PARLIAMENT HILL—It’s been a busy week on the Hill, with a dizzying number of receptions, events, and groups putting on lobby days.
For some MPs and staff, it’s been tough to keep the pace. The fluctuating weather in Ottawa, with morning temperatures starting in the low single digits before shooting up to 20 degrees, has led to cases of stuffy noses and shivers. Cold and flu season is once again upon us.
But then the country fully froze for a moment. Canada’s seminal rock poet Gord Downie, 53, died from brain cancer Oct. 17.
Mr. Downie, the Tragically Hip frontman, learned he had the disease in December 2015, and Canadians were told in May 2016, after which many bought tickets to see one of the shows that summer in his final tour with his band.
Mr. Downie touched many Parliamentarians including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Que.), who gave a tearful statement the morning the news broke.
The Hill Times was on the Hill Oct. 19 to ask some MPs their favourite Tragically Hip song and about the best cold remedy, as part of its weekly online feature, The Weekend Q&A. Every week on the Hill, we ask Parliamentarians a question or two on the culture of being an MP, as well as their plans for the weekend, and publish their answers Friday.
Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner (Cape Breton-Canso, N.S.) said his favourite Tragically Hip song was Music at Work, which was played by a local band at his son’s wedding last year in August.
As The Hill Times chatted with Mr. Cuzner post-Question Period, he fought back tears showing a text message exchange he had with his son on Oct. 18, the morning Canadians found out the news Mr. Downie died.
“Thank you for taking me to the Hip when I was 11, nothing has ever been the same,” the text message from his son read.
Mr. Cuzner’s best cure for a cold was Cold-FX, a ginseng-based product that helps reduce cold and flu symptoms.
As for what he’s up to this weekend, he said that after QP on Friday he’s travelling into his riding to make an announcement regarding an Indigenous community. He said he’ll spend some time with his family as well.
Conservative MP Todd Doherty (Cariboo-Prince George, B.C.), who said he’s staying in Ottawa this weekend to attend an event at the RCMP headquarters, said his favourite song by the Hip is Blow At High Dough.
His favourite remedy to fight a cold is his grandmother’s chicken noodle soup and some lemon water.
Some MPs choose to take the preventative route, like Conservative MP Ron Liepert (Calgary Signal Hill, Alta.), who swears by cod liver oil capsules.
“I take a cod liver oil pill every morning and I have not had a cold for two years. And I used to have colds regularly,” Mr. Liepert said. “Some guy from Nova Scotia told me this is his mother’s remedy and I thought, ‘What could go wrong?’ and it works.”
Mr. Liepert noted, though, he didn’t have a favourite Hip song or one by Mr. Downie because he “didn’t even know who he was until a year ago.”
The Hill Times