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Talking heads

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After the last minute deal between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, Parliament rose today for its summer break.

I expect the Ottawa airport will be a who's who of MPs this afternoon and tonight with politicians heading back home to their constituencies.

I am curious however to see if any gatherings of NDP MPs are louder than those of other parties because it seems Jack Layton's caucus has the gift of gab.

According to www.howdtheyvote.ca, seven of the 10 most talkative MPs in the last six months hail from the NDP, including two of Manitoba's own.

Jim Maloway is number five for the most words spoken in the House of Commons since January, with 51,174. That averages out to 244 words every time he rose to his feet.

Judy Wasylycia-Leis is right behind him at number six, uttering 49,444 words, but she tends to say more every time she stands, speaking 433 words on average for each time on her feet in the House.

Liberal MP Paul Szabo is the wordiest -- 76,512 words.

Manitoba's Inky Mark did not utter a single word the entire session, the only MP out of the 308 to achieve that record.

I have been to the website before -- and used it for the MP report cards a few weeks back -- but this particular number was brought to my attention this morning by Maloway himself.

I ran into him on the street as he was heading back to his office in the Confederation Building, and he quite proudly told me he was now number 5.

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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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