Mitchel Raphael on who's in charge if the PM gets swine flu

And the biker movie party

Which MPs are getting the swine flu shot?

When it comes to the H1N1 vaccine, some MPs are weighing their options. Trade Minister Stockwell Day says he will talk to his doctor; he never gets even the regular flu shots. Justin Trudeau has also never had a regular flu shot, but is considering getting the H1N1 vaccine since he is now a father. NDP Leader Jack Layton and his MP wife, Olivia Chow, always get their flu shots and will get the H1N1 vaccine when it is widely available. Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla, who is also a chiropractor, will get it too. She also always gets her flu shots. Because of his asthma, Stephen Harper would be considered in the high-risk category, but he plans to wait a while. (Eventually the PM and his family will all be vaccinated against H1N1.) Should the PM become incapacitated for any reason, not just swine flu, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon has been chosen by Harper to take over, since the Tories have no deputy PM.

Unfortunately, he hates fish. Especially cod.

The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance held a reception to persuade MPs to create a federal aquaculture act. The group wants to streamline the current set of complicated federal and provincial laws regarding fish and seafood farms. Helping to organize the reception was the government relations firm Summa Strategies. Unfortunately, Conservative commentator and Summa VP Tim Powers had to stay away from the mouth-watering fish and seafood spread at Ottawa’s Crowne Plaza Hotel. Powers is allergic to shellfish, but besides that, he hates fish because his mother used to boil cod every morning to feed to the cats. An attendee joked that his aversion to fish was the reason Powers left Newfoundland. One person who gave the food the thumbs-up was Gail Shea, minister of fisheries and oceans. The P.E.I. MP told Capital Diary there is nothing she likes to do more than go out on a boat lobster fishing. She can get the elastics around the claws and says she has never been pinched.

He’s the Brad Pitt of Quebec

Heritage Minister James Moore held a special screening of the Quebec film De père en flic at the National Gallery of Canada. This is the second film screening and reception Moore has hosted since becoming minister. The first was for the movie One Week. Both films have motorcycles in them and coincidently Moore happens to ride a motorcycle. De père en flic is about biker gangs, a father-son police team that goes undercover, and a reconciliation. Seated together in the theatre was Denis Coderre, who resigned in a huff as the Liberals’ Quebec lieutenant, and Pablo Rodriguez, who was named president of the federal Liberal Quebec caucus after Montreal Liberal MP Marc Garneau stepped down in order to replace Coderre. MPs of all stripes wanted their picture taken with the film’s star Michel Côté. “He is the Brad Pitt of Quebec,” quipped Bloc MP Christiane Gagnon. The film had MPs rolling in the aisles. Bloc MP Serge Ménard, a former Quebec justice and public security minister who knows a thing or two about biker gangs, noted “there was enough fantasy in it to make us laugh. Nothing was realistic.” Conservative MP Shelly Glover, a police officer on leave, agreed with Ménard about the depiction of the bikers. She knows a lot about bikers, she says, “because that was my [police officer] husband’s expertise.” Glover had just one complaint about the screening: no popcorn.

An MP’s Manitoba childhood

The passage of Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner’s private member’s bill brings the demise of the long-gun registry one step closer. Has she herself ever owned a long gun? No, the Manitoba MP says, but her father used to have one and when she was 11 he let her shoot gophers with it.