Meet the Honourable Hunter Tootoo, Member of the Canadian Parliament for Nunavut and Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard... until Monday, when he resigned his cabinet position and from the Liberal caucus to seek treatment for addiction issues, after what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called "a very difficult situation".
This is not really big news, not even in the Great White North (shown clearly in the picture). Over the last three decades almost 40 Canuck cabinet ministers have had to resign for personal and/or professional reasons, including controversies and scandals. Often, they weren't gone forever, just sent to purgatory for a while and then rehabilitated. Having been in a similar position himself -- not a cabinet position, just in the position of having to quit to avoid being fired -- Walt wishes Mr Tootoo a speedy recovery.
Mr Tootoo's problem with the evil drink must surely have been exacerbated by the challenging lifestyle of a parliamentarian. As Canada's Global TV news site puts it, "Life on Parliament Hill, with its parade of free meals and wine-soaked networking events, can make it difficult for even the most stout-willed politicians, staffers and journalists to avoid overindulging at the best of times." Yes, that's what it says on the landing page, as the lead for a story headed "Parliament Hill cocktail circuit creates lifestyle challenges for MPs". Walt is bemused by the juxtaposition of that story with the advertisement immediately underneath.
Maybe if the brewers and vintners and distillers stopped advertising the stuff, people wouldn't drink so much? Yeah... right....
Footnote: Non-Canadian readers may think that "Tootoo" is an unusual name. Not so in Nunavut. Lots of Tootoos up there, including one -- Jordin Tootoo -- who now makes his home in New Jersey, where he plays for the NHL's Jersey Devils.
Another footnote: Never heard of Nunavut? You'll hear it described quite accurately in the excellent video embedded in "Advice on moving to Canada (in case Trump wins)", WWW 27/4/16.
Yet another footnote: Did you think "lifestyle challenges" related to gender identity? John Baird is no longer in the cabinet or even in parliament, having resigned suddenly and mysteriously a couple of years ago.