By Mitchel Raphael - Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 0 Comments
MPs and Senators celebrated Chinese New Year at the Government Conference Centre in Ottawa….
MPs and Senators celebrated Chinese New Year at the Government Conference Centre in Ottawa. The event was put on by the Chinese New Year Celebration Committee. The Year of the Snake celebration saw Liberal Sen. Mac Harb was dressed as the God of Fortune.
By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 10:15 PM - 0 Comments
MPs helped packed the ballroom of the Fairmont Château Laurier for a reception put…
MPs helped packed the ballroom of the Fairmont Château Laurier for a reception put on by the Dairy Farmers of Canada.
By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 12:00 PM - 0 Comments
Pat Martin puts on his beaver hat for Idle No More, while Olivia Chow will be looking more serious after partial facial paralysis.
Pat Martin revisits the beaver?
Idle No More protesters greeted MPs for their first day back on the Hill for 2013. When NDP MP Pat Martin went out to support the protesters he put on his beaver fur hat, which he bought 20 years ago in the Yukon. He said it is not often that he gets to wear it. No word on whether the hat was a quiet reference to the infamous time he said in the House, when attacking the Conservatives for dismantling the Canadian Wheat Board, “The Canadian beaver will bite off its own testicles when it is threatened and offer them up to its tormentors.”
Why Chow is not smiling
Toronto NDP MP Olivia Chow has recovered slightly from a viral infection that left part of her face paralyzed. She can now close her left eye with some effort, something she was unable to do before. She still needs to use drops to keep it from drying out. She also has to massage the left side of her face and do blowing exercises as part of the healing process. She quipped that she will be looking more serious for a while because the partial paralysis is mostly visible when she smiles. Why it’s fun in the whip’s office Calgary Tory MP Michelle Rempel has spilled a Conservative secret. During House duty on the first day back, she popped into the office of chief government whip Gordon O’Connor, where she says there is always a stash of chocolates. She managed to score a few individually wrapped Turtles. Continue…
By Mitchel Raphael - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 10:16 PM - 0 Comments
Mitchel Raphael takes in the Speaker’s second annual celebration of the Scottish bard
Speaker Andrew Scheer hosted his second a Robbie Burns dinner on Wednesday evening on Parliament Hill.
By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:00 AM - 0 Comments
‘This is a moment in history when change arrives,’ AFN chief Shawn Atleo said. ‘You are the change we’ve been waiting for.’
Hundreds of Idle No More protesters gathered on Parliament Hill on Monday to welcome MPs back to the start of the 2013 session.
“This is a moment in history when change arrives,” AFN chief Shawn Atleo told the crowd. “You are the change that we’ve been waiting for.”
By Mitchel Raphael - Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 10:38 PM - 0 Comments
The big Wynne! Kathleen Wynne wins the Ontario Liberal leadership race in Toronto. Teachers…
The big Wynne! Kathleen Wynne wins the Ontario Liberal leadership race in Toronto. Teachers and others protest outside (including an eagle).
By Mitchel Raphael - Friday, January 11, 2013 at 1:22 PM - 0 Comments
Elizabeth May recalls going 17 days without food
On Dec 11, Theresa Spence began her hunger strike with only water, medicinal tea and fish broth as sustenance. Many opposition MPs spent time with the Attawapiskat chief to offer support. Some have had ﬁrst-hand experience with hunger strikes and fasts.
In 2001, Green leader Elizabeth May, then executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada, went on a 17-day hunger strike. She was demanding the Liberal government relocate families living near the Sydney Tar Ponds toxic waste site in Cape Breton. Once health minister Allan Rock agreed to meet her demands, she ate a strawberry. Her choice of what to eat first came from a friend who said it was a First Nations tradition. Continue…
By Mitchel Raphael - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 9:59 PM - 0 Comments
The Fairmont Château Laurier held their annual holiday party with everything from sushi to…
The Fairmont Château Laurier held their annual holiday party with everything from sushi to plum pudding.
