MP lives at ‘popcorn house’
NDP MP Olivia Chow’s Toronto home will be dark for a third year this Halloween. Ever since Sarah Layton, daughter of Chow’s late husband, Jack Layton, was pregnant three years ago, the spooky action has moved to her house. The garage at Chow’s stepdaughter’s house is dressed up with huge fake knives and bones. There is a headless horse and eerie noises. The candy is given out at the back of the garage but it’s so scary that Chow says some kids won’t make the trek. “Sometimes mom and dad are too scared, too,” quips the MP.
Vancouver NDP MP Don Davies says that on Halloween, “I man the candy. It’s the one time of year I don’t have to go door-knocking.” He says he hands out the candies he had always hoped to get when he was a kid: the good chocolate bars. “Dentists love me. Parents don’t.”
Toronto Liberal MP Kirsty Duncan was born on Halloween. But that did not mean any extra treats. Her mother was a phys. ed. teacher and took health seriously “so we do not hand out any candy,” says Duncan, who currently stays at her parents’ home when she is in Toronto to help take care of her father. “All the kids know it’s the popcorn house.”
MP eyes rules for cosmetic contacts
Conservative MP Patricia Davidson has introduced her private member’s bill that would amend Canada’s Food and Drugs Act so that non-corrective cosmetic contact lenses are treated the same way as prescription contacts. The bill stemmed, in part, from her own staff members running into problems with cosmetic contacts, which they use to change their eye colour. Says Davidson, “Eyesight is something I value highly. I have very poor eyesight and always wear strong prescription glasses.” She has never worn contacts herself because “I don’t like things in my eyes.” As Halloween approaches, she says, people need to be careful if they choose to wear crazy contacts as part of their costume.
Where’s the limo?
Steven Blaney, minister of veterans affairs, recently participated in a military training exercise in Quebec’s Charlevoix area organized by 35 Canadian Brigade Group. Hundreds of reservists were part of the exercise, which ended in the crossing of the St. Lawrence River aboard inflatable boats to attack “the enemy” located at the eastern tip of Isle-aux-Coudres. Soldiers played the part of the wounded. Mannequins were used to mimic dead bodies. The soldiers had two questions for the minister. The first was, “Where is your limousine?” (He just came in a car.) The second was, “Where are your bodyguards?”
MP contemplates heart tattoo
NDP MP Glenn Thibeault is contemplating getting a fourth tattoo. Two that he currently has are symbolic of his daughters’ names: a trillium for his daughter Trinity and a sun for Thea. The third is his family’s coat of arms. The fourth may be a heart, he says, inspired in part by the phrase in Jack Layton’s last letter to Canadians, “Love is better than anger,” and also by the Ed Hardy design of a heart with nails through it on his new BlackBerry cover. He recently purchased the cover because he kept dropping his phone. Since getting the new case he has dropped it at least once.
Whole lot of leader
There is an abundance of leadership contenders in the Bloc Québécois, which currently has only four MPs. Jean-François Fortin, the sole rookie Bloc MP to be elected in the vote that decimated the party, is running for leader. Maria Mourani, first elected in 2006, is also running for leader. Louis Plamondon, the dean of the House, who was first elected in 1984 as a Progressive Conservative, is the current interim leader for the Bloc. That leaves only one Bloc MP, André Bellavance, who has no leadership ambitions in the short or long term.