Justin Trudeau is on another barn-stormy, petrol sucking national tour, popping up this past week in The North with a “Justin” branded parka that has just enough fur trim to appease the seal hunters yet not enough for the soft PETA types to scream murder outright. The ship of state sails on, straight down the centre in the ever consistent Liberal way – tacking starboard so that that Bay Street is not displeased yet occasionally veering to port to soothe the conscience of the glowing hearts of his amorphous middle class voters. He probably thought Iqaluit was far enough away from anyone who might want to keep harping on about the unceremonious ditching of electoral reform but even the Parka Plebs will not let it go. 


The electoral reform promise may have been flushed but it’s still swirling around in the bowl. Justin is running out of rhetorical tricks and may need a bigger plunger soon. He’s pretty much saying that the “smaller voices” on the “periphery of our perspectives” don’t matter. They should just suck it up and join a big machine as a path to power. He’s also attempting to blame the other two large parties for his failure. The language is a bit couched but the takeaway is Proportional Representation is an NDP plot that will lead to implied loonies like Conservative Kellie Leitch having their own parties and subsequently holding the balance of power in Ottawa. The Conservative’s use of the ranked ballot system in their leadership election, a system Trudeau espouses to prefer, will likely have no real bearing as to whether Ms Leitch becomes the Tory leader or not. Ranked ballots are just a type of ballot, not a newfangled voting system. The person who is the 10th place first choice in a 14 horse race will still disappear early on. 

The most productive federal government Canada has ever seen was that of the minority Pearson Liberals of the 1960s, who governed with an unofficial coalition of fringe voices, as they were propped up by the new and still somewhat socialist NDP. The Liberal’s big promises in the 1963 election were a new flag, health care reform and a public pension plan among other things. If the smaller NDP was not there to provide tacit support, effectively giving the Liberals the majority they needed, it’s possible Canada would not have seen these promises kept. The wish list probably would have been left to simmer for years, smacked down as loony fringe talk not unlike electoral reform is treated today. The then fourth party NDP, with less seats than the Social Credit (WHO?), helped make it all happen. Strong, lasting policies that are all considered planks in any Canadian Values argument were a product of the government cooperating with 17 seats worth of smaller voices. 

So it looks like we are stuck with our antiquated, throw back electoral system for the time being, barring some future hung parliament situation. If you are disgruntled, please continue to vote for the fringer of your choice knowing that the Greens, Communists, Pirates or Above Znoneofthe will never, ever within this lifetime hold any power. You are stuck with J Parka and his crew until The Middle Class tire of him too and install The Other Party led by whoever the winner of their ranked ballot contest is. If the new kids end up in a minority position and are led by someone who neither zigs nor zags too far in either direction, perhaps they will get the backing of the Liberals, who will by then have started squawking about electoral reform and fairness again. If patience isn’t an official defining Canadian value, it damn well should be.


Roll Up The Sleeves To Win


There used to be a commercial for easy bake something or other, in which a woman knocks  together some goodies and serves them up after throwing some flour on her face to make it look like she has been hard at work in the kitchen. Justin Trudeau’s Timbit Nation Tour 2017 brings to mind this easy baker. With the sleeves rolled up, a splash of flour and a well placed tear of axle grease, the PM has morphed into One Of Us. We won’t see him up our way though, this Liberal riding is safe.

Countless middle class aspirants are willingly taking time off from their three jobs in the hope of touching the hem of his garment. There will be no trip to the canapé laden comforts of Davos for Justin this year; he is determined to circulate among The People to get a sense of just what the ordinary Canadians are up to. Genuine tears and fears are being met with the obtuse platitudes we are so used to hearing; a patented circular manoeuvre that sounds like a compliment but is actually a non answer. No charge for selfies either guys, that would be crass. 

