07 February 2013

Harper Hockey Book Watch: Year Nine, Day 236



What a day this turned out to be!

Activity began early with 'Details of Stephen Harper's hockey book to be revealed', a story by Marsha Lederman, posted at 5:00 am EST on the Globe and Mail website. Begins the journalist:
Publication details of Stephen Harper’s long-awaited hockey book are expected to be announced imminently, likely on Thursday, according to a source close to the deal.
Thursday? You mean today?

Oh, but who could take Ms Lederman seriously? After all, her anemic story – 123-words in length – refers to the book, which the PM has been going on about since 2005, as an "open secret".  Then we have the matter of the publisher. Ms Lederman describes this as being "kept under careful wraps", but it's been two full weeks since Stephen Maher broke the story that Simon & Schuster had won the rights. Finally, there's this: "Mr. Harper is a serious hockey fan – a member of the Society for International Hockey Research – and can often be seen attending NHL games."

Oh, for goodness sake. How many times must I address this issue? Look, it's far more difficult to join Costco than it is the Society for International Hockey Research. Much more expensive, too.

The eyes did roll, but Ms Lederman turned out to be right. Short hours later, Simon & Schuster announced a November pub date for the long-awaited tome. We learned also that there's still no title for Mr Harper's book. Roy MacGregor's name was mentioned for the first time, to no one's surprise – he's been providing our PM with "editorial services". No mention of Greg Stoicoiu... or, for that matter, George Pepki.

I look forward to the book, and am betting it will be a solid piece of work. But the most welcome bit of news is that all author royalties will go to the Military Families Fund. Makes sense. After all, our PM is well-aware of the challenges facing those who serve and have served this country, whether it be fighting his government for benefitsfighting his government for pension claims, fighting his government's clawbacks on disabled veterans, fighting his government's spying on and smearing of veterans (and cover-up of same). The very minute that Simon & Schuster's press release began to circulate, Major Marcus Brauer appeared on The Current to speak to the financial hardship incurred by today's military families.

Yes, the PM is more aware than most of the challenges facing our military. The funding provided by his hockey book will, I'm sure, be welcome. It's just a pity that he isn't more prolific.


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10 comments:

  1. Too many of these rants will ruin your blog, which would be a great pity.

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    1. And yet they rank as the most popular posts.

      By far.

      I do hear you. And I do recognize they aren't for everyone. Lord knows what readers overseas think. It's just that after nearly nine years on the trail of this story, I'm not about to drop it as the conclusion draws near.

      And six posts in four years... that isn't too much, is it? (I ask realizing that the last have been only two weeks apart.)

      There's sure to be at least one more, I suppose. But before that - much before that - more Tedd Steele, Arthur Stringer and who knows what.

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  2. Well, this is a little "inside hockey" for me, but I always enjoy a good rant!

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    1. My thanks for the kind words, Donna. I fear it's all to easy to fall into a rant these days. I try my best to keep myself in check, but some things need be said and this is no time to stay silent.

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  3. Harper supporters are notoriously thin-skinned - keep expressing your own opinions. The PM doesn't walk on water, heal the sick, or raise the dead.

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    1. Thank you, John. Yes, notoriously thin-skinned - and it seems increasingly so. No leader is unerring, least of all Mr Harper, as the sorry events of the past few days have demonstrated.

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  4. Just came across your article Brian. I would like to note that I had applies for emergency assistance under the military families fund, from which the proceeds are going. Unfortunately, me and the other affected members were all denied as the denied entitlements were greater than their $5,000 limit. As such, since 5K was not enough to resolve the issue and paint a rosy picture, they were denied. I support the military families fund, however it will not assist those denied relocation entitlements such as the Home Equity Assistance.

    Well, its off to Federal Court for us...

    Marcus Brauer

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    1. It's an honour to have you comment here, Major Brauer. I'm greatly ashamed - but sadly not surprised - to learn that further support has not been forthcoming. I know I'm far from alone in wishing you the best in court.

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  5. Thank you Brian. I enjoy your column. If you are interested in developments in this story, we have begun fundraising for the legal battle and a federal announcement on the Home Equity Assistance will be made the morning of 27 May, 2013. Stay tuned...

    http://www.gofundme.com/2j18gw

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    Replies
    1. Wishing you all the best, Major.

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