Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman (right) may have meant well when he announced last Wednesday that he was thinking of trying out the incontinence diapers to see if they were sufficient for Ontario longterm care residents, but his remarks immediately sparked criticism from far and wide. He was called insensitive and arrogant, and rival politicians called for his resignation. He's since apologized for the PR gaffe, but that didn't stop the National Post's Scott Stinson from poking a little fun in an imaginary Smitherman diary over the weekend:
TUESDAYOuch. The matter of drug addiction is a touchy subject for Mr Smitherman, who admitted a few years ago to have been a "party-drug" addict. I asked him about the admission last year when I interviewed him for a cover story in the National Review of Medicine. "Some [fellow Liberals] appreciated my candour, and some sure as hell don't want to hear another word about it," he told me.
Major confession, diary. I tried out an incontinence diaper today. It was so ... freeing. I had three large coffees from Tims -- but no winners :(-and then I sat through a three-hour meeting with a bunch of bureaucrats.
No pee breaks! It was so much more efficient. Made a bit of a stumble at lunch, though, by having the side dish of asparagus. Won't make that mistake again! I think this will really help in my discussion with the nurses' union. Five hours seems to be the limit before things get a little soggy. I think I'll publicly float the idea tomorrow. Right after I shoot up an eight-ball of smack to get a better feel for drug addiction.
L'Affaire Diaper isn't the first time Furious George has gotten himself in deep you-know-what for running his mouth.
Speaking about new building plans suggested by some hospital boards in Ontario, Mr Smitherman dismissively referred to the expensive proposed upgraded facilities as "Taj Ma-hospitals."
His most famous outburst was featured on Stephen Colbert's American parody politics talk show in 2005. Talking to none other than an assemblage of the Ontario Association of Optometrists, Mr Smitherman called optometrists "a bunch of terrorists, and I don't negotiate with terrorists." "Bravo, sir," Mr Colbert said. "Optometrists are a menace. You have to be careful with a group that gets their kicks blowing air into our eyeballs."
Call me crazy, but I'm willing to bet -- despite his contrition -- this won't be the last time an offhand remark from Mr Smitherman causes a province-wide uproar. Though it probably will be the last time he brings up his own urination habits in Parliament.
Update, March 5: Mr Smitherman is "no longer thinking about" wearing a diaper. Oh well.
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