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I’ve spoken to a number of Manitoba’s 14 MPs today trying to suss out where they stand in this whole mess.
Not surprisingly, for the most part they are all toeing their party lines, toting their party’s talking points and lambasting the other side as the troublemakers.
One MP called Harper a bully about seven times, and in the same conversation called out Harper for name-calling.
Another tried to pretend their side of the floor was not involved in the disrespectful antics of MPs even though said MP had been seen the day before heckling in fine form in question period.
If you ask any of them, without a doubt it’s all the other side’s fault.
Except for one.
Candice Hoeppner, who has been an MP since Oct. 14, is the only member I’ve spoken to in the last 7 days who did not hurl a single insult, call anyone a bad name, or suggest her party is not in any way part of the discord. She didn’t use the words separatist or socialist once.
When I asked her about the situation, she first said she was a little afraid this is what Parliament is always like.
And then she said she just wants to go back to her constituency and listen to her constituents and do the things they ask of her to help make their lives just a little bit better.
She said she wants to get back to working on the issues the people who put her here care about.
I don’t know Hoeppner very well. But I can’t help but think if more of the 308 MPs were just a little bit more like her and just a little bit less like all the others, we’d never have ended up where we have been in the last week.
She doesn’t need a cooling off period. IMO, Candice Hoeppner is already pretty cool.
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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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