A mojo dojo casa house for the PM

A mojo dojo casa house for the PM

My Ottawa Citizen column this week is on 24 Sussex, our official mojo dojo casa house (obligatory Barbie movie reference, more on which below), and why Pierre Poilievre should make history, in a good way, by giving up his own taxpayer-funded mansion.

Continuing with our summer series of lovely and interesting Ottawans we had NVision’s Jennifer David on the path to reconciliation. 

My legal writing for National Magazine includes a piece on the general anti-avoidance rule and no, you probably don’t need to read it.

As I said I would, I went to Pride last Sunday and boy, the fun I had. The crowd was one of the largest I’d ever seen in Ottawa, certainly the most joyous one. I’m trying to remember how many people were there for the Unknown Soldier in 2000. Wikipedia says 20,000. I want to say there were at least that many people downtown on Sunday. 

Notably absent were conservative politicians. There were a number of religious groups and churches present, with their colourful floats and big smiles. From my vantage point at the beginning of the parade they did not get the biggest crowd reaction but it was certainly very friendly. I’m told that when the Anglican folks from the church at Somerset/Elgin went by their building, someone rang the bells and the crowd went wild in all the right ways. That’s very heart-warming. 

There were some concerns over security given the dramatic rise in threats against queer and trans people. I am happy to report that I did not see anything negative. I saw some videos on social media of sad losers holding up anti-LGBTQ signs but they were hidden by people with more pride flags and loving chants so it worked out OK.


I saw the movie twice. The first time with a training partner friend, a young millennial straight guy whose politics I do not know because I don’t bring those to kickboxing, and the second time with my two younger kids, whose politics are even more radically woke than mine (yes, I’m proud). Youngest found it way too gendered but Middle Child enjoyed the wicked kick in the ass the psychopathic faction of the patriarchy gets. My millennial friend’s reaction, while we were still watching the credits, was “there is a lot to unpack here” and we’ve been doing just that ever since. 

One thing I asked him was whether, as a man, he felt attacked in any way by anything in the movie. “No,” he said with a laugh. “None of what they said applies to me.” That, and various reactions I saw from the losersphere, strongly suggest that the only people who feel attacked by the Barbie movie are violent, toxic men. I hope it breaks them. 

To be perfectly honest, the movie — as a movie — is not especially awesome. The acting is alright if camped. The visuals are so over the top they’re garish. The jokes are good but not out-of-this-world brilliant. The music is OK but not great and the plot has plenty of predictable bits. 

It’s just that… put together the resulting movie works great. I’m sorry, I mean, sublime.

My takeaway is this: Self-awareness is powerful. Not the kind that makes Barbie uncomfortable when she’s catcalled by the construction workers. No, the kind we see when she says she’d never wear heels if her feet were shaped like yours or mine. The little girls playing with dolls at the beginning who realize, when they see Barbie, that motherhood, if you don’t watch out, can be extremely limiting. The self-awareness that makes Barbie want to be human, so she can be the one doing the imagining, instead of just being the idea. That’s actually quite cool. 

Getting ready to party

I am headed to Quebec City next week to attend the Conservative Party convention. Of course they refused me a media accreditation because they are playing exactly to type. The party has been shunning anyone they don’t like for years. And as perhaps you may have guessed, I’m not their biggest fan. 

That’s OK. I’m going anyway and I promise you I’ll have plenty to write about. 

I have plans to meet with interesting folks within the party who aren’t exactly pleased with the direction it’s taking. I call them the Grown-Up Wing of the Conservative Party, and it has nothing to do with age. I have room for more meetings if that’s you and want to meet. I’m pretty easy to reach and I know lots of fun discreet spots in the other Capitale nationale.