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Federal Politics

Please Advise! What Canadian Secrets Are Being Spilled to Spies?

Don’t tell anyone, says Dr. Steve, but here’s the inside scoop.

Steve Burgess 17 Jun 2024The Tyee

Steve Burgess writes about politics and culture for The Tyee. Read his previous articles.

[Editor’s note: Steve Burgess is an accredited spin doctor with a PhD in Centrifugal Rhetoric from the University of SASE, situated on the lovely campus of PO Box 7650, Cayman Islands. In this space he dispenses PR advice to politicians, the rich and famous, the troubled and well-heeled, the wealthy and gullible.]

Dear Dr. Steve,

Espionage is afoot in Ottawa. A confidential report says parliamentary staff, including MPs, have been feeding information to foreign governments who may be attempting to interfere in Canadian domestic affairs.

What Canadian secrets might have been betrayed?


Tinker Tailor

Dear TT,

Dr. Steve must be careful, lest he himself be caught up in the CSIS dragnet, accused of spilling valuable, top-secret intel to devious adversaries. But here are a few possible confidential tidbits that may have been passed along to international snoops.

Prime Minister Trudeau

Foreign governments have surely been puzzled by the prime minister's refusal to step aside despite worsening polls. The reason confided to undercover operatives: It is no longer a secret that Justin Trudeau likes to engage in a bit of cosplay, sometimes with unfortunate results. One time at a party he dressed as Star Wars character Han Solo and shouted, “Never tell me the odds!”

So no one did. He still has no idea.

Tim Hortons coffee

It is in fact not coffee at all, but merely brown crayons steeped in hot water.

Jagmeet Singh

Mr. Dental Plan is flirting with gingivitis.

Danielle Smith

Contrary to popular belief the Alberta premier has received numerous doses of the COVID vaccine — staff members disguised them as Flintstones chewable vitamins. Smith used to cite The Flintstones as her favourite documentary, until it was pointed out that the propulsion system on Fred's car was a potential threat to the fossil fuel industry. Smith's staffers then had to switch to the Paw Patrol brand.

Doug Ford

The Ontario premier secretly despises beer and any who consume it. Ford has told confidantes that an appreciation of cabernet sauvignon is what separates us from the beasts of the field. Furthermore, anyone who offers him a glass of white zinfandel will be removed from caucus and assigned to the janitorial staff. A button on Ford's desk summons a liveried servant carrying chilled asparagus water.

And if the premier's omelette wasn't made with emu eggs, it will be on the wall and a certain chef's sorry ass will be on the street. Ford employs a dialect coach to practise typical rural Ontario speech patterns. His tutor has warned him to expunge all traces of the accent Ford once acquired while performing the collected works of Sophocles in the original Greek. They often have a good chuckle when Ford accidentally quotes Xenophon instead of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

Clarence Thomas

The Canadian government paid to fly U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to Vegas for an all-expenses paid weekend attending the 2023 RV Owners & Insurrectionists BBQ Funfest. Bribing Thomas offered no perceived benefit to Canada. But, a government source said, “Everybody else was doing it. We didn't want to get left behind.”


The popular dish did not actually originate as a recipe but was instead the result of a gas explosion at a Quebec strip mall which threw together several ingredients in a manner never intended by God. This origin story has been covered up by successive Canadian governments, keenly aware this country has little else to offer, except maybe beaver tails, if an episode of Top Chef wants to showcase real Canadian cuisine.

Pierre Poilievre is a bit of a jerk

Well, duh. Nobody got paid for that nugget.  [Tyee]

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