I was sitting in the Library Bar of the Royal York in Toronto waiting for a contact I knew only as “Her”. I had been innocently plying my trade as a constitutional lawyer in Ottawa, although looking enviously south to a land where constitutional lawyers became famous politicians – by trying to destroy the American Constitution – or famous journalists – by trying to destroy the constitutional lawyers trying to destroy the American Constitution. My sympathies were with the journalists but at least both were getting paid.
Meanwhile back in Ottawa I was hoping for an intermittent gig on CBC Radio explaining the unwritten constitution to people who didn't care, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to people who preferred a strong, stable tryanny. It was strictly minimum wage. I was bummed.
Then, there had been a mysterious call from Haiti. It was an offer to retain my services for an important client who could not be identified on the phone, on account of Jeffrey Delisle having blown the cover of CSIS, ASIS, NZIS, MI6, the CIA, and Rogers Cable, and nothing was secure. I asked about the job and was told " the Privy Council job in London.” More could not be said on the phone. All expenses would be covered lavishly however, and I would be intimately involved in Canadian Constitutional law at a crucial moment.
It was an offer I couldn't refuse. After a luxurious overnight bus trip to Toronto, I settled into a booth in a dim corner of the bar, carrying a copy of an October 2008 Report on Business, as instructed. Moments later, a black woman wearing a black sealskin coat and very black sunglasses appeared at my side. “Mind if I sit down?” she asked, using the agreed recognition code. “Only if Obama has the hots for you,” I replied, and she slumped gratefully into a seat. “Screech?” I asked. “I’d love to, but it would only attract attention. “ “I mean the drink.” “Jack Daniels.” I was moving up.
“I hope this isn’t another Privy Council trip.” “No, it’s like that, but not the same people. We think we’ve got a copycat proroguer.”
“Do you have a suspect?”
She looked carefully around and lowered her voice, “Dalton.”
“No, he’s straight.”
“I meant Dalton Camp.”
The stakes were getting higher. “Who then?”
She excused herself to go the ladies'. She returned, handed me a blank piece of paper, and left. I held the paper over a candle and writing slowly appeared; “McGuinty. We will be in touch. Your room here has been booked under the name 'Tim Horton.'"
The paper burst into flame, setting off the smoke alarms and causing evacuation of the entire hotel. In the interests of security I ate the ashes. It was more interesting than a guest slot on “The House.” I retired to my room and ordered up a 24 of Canadian to kill the taste of ashes in my mouth. It didn't work.
…to be continued.