Hollinger a 'Corporate Welfare Bum'?

By David Swick, NDP Spokesperson for the Halifax Daily News (working on assignment for the Notional Pest under direct supervision of Scott Upchuk)

HALIFAX (NP)   Alexa McDonough, leader of the NDP, today put paid to rumours that she had retired from federal politics and is now living on an ostrich farm at her family estate in Nova Scotia.

In a statement released on Friday, the mysterious party leader claimed that the federal government had given $3 million to Hollinger, a leading Canadian publisher, to send its president on a three-year course at a large university-run school of journalism in Halifax. The course, run by a person going under the pen name of Stephen Kimber, is identified as a seminar where the participants will: “learn how to correctly parse a sentence and relate it meaningfully to other sentences in a simple paragraph.”

“Nonsense,” said a spokesperson for Hollinger, owner of the National Post. “We ain’t never asked for no government funds, certainly not for a course run by a bunch of socialists in Halifax. The NDP press release appears to be defamatory, and we will sue them guys up to there very eyeballs.”

Pressed for evidence of its claim, the NDP's Lorne Nystrom released a copy of what he said is a year 2000 contract between Human Resources Development Canada and Hollinger. In it, the document, printed on a long sheet of soft, absorbent paper, says that Hollinger will receive $3 million under the Transitional Job Fund for “tuition, travel, dormitory accommodation, meals, and other reasonable expenses … for the president … to attend the Monty Python Faculty of Journalistic Excellence at the university, currently headed by a senior socialist journalist close to the NDP.

Hollinger scoffed at the so-called evidence advanced by Mr. Nystrom, who acts as the NDP finance critic. “It's pure rubbish. Probably it was written by a student at Monty Python. Anyways, they’ll see us in court.”

At an unctuous press conference, bizarrely back dropped by a white robbed choir softly singing Negro spirituals, Mr. Nystrom said that someone claiming to be a freelance writer had slipped him the document while he was standing near the wall in the Commons Washroom reserved for (male) members of the NDP. 

Reporters could see that he was under severe stress, but as he surreptitiously wiped aside a tear he vigorously defended his actions nonetheless. He explained that though he had “some reservations about the document and was  worried it might be false, It came from a very reliable source, very, very, professional, very, very, verrry well respected and a guy you can trust in terms of information.” Notional Pest  with files from the third stall on the left