How unfortunate that Jane Taber’s fluffer of Dominic LeBlanc in this weekend’s Globe and Minion omitted so many juicy details from the Codfather II’s colourful past.
In Taber’s telling, the new Liberal Government House Leader is the fresh face of tomorrow! There’s a new day dawning! Because it’s 2015! And so on….
Of course, longtime followers of LeBlanc know the real Fats Domino for what he is: A classic, old school ward healing Liberal hack.
He comes to politics by accident of birth. Pater was Romeo, former G-G and Jean Crouton fartcatcher (indeed, Crouton is Domino’s godfather), and like any New Brunswick politician, Dom always has his nose firmly fixed to the asses of the Irving family, most notably Jim Irving Jr.
Dom and Jim’s bibulous binges are the stuff of legend. The grisly duo tootled around on the Irving family jet, getting vastly over refreshed on frequent flights from Ottawa to Dom’s Beausejour riding.
Prior to his election to Parliament in 2000, Dom sought the support of Grit fixer Dick Carpenter, who owned a fishing lodge on the Miramichi. Carpenter named his price and a couple of weeks later, a corporate jet touched down in Chatham, NB, disgorging Dom and his pals Justin and Sacha Trudeau for what would turn out to be Pierre’s last weekend in the great outdoors.
Whose jet? That’d be Jim “Oily” Irving’s, Jim’s daddy.
Dom’s freeloading goes back to his days as a mediocre student at U. of T. He helped himself to Romeo’s parliamentary travel privileges to zip between New Brunswick and Toronto, once flying in on the government dime to protest the opening of the university’s wimmin’s centre.
When his father became G-G, Dom had unlimited use of the government Challenger jets and he took full advantage, joining pater on countless hops to exotic locales, free of charge, bien sur.
One of the last great junkets was a February 1999 G-G tour of Morocco, Mali and Tanzania, a conveniently-timed toot which allowed Dom, then a “consultant” for Melkior Resources, to tag along, save airfare and conduct a little biz whilst pretending he was part of the vice-regal entourage.
And then there was his marriage to Jolene Richard the Moncton lawyer, and daughter of Guy Richard, yet another Liberal wheeze and Court of Queen’s Bench Justice.
Their May-December coupling (he was then 40; she 48), nearly went off the rails when Jolene discovered Dom had been getting a Vic Toews-style legover with Jolene’s babysitter (she has a child from a previous marriage.)
The affair prompted LeBlanc to issue a bizarre apology to Jolene in the Moncton Times-Transcript, in which the priapic pol professed his sorrow for causing such “hurt” to his future wife. A few weeks after the grovel appeared, the relationship resumed and they married in 2003.
Dom also cleaned up his Wiki act, expunging all the fun bits from his self-penned bio. But through the miracle of Google cache, we’ve disinterred a few of the lost knee slappers: “LeBlanc has received considerable acclaim during his time in Parliament, particulaly [sic] his oratorical prowess while in Opposition. He was co-chair of the 2006 Liberal Party. At about this time, CTV commentator Mike Duffy revealed that LeBlanc was being touted as a potential successor to leader Stephane Dion.”
Who advised the Puffster on this top-secret information we can only guess.