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A Royal affair

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Manitoba MP Pat Martin was asked at a news conference this morning whether he had any comment on the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Martin responded that as an Irishman he really isn't a royal watcher.

"I'm more interested in the Osborne family than the royal family," Martin quipped.

He followed it up by saying that he actually thinks Canada should ditch the monarchy long before William gets near the throne.

When the current Queen dies, it will be "time for Canada to grow up," Martin said.

He quickly added he wasn't sure whether that was the position of the NDP or just himself.

But deputy leader Thomas Mulcair, sitting at Martin's side, said he agreed.

Considering most polls conducted in recent years -- including several ahead of Queen Elizabeth's visit to Canada last summer -- show at least half of Canadians, and often more than 60 per cent -- agree Canada's monarchy ties should end with Queen Elizabeth II's reign, perhaps the NDP are onto something.

Potential campaign promise Mr. Layton?

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About Mia Rabson

Mia Rabson is a born and bred Winnipegger whose interest in politics seemed clear when she dressed up as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for Halloween in the 7th grade.

Her interest in writing was no surprise to her parents, who learned early in Mia’s life that no piece of blank paper — or wall, for that matter — was safe in her hands.

She holds an honours BA in English from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and has completed a political journalism fellowship in Washington, D.C. with the Washington Centre for Politics and Journalism.

Prior to working for the Winnipeg Free Press, Mia briefly worked for the Detroit News in the paper’s Washington bureau.

Mia joined the Free Press team in February 2001, and in April 2001 was appointed to the Manitoba legislature bureau. In December 2004, she was appointed bureau chief at the legislature. She became the newspaper’s parliamentary bureau chief/national reporter in Ottawa in January 2008.

In 2008 she was nominated for a Michener Award with a team of reporters from the Free Press for its coverage of the province’s child welfare system.

She counts reliving the invasion at Dieppe, France, with veterans of the failed Second World War expedition and overcoming her fear of heights to touch the Golden Boy statue atop the Legislative Building among her favourite experiences as a reporter.

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