WHATEVER YOU DO Timbit Nation, don’t ask him about his holiday. Our non fake media are doing a pretty good job of handling that so far. In case you missed it, while you were heading back from Maryam Monsef’s riding of Peterborough-Kawartha in last century’s Corolla in a torrent of unseasonable rain, the Trudeaus were sunning it in outright luxury, having alighted stress free from a private chopper into the arms of the Aga Khan, one of the planet’s nicer billionaires. At least Papa Khan is spreading it around, eh? 

Ethics of the chopper trip aside, an improperly vetted journey could lead to doom if the RCMP haven’t checked the baggage compartment for explosives. All billionaires have stepped on someone to get where they are, even if they are perceived to be “nice”. Our Liberal entourage of family and friends could have very easily been collateral damage for someone else’s vendetta. You can bet The Help got there in a boat that parks around the back well out of view, a far safer journey than those notoriously crashy choppers.

No doubt Matt Damon, Shakira and Jamie Oliver, safely ensconced in the Grandhotel Belvédère in Davos, will be wondering where their pal Justin is this year. He’s going to miss out on imparting his Bono approved banter to this year’s theme, which happens to be “rising inequality”. General admission to that gig is $88,000 CDN, double this for the all access pass. Did Justin cover the cost of his ticket last year or is this considered part of the cost of leading the nation? Either way, the savings will spring for a helluva lot of Timbits.



Chère Sophie

Mme Gregoire-Trudeau,

I was sorry to hear about your recent troubles regarding the avalanche of requests for your time as the Prime Minister’s partner and that you are desperate for more assistance to coordinate the countless demands placed on you by The People of Canada.

I was wondering if at some point you might be able to help me out with an advocacy issue, once you get your hectic schedule sorted out of course. I belong to an ever expanding ad hoc not for profit organization called the Near Relative Caregivers of Canada. It would be great if you could come speak at our inaugural meeting, if we can find the time to have one. We really could use a high level endorsement to draw attention to our concerns. 

Near Relative Caregivers are pressed into service with varying degrees of success when they end up responsible for a person who made little or no twilight-of-life plan for themselves, other than listing us as the Power of Attorney. For the most part, we take care of people whose answer to everything has been “I’m fine, don’t worry about it” until they are overwhelmed by their declining health. Our training usually takes place on the fly; we ask lots of questions of those in the know and Dr. Google coupled with endless rounds of improvisation and tips from accidental saints along the way until we find solutions that will hopefully work for the person to give them some semblance of a life. I’ve been a member for five years.  

We put in incredibly long hours with no pay and are easy to spot in the field. You’ve seen us out beside the dumpsters sneaking a quick smoke with the staff, spaced out in the wine aisle minutes before closing or quietly weeping in the hospital’s empty multi faith room where there is plenty of literature but not one box of Kleenex, ever. I could never look as radiant as you did in the paper the other day with the lovely Michelle Obama. I have been using her famous upper arm workout that I read about in a well thumbed ultrasound waiting room magazine once. It has served me well during impromptu patient transfers and rapid leaping out of bed to answer the phone on the nights when I get The Call.  

sophie and michelle

I get the The Call frequently these days, since my relative’s health problems are compounding monthly. He has been admitted to the hospital five times this year and the level of seriousness escalates with each visit. My duty is to drop everything for the period to coordinate, translate and provide additional care for him from the time he wakes up, until he falls asleep and beyond. 

This can happen at any time, such as when we had Liberal MPP Liz Sandals in the studio. I had a couple of health care related questions for her but I had to abandon the controls in the middle of the broadcast. We never know when we will be summoned.

The average length of a hospital stay for my relative is four days. This latest round has been longer, which has given me ample time to write to you as we wait for test results and analysis from the doctor on rounds. The all-day wait can be grinding and tension filled. The other day I took my relative to the TV lounge to try and calm him down and we happened to see you in that fabulous low back dress at the awards show you had attended the night before. Everyone in here wears a similar outfit but they are generally blue, have strings at the back and were likely previously worn. I think they were designed during wartime. It’s possible they were the inspiration for your gorgeous gown. 

