Volume 96, Issue 61
Friday, January 17, 2003

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NEWS FOR DUMMIES: Campbell's road trip, Copps for PM and Liberal flip-flops

By Paolo Zinatelli
Gazette Staff

News for Dummies has returned. What you are about to read may be the most useful information you have consumed all week. Enjoy.

The week began with the mug shot of British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell plastered across the front pages of Canadian newspapers. The Liberal premier was in Maui on vacation with his family and had a little too much to drink before getting behind the wheel.

He was pulled over and charged with driving under the influence, and spent the night in jail. After paying his $250 US fine, he was set free and returned to B.C. to explain himself at a teary-eyed press conference.

Across the country, calls came for Campbell's resignation. Campbell however, listened to his heart – and a homeless man on the street – who told him to stick with it. He continues a long standing tradition of politicians taking advice from untraditional sources. Prime Minister Mackenzie King was rumoured to consult his dead mother and stuffed dog on important national issues.

According to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, Defense Minister John McCallum misspoke when he said Canada "may" support American military action in Iraq without United Nations backing. The PM clarified the situation in a George "read my lips" Bush (Senior) press conference.

"He was wrong – he speculated," Chrétien said about McCallum's statement. He went on to say the government believes any military invasion of Iraq by America must come with a UN Security Council resolution. No more flip-flops on the Liberals' position this time. That is, until the next flip-flop.

The "friendly fire" investigation continued in Louisiana this week. The investigation into the two American pilots, who dropped a bomb on Canadian troops last April in Afghanistan, will ultimately determine whether they should be court-martialed for their actions.

Earlier, in the week, defense lawyers attempted to place the blame on Canadian troops, accusing them of sloppiness and firing shots into the sky and provoking the Americans to believe they were under attack.

A senior commander later testified the two pilots had breached combat regulations rules, noting only three minutes passed between the sighting of unknown fire and Major Schmidt announcing he was dropping a laser-guided bomb. The investigation continues.

Finally, in the scariest news of the week, Heritage Minister Sheila Copps has "informally" announced her intentions to run for the Liberal leadership. She unofficially announced her intentions at a ceremony for the Vancouver Olympics 2010 bid, wrapping herself in a Canadian flag and smiling to reporters.

If she were to win – and that's a HUGE "when pigs fly" kind of if – Copps would become the next prime minister of Canada. She could then go on to impress other world leaders with her shrill, screechy voice and her excellent dancing talents, as showcased during Queen Elizabeth's trip to Canada late last year.

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