“Ted Menzies is a gentleman of the type that one rarely encounters in politics.” —NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, after respected MP Menzies announced his retirement
Parliamentarians don’t spend much time talking about how much they like each other. Peter Stoffer, the affable MP from the east coast, is a rare and constant exception. He’s always had a lock on the Most Collegial award doled out at Maclean’s annual Parliamentarian of the Year Awards (seriously: he’s won again and again and again and again, every time since 2006). Once, as we passed each other in the hallway outside of his Centre Block office, Stoffer pointed at me: “You, I like,” he said. “You’re a good man.” We’d never met before.
Turns out, though, Stoffer’s not the only gentleman in the House of Commons. Yesterday, Alberta MP Ted Menzies announced his resignation, effective immediately. Accolades spilled out of Ottawa. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was effusive in praise. “Ted has been a strong voice and advocate for Alberta, and a valued member within our caucus,” he said. Not surprising, perhaps, given Harper’s kinship with colleagues from his home province.
But the other side of the aisle said nice things, too. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair called Menzies “a gentleman of the type that one rarely encounters in politics.” Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner, who himself has a reputation for conviviality, called Menzies “one of the finest gentlemen I’ve known” in Parliament. NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen, never afraid to fire a shot across the Conservative bow, “always liked Ted.” Former prime minister Joe Clark, an Albertan who is long retired from active politics, thanked Menzies for “outstanding service” to Canada.
Truly, the broader public doesn’t often find out who in Ottawa is respected and respectful until, well, they retire. But at least we now know that Menzies, who’s on to other things, leaves big shoes for the next parliamentarian from Macleod.
What’s above the fold
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|National Newswatch||See above: CBC News|
What you might have missed
|THE NATIONAL||Oil prices. Canadian oil shipped out of Alberta’s oilsands is, once again, trading at a heavy discount compared to the West Texas Intermediate price south of the border. Analysts had suggested the Canadian price wouldn’t drop as much as last winter, but refinery fires and increased production have pushed the discount to nearly $42.|
|THE GLOBAL||China. Apparent homemade bombs exploded in Taiyuan, a northern city, killing one and injuring eight. The bombs went off outside the provincial headquarters of the Communist Party. Authorities had no word on who was behind the attack, though AP reports it was “reminiscent of the kind of revenge attacks occasionally launched by disgruntled citizens in China.”|
|THE QUIRKY||Break-in. A pair of burglars were arrested by police in Windsor, Ont., after they failed to hide very effectively after breaking into homes on Partington Avenue. One of the burglars sported a bandage on his head, the aftermath of a baseball bat beating at one of the homes. The other signed a stolen cheque in his own name. Police tracked them down.|