Annual Parliamentary Hockey Game

Hon. Jim Munson: Honourable senators, my question is a serious one. It is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Earlier this year, the Liberals scored a stunning victory against the Conservatives. It was the annual parliamentary hockey game. Liberal MPs, plus one Liberal senator —

Senator Mercer: What was his name?

Senator Munson: — played against Conservative MPs. The Prime Minister was behind the bench for the Conservatives. It was an exciting match. I can even perform a Danny Gallivan play-by-play for you. Tempers were lost, and the Conservatives lost eight to seven.

We now see the Prime Minister has appointed Jacques Demers to the Senate, one of the greatest coaches of all time for the greatest hockey team of all time. Is this a sign, among others, that the Prime Minister is not up to the job, or that he will go to any lengths to win?

Senator Day: It is a sure sign.

Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government and Minister of State (Seniors)): It is typical that those on the other side only talk about the game they win; they do not talk about all the ones they lost.

I do not think the Prime Minister will don skates and start playing with the team. Since Senator Demers has probably been a skater more recently than the Prime Minister, perhaps he will join the team and, since he has coached and knows all the various positions and how best to expedite the game, he might end up in goal, on defence, in the centre or on left or right wing.

Senator Comeau: Right wing.

An Hon. Senator: Right wing; never left wing.

Senator Tardif: Centre, centre!

Senator LeBreton: Senator Demers is a great hockey coach. That is the least we could have done because you have always had Senator Mahovlich. I am sure the honourable senator would agree that fair is fair.

Senator Munson: I do not know how, honourable senators, fans of the Montreal Canadiens can accept Jacques Demers as an Ottawa senator.

However, are you ready, because we are prepared to do this now and to make this whole thing work. We will unleash our secret weapon, the Big M, number 27, Frank Mahovlich, who will be backed up by Ken Dryden, so good luck.

Senator LeBreton: As I said, honourable senators, I was never a Montreal Canadiens’ fan. I was a Detroit Red Wings’ fan, so I prefer to focus on that part of Senator Demers’ career when he coached Detroit.

Of course, I am now an Ottawa Senators’ fan, internally in this chamber and externally for the team, so Detroit is now my second choice. However, at the time when I was growing up on our family farm and there was a six-team league, many of the Detroit Red Wings were from the Ottawa Valley, starting with Terrible Ted Lindsay. I was a natural Detroit fan because so many of our compatriots were playing for Detroit.