Pet project

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Congratulations: as a Canadian taxpayer, you’re the proud purchaser of your very own senator. Senators are popular and fun pets.

Like all pets, though, senators require you, the owner, to properly attend to their care. With regular sleeping and feeding schedules, your senator can live for years. But be careful: absolute lack of motion does not mean your senator has passed on. He or she is merely “in session,” a

hypnotic trace-like state that some have compared to hibernation, and others to a boa-like trance state required to fully digest large portions of rich foods.

There are plenty of models. The Elizabeth Marshall, for example, shows up when it says it will, every time, and many of the other senators take their jobs so seriously that they will not escape from the Senate Chamber even if you accidentally leave the door open.

Here are some tips on the care and feeding of your senator. Senators require the best of pay and pensions, not to mention subsidized restaurants, fitness facilities and virtually unlimited travel.

Some models of senator require particularly special care: if you have purchased the Pamela Wallin, you should be aware that she is uncomfortable remaining in one place. Be prepared to help keep her in motion, and we don’t mean a hampster wheel. CTV News reports the Wallin required $321,037 in “other travel” expenses since September 2010, which means you should budget a minimum of $11,000 a month to fly the Wallin around — otherwise, she will become moody and may start eating her notes or chewing on her chair.

Other models also have specific needs.

The Duffy is directionally confused, and may not be able to find his way home. In fact, he may be uncertain about where home is, although his loud and spontaneous outbursts of “I’m a proud Prince Edward Islander” are sure to amuse family and friends alike. The Duffy may be wrong about where he lives, but he knows he’s right about everything else — and the noise can be jarring. You cannot confuse the Duffy into thinking it’s sleepy-time by merely covering his cage. When nervous, he may dart out through the kitchen and have to be recaptured.

Not ready for the full Duffy? Try a Harb or a Brazeau instead — they share the Duffy’s inability to establish a home address without additional payments from taxpayers, but they’re not nearly as self-righteous about grabbing the cash.

Be careful about the secondary models, though: both the Brazeau and Harb have further concerns. Like Japanese Beta fish, the Brazeau is aggressive and apparently needs his own bowl. The other helpful senators have obliged by — at least temporarily — tossing him out of theirs.

The Harb? Partial to peculiar pronouncements about the seal hunt, but don’t worry: it’s an annual outburst that disappears mere moments after it occurs. During non-blooming periods, the Harb has been certified as innocuous.

Maybe you want to shop local. How about the Fabian Manning? Gregarious, well-mannered and a tidy eater, but do be sure to keep him away from your chequebook. The Manning has a nervous disorder that, upon seeing a cheque, requires him to fly home to Newfoundland immediately and present it to someone — anyone. Unlike the Duffy, the Manning’s homing instinct is at least accurate. The Manning knows where he lives, and puts your money where his mouth is.

Whatever model you choose, enjoy your senator. He or she is constitutionally guaranteed, and is bound to be around for a long time. A long, long, long time.

Organizations: Senate Chamber, CTV News

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • corruption at work
    February 14, 2013 - 11:47

    the bias liberal media make it sound that only conservatives are naughty in the senate, but in fact liberals are no better. A CROOK FOLKS, IS A CROOK, NO MATTER WHAT COLOUR THEY WEAR.

  • david
    February 14, 2013 - 10:35

    To be clear, I am completley disgusted wit the entire Senate, and the federal political scene is an abomination of crooks and thieves. But it is somewhat amusing to read an editorial from a place so steeped in long-term, institutionalized, "professionalized" EI abuse and fraudulent claims for government handouts. You couldn't tell from this article that Newfoundlanders are not hauling much of the freight for the Canadian tax base, but actually net takers on a per capita basis. So let's ease up on the rhetoric over a game we play quite well ourselves. As they say: hate the game, not the playa.

  • saelcove
    February 14, 2013 - 10:27

    you actually get paid to writ this trash you should join the senate, the con,s and the fiberals will never get rid of the senate of losers

  • Jerome
    February 14, 2013 - 09:48

    I think I would opt for a Baker - a young Baker. Bakers, especially young Bakers, make a lot of noise and would make for good guard senators. Unfortunately, when they get older (say ten or eleven) Bakers become more akin to Jed Clampett's Duke.

  • Marg
    February 14, 2013 - 09:45

    Scott Free posts: Lies, deceit, corruption, cover-ups has to STOP. That's what SHOULD happen, but we all know that is NOT going to happen. Politicians are not going "to rock their boat"; they are living too high and mighty off the working taxpayers. I really don't know how they can sleep at night; obviously, they do not feel any guilt, nor do their families.

  • Morley Bolero
    February 14, 2013 - 09:01


  • Peter poutine
    February 14, 2013 - 08:35

    Why is peter penashue still aloud to stay in his position? They'll, elections canada, will prolong this case and eventually say that its too late to do anything because the appeal time has run out. like what happened with loyola suvillian's issue after his term as fisheriers ambassador.

  • Scott Free
    February 14, 2013 - 07:41

    The Upper Chamber must be abolished; stop the patronage appointments and deliver on your promise of senate reform PM Harper. This is not senate reform; it's rewarding your cronies at taxpayers' expense. Lies, deceit, corruption and cover-ups has to STOP!