PARLIAMENT HILL—After a summer of wacky weather in Canada (flooding, forest fires, and more), Mother Nature ended the season with a bang this week in Ottawa when one day felt like balmy bikini-wearing weather and the next day felt like walking into a freezer.
Temperatures rose to nearly 33 degrees Celsius, but it actually felt hotter thanks to the humidity.
It was incredibly unusual for late September, when the air is usually crisp and cool.
On Wednesday evening after a heavy rainfall, temperatures tumbled all the way down to 15 degrees.
The Hill Times was on the Hill Sept. 28 to ask some MPs how they were coping with the sharp changes in temperature as part of its new weekly online feature, The Weekend. Every week on the Hill, we’ll ask Parliamentarians a different question on the culture of being an MP and publish their answers in this Friday feature.
NDP MP Hélène Laverdière (Laurier-Sainte Marie, Que.) said she had just arrived back from her Montreal riding and wasn’t entirely prepared for the weather in Ottawa.
“It’s super cold! I left Montreal without a coat because I think I was feeling like it was [warm in Ottawa], so this morning I had to put three or four layers, one on top of the other to come here,” Ms. Laverdière said while rubbing her arms to keep herself warm.
Her colleague, NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont-La Petite Patrie, Que.), was feeling the opposite.
Standing next to Ms. Laverdière he said: “Now I’m just fine; it [is] perfect for me. I was struggling with my suit and tie in the 35 degrees, so now [it’s] normal.”
Conservative MP Alice Wong (Richmond Centre, B.C.) said she was pretty used to the change in weather because she used to travel a lot and experience temperature changes when she was the minister of state for seniors from 2011 to 2015.
“I usually bring a scarf so I can prevent myself from getting a cold,” Ms. Wong said, adding because of doing so she hasn’t really felt the cold in the past two days.
Also hailing from British Columbia is Kennedy Stewart (Burnaby South, B.C.), who felt the weather changes have been unusual throughout the summer.
“It’s unusually hot here, [and] in my mind I just drift to climate change and what we can do to fix it,” Mr. Kennedy said.
With respect to the dramatic dip in weather, he said: “You’re in the House an awful lot, so it’s climate controlled. But once you get outside you’re often shocked.”
So if you’re in the Ottawa region this weekend, make sure you prepare yourself before you go outside. Here’s a taste of what’s to come:
The Hill Times