3 min

Le Pub goes straight

Extremist loses Conservative nomination

Credit: Pat Croteau

Converting a gay man is too tough a task, but converting a gay bar is remarkably easy. At least that’s the opinion of Le Pub’s new owner, who has transformed the 30-year-old queer establishment into a straight bar called Volt. His first order of business included tossing out all queer magazines, including Capital Xtra. Messages left for the owner were not returned at press time.

Yet Le Pub bartender Yvan Saumure is urging gay patrons to continue to frequent the location. “We still want gay people to come,” Saumure says, “If we keep up our presence then he won’t have a choice.”

Resident Le Pub drag queen Zelda Marshall was given an unceremonious send-off. Promised a farewell show Mar 2, she learned the day before that the sound system was ripped out and her show cancelled. Many patrons expressed concern when asked if they had heard of the coming change. Le Pub’s karaoke nights have proven to be a big draw, and pub goers were hoping that not too many changes would take effect.

“We all know each other here, we just want to have a good time,” says Brent Marchand, “I hope it stays the way it is.” And while Le Pub’s initial popularity may have fallen over recent years, die-hard customers have remain loyal to their Promenade du Portage hangout.

“There used to be line ups down the street when it first opened,” says 50-year-old Le Pub supporter Jim Boucher. “In those days drag queens like Marie Paul performed here. It used to be so popular and full of men.”
-Bradley Turcotte


Christian conservative Heather Stilwell was dropped from the vote after coming last in the first ballot for the federal Conservative nomination race in a Vancouver suburb.

Stilwell, who has run for fringe Christian parties in the past, was returned to the nomination race earlier this winter after raising a stink when she was excluded by the Conservative Party for making a technical mistake in her registration.

Stilwell has been a vocal opponent of gay rights and an adversary as former chair of the Surrey School Board. Sandeep Pandher won the nomination in Newton-North Delta riding.


Is federal Status of Women minister Bev Oda destined to follow former Environment minister Rose Ambrose into relative obscurity as Stephen Harper changes policy on a dime? You’ll recall Ambrose followed Harper’s anti-environment policies to the letter and then was sacrificed when the public had had enough. Oda has similarly carried out a policy of chopping women’s programs and empowering REAL Women types on the Hill.

But the Conservatives, perhaps sensing that voters aren’t impressed with these policies, have announced that $5 million will be “reinvested” in women’s programs. But the scheduled closure of Status of Women offices across the country will continue, and women’s groups won’t be able to do research or lobby for programs.

Women occupied Oda’s Bowmanville constituency office for International Women’s Day Mar 8. How long before she’s chopped?


A study at McGill AIDS Centre has found that half of all HIV transmissions happen when newly infected people may not know they are carrying the virus.

The eight year study of 2,500 HIV patients in Montreal found that newly infected patients were eight times more likely to transmit the virus than those in chronic stages of AIDS.

It’s more evidence that gays need to test often and use rubbers.


The British gay media are reporting that men are taking a vaccine that has been developed to reduce cervical cancer.

Private clinics in London are injecting men with the Gardsil vaccine that provides protection from human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes anal warts and cancer of the penis and anus, in addition to cervical cancer.

The vaccine was developed by Australian scientists. It is intended to be given to children of both sexes before they start having sex. It’s not yet widely available in Canada.


A new book suggests men need sex at least 23 times monthly for good health. Sensational Sex in 7 Easy Steps, written by Dr Ridwan Shabsigh, demonstrates how an active sex life goes hand in hand with robust health.


“No AIDS infected fags in Hull. Kill em all.” So reads the charming missive on top of this Capital Xtra distribution box which we recently removed from Place Portage in Hull. The words “gay” and “lesbian” have also been covered over on the front and side of the box. Distribution staffer Kevin Falkingham is filing a complaint with the Hull police. Ottawa police have investigated similar occurrences as hate crimes.