On the campaign trail in Saskatoon on Monday, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper criticized big arts galas as elitist.
“I think when ordinary working people come home, turn on the TV and see a gala and all sorts of people at a rich gala all subsidized by the taxpayer, claiming their subsidies aren't high enough when they know they have actually gone up, I'm not sure that's something that resonates with ordinary people," he said. "Ordinary people understand we have to live within a budget.”
Meanwhile, his wife, Laureen, is a proud supporter of the arts and is going to the National Arts Centre gala on Oct. 4. (Singer Tony Bennett is the big draw this year.) In fact, she's the gala's honourary chair and has been for several years. And she really gets into it, helping to personally decorate the NAC foyer for the event. She's always dressed beautifully and once again, John Baird, a Tory incumbent candidate from Ottawa and the Environment Minister, has agreed to be her date. Her husband never goes; he stays home and looks after the kids at their taxpayer-subsidized mansion on Sussex Drive.