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“We’re due for a positive change,” the haberdasher told Mr. Dion.

“I hope that he’s the guy,” the haberdasher told the reporters who trailed Mr. Dion, interviewing each about the fleeting interaction they’d just had.

Mr. Dion stopped and greeted two women at a cafe, the women of upper-middle-class Toronto seeming to have some fondness for the Liberal leader. He stopped at a homewares store and a man there proclaimed him a “great Canadian hero.” 

At another cafe, an older gentleman teetering on a cane waited to speak with the visiting politician. “I just want to congratulate, Mr. Dion,” he said. “This is where we differ,” announced his female companion, stepping past the crowd.

“The trouble is,” the man said when he got Mr. Dion’s attention, “is that you’re too intelligent for these people.”

To another coffee shop, Mr. Dion approaches a woman just opening a magazine.



“My name is Stephane Dion.

“Oh! For this I get up.”

And so she did and they chatted about her reading material.

Then to a wine store and a discussion of Ontario’s vintages. “It’s improved so much over the years,” he remarked.

“My friend’s a really big fan,” the woman behind the counter gushed. “And she would absolutely just love this.”

And just then the phone rang. And it was her friend, Mary Beth. And while Mr. Dion’s press secretary smiled gleefully and the cameras clicked and the microphones moved in close, the leader of the opposition demanded the phone.

“Mary Beth? Stephane Dion here.”

Not much for small talk, he proceeded with a short review of his carbon tax policy.

“Good idea, eh?” he said.

They made plans for Mary Beth to attend tomorrow morning’s town hall and then said their goodbyes. Most of the cameras moved on, but Mr. Dion hung around for a bit, asking for wine recommendations and promising to have Stornoway’s cook get in touch.

“Thank you so much,” the woman at the wine store sang as Mr. Dion finally made for the door. “Thank you soooo much.”

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