this would allow police to access electronic communications like emails without a warrant. The MP notes the warrants are easy to get but still provide a safeguard for people’s privacy. Angus says the Conservatives have tried to pass this kind of law before, but this time their majority in the House and Senate means it will eventually go through. Angus says Toews’s predecessor, Stockwell Day, had promised to guarantee police would need judicial approval before accessing digital communications. Angus is the NDP’s privacy and digital affairs critic. He says no other party has someone dedicated to digital affairs. Back home, however, the northern Ontario MP is taking a step back from the digital world. “I’ve gone back to analog,” says Angus. The MP, who used to be in the punk rock band L’Étranger, is buying records again because he feels the sound quality is much better. Plus, his kids made him get rid of the CD player; they’ve also gone the vinyl route.