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Once bitten, twice Shy

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper had his second construction themed photo op in a row this morning.

Yesterday he was schilling for his home renovation tax credit. This morning it was for the $12 billion in new infrastructure cash in the budget.

So he showed up at the Ottawa Congress Centre with Infrastructure Minister John Baird.  The congress centre is undergoing a $159-million rebuild.

He was wearing the requisite hard hat and making the requisite jokes like that his budget is going to require a lot more hard hats.

But he also showed he really does have a sense of humour under that "can't even get it to move in a blizzard" hair do.

When one of the construction workers bragged that the gyprock they were using wasn't from China but was from Canada, Harper told him he would hold him to that pledge.

"I'll put you on probation," he joked.

Hmm... wonder if that was a reference to Mr. Ignatieff? Duh. Everyone likes a politician who can laugh.

But after yesterday's somewhat disaster with the nail gun he couldn't get to work, Harper's aides would not agree to get the PM to take a turn on the hydraulic shovel.

And that is perhaps the smartest thing he's done all week.

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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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