The House Of Commons has its share of traditions. Some of them are purely ceremonial, but others are really just for fun. One of those is the annual House of Commons Christmas poem, a tradition started by former Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner.
Every year, Cuzner would present his take on "Twas The Night Before Christmas," rewritten to reflect everything going on in the country and in parliament.
The poem would poke fun at Canadian politicians and was generally enjoyed by everyone, regardless of party affiliation.
Cuzner, who represented the riding of Cape Breton—Canso, read his final Christmas Poem in 2018. He decided not to run again in this year's election. However, his tradition carried on with a new MP taking the helm.
Anthony Housefather, the Liberal MP for the Mount Royal riding, read this year's Christmas poem, still structured around "'Twas The Night Before Christmas." In it, Housefather carries on the tradition of gently making fun of everyone in the house.
"Twas the last sitting week before Christmas and who knew?" Housefather's poem begins, "Cuzner’s Christmas poem tradition would be assumed by a Jew." That opening line immediately got a huge laugh and plenty of applause. Off to a good start.
Liberal MP Anthony Housefather takes over his former colleague Rodger Cuzner's annual tradition of reciting a Chris… https://t.co/fRg1aAt5VE— CPAC (@CPAC)1576179131.0
"But whether we light the menorah or a big Christmas tree, Parliamentarians are asking for presents: on that, we agree," Housefather continues, before moving onto the parties themselves.
"For our Conservative colleagues, I know today has been a shock. In the spirit of the holidays, I’ll go straight to the Bloc," Housefather says, earning more laughter.
This line is most likely in reference to the sudden resignation of party leader Andrew Scheer.
Thanks so much @RodgerCuzner. I really appreciate it. Big shoes to fill! https://t.co/LmTAVIMKCC— Anthony Housefather (@Anthony Housefather)1576180186.0
Housefather kept his word, moving right on to the Bloc Quebecois. "For the Bloc leader, flush with success, for Mr. Claus, he had but one request," Housefather said, "When flying over Quebec, please remove that red suit. It’s a religious symbol, and ugly to boot."
Like the previous stanza, this also got a huge laugh at the expense of Quebec's controversial Bill 21, which bans government employees from wearing religious symbols.
"For the NDP, PharmaCare was on the list," Housefather continued, referencing one of the party's most important issues. "It's supported by the government, so they've requested a twist."
"They asked Santa, who is known for passing out candy, to put dental care on the agenda. Wouldn't that be dandy?"
Housefather then turned his attention to the Prime Minister, saying "And when it comes to our PM, we know what he wants, all being equal. No more hot mics, and a new Star Wars sequel."
The hot mics comment is apparently in reference to Trudeau's remarks during the NATO summit being picked up by cameras. The Prime Minister is also an avid Star Wars fan.
Housefather wrapped up the poem with some kind parting words, and it really is just nice to see a fun parliamentary tradition being kept alive.