Peter MacKay is the columnist’s gift that keeps on giving. Even on the edge-of-summer, eve of a national holiday when newsmakers worth their spin doctors know better than to do anything newsworthy… Peter MacKay never lets us down.
You may remember Peter, he of the “I solemnly swear” never to merge the Progressive Conservative Party with the upstart Canadian Alliance if he won the PC leadership in 2003. He won, and then almost instantly hitched his wagon to Stephen Harper to give us… the regressive Conservative mess we’re in today.
Some of you may remember Peter more for his dalliances than his grasp of political detail. There was the infamous 2005 break-up with Tory-turned-Liberal MP Belinda Stronach, after which Peter repaired to the family farm, TV cameras in tow, to commiserate with a loaner dog. Or Peter, a year later, heartache magically disappeared, whispering sweet somethings into the ear of American Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.
Lest you think I am being dismissive of MacKay’s more manly accomplishments —similar to Peter’s Mother’s Day message to female Justice Department employees — let me remind you that, as Defence Minister, Peter commandeered a Coast Guard search and rescue helicopter as his taxi home from a remote Newfoundland fishing lodge. And spent $47,313 of taxpayers’ money staging a photo-op in a fake F-35, touting what would become that wildly-over-budget, still un-built fighter jet as the solution to Canada’s defence (industry) woes.
That was before he became Justice Minister and the auteur of all those expensive, unnecessary and likely unconstitutional tough-on-crime laws. And before he picked a fight with Canada’s chief justice over the government’s unacceptable Supreme Court appointment. And before he tried to circumvent the process with another stealth appointment. And before…
Now married with a toddler and therefore an expert on diapers, nurture v. nature and the distinctly different roles of fathers and mothers, Peter last week was exposed as the author of equal-opportunity sexist Father and Mother’s Day messages to Justice Department staff.
Worse, Peter, as usual, refused to accept responsibility for his own signed message, blaming it on a (probably hormonally addled, too-busy-diaper-changing) female staffer.
Thank you, Peter Mackay, the columnist’s friend, for keeping this latest story alive.
Happy Canada Day. Happy diaper-changing.