Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Subscribe Help

Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

For The Globe and Mail

Cabinet minister is a thankless job – unless you’re Jason Kenney

Tabatha Southey

Published Friday, Jul. 13, 2012 05:33PM EDT

Last updated Friday, Jul. 13, 2012 05:33PM EDT

‘We, the undersigned,” a petition on Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney’s website reads, “thank Jason Kenney for his efforts to streamline benefits afforded to refugees claimants under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) and bring them in line with the benefits received by tax-paying Canadians, including new Canadians.”

Many politicians congratulate themselves on their own websites. But only one, the one who imagines himself to be the busiest and most put-upon, would ask Canadians to do that job for him.

It’s possible this petition is the creation of a summer intern who doesn’t understand the finer points of astroturfing, the first step of which is build a separate website. But I like to imagine the petition was put up late one Friday night, by Mr. Kenney himself, after he abandoned his search of the Internet for an appropriately passive-aggressive e-card to post in the same space, something like “Keep Calm and Carry On Appreciating Jason Kenney’s Efforts to Scale Back Health-Care Coverage for Refugee Claimants.”

Those of you who have been casting about for a way to thank Mr. Kenney may be relieved that your search is over. But I urge you not to sign. Who knows where this will lead?

Reading between the lines, gauging Mr. Kenney’s current emotional state, I predict the following will appear chronologically on his website:

1. We the undersigned would like to thank Jason Kenney for his efforts to streamline the mechanism by which Canadians thank their Ministers of the Crown. This Ministerial Gratitude Red-Tape Reduction Strategy will ensure swifter delivery of kudos to the appropriate recipient – Jason Kenney – while bringing the national level of gratitude for his considerable efforts more in line with that received by volunteer firefighters.

2. We the undersigned, in the interests of a fairer Canada, would like to point out that Jason Kenney has been slaving over a hot piece of legislation all day and the least you people could do is thank him. You know, the constituents in Saskatoon-Humboldt call their MP every day.

3. Sigh.

4. We the undersigned demand that no more of Minister Jason Kenney’s valuable time be consumed writing petitions and that he be given a dedicated assistant for this onerous task, because really, is that too much to ask? Also why won’t his iPhone sync his contacts properly? Wasn’t that the whole deal? Come on, the minister paid $600 for this thing and he works hard, not that anyone notices.

5. Please take a moment to fill out this short survey: Why have you not responded to Jason Kenney’s Facebook friend request?

6. We the undersigned demand that certain Canadians cease their reckless isolationist policies and start attending Jason Kenney’s barbecues.

7. Is it garbage night? I thought so. Oh, nothing.

8. New research from the Fraser Institute shows that 100 per cent of Jason Kenney cannot find his keys.

9. Please take a moment to fill out this short survey: Have you see Jason Kenney’s keys?

10. Historically, in Canada, if everyone looked for Jason Kenney’s keys for 15 just minutes, the Honourable Member could be out of here and working to leave more money in the pockets of hard-working Canadian families, which is also where his keys might be. Please check. Also,

hell-ooo, why does the minister now have six contacts for Peter MacKay?

11. New research shows that 100 per cent of Canadians, including new Canadians, believe that watching Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel is more interesting than helping Minister Jason Kenney find his keys – which were under the couch cushions, if you’re wondering.

12. “What is a friend?” Aristotle wrote. “A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” Short survey: Don’t you just hate Aristotle?

13. Jason Kenney needs a hug. Is anyone in Canada wearing a soft sweater?

14. Petition to have somebody notice Jason Kenney’s new haircut.

15. A new poll suggests that, unlike some cabinet ministers, Jason Kenney has no need to spend hard-earned taxpayer dollars on an air purifier for his office or a memorial for communist-sympathizing national icons.

He also exercises daily, drinks eight glasses of water a day and eschews all but the most nutritionally virtuous of foods, even when tempted by the most delicious New Canadian culinary delicacies. But does Jason Kenney complain? Jason Kenney does not. Man, could Jason Kenney go for one of those deep-fried butter sticks he saw at the Stampede last week.

And don’t get Jason Kenney started on the half-a-size-too-small cowboy boots for which he wound up paying far too much because of an unfortunate packing incident before his pilgrimage back to the riding. Just don’t.

16. Sigh.

17. Please take this short survey: Do you like Jason Kenney? Like like, that is?