In the Senate, chow time trumps nation’s biz

by Claude McIntosh
In the Senate, chow time trumps nation’s biz



When you are a freshman Senator, there is a learning curve, as the new Independent Senator for Eastern Ontario has discovered.

Bernadette Clement has discovered that if you are going to make your first speech in the Canadian Senate, don’t launch it close to dinner time.

The former Cornwall mayor was moving along quite nicely when she was cut off by the Speaker who informed her that it was 6 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the Senate means it is chow time. Not 6:01. Six sharp. Right on the button. She could resume her speech after those who wished to hear what she had to say returned from the dining room.

Just another adjustment to life in the Slumber Chamber.

Clement caused a stir during her swearing in ceremony. After taking the oath, the vibrant newbie did what is described as an impromptu five-second happy dance on her way to her seat which got the same re-action as a belch in a prayer meeting.

She was reminded that “we don’t do that” (in the Senate). Nod off, yes. Happy dance, no.

Young, fresh faces are unusual for the Senate.

During her first few weeks she was, on a few occasions, asked, “And which senator do you work for?”

FAREWELL TO BUBBA:  A familiar face will be missing at the Cornwall Curling Centre next season. Long-time ice-maker Steve “Bubba” Smith has retired. He was honored by the curling crowd at a sold-out retirement dinner Saturday night. Smith has a connection with the 1980 Cornwall Royals. His sister is married to Robert Savard who scored the cup-winning overtime goal (1:28) against the Petes. Smith and his future brother-in-law had a rocky start. During training camp Smith (he didn’t make the team) had a stand-up, knock ‘em down fight with Savard who at the time he didn’t know. Few nights later guess who showed up at the Smith house for a first-date with Bubba’ssister. Smith recalled that he recognized Savard right away. The black eye gave him away. Said Smith to a surprised Savard, “So you’re the guy.” It has been all good ever since.

HERE AND THERE: Question of the day: Who is worth more to society, a multi-million-dollar athlete who spends the season in Russia, or a front-line worker? …. Watching the cash register ringing up multi-million dollar elect-us promises, not sure we can afford elections every four years. … Strange, isn’t it. Provincial and federal governments worry about skyrocketing consumer debt while the provinces and feds sink us further in debt. … This passed along by retired high school teacher Paul Lusignan: You go to the grocery store and buy a pound of ham wrapped in plastic, you buy a loaf of bread wrapped in plastic, you buy a salad in a plastic container, a bottle of ketchup in a plastic bottle and milk in plastic bags. Then at the check out you can’t put them in a plastic bag.

THIS AND THAT: Medicine has the ability to perform painless assisted suicides for terminally ill patients but it can’t carry out fool-proof, pain-free executions by injection that are decried as cruel. … During the first couple of COVID waves, most folks heard about somebody having the virus. Now it seems that we all know at least three people who have been infected. … Of all the Cornwall mayors I have covered and worked with, none knew or understood the Ontario Municipal Act better than Leslie O’Shaughnessy. … According to a release by the Chicago Black Hawks, associate coach Marc Crawford made a significant contribution to the Hawks. Apparently it wasn’t significant enough. He was terminated as part of the team’s off-season make-over.

• Ground was broken for the Chemcell Chemical methanol plant on a 436-acre site acquired by the international company on Montreal Road just west of Boundary Road. The initial building would occupy 33 acres and employee 35 people. Plans called for a mammoth expansion (that never happened).
• Texaco was building a service centre near Morrisburg on just constructed Highway 401. The centre, on 20 acres leased from the department of transport, would feature a 100-seat restaurant.
• Plans for a one-storey 5,000-square-foot addition to Simon Fraser Public Library at a cost of $80,000 were approved by the library board. It was double the space in the Cline House.
• Rod Scott, first director of St. Columban’s Parish Centre, was leaving after four years to become University of Windsor public relations director.
• Construction of Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church was under way. The parish was established in 1965.
• Premier John Robarts opened the Upper Canada Golf Course that was two years in the making.
• St. Lawrence High School history teacher Gerald Samson was winner of the first Jaycees of Cornwall “Outstanding Young Man” award.
• An overseas recruiting mission yielded six new teachers for the Collegiate school board. Jane Syme, Denis Oxley, Denis Kershaw, Anthony Francis, Brian McKinley and Reginald Forest came from the United Kingdom.
• Cornwall Collegiate science teacher Clifford Hart was elected president of the Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario. Named directors of the Ontario Education Association were John McIntosh, Ed Armstrong and Alwyn Mousseau.
• A second officer was added to the Maxville Ontario Provincial Police detachment. Const. Gordon Marriott joined Const. Donald Farsberg.
• Tom Good was named top athlete at the St. Lawrence High School athletic awards banquet. Other awards were given to Henry Blanchard and Bob Nicholls, track and field; Andy Petepiece, Lionel Carriere and Mike Dorey, football.
• The Inter-provincial Junior Football League gave Cornwall a franchise. The team would be known as the Chargers. Norm Baril was general manager, Ray Sommerville coach and Gilles Leger team president.
• Terry Riley had three goals as Cornwall Mustangs downed Morrisburg Mets 11-5 in a junior lacrosse game. J. C. Lebrun and Rick Fawthrop had two apiece.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Sgt. Ernie Bilko, head of an army base motor pool, was played by Phil Silvers. Bilko always had a get-rich-quick scheme on the go.

TRIVIA: Before he became an award-winning Canadian television anchor and journalist, this high school dropout (Glebe Collegiate in Ottawa) served two years in the Canadian Navy and was a ticket agent for Transair at the airport in Churchill, Man.

QUOTED: “Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.
– Oprah Winfrey

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