Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Yes Virginia. They can get along. Sometimes.

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MPs from all political parties proved today they can actually put partisanship aside and stand in solidarity with one of their own. They are almost all wearing blue ties or scarves in recognition of Prostate Cancer Canada and NDP leader Jack Layton, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December and is currently undergoing treatment.

Layton was lauded for his courage in going public with his personal health problems and drawing attention to the need for early detection and treatment for the disease.

The ties are $65 and the scarves are $40. Both are 100 per cent Italian silk. http://www.prostatecancer.ca/Get-Involved/How_to_Support_Us/Purchase-Our-Merchandise.aspx

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said "we are delighted to stand in solidarity with the leader of the NDP," and said he was pleased to see how good Layton looks.

"He’s looking even better in that blue tie," Harper said, referencing of course that the ties are the colour of the Conservative party.

Layton joked earlier in the day his father – a former Conservative MP – would be proud.

Prior to his first question in the house, Layton said thank you to MPs for the support and received a standing ovation.

"Maybe we can create some consensus on a few other things here," he said.

The likelihood of that was pretty apparent in the response of MPs, including Layton’s own, to his statement.

 They burst out laughing.

 

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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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