“I really can’t stay,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford reportedly said, attempting to excuse himself from today’s meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, after receiving less than the full hour of speaking time he had requested – cutting short his attempts to fit the worlds ‘folks’ and ‘jobs’ into more than two combinations.
“But baby,” Trudeau casually trilled, in a rich baritone. “It’s getting warm outside.”
It was a deft alteration in lyrics for the stubbornly popular PM, reviving a song that has recently been relegated to the creepy corner of history, while at the same time trolling the representatives of Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Manitoba – who have stated that they stand against Trudeau’s carbon tax, and its attempts to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement.
What followed may have been the second strangest scene ever witnessed in Canadian politics, the first also having occurred today, when Rachel Notley bit a section of John Horgan’s ear off in the third round of the meeting’s undercard battle, causing her to be disqualified, and heightening the nasty mood already permeating the cantankerous main event.
“We’ve got to go away,” said Brian Pallister, premier of half of the space between Ontario and Alberta, who had warned Trudeau beforehand that if the Prime Minister said the word ‘uh’ more than twice he would leave the room immediately.
“Uh, babies, it’s, uh, getting pretty warm outside,” the PM sang, furrowing his brow and looking at the ceiling the way crooners and constipated people do.
Rolling her eyes, Premier Notley waded in.
“The neighbours might think,” she rumbled, in a surprising – but pleasing – deep bass, as she nodded towards the United States.
“Lady it’s bad out there,” Trudeau intoned.
“We wish we knew how,” the remaining premiers chimed in, reluctantly.
“I told you,” said Trudeau, in the monotone of a person who is getting tired of repeating themselves. “There’s a carbon tax now.”
And then, rising as one, the room divided into the two traditional components of the infamous duet – the provincial heads leading, and the PM answering.
Premiers: “The voters say no, no, no sir.”
Trudeau: “2030’s moving ever closer.”
Premiers: “We really don’t care.”
Trudeau: “Oh, I am aware.”
And then all together on the big finish: “But baby it’s getting (‘coooold’ from the premiers against emissions controls, ‘kinda warm’ from the undecided, ‘HOT’ from the PM) ouuuuuuuutsssiiiiiiiiiide.”
The meeting then adjourned, with Doug Ford and Brian Pallister storming out, Horgan and Notley discussing each other’s maternal lineages unfavourably, and everyone desperately hoping no one suggested an encore.