I have a confession; I like Liberal MP Anthony Housefather. I’ve liked him since he started politics, he has flair, is always fair and has consistently stood up for his constituency, even when he wasn’t sure where the winds would blow. He’s a mentch and knowing I don’t share his political point of view, has always been generous with his time when invited to guest on my radio show.
A few years ago, I asked MP Housefather why he is a member of the Liberal party, his response was plain and simple, he believes in the values of the party, he believes that the vision the party has for the country is the right one and most importantly, he believes that being in the Liberal Party gives him the opportunity to enact change. It’s better to be a small part of something than a large part of nothing he told me.
Anthony Housefather rose through the political ranks as a town councillor in Hampstead winning his first election against Shane Lieberman by a huge margin. He then moved on to be a councillor in the neighboring Cote St Luc and really rose to prominence as one of the leaders of the anti-merger force opposing the Quebec government’s plan to turn Montreal into a mega-city by merging all the suburbs into the main city.
Housefather served on the Mega city council with Dida Berku and Robert Libman and survived politically by keeping consistent that he was only there to push for unmerging the city. Libman, who supported the mergers, took the greatest political hit and has yet to recover politically, Berku, a vocal opponent, went unscathed.
When former Liberal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler was ready to retire, Housefather slid right in and easily won the Mount Royal seat, which was once held by former PM Pierre Elliot Trudeau.
As an MP, Housefather has advocated for his citizenship and worked hard to help everyone in his riding. He has been present on the ground and is very approachable. He is well liked among his constituents and has been easily re-elected in multiple elections.
As much as I like Housefather, I was furious at him for labelling the entire trucker’s convoy as Nazis based on one picture of one truck with a Nazi flag. I was disgusted by the fact that he did not stand for the rights of the Canadian citizen protestors that the Trudeau Government trampled on, freezing their bank accounts, throwing their children into social services and euthanizing their pets. I really thought that a MP with morals would have been revolted by his party’s actions and would have taken a stand against them. Instead, Housefather backed Trudeau with vigor. He chaired one of the inquests into Trudeau’s corruption scandals and quickly shut it down when it got too hot for the PM. He was working hard to get himself a cabinet seat and nearly made it…That is, until the Trudeau Government decided to throw the English population of Quebec under the bus.
Suddenly it was Housefather standing alone. The lone opponent of an unfair legislation. Anthony Housefather standing against his government during a whipped vote. Anthony Housefather defying his friend and boss Justin Trudeau. Anthony Housefather standing for English rights…It was a great show, he’s now paying the political price for it and will continue to pay for eternity in the Liberal Party. Politics is a dirty game and there are no friends, just allies and when they turn against you, you become the enemy. Just ask Kim Campbell or Jean Charest their stories.
Housefather had served as Parliamentary Secretary since December, but was demoted from that position by the Prime Minister last weekend, probably as retribution for his vote against the party regarding Bill C-13, the Federal Language Bill which enshrined into Federal law Quebec’s Bill 96 and the use of the Notwithstanding Clause to shied it from constitutional challenges.
Now his constituents are torn. With an election looming in the not too distant future, who to vote for. In the Parliamentary System, a vote for an MP is a vote for a Prime Minister and if Anthony Housefather remains in the Liberal Party, many of his supporters will hesitate to give a vote to Justin Trudeau. On the other hand, if he leaves the Liberals, where would he go? Nobody survives very long as an Independent, so he would have to hitch his wagon to another party.
The NDP are anti-Israel and Housefather has been a staunch supporter of Israel his entire political career. The Conservatives are far too right for the very left leaning MP. He is stuck between a rock and a larger rock. Stay with his party and possibly lose the election, leave his party and maybe win one more election as an independent and then disappear with his MP pension into obscurity.
It’s a tough call for an MP that is truly there for the people. I would hate to see him go. Losing him would be a hit to the moral fiber of Canada, but, like all advocates, Housefather has learned, we pay the price of our actions.