Prime Minister Stephen Harper, ensconced in a Calgary hotel room for the Conservative Party convention this weekend, ordered room service. As luck would have it, a recording of that conversation came into my hands. If you watched the Prime Minister take questions during Question Period this week, some of this may have a familiar ring. I only hope this document gives those parliamentary sessions context and brings Canadians some understanding of their Prime Minister.
Here, at any rate, is the room-service Hansard.
Room service: Good evening. Room service. How can I help you?
Stephen Harper: Look, I’ve been very clear.
Room service: I’m sorry, did you want to order something, sir?
Stephen Harper: I’ve answered that question repeatedly and I don’t think what I am or am not going to eat is of interest to hard-working Canadian families.
Room service: So you don’t want to order any food, sir?
Stephen Harper: Look, there’ve been no changes, what I’m going to eat is extremely well known.
Room service: Oh… would you like a hamburger… or a clubhouse sandwich, sir?
Stephen Harper: A club sandwich is completely unacceptable to this party! I think everyone who knows me knows a club sandwich is against everything I stand for!
Room service: So, you’re ordering a hamburger. Would you like fries or a salad with that?
Stephen Harper: Once again, that question’s been clearly answered.
Room service: Fries?
Stephen Harper: Mr. Room Service, there are no fries in my room.
Room service: So are you saying you had fries and you ate the fries because you like fries and so you want to order new fries? Or are you saying there are no fries because you do not care for fries and so are you ordering a salad?
Stephen Harper: Mr. Room Service, I’ve said it’s not unusual for me to eat fries from time to time and I’m ordering on my record.
Room service: Is it fair to say then, sir, that you would like a burger and fries? Can I get a simple yes or no on that?
Paul Calandra: Mr. Room Service, the Prime Minister has been quite clear.
Room service: Sorry, who am I talking to?
Paul Calandra: I’m the Parliamentary Secretary to Mr. Harper – who does not support the clubhouse sandwich industry.
Room service manager: Hello, Mr. Calandra. Room service manager here. I’ve spoken with some of our other staff – it seems the Prime Minister had three clubhouse sandwiches delivered to the adjoining room some time ago.
Paul Calandra: This is truly unbelievable. The catering wing of this establishment is trying to make victims out of these three clubhouse sandwiches.
Room service manager: The Prime Minister ordered the three sandwiches. Repeatedly praised two of the sandwiches to my staff. The sandwiches were enlisted to win support on Mr. Harper’s behalf and were in fact put on trollies and wheeled the length and breadth of this hotel. When some guests expressed concern about these three clubhouse sandwiches, saying, and I quote from the records kept by the front desk, “Something doesn’t smell right; someone should take a closer look at those sandwiches,” the Prime Minister went to considerable trouble and expense to keep them in the room next to him.
A friend of the Prime Minister’s actually picked up the mini-bar tab for one of those sandwiches, which somehow amounted to an astonishing $90,000. I gotta say we, in the kitchen, are baffled.
Stephen Harper: He isn’t a friend.
Manager: I’d like to give the Prime Minister a chance to be crystal clear: Would he like a burger?
Stephen Harper: CETA. Sponsorship scandal. Mr. Calandra has two adorable children.
Room service: We understand your intention is to throw the clubhouse sandwiches out the window. Short of breaking the windows, a mechanism for doing this doesn’t exist. Maybe you’ve done so already. Who knows? No one can find your breakfast tray and we’ve no means of knowing what is or is not in your room, why it might’ve been ordered there and why it might’ve been expelled, because housekeeping reports you’ve twisted your door sign into a Möbius strip that now reads “Do not disturb. Please tidy room. Do not disturb. Please tidy room” in an infinite loop. This is unusual for a guest and I think it’s time to stress that you are a guest. Now, what exactly are you going to have for dinner?
Stephen Harper: Few people know about the breakfast tray which is no longer in my room.