- In House of Commons tradition, a Christmas poem was read in the last sitting before the House adjourned for the holidays.
- This year, Montreal MP Anthony Housefather took up the task after Rodger Cuzner, the originator of the tradition, decided not to run for re-election this year.
- Housefather's jokes touched on Scheer's resignation and the religious symbols ban, amongst other hilarious subjects.
The Montreal MP for Mount-Royal, Anthony Housefather, has taken up the traditional Christmas poem parody read at the last sitting at Canada's House of Commons before the House adjourned for the holidays and he has does his predecessor, Rodger Cuzner proud. Housefather read a version of " 'Twas The Night Before Christmas" that was full of political jabs and satirical jokes aimed at parties and MPs from all sides of the bench, including a joke about the notorious religious symbols ban.
Housefather took up the job after Cuzner decided not to run for re-election this year. Cuzner had been in office as an MP for Cape-Breton in Nova Scotia since 2000 and was given the title of "Parliament's sense of humour," in Maclean's "Parliamentarians of the Year" in 2017, and it's easy to see why.
Cuzner had been serving up a rhymed ribbing for years and clearly, Housefather was worried that without him there would be no one left to send Parliament off into the Holidays the right way.
So, lucky for us, Housefather decided to step up to the plate. And, "who knew?! That Cuzner's Christmas poem tradition would be assumed by a Jew?"
The video was shared to YouTube and a clip from CPAC was posted to Twitter sharing the inspiring and hilarious poem in its entirety.
I reached out to Anthony Housefather to find out if he had spoken with Cuzner about this in advance or not. Housefather let me know that he did, in fact, reach out to let Cuzner know he intended to go for it this year in Cuzner's absence.
Here's one of Cuzner's poems from 2016. If you're interested in hearing the last word on the state of Parliament each year from Cuzner's viewpoint, shared in the form of a poem, I suggest you take a little trip to YouTube.
Just type in "rodger cuzner christmas poem" and you will find countless videos from over the years that show Cuzner in his prime, spreading Christmas cheer and a little shade, just before the holidays.
It's clear that Housefather was pretty excited to take up the task this year and Rodger Cuzner even gave his support on Twitter afterwards.
Housefather let me know he certainly intends to keep doing it each year and that he feels doubly close to Cuzner considering he now holds Cuzner's old position on the Hill.
"I'm also following in his footsteps as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour, that was what he did in the last parliament and that's what I was appointed to last week, so it sort of is, y'know, another cool thing that I'm succeeding to his job and also succeeding to the traditions."
I can't think of a better tradition to uphold.