Hill Life & People

The Weekend Q&A: What do you have planned for the Thanksgiving weekend?

From cooking turkeys to chowing down on meatballs, MPs reveal what they have planned for the festive long weekend.

MaryAnn Mihychuk will be distributing flyers to invite members of her community to a fall supper. She also plans to cook two turkeys and dressing for Thanksgiving. The Hill Times photograph by Shruti Shekar

PUBLISHED :Friday, Oct. 6, 2017 11:48 AM

PARLIAMENT HILL— As a flurry of MPs exited the House just as Question Period let out on Thursday, it was fairly obvious that many of them were trying to get back to their riding as soon as they could to spend time with family during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

As she took leave of the House, Liberal MP MaryAnn Mihychuk (Kildonan-St.Paul, Man.) disclosed that she was immediately heading back to Winnipeg, where she was scheduled to make an announcement on Indigenous diabetes measures.

She also said she would be joining a group of volunteers in her riding to distribute flyers for a fall supper, which will likely bring out 200 to 400 people.

Ms. Mihychuk said fall suppers are traditional in the Prairies, and see neighbours get together and break bread, enjoy a hearty meal, and share stories.


The Winnipeg Free Press reported that many fall suppers are hosted in church basements or community halls in cities, towns, and small hamlets across the region. It noted that the menu usually reflects the community where the dinner is being hosted.

You may find perogies or cabbage rolls in Ukrainian communities, and in some of the francophone towns you may find tourtière (meat pie) and sucre à la crème (a fudge-like candy), according to the newspaper.

Ms. Mihychuk also plans to cook two turkeys and dressing for her Thanksgiving meal.

Asked what her favourite dish was, she said: “Well, turkey and dressing, obviously!”


Treasury Board President Scott Brison (Kings-Hants, N.S.) is also preparing a pair of birds this long weekend, as he plans to spend Thanksgiving in Chéverie, N.S., a rural community in his East Coast riding.

“I’m cooking two turkeys. One is an herb brined turkey, [so] I take the herbs out of our garden—sage, rosemary, and thyme—and I will brine the turkey in salt and oil and the herbs,” Mr. Brison explained.

“The other one is going to be a spice-rubbed turkey that I smoke on my Big Green Egg in hickory smoke.”

A Big Green Egg, if you didn’t know, is a kamado-style ceramic charcoal cooker.


Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould, centre, plans to go back to her riding and go to the Rockton World’s Fair, while Treasury Board President Scott Brison, right, plans to cook two hearty turkeys for his family dinner. The Hill Times photograph by Sam Garcia

Mr. Brison also revealed that he’ll be spending the weekend with his siblings, his 94-year-old father, 97-year-old aunt, and close to 20 family members.

“We are going to have a huge meal. I can’t wait,” Mr. Brison said.

NDP MP Daniel Blaikie (Elmwood-Transcona, Man.) is also looking forward to enjoying some family traditions this weekend, specifically his aunt’s tasty, but rarely seen, meatballs.

“We do a turkey dinner and my Aunt Anita has really awesome meatballs that she makes. There are only a few occasions a year where I get to have them and I always look forward to that,” Mr. Blaikie said.

The meatballs also make great leftovers, he added.

Other Thanksgiving traditions include going to the fair, which is exactly where Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould (Burlington, Ont.) will be.

Along with spending time with her family and enjoying a turkey dinner, she will be attending the Rockton World’s Fair, located in the small community of Rockton, a short drive from Ms. Gould’s Halton Region riding.

According to the fair’s website, it is considered “one of the largest agricultural and livestock events in Canada.”

Ms. Gould also revealed that her favourite Thanksgiving dish comes from the gourd family.

“You can’t go wrong with squash. I love butternut squash,” she said.

Asked whether she liked it as a savoury or as a sweet dish, she said: “Sweet, for sure. With brown sugar.”

She also will be going to a fundraiser for arthritis in her riding during the extended weekend.

Some MPs, though, won’t be celebrating Thanksgiving at all, but instead plan on going to commemorating other fall traditions.

Liberal MP Gary Anandasangaree is going home to celebrate his daughter Paravi’s ninth birthday. The Hill Times photograph by Shruti Shekar

Liberal MP Gary Anandasangaree (Scarborough-Rouge Park, Ont.) is going back home to celebrate his daughter Paravi’s ninth birthday, and also will be spending some quality time with his family.

“We are having a small birthday party for her [and] her friends Saturday afternoon,” Mr. Anandasangaree said, adding him and his wife are still trying to figure out what present to get her.

Mr. Anandasangaree noted that his family doesn’t really celebrate Thanksgiving with a big dinner, but they normally go over to his mother-in-law’s house.


The Hill Times