Life after Parliament Hill for Rahim Jaffer
Former Edmonton Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer says he is now enjoying running his own business. Jaffer is part of GPG Corp., a new company specializing in alternative energy sources. The company will be building a solar farm in Bancroft, Ont. Jaffer says Ontario has a great solar subsidy program and pays people for supplying the power grid. GPG is also looking into a “dragon power system,” which consists of plates on the road that capture kinetic energy from moving vehicles and turn it into electricity. The Chinese, notes Jaffer, are very interested in this because of their huge traffic volumes. He is looking to open an office in China, but that may not sit well with his close friend Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, who has always taken a tough stand on China. “Jason will be mad,” admits Jaffer. “But our government is getting excited about China. Stockwell Day was there. Jim Flaherty was there.” Jaffer and his wife, Helena Guergis, minister of state for the status of women, are looking to buy a house together in the Ottawa area and hope to have children soon. Jaffer says they need a home with large closets. “After all the years I did politics, I have as many clothes as Helena.”
Rona Ambrose coaches hockey
Ontario Tory MP Patrick Brown hosted and played in his second Hockey Night in Barrie charity game at the Barrie Molson Centre. Each team had a mix of players including Conservative MPs such as Gord Brown, Hockey Night in Canada’s Ron MacLean, Olympic medallist goalie Sami Jo Small and former and current NHL players like Brian Little of the Atlanta Thrashers. Also in attendance, but not playing, was former NHLer Eddie Shack. Bringing some comedy to the game with an animal print protective cup was Marc Hickox from the TV show Rent-a-Goalie. Coaches included Labour Minister Rona Ambrose for the white team and Helena Guergis for the blue team. Defence Minister Peter MacKay played for the whites. His arm is still not at 100 per cent after being broken in a rugby match on Parliament Hill. Ambrose told the medic on site to make sure MacKay wasn’t in pain and to get him off the ice if he was. The medic said, “He won’t let me pull him.” Ambrose’s firm response: “I’ll pull him if I have to.” She also asked MacKay’s team members Aaron Johnson of the Chicago Blackhawks and his brother Cory Johnson to keep an eye on their fellow Nova Scotian. The event raised $121,000 for Barrie’s Royal Victoria Hospital. Team Blue won 15-13.
Olivia Chow plans to stick it to John Baird
Toronto NDP MP Olivia Chow has 5,000 screws on order for a community art project intended to stick it to Transport Minister John Baird who famously told Toronto to “f— off.” The screws will be put into giant wood letters spelling “screwed” as part of a festival in Toronto’s Kensington Market. Chow says this is her reply to Baird for shortchanging Toronto on infrastructure dollars to help stimulate the economy. Chow consulted with two carpenters to find out what the best kind of wood would be to hold so many screws. She plans to bring the giant letters to Ottawa sometime after the event. While this is their first big federal showdown, it’s not the first time Baird and Chow have clashed politically. Baird was part of the Progressive Conservative government in Ontario when it made radical changes to the welfare system. Chow, who was a Toronto city councillor at the time, says she went on a “welfare diet” to demonstrate to Baird, who was by then minister of community and social services, that no one could survive on the reduced amount of support. On a personal level, the two get along fine. Both say they respect the fact that each is clear in the positions they take.