Gay Conservative cabinet minister John Baird walked away with the Maclean’s magazine Parliamentarian of the Year award at a gala event on Parliament Hill tonight.
Baird’s win, however, was not popular among some of the MPs present. When Baird, in his acceptance speech, spoke about “Canadians and Quebeckers,” Liberal MP Alexandra Mendes shouted out “Quebeckers are Canadians too!” and got applause from some people around her. Mendes, who was present for Baird’s performance at the Government Operations committee in the afternoon, was unable to stick around to listen to the whole of Baird’s acceptance speech.
“Parliamentarian of the year? For his contempt of the institution?” another MP said.
The other winners were:
- Hardest Working: Conservative Ted Menzies (runner up: Liberal Paul Szabo)
- Best Orators: Liberal Bob Rae (runner up: Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe)
- Most Collegial: NDP Peter Stoffer (runner up: Liberal Roger Cuzner)
- Most Knowledgeable: Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe (runner up: Conservative John Baird)
- Best Constituent MP: Bloc MP Robert Bouchard (runner up: Liberal Mauril Belanger)
- Rising Star: Conservative Kelly Block (runner up: Bloc Carole Freeman)
- Parliamentarian of the year runner up: Gilles Duceppe