None of these people really qualify for a Hall of Shame. It’s more like a Hall of Embarrassment, or Hall of Painful Obviousness, instead. In no particular order:
Christy Clark, for living in the ‘burbs while running for mayor of Vancouver and thinking she could get away with it. Called an opportunist, public backlash of her residency skirting ensued and so when she eventually she bought a place in the city, no one really believed her spokesman when he said, “she wanted to move into Vancouver no matter what.” In the end, it didn’t matter, because she lost.
Beverly Desjarlais, a member of parliament from northern Manitoba, was repaid by her Liberal Party constituents for her stance against same-sex marriage when they did not renominate her for the January 23 federal election. She has been forced to run as an independent.
Michael Ignatieff, for trying to run for federal office in Canada while living in Boston, repeatedly claiming he was a resident of Toronto, all the while telling the Harvard Crimson that if he loses the race, he wants to be back in Boston. And of course, I add him to this year’s Hall of Embarrassment for misspelling “Ottawa” in numerous places in his online curriculum vitae. The egregious error has since been corrected.
Ralph Klein, the chain-smoking premier of Alberta and former mayor of Calgary, for so relentlessly battling the encroachment of same-sex marriage into Texas North. Still, I give him credit for throwing his hands up in the air in June and declaring, “There are no legal weapons. There’s nothing left in the arsenal…We’re out on a lurch.”
Brian Mulroney, former prime minister of Canada, for being so uncouth when talking to the man who eventually wrote his biography. If you didn’t hate him when he ran the country, you do now. One columnist called the book a “tale of anger, betrayal and braggadocio so loud and lewd that ‘unguarded’ and ‘confession’ are an understatement.”
In some cases, my Hall of Fame might be better termed the Hall of People Pissing Others Off and Not Really Giving a Damn:
Gerald Tremblay, the dorky and sometimes flamboyant mayor of Montreal, for breaking royal protocol and giving Princess Margriet of the Netherlands a peck on the cheek when she visited the city in May. “I don’t know if she was amused, but I can tell you Her Highness was not upset,” her handlers told the press.
Scott Brison, the openly gay Cabinet minister from Nova Scotia, not for being an openly gay politician, but for so willingly admitting to the press that he is engaged to his boyfriend of only SIX MONTHS. But never mind. Scott, we still love you, and we look forward to invitation to the wedding, and the divorce proceedings.
Frank McKenna, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. and former premier of New Brunswick, for telling the press mere days into his appointment that “the United States is a wonderful creation.” However, “the government of the United States is in large measure dysfunctional.” So much for being diplomatic.
Peter Jennings, for helping import dozens of Canadian journalists to the U.S. all the while infuriating those who believe Canadian reporters shouldn’t be delivering news about America to Americans. An ABC colleague told me, “In a television world that too often focuses on celebrity and tabloid tales and seems to prize the anchorman who yells the loudest, Peter refused to play along. He fought aggressively to keep international news on his newscast. He believed Americans needed to know what is going on in the world beyond their borders.”
Andre Boisclair, the openly gay and formerly drug-using leader of the Parti Quebecois, for giving me something to write about that appeals to American gay men otherwise uninterested in anything related to Canadian politics. A friend or two of his also deserve credit for feeding me gossip about him — which, I might add, I have not posted on the Internet.