Roger writing the LAWmag

Lawyer, Singer and ex-Hockey Enforcer Seek Law-making Authority in Parliament

Update: Ms Stéphane Moraille did get the NDP nomination and will run for the NDP in the federal by-election now set for Nov. 27, 2013. Georges Laraque quit when it was revealed he was facing fraud charges. Curiouser and curiouser: as on October 27, 2013, the Green Party website still had him listed as "deputy leader" even though Laraque also announced he was resigning from that position on Oct. 17.

Thank Providence for the occasional entanglement of the law and politics without which, and with apologies to my black gowned brethren and sisters, the law would seem like an often, terribly sleepy community. Politics, of course, is the science of, and using the word science liberally here, promoting and obtaining influence or decision-making authority in regards to a deliberative assembly most often called a legislature in Canada.

That's it for the law, now on to politics. As a famous philosopher once reflected:

"Ya got trouble, my friend. Right here, I say trouble right here in River City. River City's gotta have a Boys Band."

The trouble in River City right now is the absence of members of Parliament for a handful of federal ridings including that of Bourassa, right smack in Montréal, and the still unknown date that will be assigned for that by-election, although it has to be before the end of 2013.

Far from the only federal riding to enjoy the lawn-sign beautification caused by a by-election in the fall of 2013, Bourassa certainly is the most fascinating, what with all the delicious multi-lingual and multi-cultural aspects of being a member of Parliament representing any segment of Montreal. Any federal riding named after Henri Bourassa, one would have to just assume would be interesting.

FYI, in the last general election, the Liberal Party of Canada candidate received 41% of the vote, and the NDP, 32% so the Jack Layton love-in didn't overwhelm Bourassa.

Georges Laraque

Georges LaraqueThree colourful and eclectic candidates, including one lawyer, are in the running in the Bourassa by-election. First of all, former NHL enforcer (aka fighter) Georges Laraque (of whom LawMag has already written), is the star Green Party candidate. Elizabeth May, the leader of the federal Green Party swears by the 36-year-old Laraque, who is also one of two deputy leaders of the Green Party. The fact that he once, for a living, hit another human being in the face with a closed fist, and as an adult, and as much as possible, and was and may still be proud of it, seems lost on the Green Party.

If nothing else, it would be a hell of a good time in the old House of Commons when Georges Laraque puts his massive frame behind one of those tiny wooden desks. There hasn't been a good old tussle in the House of Commons since the good old days of Harvie Andre, may he rest in peace (see The Constitution Comes Home (1980)), but even he would probably back down as would any other sane person, if Mr. Laraque so much as twitches. If his NHL-days nemesis, 6'7" Peter Worrell ever made it to the House, we'd have a situation.

In  Bourassa, the federal Liberals parachuted in Emmanuel Dubourg, a chartered accountant by trade. He accepted a $100,000 severance cheque from the National Asembly of Quebec a year after being elected, to quit his seat in the provincial legislature to run in the federal by-election. Understandably, he is taking a lot of flak for this; flak, of course, rhymes with "Laraque" (pronounced "Larak").

More Moraille

Stephane MorailleBut the true star candidate may be the NDP's, Stephane Moraille, who is not only smart and the more attractive, but she also has the voice of a songbird, and she is also … wait for it … a lawyer too!

Maiîre Moraille, presumably as she dabbled in constitutional law and contract law at Osgoode Hall Law School from where she obtained her law degree, was one of the singers of a Québec hip hop, reggae, alternative music band known as Bran Van 3000, though now mostly inactive. One of their albums was good enough to have won a Canadian music award, the Juno award, on which Ms Moraille performs a song called Drinking in LA, which includes these words:

"What the hell am I doing drinking in L.A. at 26? I got the fever for the nectar, the payback will be later, still I need a fix."

She was called to the bar in 2001 and joined the Montreal entertainment law firm Lussier & Kouzam in 2006 (http://lussierkhouzam.com/en/SMoraille.html).

In September of 2013, the Barreau du Quebec listed her professional address as "3-340 Marie-Victorin Boulevard, Boucherville", which appears on Google Street-View as a private residence, and far from the federal riding of Bourassa by any reckoning.

Like any good politician or aspirant judge for that matter, Moraille has shut down some of her social media sites such as in particular, her official site one-time hosted at myspace.com. Her Facebook page (www.facebook.com/smoraille) has yet to be edited by NDP controllers (as of September 21, 2013) since it lists, in addition to Montréal, a residence as being the Brazilian state of "Amazonas". That she might be Amazonian?

On her LinkedIn site, ca.linkedin.com/pub/stéphane-moraille/4/975/249, she describes herself as follows:

"To provide thoughtful, result-oriented, fully bilingual legal counsel in entertainment and general corporate law…."

She was corporate attorney and is listed as such in the credits on a numbers of movies such as Les Pee-Wee 3D: L'hiver qui a changé ma vie, Starbuck (2011), Funkytown (2012) and Die (2010).

Unfortunately, there is only one seat in the House of Commons for the riding of Bourassa. That means that Laraque and Moraille, if they are both nominated, other than meeting on the hustings, would never sit concurrently.

Too bad for Laraque. And don't take our word for it: Stephane Moraille presents as a multi-talented prospective law-maker, talents that would be useful in the House of Commons. If there was a filibuster? No offence to Sheila Copps but just watch one of Moraille's music video as she crones the song "Lover" on muchmusic.com: http://www.muchmusic.com/artists/6427/stephane-moraille/videos/cid/95982/lover and also at http://youtu.be/ipiFxaopWwM. "After all the pain, can't go around again", she sings meaning to those who can pick up on these subliminal messages, that she'll give federal politics one try only?

Moraille, Esquire, will get her first test next week, September 25 where she will have to win the NDP nomination meeting, as one of four candidates including the defeated candidate in the 2011 election, and one-time NDP employee, Ms Julie Demers.

Bring It

Wannabe law-makersThe world of law-making needs the occasional unusual, brutally honest, tell-it-like-is colorful individual to keep a sleepy, overly comfortable deliberative assembly on its toes, and honest.

Henri Bourassa was one off-beat politician but Québec has no monopoly on this; e.g. Amos de Cosmos of British Columbia comes to mind.1

So whatever you got, if you get the nomination, Georges Laraque or Stephan Moraille, bring it, be yourself and be authentic in the House of Commons because as any experienced, wise member of that fantastic national Parliament will tell you, it is in the views and opinions of properly intentioned, and especially those that are multi-cultured Canadians of all ages that ensures that our country continues to shine in the world and especially one that does not go blind to the constant need for adaptation and change. New ideas, in a sleepy House of Commons, are often desperately needed, whether it come from the rafters in the form of a beautiful singer`s voice pleading for a constituent, or even small bits of concrete when the table is pounded upon by a 6'3", 275 pound ex-NHL hockey enforcer.

To the one that gets elected, including Dubourg, 2013-2014 will, in any event, be L'hiver qui a changé ma vie (the winter that changed my life), if not l'hiver qui a changé le parlement canadien.

REFERENCES:

  • NOTE 1: Premier of BC in 1872. De Cosmos had his legal name changed from William Alexander Smith to Amor de Cosmos which anybody with a rudimentary knowledge of French can translate, it means "lover of the universe". De Cosmos was declared "of unsound mind" in 1895, and died in 1897. But, still, he was BC's second premier (1872-1874) and also, member for Victoria in the federal House of Commons.

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