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NDP Leader Jack Layton listens to Luc Lafleur play the guitar in a Courtenay, B.C., coffee shop during an April 7, 2011, campaign stop. (Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
NDP Leader Jack Layton listens to Luc Lafleur play the guitar in a Courtenay, B.C., coffee shop during an April 7, 2011, campaign stop. (Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Wolf-pelt-toting B.C. busker becomes NDP convert Add to ...

It was one of those spontaneous, surreal sorts of moments that seems to happen on election campaigns when scripts are not followed.

NDP Leader Jack Layton was a little early for a scheduled whistle stop Thursday at the campaign headquarters of his candidate Vancouver Island North candidate, Ronna Rae Leonard.

So he decided to stop in at Zocalo, a cafe owned by Catherine Bell who held this seat for the New Democrats before she was defeated by John Duncan of the Tories.

Just before Mr. Layton entered the bar, Luc Lafleur wandered in with his guitar and a wolf pelt thrown over his shoulder – a pelt complete with the head attached. There were no eyes but a tongue hung loosely between an imposing set of teeth.

Mr. Layton arrived and started chatting up the locals. Then Mr. Lafleur, who said he was a great, great, great grandson of Georges-Etienne Carter, began to sing.

His tune, maybe an original composition, was all about black flies. The chorus was “I’ll die with black flies licking my bones.”

Mr. Layton stopped his politicking and sipped his coffee, watching the one-man show. At times he gamely tapped his feet.

When it was over, Mr. Layton walked over to shake Mr. Lafleur’s hand and quietly slipped him a $20. It won him a voter. “Good luck to you,” Mr. Lafleur said. “I hope you lead the country some day.”

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