Once upon a time, in the beautiful city of Winnipeg, a Member of Parliament (MP) was about to grace the Indigenous community with a major funding announcement. The excitement was palpable as the venue buzzed with anticipation. The press gallery was set, and the recipients and their representatives eagerly awaited the arrival of the esteemed MP. Of course, being the polite Canadian politicians they were, the Manitoba MPs also gathered to welcome the visiting dignitary, or, in this case, a Minister.
Before the Minister’s grand entrance, one of their assistants or handlers made a dramatic entrance of her own. She swept into the building, her nose held high in the air, making it clear to everyone who she was. She promptly set some ground rules reminiscent of an overbearing agent. “The Minister is about to arrive,” she declared imperiously.” The moment was very reminiscent of Jim Carey’s The Mask, when he yelled “Showtime” and demanded to be pointed to the sacred ‘Green Groom.'” She inspected the room designated for the Minister’s use, demanding more water and suggesting that someone should be placed outside to ensure no interruptions disturbed their highness. She swanned back outside with an air of superiority to join the Minister’s entourage.
Finally, the moment arrived, and the Minister made their entrance. Straightaway, they bypassed the eager press gallery, seemingly channelling their inner A-list Hollywood star demanding red carpet treatment. It was as if the Minister expected the flashes of paparazzi cameras to follow their every step. Alas, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and it appeared that the Minister’s subordinates had learned their behaviour from the very best.
When it was time for the long-awaited announcement, the Minister turned on the charm. With a smile rivalling the Cheshire Cat, the Minister repeatedly addressed the Indigenous leader by their first name, as if they were old buddies. Even if they were the best pals, a public event in front of the national media isn’t the time or place for such familiarity.
Once the media frenzy had died down, a select group of journalists were corralled into a brief scrum, handpicked by the Minister’s handler. And just like that, the Minister was whisked back to their waiting vehicle as if they had just completed a highly classified covert operation. The staff on hand couldn’t help but shake their heads in disbelief. They noted that if the Minister dared to return to their fair city, a custom red carpet would be rolled out, the purest bottled water flown in from the most pristine natural spring in the world, and all staff would practice the art of avoiding eye contact.
Ah, the trials and tribulations of being a Minister. The burdensome task of travelling from place to place, making important announcements, and treating everyone like inconsequential extras in their grand theatrical production. But let’s not forget that even in the realm of politics, basic decency and humility should never be tossed aside like yesterday’s headlines.
And so, the story of the Winnipeg Minister’s visit became a cautionary tale passed down through the generations of political staffers. It is a reminder that no matter how powerful or important one may think, treating others with respect and kindness should always take precedence. After all, a little humility goes a long way in making the world a better place, even if it means refraining from demanding red carpets and special water.