When parliament broke for a summer on the barbeque circuit the other day, the MPs did not get high marks for civility or decorum. And to my surprise, one of the most boring people I have ever seen in politics was in line for criticism. It appears that the current conservative house leader MP John Brassard from Barrie has been part of the problem instead of setting an example. While you hardly get the tone of parliament from Hansard, I would have expected Brassard to be just as boring as a member of parliament as he was when a Barrie city councillor.
While I always thought of Brassard as a stuffed-shirt conservative, he seems to have found his “Mr. Hyde” persona in parliament. Reporter Althia Raj of the Toronto Star tells us that Brassard accuses a liberal cabinet member of “lying” and says “the country is in chaos.” Frankly, I was in downtown Ottawa the day he said that and things were quite pleasant as far as I could see.
When I used to watch Brassard in ‘in-action’ at Barrie city council meetings I thought he might have been of more use to the city in his role as a fireman. A fireman, which was his occupation, is of more value fighting fires. At the time, we already had a preponderance of conservative wannabes on city council. After making a presentation to the council one time, I swore I would bring fire crackers with me next time to make sure they were awake.
But Ottawa is seeing an all-new John Brassard. He got very lucky in 2015 and won a recently gerrymandered riding that included half of Barrie and a person I had trained on the political ground game. She was one of my best workers in the 2010 campaign for the mayoralty in Barrie—and she told me she was a liberal. I was set back a bit when she called me and thanked me for the training and then told me she was working for Brassard.
I quite agree with Ms. Raj and the pollsters who report that Canadians are exhausted with the pandemic, with galloping inflation and our sour parliament. I dearly wish that we had some parliamentarians who would respect our parliament—and work for us instead of their damn political party.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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