By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 11:54 PM - 0 Comments
Mitchel Raphael celebrates the season with the Opposition
The NDP held their annual holiday party in the Hall of Honour. Great lighting, booze bars, an oyster bar and food stations were spread over the Hall and and adjoining meeting rooms. It was one of the best parties held on the Hill.
By Mitchel Raphael - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 10:02 PM - 0 Comments
Photos by Mitchel Raphael
Liberals gathered at the Westin Hotel for their annual holiday party. Northern Ontario MP Bruce Hyer, who quit the NDP to sit as an Independent, was the date of Liberal leadership candidate and MP Joyce Murray.
By Mitchel Raphael - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 12:55 PM - 0 Comments
House leader Peter Van Loan with a basket of candy. WIll leave the captions…
House leader Peter Van Loan with a basket of candy. WIll leave the captions to the readers :)
By Mitchel Raphael - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 12:21 PM - 0 Comments
Yesterday leaders attending the Assembly of First Nations annual meeting took their their battle…
Yesterday leaders attending the Assembly of First Nations annual meeting took their their battle to the Hill. They protested against the budget bill being voted on that night and then had a spontaneous face-to-face meeting with Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver after they were led into the House of Commons foyer by NDP MP Charlie Angus. Northern Ontario MP Angus said he asked Oliver to meet some of the chiefs and the minister obliged. Some chiefs tried to force their way into the House but were met by security.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 12:17 AM - 0 Comments
Nestlé Canada held a special reception at The Westin Ottawa for MPs and folks…
Nestlé Canada held a special reception at The Westin Ottawa for MPs and folks on the Hill. The night highlighted some of their products. “You make Häagen-Dazs” was a popular line when people found out Nestlé Canada had the rights to produce it in this country.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 12:02 AM - 0 Comments
My Babysitter’s a Vampire won this year’s Shaw Rocket Prize of $50,000. The award …
My Babysitter’s a Vampire won this year’s Shaw Rocket Prize of $50,000. The award recognizes the best in Canadian kids’ programming. On hand to help with the presentation at the Fairmont Château Laurier was Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Diane Finley.
By Mitchel Raphael - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 9:50 PM - 0 Comments
A photo gallery by Mitchel Raphael
MPs and Hill staff gathered at the Government Conference Centre for the annual All-Party Party — an opportunity for MPs to thank those who sweep their floors and carry their binders.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 12:59 AM - 0 Comments
Photo gallery from a party of parties at the Château Laurier
MPs, senators and the media gathered in the Adam Room of the The Fairmont Château Laurier for the 6th annual Parliamentarians of the Year awards ceremony.
Green Leader Elizabeth May was named Parliamentarian of the Year. Follow this link to a complete list of results.
By macleans.ca - Friday, November 16, 2012 at 10:15 AM - 0 Comments
One Ottawa bakery is celebrating the President’s reelection; and Liberal party hopefuls talk legalization
The issue that has Justin ‘evolving’
Liberal MP Joyce Murray was giving the thumbs up as the U.S. election unfolded, with Washington and Colorado approving propositions to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Murray, a former B.C. cabinet minister likely to enter the Liberal leadership race, says that while the party’s official position on pot is legalization, many in her caucus are not supportive. (Young Liberals successfully pushed for approval at recent conventions.) Liberal leadership front-runner Justin Trudeau had been against legalization, but now says, “I’ve certainly evolved from conversations with supporters and Liberals. I am fully a supporter of decriminalization. I think the time has come for that. I am actually very open to legalization and specifically tax and regulation the way they are calling it in the States. It’s something I am looking forward to having a lot of serious discussion about.” Still, Trudeau says smoking marijuana is part of a larger problem: “As a society we are trying to convince people to live healthier lives. Not smoke so much. Not drink so much. I am worried about the message we are sending in that sense.”
