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Harper Budget Hatched, Ahnold and Gordon Matched, Britney Scratched

Our fast rewind of March.

Mark Leiren-Young 30 Mar

Mark Leiren-Young, a Vancouver screenwriter, playwright and journalist, files his "Fast Rewind" summary of the news for The Tyee at the end of every month. Check out his website. Previous Fast Rewinds are here. You can read about Mark's adventures making The Green Chain on his blog.

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Jack Bauer promoted to Attorney General?

Gordon Campbell shook hands with Ahnold, while the Australians tried to handcuff Stallone. Harmony Airways crashed and we found out why the Queen of the North sunk. A B.C. man saw a sasquatch, and Quebec saw Mario Dumont elected Opposition Leader. And election fever hit Ottawa after Steve Harper started spending like a drunken Liberal.

Conrad Black was courted, Scooter Libby was convicted and Captain America was assassinated. Now let's see what else happened in March, while I wait to discover if I'm the father of Anna Nicole's baby.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

Steve Harper released a new budget that gave $2.3 billion to Quebec to buy a majority. In related news, Preston Manning announced plans to re-start the Reform Party along with the slogan, "The West wants in."

The ReformaTories also launched a new federal sponsorship program in Quebec, but Steve says it will be nothing like the Liberal sponsorship program because, "We'll never get caught."

In unrelated news, Federal Ethics Commissioner, Bernard Shapiro, resigned. His resignation letter simply read, "What's the point?"

Sorry, Charlie

Health Canada warned Canadians that fish are no longer healthy and that the average frozen tuna contains more mercury than your backyard thermometer. New guidelines warn that Canadians should limit their intake of frozen tuna, shark, swordfish, escolar, marlin and orange roughy to 150 grams a week and that pregnant women are safer slugging back a twenty-sixer of tequila.

A new poll shows most Canadians believe gas companies are gouging them and that it wasn't a coincidence when gas prices skyrocketed just before spring break. However, polls also show that forty per cent of Canadians aren't smarter than fifth graders, since they're apparently willing to vote for Steve Harper.

The United Nations accused Canada of racism for using the terms "visible minorities" and "ethnocultural communities" to describe, um....

Supporting the Troops

ReformaTory generalissimo, Steve Harper, accused Liberals of caring more about the Taliban than about Canada's troops. After the leaders of the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois demanded an apology, Harper referred to the three parties as, "The axis of evil."

Liberal leader Stéphane Dion announced that he will not respond to ReformaTory attack ads with attack ads of his own and that big business should be fined for exceeding carbon emissions. The announcements were applauded as proof that the Liberals had elected the perfect leader… for the NDP.

Meanwhile, NDP leader Jack Layton denied charges by NDP MP Pat Martin that his party is irrelevant and can't influence federal policy. Said Layton, "Without me, Paul Martin would still be prime minister."

To prove his relevance, Layton released a budget wish list demanding more funding for education, more money for seniors and a guarantee that only unionized workers would be hired to build all cotton candy mountains.

Canadian Idle

Vancouver will now issue tickets to drivers caught idling. Idling more than three minutes will result in a $100 fine and a free DVD copy of An Inconvenient Truth.

B.C. premier, Gordon Campbell, met with California governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to discuss the most important issues on the planet -- global climate change, environmentally friendly power and how Kyle Reese could come back to the future to become the father of John Connor.

Foreign affairs minister, Peter Mackay, turned green after federal Green Party leader, Elizabeth May, announced plans to run against him in Nova Scotia. Mackay says he's not worried about the challenge and immediately replaced his limo with a Prius.

Don Cherry's Jubilee

CBC retained the broadcast rights for Hockey Night in Canada until 2014, giving announcer Bob Cole six more years to learn how to pronounce difficult foreign names -- meaning the names of any player not wearing a Maple Leaf's jersey.

The NHL celebrated the anniversary of ex-Vancouver Canuck Todd Bertuzzi's hit on ex-hockey player, Steve Moore, with New York Islander's Chris Simon's attempted beheading of a New York Ranger. The NHL suspended Simon for 25 games -- or until the US networks stop replaying the incident on TV -- whichever comes first.

