By Mitchel Raphael - Monday, December 10, 2012 - 0 Comments
Mitchel Raphael on which MP had the winning Colonel Sanders moustache
Lanny McDonald, Tom Selleck and the NDP
The NDP held a facial-hair contest at their watering hole Brixton’s to mark the end of Movember, the month-long campaign that uses moustaches to promote awareness of prostate cancer. NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and MP Olivia Chow were the judges. The first category was the Jack Layton moustache. With so many young people in the NDP, Chow quipped that many were “early Layton moustaches.” In the end, the winner was Nova Scotia MP Robert Chisholm for his older version of the Layton ’stache. Most intimidating moustache, named after Calgary Flames Lanny McDonald, was a draw between MPs Fin Donnelly and Jean Rousseau. NDP staffer François Soucy took home the honour of raising the most money for prostate cancer and was given a DVD set of Magnum, P.I., starring moustache icon Tom Selleck. The “Mo’ sister” award went to MP Alexandrine Latendresse. Mulcair decided to create a new category on the spot, “The best Colonel Sanders,” which went to MP Malcolm Allen’s white whiskers. Mulcair didn’t opt for a moustache for Movember. He has had his beard since he was 18. He only shaved it all off once when he and his wife, Catherine Mulcair, went in costume for a performance of Grease—no one recognized him without a beard and wearing a leather biker jacket. Another time he shaved off everything but a moustache and again people did not recognize him. His wife said he needs to just keep the beard.
Damn those McDonald’s smoothies
Joan Crockatt, the Conservative candidate who won the recent Calgary Centre by-election, was on the Hill last week for some orientation. She says that, as a former journalist, she is aware of some of the pitfalls of being a new politician, including the endless receptions where one can pack on the pounds. Toward the end of the campaign, she said, “I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t losing weight door-knocking.” Then she realized the problem. During the by-election, she developed an addiction to McDonald’s smoothies—pomegranate, in particular. Continue…
By Mitchel Raphael - Monday, November 14, 2011 at 8:30 AM - 1 Comment
Hockey team riding on MP’s schedule…
More and more people are throwing their names
Hockey team riding on MP’s schedule
More and more people are throwing their names into the NDP leadership race. Candidates who are also MPs, such as Peggy Nash and Paul Dewar, have to give up their critic areas. Unlike when the Liberals had a big leadership race in 2006, NDP leadership candidates who are MPs will still be able to ask questions in question period if it is related to their riding. They will also keep the House seats they were assigned. The Liberals made their leadership candidates sit next to the Bloc to minimize the amount of face time they would get on TV. Dewar, whose riding is Ottawa Centre, has been travelling a lot more, and one of the Hill security guards has joked that when the MP is out of town, the Ottawa Senators hockey team wins its games.
Is that jacket sealskin?
MPs are sporting their poppies for Remembrance Day. NDP MP John Rafferty put his poppy right through what looked liked a suede suit jacket. He later confessed to Capital Diary that it was in fact microfibre. Rafferty joked, “But when seal protesters are out, I tell them it’s sealskin.” Tory Sen. Nancy Ruth sported a white poppy for peace, a symbol worn by former New Democrat leader Alexa McDonough in the past.
By Kate Lunau - Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 9:40 AM - 0 Comments
Inspired by ‘Movember,’ a number of other fundraisers aimed at men take a less serious approach
A couple of months ago, men were sprouting moustaches for “Movember,” a month-long campaign that raised over $21 million—nearly triple last year’s total—for Prostate Cancer Canada. (Liberal Mark Holland, who tried but failed to grow a handlebar, was one of more than 80 MPs who donated the space above their upper lip through November.) Partly inspired by Movember’s success, the Canadian Testicular Cancer Association (TCTCA) has claimed a month of its own. During January, or rather MANuary, the TCTCA aims to teach men “how to have the balls” to talk about testicular cancer.
The first-ever MANuary doesn’t encourage anyone to grow more hair—quite the opposite, in fact. In one MANuary fundraising event ripped straight from The 40-Year-Old Virgin, “volunteers will get their backs waxed on stage,” says actor-comedian Peter Laneas, a testicular cancer survivor and spokesperson for the TCTCA. “Nothing brings people together better than public humiliation,” he jokes.
Cheeky marketing has more commonly been used by breast cancer groups: foundations like Feel Your Boobies and Save the ta-tas grab attention—and fundraising dollars—with fun, sexy messaging. Now humour is doing the same for cancers that typically affect men. Prostate cancer is as prevalent as breast cancer, says Adam Garone, CEO and co-founder of the Movember Foundation, “but guys don’t like talking about their health, especially below the waist.” The first Movember campaign was held in Australia in 2004; in 2010, close to half a million people took part globally. “When we survey the guys on why they participate,” says Garone, “the number one reason is because it’s fun.”
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 10:00 AM - 5 Comments
Had a few? This MP will drive you home, Iggy plummets in the puppet polls
Had a few? This MP will drive you home
As the House wound down for the holidays, Bloc MP Meili Faille could be seen sporting a pin of a reindeer with an oversized red nose, to promote Quebec’s Opération Nez Rouge drive-home service. During the holidays, people who become too intoxicated to drive can call the service, which sends a volunteer to collect the tipsy person and another volunteer to drive the partier’s car home. One of those volunteer drivers is Faille, who has given a few days of her time to the cause for several years now. These days, she drives a Dodge Grand Caravan, so she can convey up to five revellers at a time.