Obama and the three cookies
A huge “phew” was heard in Ottawa’s ByWard Market after Barack Obama was re-elected President. Obama made his first international visit to Ottawa in February 2009. He famously stopped in at the historic market, where he purchased three maple-leaf-shaped shortbread cookies from bakery Le Moulin de Provence. Since then, the demand for the cookies has been incredible. Shop owner Claude Bonnet says before the visit he maybe sold 800 a month. At the post-Obama peak, he was turning out 20,000. It is now steady at 5,000 a month. The “Obama cookies,” as they are now called, are made from one custom-made copper cookie cutter and each one is hand-painted with red icing. Several government agencies buy the cookies in bulk to take to the U.S. to promote Canadian tourism. The cookies can also be purchased with a metal container, which includes a Barack Obama coaster and comes in a box that says “Ottawa.”
Back in 2009, that Obama visit was a blessing for the shop. A local bus strike had hurt business dramatically. Afterwards, Bonnet had to hire more staff to meet demand. Bonnet never thought he would sell this many cookies in his life. But even if Mitt Romney had won, he claims he still would have kept making the Obama cookies and maintaining his photo shrine to the U.S. President. Says Bonnet: “He made history by being the first black President. This situation is special. He is something unique. It’s the first time we saw a U.S. President on the street here.” The cookies sell for $2.45 each—the same price Obama paid for them in 2009.
By Mitchel Raphael - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 10:32 PM - 0 Comments
The Royal Canadian Geographical Society held their 2012 Fellows Dinner in Ottawa at the…
The Royal Canadian Geographical Society held their 2012 Fellows Dinner in Ottawa at the Museum of Civilization. Dan Aykroyd and his wife Donna Dixon-Aykroyd were inducted into the College of Fellows.
By Mitchel Raphael - Sunday, November 11, 2012 at 11:34 AM - 0 Comments
World War Two veteran Lloyd Swick… was on the Hill last month talking to
World War Two veteran Lloyd Swick was on the Hill last month talking to MPs about his monument to animals who served in war. Swick’s Animals in War Dedication Project was inspired when he saw the Animals in War Memorial in London. He asked himself, “Why does Canada not have a similar memorial?” From horses who moved field guns in World War One to the glow worms kept in bottles and used in dark trenches, Swick wanted the non-human contribution to wars remembered. The project costs $160, 000 and Swick is still looking for donations. David Clendining is the sculptor who made the monument. He has been sculpting since the ’70s and his work is all over Ottawa’s Confederation Boulevard. The animal war memorial consists of three parts. One section honours horses, another mules and the third dogs. Clendining notes the mules were based on photos. For the horses, he said he went out to places near his home in Ottawa. But “the dog is 90% my old German Shepard, Lucky.” The making of the monument has taken Clendining nearly one and a half years and went through three versions. Footprints of the three animals depicted have been placed on the ground leading up to the memorial. Laureen Harper is the project’s honourary patron and NDP MP Peter Stoffer has been a big supporter. It was at a Remembrance Day service in 2009 that Swick turned to Stoffer, not knowing he was an MP, and mentioned the importance of honouring war animals. Stoffer agreed and told him the National Capital Commission was holding hearings for commemorations and suggested Swick pitch his idea. The memorial was officially unveiled in Ottawa on Nov. 3.
By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 11:06 PM - 0 Comments
The U.S. Embassy held an election party at the Château Laurier. Obama-Biden and Romney-Ryan…
The U.S. Embassy held an election party at the Château Laurier. Obama-Biden and Romney-Ryan buttons were given out. Attendees could also have their pic taken with Barack Obama and/or Mitt Romney cutouts.
By Mitchel Raphael - Monday, November 5, 2012 at 8:43 PM - 0 Comments
A tribute dinner was held to honour Conservative Senator Doug Finley at the War…
A tribute dinner was held to honour Conservative Senator Doug Finley at the War Museum. Proceeds went to the Scottish Society of Ottawa.