Lots to celebrateFri Jun 24, 2005 Miss Vicky
Last night I met up with a mess of Hill staffers at Oz Cafe, a great little bistro on Elgin Street. We were celebrating a couple of milestone birthdays, so we took over the restaurant for the evening. Oz was fantastic - they even made up special cocktails for the event, two dedicated to the birthday guy and gal, and a few with parliamentary themes (the Jack Laytini, the Hansard Blues, and so on).
It was shaping up to be a pretty fun evening. The staffers were in a fairly good mood - although slightly bitter that the session was about to be extended, meaning their bosses would be around for a couple more weeks (when the bosses are away, staff on the Hill can actually get some work done, you see).
As the Webgeek and I were polishing off our salmon (with kalamata olive couscous - soooo good!), word arrived via someone's Blackberry that the house would be voting on C-48 in an hour. This caused quite a stir in the room. We weren't quite sure how it happened, but the budget everyone had worked so hard on was about to pass!
The Laytinis really started flowing then... Posters appeared as if by magic, a laptop appeared and we started monitoring CPAC. Calls were made, and NDP types began to appear to witness a pretty amazing (and historic) moment. And after the vote, Layton arrived with finance critic Judy W-L and House Leader Libby Davies and several other members of caucus. One thing was pretty clear.... getting real results in the House feels pretty darned good. The room was hoppin'.
You couldn't see it on TV, but apparently the tone in the House last night was pretty bad. According to a couple of our members, there was a lot of sour grapes coming from the opposition benches, and it was vicious... swearing and tearing of documents, complaints about the Liberals so-called "sneak attack". Um, hello? Wasn't the shoe on the other foot a couple of weeks ago? Hasn't the Conservative message the last few weeks been that the role of the Official Opposition is to oppose and they're not in the business of cooperating with the Liberals? Haven't they tried every procedural trick possible to filibuster and prevent the House from doing business? What the heck did they expect would happen?
So. The budget's passed. Next hurdle: equal marriage. Then we can let the BBQ season begin!