Iggy plummets in the puppet polls
Ottawa-based textile artist Gabe Thirlwall is known for her handmade finger puppets of prominent MPs. Recently, she has expanded her collection, adding puppets of some less conspicuous politicians. There’s a Megan Leslie puppet, for instance, and the NDP MP for Halifax even received a free one. Thirlwall says she has a strict policy on freebies: only if a politician is “not a douche” does he or she qualify. (The fact that Leslie recently gave Thirlwall a lift to a mutual friend’s wedding no doubt counted in her favour.) The artist has also introduced historical figures like Brian Mulroney, Jean Chrétien, Sir John A. Macdonald, and Tommy Douglas, “but they don’t get a free one because they are old or dead.” At the recent One of a Kind craft show in Toronto, an 11-day affair, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff bombed, sales-wise. Even the Stéphane Dion puppet sold better. Stephen Harper and Jack Layton sales were so brisk that Thirlwall had to make more puppets every night. Now she says she needs to create a Tony Clement puppet because people have been demanding one, and telling her they follow the industry minister on Twitter. The puppets are available at www.fishonfridays.ca.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 10:00 AM - 1 Comment
Ignatieff on his eyebrows, Jann Arden’s ‘apology’, and Foote in mouth
Ignatieff on his eyebrows
A fire alarm during question period had MPs rushing out of the Commons. Conservative MP James Lunney helped a very pregnant former Conservative-now-Independent MP Helena Guergis (due date: Dec. 15) down the stairs and out of the building as they talked about contractions. Lunney is a chiropractor trained to deliver babies. Once outside, MPs kept dry from the rain under the wood shelters attached to the building (thank goodness for smokers, one MP joked). Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay took the opportunity to thank her leader, Michael Ignatieff, for not growing a moustache as part of the Movember prostate cancer awareness campaign. “I thought you were growing your eyebrows,” Scott Brison piped in. Ignatieff laughed and joked, “No. I shave those every day.”
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 2:00 PM - 9 Comments
Justin Trudeau’s $1,600 lunch, What worries Peter MacKay’s date, Why Harper can’t grow a moustache
Justin Trudeau’s $1,600 lunch
The fourth annual What a Girl Wants fundraiser for the Canadian Liver Foundation featured local firefighters peeling off their uniforms, and a performance by drag queen Dixie Landers, who lip-synched to Bette Midler’s cover of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. The performer wore bright pink stilettos and received a compliment from none other than Laureen Harper, who told Ms. Landers, “I love your shoes.” Hollywood glamour was the dinner’s theme, and each table in the Fairmont Château Laurier ballroom was named after a silver screen icon. Mrs. Harper sat at the Marilyn Monroe table along with Justin Trudeau and one of the evening’s organizers, Annette Martin of the Canadian Liver Foundation (and wife of National Post columnist Don Martin). One table over sat Liberal MP Hedy Fry, sporting a Marilyn Monroe purse and matching shoes. Labour Minister Lisa Raitt showed off a small pink glittery purse she picked up at Wal-Mart for $5. Among the items auctioned off that night: lunch with Trudeau. When Capital Diary asked Mrs. Harper if she planned to bid, she quipped, “I just had dinner with him.” The Liberal MP fretted, tongue-in-cheek, that his new moustache—grown to support the Movember prostate cancer awareness campaign—might have a negative impact on bidding. So Trudeau took to the catwalk, loosening his tie, which raised appreciative cheers—and $1,600 for the charity. Liberal MP Kirsty Duncan bid $500 and won a Sex in the City jewellery cuff worn by Kim Cattrall’s character Samantha Jones. Duncan plans to donate the piece to another liver charity in honour of a Grade 9 student she mentored in her senior year of high school. They formed a close bond, but the younger student subsequently died of liver disease.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 11:20 AM - 0 Comments
Scott Brison’s lonely night, The Chia Pet MP, But were they really clapping for Rob Ford?
Scott Brison’s lonely night
Two of Glen Pearson’s adopted children arrived from Sudan three years ago, knowing nothing about Halloween. After explaining the concept, the Liberal MP woke up on his kids’ first Halloween in Canada to find them in costume, all set to trick or treat. When he broke the news that they’d have to wait until dark, “They both burst into tears because they thought they got to go out all day to people’s houses and get candy.” They felt better that night, once they had sacks of treats. “It was something they never dreamed of as possible,” says the MP. Now, Pearson’s Halloween tradition is to stay home handing out treats while his kids hit the streets. Newfoundland Liberal MP Siobhan Coady has fine-tuned her Halloween handouts. “My sister is allergic to nuts so I always make sure I have a nut-free option. I also give out chips, chocolate, and Play-Doh. It’s a little surprise.” Minister for International Co-operation Bev Oda, when at home for Halloween, knows all six kids who come to her door in the sparsely populated area. Her tradition is to give them presents, including MP3 players and video games. Halloween is a lonely time for Liberal MP Scott Brison and spouse Maxime Saint-Pierre. “There are three houses on our road,” he says. “We own two, and the other belongs to my 90-year-old aunt Margie [Faulkner].” They keep candy on hand just in case, but no one ever knocks. “It kinda reminds me of my fifth birthday party,” says Brison. “My mother had this great party. Nobody showed.”