Of all the opportunists who surfaced to succeed Maria McRae following her snap retirement announcement as River Ward councillor (yo, Mike Patton!), Frank can attest that one of them really, really, really needs the job.
I speak, of course, of my old compadre, Tory-in-bad-times Bruce Winchester.
The neocon knob, after earning his kneepads at the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation and Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, went to fartcatcher heaven in 2007 with a gig in the offices of Vic Toews and thence to Christian Paradis, where he was pulling down $120K a year as a senior policy assistant, enjoying regular legovers with his ministerial co-sluggo Jillian Andrews, and helping to keep his boss one step ahead of the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner.
Investigators are still sifting through the detritus of Paradis’ wild ride as Public Works Minister (2008-2010), and the endless cover-ups by his staff. Parliamentary assistant Sebastien Togneri, who so famously ordered the “unrelease” of ATIP documents to a CP hack, resigned in 2010 after getting fingered in one ratfuck too many.
The information commissioner earlier this year found ‘systemic interference’ in access to information releases by Paradis’ sluggos, specifically involving Togneri and Andrews, and the NDP is still whistling for the Mounties.
It all fell apart so quickly for our Bruce. Paradis shitcanned him in July 2012 (about the same time his wife Charlene learned of his mamboing with Jillian), and employment has remained elusive ever since, in no small part thanks to the five-year lobbying ban on political staff.
Bruce has set up his own consulting firm, WinStrategies (address: parents Brian and Nancy’s home, where he once again resides), but business is slow to non-existent. His Employment Insurance ran out in December, and he successfully signed up for an Ontario Works pittance in January.
Despite assiduously working his Tory rolodex (Togneri, Dimitri Soudas, Walter Robinson, Bernie Lord), Bruce found re-entry to the lucrative life of the Tory shineboy was simply not to be had.
Eventually, Bruce broadened his job search, exploring new career vistas such as Sales Associate – Dan Murphy Ford, Branch Manager – Discount Car and Truck Rental, and Assistant Manager – Starbucks.
Worse, in March, Charlene prevailed in family court, winning the matrimonial digs, $94,814.28 of Bruce’s pension and (le gulp) $828 a month in child support.
Ottawa city councillors make $93,986 per annum.