Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. If there’s no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Yet Mr. Harper and his fellow MPs have places to go – in fact, it’s Parliament’s winter break, so everyone is heading home for a brief rest. Since everyone’s leaving, there was a lot to do in this final week. What was the PM up to and how did he manage his time so well with so many important activities?
Well, we know Harper was not meeting with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. This last week, Wynne wrote Harper for the second time in less than a month asking for a meeting on important provincial-federal matters. She also said the relationship between the PM and the premier of the country’s largest province should be one of “collaboration, not confrontation.” The two haven’t met up in over a year – maybe they went out for bagels last time, and one of them had a poppy seed in their teeth, but the other was uncomfortable telling them, and then they had a post-meeting interview where the poppy seed was very obvious, and of course were very embarrassed. Regardless, this lack of meeting probably won’t help Harper in his efforts to keep Ontario in the next election.
In reality, the PM probably wasn’t meeting with any provincial premier. He’s not really into that – it’s been almost a decade since any Canadian PM sat down with premiers to discuss a national policy of any kind, and most of that decade has been with Harper.
So what has the PM been up to?
He almost certainly wasn’t at the Burnaby Mountain Kinder Morgan protests – he’d have to really go Justin Trudeau (big hair, bigger joints) before he felt comfortable at an event like that. No, no, he was in the House making it clear that regulating oil and gas would actually be “crazy”. He also made it clear in his statements to the House that no country in the entire world regulates its oil and gas industries, and Canada should only start when others do. Silly little Norway with its extensive public policy pertaining to oil is not an example of a country that regulates. Norway’s not even a country, right? The PM is always right, so it mustn’t be.
The PM was clearly busy, and there was one event this week that he just could not miss. He couldn’t meet with Wynne or other premiers because he was so busy prepping for it. It had consumed his last week in Parliament, and he probably knew it could be the big break he had been waiting for.
As he staggered onto stage, PM Stephen Harper sent a buzz through the crowd. His fresh look – sharp black dress shirt and slacks, neatly-combed grey hair accentuating his pale silver-blue eyes – juxtaposed his usual Question Period wear. As he slowly sat, his nimble fingers met with black and white ivory, and the crowd inhaled all noise in the room. A subtle smile crossed his face in anticipation of the piece, at which point he slid his fingers across the piano, from left to right, and began to play.