Friday, May 09, 2008

A House Is Not A Home

The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper
24 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

I understand you may be in a bit of a bind regarding adequate living quarters. From what I hear, Auditor General Sheila Fraser says your house is close to being a tear-down. At the very least, it apparently needs massive renovations that will take upwards of fifteen months to complete.

I thought that, as a fellow employee of the Crown, I might be able to help out. Sad to say, I can’t offer you accommodations for your entire family. But I can at least offer you a place to stay while they’re working on your place.

I live with my wife and daughter in a modest, three-bedroom bungalow in southeast Ottawa. Since there are only three of us, we have a spare bedroom that you’re welcome to use. I wouldn’t expect much in the way of payment - say, $250 a month plus GST which, as you know, is now a bargain at a mere 5%.

Your rent would entitle you to the use of our TV and home computer. We don’t have high speed Internet access and my daughter has to use it sometimes for her homework. But otherwise, it’s pretty much available for prime ministerial correspondence, secret search warrants, letters of termination or whatever else you need it for.

As for board, that’s negotiable with my wife. After all, as you no doubt recognize, in Canada, there is no free lunch. But I’m sure we can come to some agreement on at least a daily continental breakfast and a hot meal for dinner. Anyway, having seen you on TV, it looks like you wouldn’t mind going on a bit of a diet.

Alternatively, we could provide you with a small fridge and a hot plate for your room. Then you can make your own meals and snacks and even keep a few beers on hand. If you’re not a big drinker, I actually don’t mind if you keep half a dozen of your favorite brand in my beer fridge in the basement. So long as you don’t mix them in with mine. I don’t know about you but I’m not a big fan of Labatt Blue. No offense, I hope.

I don’t know what your tastes are in the way of TV viewing but we’re fairly flexible. Except for my daughter who has to see "Degrassi: The Next Generation" and "The Hills" every week without fail. But otherwise, I think we can likely accommodate your viewing preferences so long as they don’t involve the Toronto Maple Leafs or Mike Duffy.

Now I imagine you’re probably a bit concerned about getting to work and back. Not a problem. As I said, we live in southeast Ottawa and I work over in Hull. So I could drop you off on my way to work in the morning at the corner of Sussex and Rideau and then you’re only a five-minute walk from your office.

As for getting back at night, so long as you’re OK with leaving work at 4:30, I could pick you up on my way home. In fact, if you’d like, we could even meet at the Chateau Lafayette in the Market for a draft or two before we head home. Who knows? It might even help you keep in touch with the common man.

One thing I have to warn you about. We own a dog. His name is Oreo and he’s a very nice Portuguese Water Dog. But, to be honest, he doesn’t like cats. So I’m afraid we couldn’t board your cat while you’re staying with us. Frankly, I don’t know what Oreo thinks about Tories but he hasn’t bitten anyone yet and we’ve had some pretty right-of-center guests over the years.

Now, as for payment, I understand that your employment situation is a bit tenuous. But don’t worry. Even if you should lose your job, we wouldn’t kick you out. If you’re handy around the house, I’m more than willing to let you work off some of your rent by taking on the odd chore or two. No need to thank me. After all, it’s the Canadian thing to do.

Yours truly,

Dave Martin

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