The Vancouver Canucks made the playoffs for the first time in living memory and gracious Canucks fans celebrated by complaining that goalie Roberto Luongo was overworked, captain Markus Naslund wasn't scoring enough, the Sedin twins don't fight enough and general manager Dave Nonis didn't do enough at the trading deadline. If the Canucks manage to retain first place in the division -- or finish first overall -- fans are expected to demand the firing of both the coach and general manager.

Whoa, Nelly!

The City of Victoria declared "Nelly Furtado Day." Citizens are supposed to celebrate by being promiscuous.

The B.C. Legislative Library was closed for seismic upgrades and apparently the Liberals may not reopen it, because those who can't read history won't have any clue if they're repeating it.

Former Baywatcher, Pamela Anderson, announced she's planning to spend more time in Canada. The best-selling author (yes, really) hopes to follow in the footsteps of fellow ex-pat Michael Ignatieff and run for leader of the Liberal Party.

Sorry, Jeb

U.S. president, George Bush, announced that when Cuban leader Fidel Castro dies, his brother should not be allowed to assume control of the country. CNN reported that Bush said it's not right that a leader should be chosen simply because, "somebody is somebody's brother." Bush feels that in a true democracy you choose a leader because they're somebody's son.

Law and Order star, Fred Dalton Thompson, says he may run for President of the United States. If he fails to gain the Republican nomination, Thompson plans to campaign for the role President on the TV series, 24.

Lewis "Scooter" Libby Jr. was convicted of lying to a grand jury and was sentenced to remain in prison until George Bush pardons him next week. The jury refused to accept Libby's claims that he didn't remember leaking the identity of a CIA agent and, "had never heard of anyone named Cheney."

Holy War Movie

Iranian expatriates are protesting Hollywood's portrayal of their ancestors in the film 300. Apparently they're concerned that if George Bush sees the movie he'll think he can invade their country with just 300 soldiers.

According to USA Today, over half of American high school students think Sodom and Gomorrah were married. And over half of all registered Republicans feel they have to stay married no matter what Sodom does after a few drinks.

Kiefer Sutherland went to Washington to remind people that he's actually an actor and his character in 24, Jack Bauer, isn't real. George Bush immediately asked him if he wanted to replace Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Big Macs Attacked

Prince Charles suggested that McDonald's food should be banned in order to insure a healthier population. McDonald's representatives were outraged and Mayor McCheese immediately announced plans to cease all diplomatic relations between Great Britain and McDonaldland.

Stalkernaut Lisa Nowak was ordered to hand in her diapers. NASA turfed Nowak after allegations that she'd assaulted another astronaut and given rocket scientists a bad name.

Who's The Boss?

American Idolmaker Simon Cowell told 60 Minutes that he should be paid five times more than Bruce Springsteen since his prefab pop stars sell more records than The Boss. Broooce allegedly responded by saying he's always preferred Paula Abdul and he's voting for Sanjaya Malakar.

A New Jersey town refused to allow The Sopranos to film at a local ice cream parlour because of concerns that the series depicts Italian Americans in a negative light. Producers declined to appeal the decision after members of city council threatened to break their legs.

Things got rocky for Sylvester Stallone when he was charged with bringing banned human growth hormones into Australia. Stallone denied the charges, vowing that his muscles are every bit as natural as his face and his hair colour.

Captain America died after being shot by a sniper at the end of the Marvel Comics series Civil War. He's survived by his illegitimate son, Jack Bauer.

Say it ain't so Asashoryu

A Japanese magazine reported that Sumo wrestling might be rigged, alleging that Sumo superstar Asashoryu paid his opponents to take dives. The big clue was when Asashoryu announced plans to take on Sylvester Stallone in Rocky 7.

Obligatory Britney Joke

Britney Spears checked herself out of rehab and promised her doctors that she wouldn't shave anything else without asking them first. Meanwhile, Britney and Fed-Ex reached a divorce settlement, shocking observers who never expected K-Fed to retain custody of the career. The children will be covered by a shared custody agreement and will spend half their time with Madonna and the other half with Angelina Jolie.

Mark Leiren-Young, a Vancouver screenwriter, playwright and journalist, files his "Fast Rewind" summary of the news for The Tyee at the end of every month. Check out his website. Previous Fast Rewinds are here.

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