Friends of ours and fellow members of Group of Four welcomed an important visitor into their home this morning. The Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, was given a short cello lesson by B7’s friend J8. Mr Harper then used his new skills to accompany E12 as he played a fiddle tune. E, J and their brother M were able to chat to Mr Harper about their interests and music lessons.
We were also able to experience an aspect of the current election campaign at very close range today when we were invited to the Conservative Headquarters to attend a policy announcement. Mr Harper, announced three new initiatives to help Canadian families. One of those initiatives is to establish a tax credit on fees for children taking music, art or drama lessons.
We were present for the whole announcement and the question time which followed. The children listened to the Prime Minister outline the policy, which involved more than just the tax credit, and heard him field questions on a range of topics relating to the election. After the announcement he took a few minutes to meet each member of the three families invited. When talking to the children he asked them about their involvement with music and told them a little about his own piano learning as a young person. He also chatted to them about the instruments his son and daughter like to play.
It was great to be behind the scenes and see the large media contingent in action. We were briefed before the announcement by one of the PM’s staff about what to expect and appropriate behaviour. We were also warned that the strong lighting can get very hot and just last week someone fainted during a press release. We had stood for twenty minutes or so and were just listening to Mr Harper answering the last question when I realised A12 was swaying beside me, I whispered to her but received no reply. Not a moment too soon I put my arms out to steady her and maneuvered away to the side of the room, where someone picked her up and carried her to a chair. As soon as she could walk we went off to a back room where she recovered. That is why you cannot see either of us in the photos here. Mr Harper did come back to the room with the rest of the families where A12 and I were able to speak briefly with him.