3rd Annual Canadian Arts And Fashion Awards

TORONTO, ONTARIO – APRIL 15: Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau attends the 3rd Annual Canadian Arts And Fashion Awards held at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel on April, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)

I was also sorry to read about the dilapidated state of Sussex Drive and that you and the family had to live in the smaller 22 room Rideau Cottage on the Governor General’s estate. A cottage mansion certainly beats living in that total dump your husband grew up in. Guelph General certainly could use a large scale makeover as well. There is no toilet to speak of for the visitors on this floor so we need to use the one two floors down. When I nipped out to find it yesterday, the doctor came by to visit and I missed his daily afternoon update! He is a wonderful doctor but his time is tight. 

Further downstairs, the city’s only ER is currently a mess from a renovation worthy of the Property Brothers, as it is being upgraded since the shooting. You know the old saying, the traffic light never goes in until the first fatal crash! Through the curtains I managed to overhear all of weekend plans of at least six security guards, who I think were consciously trying to drown out the man who was howling his head off in Exam 2. His Near Relative Caregiver lives in Calgary and there was no one able to provide the “fucking glass of water” he was requesting. Rumour has it there used to be people here who did that kind of thing but they were laid off a while ago and water access should be a human right, unless Nestle have the exclusive rights to it now. This is entirely possible as there is a space in the wall where the water fountain used to be. It may have been removed for the reno or in the interests of hygiene but thankfully a row of well stocked vending machines has appeared. I would have gladly fetched him a fucking bottle of water but I didn’t want to breech the curtain boundary, as he was also under hazardous contact procedures. I hope those curtains are made of an antibacterial cloth but that may not have been a thing in the 80s.  


I am blessed in some ways that there are provisions in my work contract for people in my situation, although I’m not sure what those in precarious employment do. I suspect they would have to quit one or more jobs to take care of business. In the manner of how all the fashion houses want you to wear their finery, I really should try to get an endorsement from a medical work wear company, seeing as everyone assumes I work here on the days I show up in a hurry in my steel toes and coveralls. I can take the speedy staff elevator no questions asked every time, which is a great security workaround as my maintenance worker clothes are like an invisibility cloak. I hope my mention of that doesn’t give The Terrorists any ideas.  

Beyond the employment and monetary concerns, I am physically and mentally shattered 24/7, even with all of the superb back up I’ve had from friends and relations. Of the hundred or more health care workers I’ve encountered this year alone, every single one of them has been a superstar. I overheard one nurse say she was on her fifth twelve hour overnight shift in a row, which sounds like a labour law violation to me. I admire them greatly and appreciate what they do more than they will ever know. People do not tell them that enough. If anything, many ungrateful idiots are unable modify their usual asshole behaviour either as patients or visitors when they arrive. Please mention all of this in your next address to the people Sophie. I’ve come so close to giving the Trudeau Elbow to those who mistreat these saints that I really should check myself in for a full workup. I just can’t seem to find the time for that either though. 

I realize that health care is a provincial responsibility but seeing as it’s also the domain of the Liberals and that Justin and Premier Kathleen are pretty tight, could you put a word in for us the next time you are all together? It would definitely go a long way toward helping all of us I suspect. I promise I will try my best to hustle up a party donation before the rules change as that seems to be an essential part of getting anything at all done at all in this great nation.

Love to JT and the kids, the nannies, the security detail, the unseen handlers both party and non, the spin doctor team, your mother in law (she’s my favourite), all of the estate staff including Anna, Mrs. Hughes, Mr. Carson and two cheek kisses to designer Lucian Matis from me. Please take heart knowing that somewhere out there, there’s a well worn working man in a Pierre Trudeau vintage therapeutic chair with an IV drip in one arm and a now permanent sling on the other that thinks you are an absolute stunner. 

Warm Regards,

Scotty Hertz


(my field office)