As you know, Elizabeth May has been trying to get a meeting with Jack Layton, but to no avail. She’s of the opinion that politicians need to work together to address the climate crisis, and that it would be helpful for the leaders who want to take action to discuss how to do that in the face of a Prime Minister who doesn’t.
So, last Saturday night at the parliamentary press gallery dinner when Layton (who was not actually on the agenda) stepped up to the microphone and announced that he was auctioning off a dinner date with himself and his wife Olivia Chow for charity, Elizabeth saw her window.
Mr. Layton auctioned off dinner for four with himself and Ms. Chow to raise money for a scholarship in memory of Dennis Bueckert, a respected Canadian Press environment and science reporter who died suddenly this year.
Ms. May said Monday she had already planned to make a $1,000 donation to the scholarship as she and Mr. Bueckert were old friends, so the auction was perfect.
“I decided Iâ€™ll go as high as $1,000,” she said. “If anyone goes higher than that, I canâ€™t afford it.”
Funny thing: no one went higher. Oh, and another funny thing: she plans to invite Stephane Dion as her guest, so that they can all sit around the same table together. “That would make a very interesting dinner,” she said. “Who knows, something good could come of it.” Let’s hope.
That’s assuming, of course, that Layton actually honors his commitment:
Polls and election results suggest the Greens pose an electoral danger to the NDP, and Mr. Layton seems unwilling to do anything to lend legitimacy to Ms. May or her party. At the end of the auction, Mr. Layton did not even acknowledge that Ms. May was the winner…
…A spokesman for Mr. Layton, Karl Belanger, did not sound keen on the May-Dion-Layton dinner.
“We didnâ€™t talk about who this person might be,” he said. “She won the auction, so weâ€™ll see, but co-ordinating the schedule of three leaders . . . two leaders is already tricky. Three leaders could be even more tricky. But you know, it looks like the Liberal party would be well-represented at that dinner, since sheâ€™s the Liberal party candidate in Central Nova.”
Smooth, Karl. And classy too.